Marc Shapiro



how does orthodoxy respond to marc shapiro


To the Questioner, 

As far as we have researched the matter, Marc B. Shapiro received his PHD from a professor in Hebrew Literature and Philosophy. 

This seems to be his preoccupation, to always be involved in examining texts and discovering discrepencies in the various printings over the years of history. Once he reveals those discrepencies, Marc Shapiro then proceeds to discuss the philosophical implications assigned to the change, and whether they were truly the author's intent or not. 

The answer of Traditional Religious Orthodox Jewry to this approach, would be that Marc is not taking into consideration the heart and messages of Judaism which go beyond the written words. In other words, Marc is so preoccupied with the Texual wording of the scholarly texts (the "trees), that he misses to relate in the proper proportion to the message of the author that goes beyond the words - for which the words only serve as a medium for, namely to house the greater, more fundamental mesage which is generally the real point of the author  (the "forest").  

The main strength of the Traditional Religious Orthodox Jewish Mesorah which has survived the millenia, has been its ability to continuously relate the inner message of Judaism as received from Sinai, although in various generations the external expressions of those foundational understandings have changed or even been scant in their format of expression toward the goal of expressing what more fully and clearly the underlying received principles. 

It is clear that in terms of the continuation of Judasim and its being passed down to the successive generations, is that the underlying message of the original Jewish beliefs and doing what is necessary to ensure their preservation is of the utmost importance, rather than the textual form in which they were expressed at any one given point in history. 

With blessings,
Rav Nachum