Monday, 5 January 2015
Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory,
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, University of Washington Press, 1996, page 16
Yosef Yerushalmi, on the basis of the triennial Torah reading cycle employed in ancient Palestine (Israel in the centuries immediately following the destruction of the Second Temple) and annual cycle employed in Babylon and most frequently today, said:
Every generation of scribes would copy and transmit the historical texts wuth the reverent care that only the sacred can command. An unbroken chain of scholars would arise later to explainwhat had been recorded long ago in a constantly receding past. With the gradual democratisation of Jewish learning, both the recitals of ancient chroniclers and the interpretations of prophets long dead would become the patrimony, not of a minority, but of the people at large.
Do we today stand in that tradition, revering the old texts, the ancient interpreters and constantly re-applying and re-interpreting their truth for our age? If not, perhaps we should consuder what we have lost.