Thursday, July 20, 2006

Proving the Torah II

Avraham's converts did not merely believe Avraham that he heard G-d talk to him. That's not how Avraham convinced them to be Jewish. Rather, he proved to them that G-d is One, and idolatry is a fraud. In other words, Avraham convinced people to be Jewish with the same reasoning that convinced him to be. Avraham never used revelation to produce converts, but rather reason.

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Even things that happen in front of small crowds can eventually be distorted in the details - like playing telephone. If there would be no disagreements about something that happened in front of a crowd, you can be more assured that it is so. The very fact that there are no discrepancies is the evidence.

Kabbalas HaTorah, on the other hand, was uncontested in ancient times - there was no controversy, there was no discrepancies, and even the other religions, who would have benefited had they claimed that G-d said to follow Jesus or Mohammad, did not do that. They could not - it was historical unanimous fact that Kabbalas HaTorah happened.

In front of millions of people, with no dissenting opinions.
That Jesus thing supports the proof to the Torah - because even a small issue like who killed jesus is so subject to disagreements. Thus, the fact that a miracle like Hashem speaking to millions of people is not subject to any disagreement throughout history is the proof.

Even though Moshe learned from Hashem for 40 days and nights, the entire nation heard Hashem say Anochi, lo yihiyeh lechah, and perhaps the rest of the aseres hadibros (that's not clear either way, and is a machlokes among the rishonim).

It is clear - nobody disagrees with this, not even the atheists or the other religions, which is a big problem for them - that not long after the G-d "supposedly" gave the Torah, the entire Jewish nation actually believed that G-d came down Himself and told everyone - their own parents, grandparents great-grandparents etc. - to follow the Torah.

Now, if this never happened? How did they get the story?

The only possibility is that someone told them, "Hello people, I have news for you. Not long ago, G-d Himself came to your grandparents and said that they should all follow the Torah, tell their children to follow the Torah, and their children's children etc."

But if that happened, why would only this person know that information and not anyone else? If it would have happened, the nation surely would know about it.

So it is impossible, really, to tell people a story that supposedly happened in front of millions of witnesses who happen to be their ancestors, if the descendants themselves don’t know about it. Why would one person know about it and nobody else?

So obviously they did know about it. Meaning, it happened.

And more, nobody - not a single group of people - ever denied the story of the revelation on Mt. Sinai. Not even the Christians or the Moslems. When they wanted to make a new religion, they did not say the Revelation never happened, or that G-d said follow Yoshkah. Why not?

The answer is, they could not say such a thing because it was a unanimous historical fact. Their only solution, as weak and silly as it was, is that G-d "changed His mind."

Why would everyone unanimously follow such instructions unless they knew they were true - i.e. they heard it from G-d? And if you were making up the Torah, you surely would not overburden everyone like that - unless you are crazy. But in this case, it wasn’t a stupidity - everyone - everyone! - followed. In a religion like Judaism where we had so many deviant sects and so many disagreements, not a single group denied Torah misinai. That is the proof.


Now obviously it would be more credible to the originators of these other religions if they would claim that G-d Himself didn’t just whisper in their ear, “Pssst – here’s a new religion”, but would instead show Himself to the entire populace of Iran or Salt Lake City and say “I am G-d. This is what I want you to do…”. Yet NO RELIGION CLAIMS THAT G-D APPEARED TO THE MASSES (and that they survived to tell it), except Judaism. To be sure, the religions of the world are mutually exclusive – Christianity, for instance, clearly rejects Islam, and vice versa. So one thing everybody agrees on is: SOMEONE here is making up their own fake religion. And not only someone, but almost all religions HAVE TO be a fake, because they all (for the most part) claim all the others are phony. The only question is, which is NOT the fake?

So now if people are going to make up a story, why don’t they make up a better story than “G-d told me, privately, to tell you that he wants you to follow whatever I say He says”? Why can’t they just make up a story that G-d told the WHOLE WORLD to follow their religion? Or at least a few million Arabs / Christians / Mormons etc.? Wouldn’t that make more sense? With all the crazy religions and cults out there, not one of them has figured out this idea – even though it is clearly stated in the Torah. Strange, no?

Why are they settling for a weak religion, one that depends on the believability of the prophet, rather than a strong one, where G-d Himself came to the people telling them to follow the prophet?

That’s the question. So tell me, what do you think?
If you were a false prophet and you wanted to make up a new religion, which of the following would you do:
(a) Tell people that G-d came to you and told you about this new religion, or
(b) Tell people that G-d came to all of THEM or all their ancestors and told them all to follow you

You would tell them that G-d came to you or something similar. How could you say that G-d came to them, as they would know it's not true? It’s the same thing if you told them G-d came to their parents, how come they don't know about it and only you do?"
You can't get away with creating such a hoax. And obviously that's why all religions that claim the "word of G-d" start off with G-d supposedly speaking to someone privately, as opposed to a whole nation.

Except for one religion. Judaism claims that Hashem came to the entire nation and spoke to them. The entire nation is claimed to have seen and heard Hashem Himself descending into this world.

