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Mishpatim. Blind Faith?

  • Who is the greater believer, the person who follows God blindly, or an individual who makes well-reasoned, informed decisions?

  • Is commitment to God supposed to be a “leap of faith,” a jump into the absurd; or does Judaism embrace instead cognition and reason?

Our parsha ends with one of the most famous declarations ever stated by the Jewish nation: “נעשה ונשמע - Naaseh ve-Nishma – We will do and we will hear” (Exodus 24:6). But the order is awkward.

Usually we “listen,” and after consideration and possibly further investigation, we “do” – we move to action. Why does Israel reverse the normal order of things? This textual observation is the stimulus for a celebrated reading of this statement: