The Rogatchover Gaon once said that he could condense Judiasm into 10 ideas, or, if he were smarter, into one.
I agree. I don't know what 10 assumptions I would pick, but it seems like a good idea.
Having fewer assumptions means you are both more likely to be internally consistent, but also consistent with the outside world.
In the world of kofer-bloggers, we see another benefit of having a small set of ikkarim - the stuff that keeps people up at night, and puts them on the road towards leaving the Jewish community, sometimes isn't the big stuff.
Take daas Torah. Daas Torah would not make it on my list of the ikkarim. Daas Torah is also completely rediculous, in my exceedingly pompous opinion. Remember, we need a short list.
Putting stupid stuff on the "believe this or you aren't one of us" list only invites more healthy, reasonable people to rebel. Furthermore, the longer the list is, the more trouble you'd get into.
Here's what I would for sure have on my list
1. G-d is the creator
2. G-d revealed Himself at Sinai
3. Humans have free will
We might need more, but using those three will probably suffice until a Karaite starts blogging. Then I'll need to add
4. Accepting the authority of the Rabbis
Which is pretty much the foundation of Rabbinic Judaism.
I don't feel the need to elaborate on things in the Torah, like "Y'all... all y'all... are commanded to do these mitzvot."
Because the Torah itself does a fairly good job of explaining itself.
So my concluding question to all you out there is reminiscent of the Kuzari: Did we just make up the whole Exodus/Sinai thing?
Or did something get revealed at Sinai that we built on, and by nature of its Godliness could not be diluted by later human addition?
4 years ago