Uncovering the Building Blocks of True Judaism
When we apply first-principles thinking to Judaism, we find that its most basic elements are what we ought to be championing in today’s Jewish world.
Future of Jewish is an audience-supported publication by people passionate about the Jewish future. To receive new premium content and support our mission to make Judaism one of the world’s bright spots, become a subscriber!
Please note: This essay is for our premium subscribers. To get access to our growing library of 80+ essays and videos, become a premium subscriber!
Sometimes called “reasoning from first principles,” first-principles thinking is about breaking down complicated ideas into basic elements.
Reasoning by first principles removes the impurity of assumptions, conventions, and connotations.
Moreover, letting others think for us means that we’re using their assumptions, their conventions, and their definitions. Such is the case with politics, morality, careers, relationships … even Judaism.
When we apply first-principles thinking to Judaism, we find that its most basic building blocks are what we ought to be championing in today’s Jewish world.
However, these building blocks are often overshadowed by debates between secular Jews versus religious Jews, Israeli Jews versus Diaspora Jews, the Old Jew versus the New Jew, or right-leaning Jews versus left-leaning Jews. These debates, while interesting at times, put us on a path of plaguing the Jewish story and the Jewish future.
To get back to basics, let’s take a look at seven of these building blocks: