Your Questions Answered
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

August 21, 2019, Israel

Heated emotional Talmudic debates. 

I saw this phrase and it caught my eye. For this is a key element of IKI.

Here, as per Jewish tradition, we encourage questions. When the student asks the teacher a question, both gain. Challenges are welcome, as long as respect is maintained.

Enter any yeshiva, Rabbinical Academy, and you will hear raised voices. No, you are wrong, Rabbi Akiva would never permit such a thing! or, have you lost your mind! Moses never intended that!

But all is for the sake of heaven, for edifying and clarifying the words of the Torah, the Bible. All Talmudic discussions are based on delving into the deeper moral intentions and meanings of the Torah text. In this discussion egos are put aside for the sake of the truth, legal and moral clarity.

To this day discussions continue on issues such as abortion, if I am not mistaken Rabbi Shlomo Yishaki of France and Rabbi Moshe son of Maimon from Spain, differed greatly. The debate continues.

And it is the same with our style of Krav Maga. 

Do you have a disagreement with a technique I am teaching?

If you have a disagreement, we want to hear it. If you have a point to make, voice it out loud. Even if your idea is ultimately rejected, the discussion that it triggered can only add to our knowledge of the techniques. When I am forced to explain a technique again, both the technique and the explanation often improve.

Two great rabbis differed on an important matter, the proper date of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. On this day a Jew may not eat, may not handle money, may not travel a certain distance. The senior rabbi commanded his esteemed colleague, but subordinate, to appear before him on the day that he (the subordinate) believed to be Yom Kippur. And so he did!

When the rabbi appeared before the more senior rabbi, the senior rabbi stood up for him (out of respect), kissed him on his head and said: Come in peace my teacher and my student! My teacher in wisdom and my student for accepting my decision. I do this not for my own honor, or the honor of my family but so that Israel shall not be split into two camps. (Talmud, tractate Rosh HaShana, Chapter 2)

I hope the message is clear.  

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