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Embarking on a journey of faith - opening statement:

As we gather here today, we stand on the threshold of a profound and transformative journey. We are about to embark on a journey of discovery, to delve into the depths of an eternal text that has inspired and guided generations for nearly nine centuries.

The call to know the Creator

In the opening of his book "Mishna Torah," Maimonides emphasizes the importance of wisdom, which begins with recognizing and acknowledging the Creator of all existence. He states, "The foundation of all knowledge and the essence of true wisdom is the understanding that a supreme being brought everything into existence. Everything in the universe, from the heavenly bodies to the earth and all that lies between them, was created solely by the truth of this being's existence."

The Kuzari: A Guide to Strengthening the Faith

Written by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi about 900 years ago, the Kuzari serves as a beacon of light for those seeking to deepen their understanding and conviction in the Creator. Through the fascinating dialogue and its profound insights, the book offers surprising and inspiring insights in keeping with the intellectual examination of the Jewish faith.

Journey together

The journey ahead is not one to be undertaken alone. We are all pilgrims on this path, each with unique questions and experiences. Together, we will explore the Text, share our insights, and support each other in our search for knowledge and spiritual growth.

Privilege and opportunity

It is a privilege and an opportunity to embark on this journey together. Let us approach the Text with an open heart and mind, ready to be challenged, inspired, and changed.

May our journey be blessed with wisdom, understanding, and a deeper connection to the Creator of all existence.

I wish us all success and a meaningful learning experience.


Kuzari (1) - Introduction: 

I  WAS asked to state what arguments and replies I could bring to bear against the attacks of philosophers and followers of other religions and also against [Jewish] sectarians who attacked the rest of Israel. This reminded me of something I had once heard concerning the arguments of a Rabbi who sojourned with the King of the Khazars. As we know from historical records, the latter converted to Judaism about four hundred years ago. 

To him came a dream, and it appeared as if an angel addressed him, saying: 'Thy way of thinking is indeed pleasing to the Creator, but not thy way of acting.' Yet he was so Enthusiastic about the performance of the Khazar religion that he devoted himself full-heartedly to the temple service and sacrifices.

Notwithstanding this devotion, the angel returned at night and repeated: 'Thy way of thinking is pleasing to God, but not thy way of acting.' This caused him to ponder the different beliefs and religions and finally become a convert to Judaism with many other Khazars.

As I found among the arguments of the Rabbi, many of which appealed to me and were in harmony with my own opinions, I resolved to write them down exactly as they had been spoken. When the King of Khazar (as is related) dreamt that his way of thinking was agreeable to God but not his way of acting and was commanded in the same dream to seek the God-pleasing work, he inquired of a philosopher concerning his religious persuasion.

Some questions to sharpen understanding of the Text above:

  • What historical event does the author reference?
  • What message did the angel deliver to the king in his dream?
  • What did the king do after receiving the second dream?
  • Why did the author decide to write down the rabbi's arguments? 
  • What is the significance of the dream in the story?
  • How does Rabbi Yehuda Halevi (the author) use the story of the Khazar king to connect to their purpose?
  • What broader theme or message can be inferred from the introduction?
  • Unlocking UnderstandingA Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Texts

    1. Listen and Engage: The first step is actively listening to the Text during your initial read-through. Try to understand the main topics discussed in it.

    2. Comprehend the Text: After your initial read-through, try to understand the author's main ideas. Try to capture the spirit of the Text and its underlying purpose.

    3. Imagination and Connection: Use your understanding of the Text to relate it to familiar scenarios or phenomena you know about. How do the topics discussed in the Text compare to real-life situations?

    4. Delve Deeper into the Text: Once you've grasped the essential components of the Text, revisit it. Try comprehending finer details such as numerical data, examples, and analyses that help you understand the subject matter more deeply.

    5. Reread with Purpose: After delving deeper into the Text, reread it. This time, try to understand the point at which the Text was written without focusing solely on the details. Concentrate on the main ideas and central purpose of the Text.

    With dedication and perseverance, you can unlock the secrets of any text and gain invaluable insights that will enrich your understanding of the world around you. Active engagement is crucial for achieving success in your reading endeavors. Listening attentively, understanding deeply, and connecting the Text to your experiences is essential. Take the time to delve into the finer details, and don't be afraid to ask questions or seek help when needed.

    Embrace the power of knowledge and embark on a transformative learning adventure!

    Enjoying the content? are you reading it on your own?

    "The Rabbi: The faculty of speech is to transmit the idea of the speaker into the soul of the hearer. Such intention, however, can only be carried out to perfection by means of oral communication. This is better than writing. The proverb is: 'From the mouths of scholars, but not from the mouth of books.'" (Kuzari)

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