Both the Ancient Greeks and ancient Jews obsessed over wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. But here are six issues on which the Ancient Greeks and Jews disagreed:

  1. Intellect brought many Ancient Greek philosophers to realize that there is a supreme G‑d, which is Intellect. Jews live with only one G‑d, and He is beyond everything, including intellect.

  2. Intellect illuminates the good and the bad, life and death, but cannot tell you what you should choose.
    The Jewish G‑d tells us “choose life.”

  3. Aristotle understood that G‑d could not be concerned with us puny beings.
    The Jew hears G‑d’s concern for the cry of every small creature, finds His breath in every leaf of a tree and feels the caress of His goodness in every drop of rain.

  4. Aristotle understood that time and space have always been, and everything is the way it is because it must be that way.
    Jews know that nothing must be and anything is possible, because in the beginning G‑d created the heavens and the earth..

  5. To the Greeks, beautiful ideas were an end in themselves.
    To the Jews, beautiful ideas are a means toward a beautiful life as our Creator meant us to live.

  6. The Ancient Greeks were certain that the Jews would assimilate into their culture.
    Today, 2,157 years later, the Jews are celebrating Chanukah.

See Shabbat Chanukah 5731.