In this Shavuot “bonus” episode, we will discuss the special status of the Torah for fighting sin, in both Second Temple literature and later Talmudic texts. (Download the source sheet here.)
We will look at:
- Dead Sea Scroll prayers that reflect the belief in the metaphysical power of the Torah to fight demonic influence
- Wisdom literature (like Ben Sira) that see the law as crucial in fighting the inclination to sin
- The hero of 4 Ezra’s problem with the idea that the Torah is enough to combat the evil inclination
- Finally, we will look at how these ideas play out in the Talmud.
As always, I look forward to your questions and comments!