How to Approach the 70 Faces to the Torah
The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 13:15) tells us that there are 70 faces to the Torah. What the Midrash want to tell us is, that we have 70 different ways to understand and interpret the Torah. We are not talking about Conservative or Reform approaches to Judaism only approaches according to accepted Jewish practice. Does this mean that we have to accept and respect all the different faces of Torah, or can we say that my way of Living Torah is the only correct way for me to do it and therefore I have no need or reason to learn and understand other Torah approaches?
Do I have to understand all 70 faces to the Torah?
First of all, we have to understand that 70 faces to the Torah is not literally in our days. The meaning is that we have many different ways of Living Torah and different Jewish groups understand it in different ways. We have no obligation to understand all distinctive traditions and approaches to Torah Life, but we have an obligation to respect them and when needed get a deeper understanding of them. Because in the end of the day we are One Nation with One Torah. When HaShem gave the Torah at Mount Sinai he gave it to all the Jewish Nation as one. The same Souls that received the Torah then are the same souls that live in our bodies today.
Do I have to study and learn other approaches to Torah?
My answer to this question is yes. Because even though you belong to a specific group of Jews, you still want to grow your own independent personality. You can never learn to much Torah and to be depended on one Living Torah direction is dangerous according to my opinion. I do not say that you have to take upon yourself other traditions, but to see and learn Torah from many different angels and Rabbis even if they are not from inside your Jewish spectrum, makes you a more understanding person and you can appreciate other Jews much more. And by embracing yourself with other Torah sources and directions you will also see and understand that your truth is not the only truth. Because if you are ignorant toward Torah life styles outside your own way of life and not recognize them as much as your own you will cause harm and disconnect yourself from the Jewish Nation. Because as we say One Nation One Torah but 70 faces to the Torah.
How we should live our Torah life
To be openminded is very important when living a Torah life. No matter who you are and what kind of a Jewish life you are living, it is a danger to see your own Living Torah as the only true way to live. By ignoring the teaching of other Rabbis because they are not from within your framework is to disgrace God. By doing it you are raising yourself and your Ego above the rest of the Jewish Nation and you are looking down on Jews not like you.