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5.1.17

Lithuanian Judaism. Who cannot see that thinking is prior to believing? For no one believes anything unless he has first thought that it is to be believed.

Litvak Judaism is sometimes criticized for being head based.[That is Lithuanian Judaism based in the Gra and the prime value of learning Torah].

It is certainly true that Torah is not a mere"intellectualism", and that a dry, philosophical knowledge of the 13 articles of faith of the Rambam alone does not constitute faith. But, just as certain  critics of such "intellectual dryness" speak contemptuously of so called "head faith", it is also possible to take this controversy to the other extreme- as is often done in some circles, and speak of an emotion
based  faith.  Faith is certainly more than intellectual knowledge, but intellectual assent forms an indisputable part of it. For who cannot see that thinking is prior to believing? For no one believes anything unless he has first thought that it is to be believed. It is  necessary that everything which is believed should be believed after thought has preceded. Belief itself is nothing else than to think with assent. For it is not everyone who thinks that believes,- since many think in order that they may not believe. But everybody who believes, thinks.