Talmud and Krav Maga
By Moshe Katz
CEO
Israeli Krav International


April 20, 2018, Israel


Talmud is an integral part of our system of Krav Maga. 
How so?

I just saw a video pertaining to Biblical interpretation. It was about a verse in the book of Hosea (chapter 14) and the claims being made were rather controversial. On the surface the argument being presented made a great deal of sense. The quotes were all valid, the sources confirmed, and there was certainly an element of truth. i.e. all the necessary ingredients for a massive lie.

One watching the video could be easily astounded and convinced, it was a radical new interpretation of a verse based on the Septuagint (Translation of the Seventy, of the Bible into Greek, made for Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE and adopted by the early Christian Churches), and on the "Syrian Translation" a unique translation around the second century C.E. of the Hebrew Bible into Syriac Aramaic. (Dialect of Aramaic emerging in 5th century BCE Assyria).

Some of you might be wondering at this point what all this has to do with Krav Maga, bear with me. 

On the face of it the argument seems valid and certainly raised my curiosity. But the presenters had an agenda and with some deeper research their argument fell apart. 

Their argument had a great deal of truth but left out one important element; the counter argument. i.e. For someone else to say, Yes, but...there are other sources that shed a great deal of light on this. 

This in turn can be followed by a counter-counter-argument. To those who study Talmud this will sound very familiar. Walk into any Yeshiva/Rabbinical Academy and you will be surprised by the sound; loud emotional and passionate arguments/discussions, Point, and counter point, and further counter point. As one fellow student said to me years ago, tell me what you know and I will argue against it. This style of debate is called in Aramaic Shakla ve Tarya, or Give and Take

Now what is the point of this? It results in truth and honesty. You do not let anyone get away with anything. On video one can present an argument, a case, but there is no counter argument. It all looks very convincing until another scholar tears it down with a valid counter argument. Suddenly the first presenter looks like an ignorant fool. The intellectual battles of Talmudic study are unmatched. Eventually one student will gracefully admit defeat in this duel and accept the other's interpretation. As we say the jealousy of scholars increases wisdom, it is all for the sake of Truth. No hard feelings.

Now the relevance to IKI Krav Maga. We are truth seekers, while the above pertained to our spiritual lives Krav Maga pertains to our physical lives. As such we will argue and debate. I will present a technique to my team and say, now you try it, tell me what you think. At a seminar I will always say, Does that make sense? This is not a rhetorical question. If it does not make sense, challenge me, respectfully. This leads to debate.

Hosea lived about 2,800 years ago but we are still debating his words and they are still relevant. Our Talmudic tradition has created a culture of intellectual pursuit like no other. IKI Krav Maga is a product of this culture. 

Have a good Sabbath everyone.


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Talmudic scholars in the endless debate, No Holds Bar studies. 


לאור השימוש בביטוי 'פרי פה', בספר משלי ובספרות המצרית, בא על פתרונו הפסוק הסתום בספר הושע 'ונשלמה פרים שפתינו' (יד, ג), אין להבין כאן 'פרים' כקורבנות של פרים, אלא מלשון 'פרי שפתים' – דיבור, תפילה; העם יאמר דברי שבח והודיה, יישא תפילתו לאל. כך אף פירשו תרגום השבעים והתרגום הסורי.


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