In rabbinical school I had a brilliant professor of medieval Jewish philosophy. He was hard, demanding and incredibly knowledgeable. He simply knew about everything. He used to say that he would run away from relevance as if he were running away from the plague. I feel so differently. If it is not relevant to the challenges of life, faith, hope, honesty, humor and the ability to have fun-- I find that I am not interested in it. I want everything I study and read to be relevant to the lived life.