This was clearly the belief of the Jewish nation shortly after the event (Kabbalas HaTorah) is claimed to have taken place - King Dovid built the Bais Hamikdash about 400 years after the Torah was given.

Dovid HaMelech publicly claimed that the Torah is true (it is all over his Tehillim), meaning the Torah that claims that the entire nation - ancestors of all living then - heard Hashem.

Now the question is: if it wasn't true how come nobody said "King Dovid -- we never heard of that before!"

There were constant deviant and rebellious sects among the Jews throughout history. Karaim, Sedukim, Christians, et al. All of them had their own "ideas". But interestingly enough - not one of them even denied or questioned the giving of the Torah on Har Sinai!

Even the Christians made fools of themselves rather than deny this simple event. They say that once upon a time, Hashem came to the entire nation and gave them the Torah. They say that was the "temporary" Torah. But when Hashem supposedly gave the "permanent" Torah (the "New Testament"), the same Hashem, instead of coming back and announcing it to the entire nation the way He did the first time, had some "angel" privately visit a guy named Joseph and whisper it in his ear.
Of all the different dissident sects on record, including Christians, not a single one questioned the revelation. This is true despite the fact that denying the revelation or describing it differently would have been to their interest, and conceding to it is very much against their own interest.

So every single group on record willingly conceded to a revelation where G-d said to follow the Torah, which put them at a tremendous disadvantage and forced them to weave the most far out tales in order to justify their dissent.

Nobody would do this unless they had to. And the fact that everybody on record did it shows clearly that they had no choice. If it wasn’t a historically accepted fact, they would not do it.

Every single version of the Torah throughout the world ever found has the exact same narratives in it. Greek mythology (totally incomparable to the Torah) has numerous versions, despite its relative geographic narrowness and limited time frame. The Torah on the other hand, which has been in the hands of religions, tribes, and even atheists all over the world for thousands of years - factions which were warring with each other even - all have the exact same stories without any discrepancies.
Christianity could not make up a story about Hashem visiting the nation, it wouldn't fly. So now they're stuck with the unhappy predicament of having the "old" law publicly announced, but the "new, revised" law whispered privately to some individual.

Not very believable, is it?

But the question is: If Hashem did NOT give the Torah on Har Sinai, then who did create it? And how was it possible that never did any of the descendants of the witnesses of the historical event question it?

Why was Judaism the only religion able to pull this off? Especially since there were always those group who questioned almost everything in Judaism -- but on this issue they never said "boo".

And this is just for starters.

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Ignorance is not measured by the number of people whose lifestyle you follow. And Christians do not comprise the majority of people in the world. They are currently about a third (Muslims are about 22% but their population is growing faster than that of Christians), and in the New Testament, Mark quotes Mt 7:13-14, which says that at any one time, only a minority of those will be true Christians - and that means a minority of Christians, who are a minority to begin with (please note I am not quoting the New Testament to prove its point, for the so-called prophecies of the NT never come true. On the contrary - I am quoting to show that according to Christianity itself, they do not claim to be a majority).

The New Testament also contradicts itself regarding “sightings” of Yoshkah after his supposed resurrection. Luke and John imply that Jesus was sighted only in Jerusalem, while Matthew and Mark say he was sighted only in Galilee.

There are numerous other obvious contradictions in Christianity: For example, was J a descendant of King David from his father's side as is required for the Messiah? Or was he of virgin birth?

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The word "Elohim" is used in reference to great people, or the judges on a high court. This word does not mean G-d, it means "Master", or "Lord", which, even in English, although it can obviously refer to G-d, it does so as an adjective and not a proper noun, and therefore can apply to humans as well.

The posuk says "You shall not MAKE other gods before me" - it says is that people make them. But they do not really exist. chas vsholom.

Try the Bible. By that I mean the Oral Law part of the Bible, which has always been part of the Jewish Bible, as authoritative as the Scriptures, but chopped off by the Christians when they started their religion, because if they were to use the full Bible, they would never be able to teach that Jesus is the Messiah - the Oral Law part of the Bible clearly negates that possibility (as does the Scriptures themselves, but not nearly as explicitly). In the Oral Law, it states clearly that there were no other gods, and the reason that G-d said "Let us make man" was because He was referring to Himself and the earth - since man is made both in the image of G-d as well as from the dirt of the ground. Man has 2 parts to him - the G-dly and the earthy. The "us" represents those 2 sides.

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Hashem hu ha'elokim does not say "li" - therefore, it means "YKVH is the authority of the world". Meaning, He is the only power that exists. It is not discussing G-d's relationship to "me" but rather G-d being the only power in the world.

"Hashem elokainu Hashem echad" means not that G-d is our authority as opposed to having authority over the rest of the world (then it would be a contradiction, as well as a falsehood) but rather, we are the ones who believe in G-d as the Elokim, as opposed to the rest of the world who do not. In Olam Habah, Hashem will be "echad" - meaning, everyone will recognize that G-d is Elokim.

The bottom line difference is that the first posuk says "li" which implies some relationship, not merely a belief, and so the Targum adjusted the meaning to make room for that relationship.

Changing the girsa is a last resort. If every Chumash in the world learned by every Godol had the current girsa, we can assume it is correct if we have any choice at all.

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