Thursday, May 25, 2023

Thinking can be harmful

 Rambam (Idolatry 02:03) Were a person to follow the thoughts of his heart, it is possible that he would destroy the world because of his limited understanding.What is implied? There are times when a person will stray after star worship, and times when he will wonder about God's oneness: Perhaps He is one, perhaps He is not? He might also wonder: What exists above, in the heavenly realms? What exists below them? What was before time? What will be after time? Similarly, one might wonder about prophecy: Perhaps it is true, perhaps it is not? And one may also wonder about the Torah: Perhaps it emanates from God, perhaps it does not?Since he may not know the guidelines with which to evaluate ideas that will lead him to the truth in its fullness, he may come to heresy. The Torah has warned about this matter, saying "Do not stray after your hearts and eyes, which have led you to immorality" - i.e., each one of you should not follow his limited powers of understanding and think that he has comprehended the truth.Our Sages [interpreted this warning]: "After your hearts," this refers to heresy; "after your eyes," this refers to immorality. This prohibition - though severe, causing a person to be prevented from attaining a portion in the world to come - is not punishable by lashes.

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