Question: When we open the Torah, we find a collection of historical stories with many characters. How should we correctly relate to them?
Answer: If the Torah did not come from a special source but was an ordinary book written, suppose by a person in the Middle Ages, then it would just be an interesting historical novel.
The Torah itself is presented in very interesting language, and when you start reading it, you cannot stop, because it captivates you. There is something in it that makes you never get tired of reading it.
I speak of this as an ordinary reader who has nothing to do with the origin of this book, religion, history, geography, or with anything else. It is just written in an interesting style.
Some perceive the Torah as a historical document, others as fiction, or, perhaps, as a collection of instructions or legal documents. It contains a lot of information about the interaction of people and nations in ancient times, about their view of the world.
In general, the Torah is a very interesting book. We see something similar in Josephus Flavius, if it is possible to compare the Torah and his works at all. To some extent, he retells the Torah and describes it as a historian.
Josephus is a truly stunning historian with a broad outlook and a deep knowledge of historical facts. He wrote his works while in exile in Rome where a huge institute was created especially for him, where hundreds of people worked for him.
But all the same, what he wrote cannot be compared with the Torah itself.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 12/18/18