The story begins, of course, with the image of a figure fiddling atop a roof. The narrator, a man named Tevye, appears. Seeing the fiddler, he tells his audience, “You might say every one of us is a fiddler on a roof. Trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck… how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word. Tradition!”
Tevye goes on to offer his audience this key phrase: “Because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is and what God expects him to do.”
The Judeo-Christian conception of history is unique among the world’s philosophies.
Tradition is a huge concept in Scripture. Paul, for example, tells Timothy that in the ordering of the church, the older women should teach the younger women, and the older men should teach the younger men.
This is an essential concept throughout the Old and New Testaments. Continue reading