Is this a rock or not? I Would like to know

Christine Bass christinebass at
Fri Feb 16 11:13:55 EST 2001

Pirkei Avos- Ethics of the Fathers-- is a tractate of the Talmud that I was
reading last night after reading these various opinions.

I happened upon some commentary that touches on the subject of scholarly
bias and unconscious denial that I found interesting
and applicable to those who claim to have no position, to be absolutely pure
so to speak of opinion or favor or spin in their reading
of the Hebrew Scriptures.

"Torah is even greater than priesthood or royalty, ...the Torah is aquired
by means of forty eight qualities, which are:
Study, attentive listening, articulate speech, intuitive understanding,
intuitive discernment [...] 6/6

The commentary by Rabbi Abraham Twerski , M.D.  reads: "The literal
translation of is "understanding of the heart and  the intellect of the
heart."  These are rather strange terms since we think of the heart as being
associated with emotions, and that understanding  and intellect are related
to the mind rather than to the
heart. However, the mishnah is very specific in its terminlogy.

Neither intellect nor understanding are immune to bias.

It has been found that even serious scientific researchers may ignore
findings that cast doubt on their theories. This is by no means a conscious
Rather, the emotional investment in one's theories can render even the most
sincere scientist oblivious to anything the threatens to disprove his
The phenomenon of unconscious denial can affect anyone, and presents a
formidable obstacle..."

All to say that each person posting has a perspective, and it is through
this perspective (Jewish, Christian, Atheist, Humanist, Agnostic, etc.) that
the Hebrew Scriptures are analyzed. There is no one that does not. A
nothing, a supposedly neutral is still a perspective. To say that one is
immune to their own perspective in interpreting scripture is a fallacy, a
form of denial.

Demanding that one perspective be denied is outrageous.


Christine Bass

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