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Where in the Jewish scriptures and law can praise for abstract thinking be found? Presumably this has something to do with why so many Nobel prize winners are Jewish. Thanks.

  • you mean in torah study? – ray Jun 18 '16 at 20:32
  • Yes, that would be a good starting point, although I'm aware of the fact that synagogues hold many more interesting books in them (unlike holy places of other religions). Thanks. – Jack Maddington Jun 18 '16 at 20:35
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    The Shla wrote that searching truth is the best way to develop mind. – kouty Jun 20 '16 at 4:32
  • Thanks. Way us the Shla? I couldn't funds out on Wikipedia. – Jack Maddington Jun 20 '16 at 13:58
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    Though in my opinion, the whole "Nobel prize winners are because of Jewish Torah learning" trope is really overused (and misleading). – Malper Jun 21 '16 at 11:55
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anyone who has studied Talmud in a serious yeshiva knows that the intricatelaws cannot be understood without tremendous amount and depth of analytical thought so it's kind of built into the system. It is a duty from scripture and also from reason to study torah deeply. Here's a source on the latter from the chovos halevavos gate 8 ch.3

To bring oneself to an accounting for delaying coming to understand the book of G-d's torah, and his being contented not to grasp its matters.

And one would not do this for a book that was sent to him from a king. If he had a doubt as to its meaning due to its unclear handwriting or words, or due to the depth of its matter, or its subtlety, or confusing mix of subjects or its enigmatic words. Rather, he would apply his whole heart and mind to understand its meaning, and would greatly pain himself until he understood its intent.

If he does this to understand the words of a weak, mortal man like himself, how much is it his duty to do many times more than this until he understands the book of G-d, which is his life and his salvation (from eternal death - Pas Lechem), as written "For it is your life and the length of your days" (Devarim 30:20). How did you permit yourself, my brother, to hide from it, and to content yourself from it with that which is readily familiar of its matter and revealed of its surface meaning, and you were lenient with (knowing) the rest.

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    "anyone [sic] who has studied Talmud in a serious yeshiva knows that the intricatelaws [sic] cannot be understood without tremendous amount and depth of analytical thought so it's kind of built into the system." Where in Jewish scripture is study in a serious yeshiva required? The OP seems to be wondering about Nobel prize acquisitions. Very few of these were by Yeshiva students. Most of them were not even awarded during a period of time that advanced Yeshiva study was ubiquitous, or even common. – mevaqesh Jun 21 '16 at 0:08
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    The citation from Hovot Halavavot says nothing about abstract thought. Incidentally, that very work mocks the non-practical study that characterizes most "serious yeshivot" today. – mevaqesh Jun 21 '16 at 0:11
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    @mevaqesh i understood his question to be why jews are so much into analytical reasoning. "mocks" he just says it is a priority to learn practical laws. those also require tremendous depth. btw, the subjects learned today by the yeshivas are chosen due to their great difficulty. it was a response to the haskala movement which started well after the chovot halevavot – ray Jun 21 '16 at 6:27
  • So it sounds like you are agreeing that the curriculum described by the Chovot Halevavot is irrelevant to modern practice, and hence to the OP's question. – mevaqesh Jun 21 '16 at 14:48
  • @mevaqesh i dont understand your question. my only point of bringing the yeshivas is because that's where the torah is studied in a serious way. the CH prescribeds in depth understanding which is what the OP is asking. please review my last comment – ray Jun 21 '16 at 20:02
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Advancing the frontiers of human knowledge is not necessarily a function of domain abstraction but may relate to the ability to self-identify with the dischord caused by seemingly insurmountable problems.

If your perceived life is dependent on determining why the universe disagrees with you, you are more likely to achieve a breakthrough than if you are a scientist with a day job.

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    Your opinion must come from somewhere though. If not from an elaboration of what is in the universe (people and books for instance, and other observations about the universe), then from where? Could you please explain. I don't think I understand what you wrote, although due to no fault of your own. Thanks. – Jack Maddington Jun 20 '16 at 14:03
  • So, you are saying, to have a new opinion that disagrees with the established truth, the ability to pursue abstract thinking may be helpful (if not necessary)? – Jack Maddington Jun 20 '16 at 14:06
  • I am intrigued by your answer. Could you please explain it to me more clearly? I am really interesting. – Jack Maddington Jun 20 '16 at 14:08

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