Two Kinds Of Intelligence

To be fully educated and human we must study a range of disciplines--humanities and sciences, secular and Judaic.

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A third understanding is possible as well. Perhaps the two categories refer to the importance of both Jewish and gentile learning. Many Jews today know the writings of Shakespeare, Freud and Hawkings, but are unfamiliar with the works of Yehudah Ha-Levi, Moses Maimonides and Abraham Joshua Heschel.

That form of illiteracy--ignorance of Jewish thought and religion--limits us to an impoverished and anemic relationship to Judaism. Similarly, to only know Jewish sources--Torah, Talmud and Midrash--represents no less a shortcoming than not knowing them at all.

In the words of the Talmud itself, if you only have Torah, then you don't even have Torah. Learning--both Jewish and general, both about natural reality and about human society and personality--is an essential ingredient in becoming fully human, in becoming discerning and sage.

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Rabbi Bradley Artson

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson is Vice-President of the American Jewish University in Los Angeles and Dean of its Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies. He served as a congregational rabbi in Southern California for ten years. Rabbi Artson?is the author of The Bedside Torah and co-author of a children's book, I Have Some Questions about God.