There is often a tension between the quest for historical truth and the desire of communities of faith to pass on their religious message. This is because lifestyles and outlooks often change drastically over the generations, while the traditional religious mindset views itself as carrying on the values of the past, the latest link in a lengthy chain. Before the rise of modern historical scholarship, this was an issue that rarely, if ever, came to the fore. Yet now, when we are so much more attuned to the past, and the study of history is an important part of our lives, there is no escaping the fact that “Tradition” and history are often at odds with each other.
Marc B. Shapiro, Changing the Immutable: How Orthodox Judaism Rewrites Its History (Oxford & Portland, OR: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2015), 1.