A Look at Torah and the Search for Truth
The Prophet Daniel foresaw that at the time of the end, knowledge would increase (Daniel 12:4). It would seem that this prophecy is being fulfilled in our lifetime. Never before in history has mankind witnessed such an explosion in knowledge, in technology, in readily available sources of information and research from both ancient and contemporary sources. Not only is time contracting with cycles of history occurring more rapidly, but accessibility, as well as an uncanny receptivity to pure knowledge, allows one in our present generation to leap through diverse stages of understanding that would have taken one possibly a lifetime, if at all, in the not too recent past.
As hunger for truth grows amongst the people of the world, many will find themselves overwhelmed by the endless array of contradicting opinions, claims, and stories. We have the clear privilege of being a generation, for the most part, free of the tyranny of oppressive government, intolerant religious authorities, and fearful communities. This privilege does, however, come with a difficult, albeit unique, challenge. Now people have the ability, if not the obligation, to transcend the stumbling blocks that previous generations had to endure, and the consequences they had to confront.
The challenge for those propelled to do so, is to rebuild the foundation, to weed out the truth from the chaffed, to broaden one's perspective until one can see from one end of history to the present in a single glance. By doing so, one will inevitably see that G-d is with us, He has never left us, and He is taking us all in one direction. What direction is that, you might ask? In order to answer this question, one has to start at the beginning and endeavor to reconstruct the foundation, striving to keep it pure and unblemished by the legacy of generations that have led us astray.
What I want to present to you is a simple formula for perceiving the essential difference between the source of truth, and its multitude of various manifestations. I am a Jew. I speak as a Jew. I believe only in the authority and purity of the Torah, and declare that most of the world is not even remotely aware of the basic premise of Torah. Their understanding of Judaism is usually based on interpretations and stories that have been artfully woven to support whatever their particular religion teaches concerning G-d's eternal will. So let's start at the beginning, and understand historical narrative, the source story or narrative upon which a belief system, or religious doctrine is based.
The entire world’s religions
consist of the same historical narrative, which is, one or a few people
experienced a revelation, and documented it, and propagated it. The Torah, on the other hand, consists of a totally different historical narrative that is unparalleled
in the world. The revelation wasn’t exclusive to Moses, or Joshua, or Ezra, but was
experienced by an entire nation. Now, consider
what it would take to convince even a semi-delusional society that the events
surrounding the history documented in the Torah are true, unless those events were entirely accepted as having been experienced. For 3500 hundred years, Jews have sat down at
the table on Passover night, and repeated to their children, "We eat this
unleavened bread because the Egyptians embittered our lives with slavery, and
Hashem took us out with a mighty hand, and gave us the Torah". I heard it from my father, and my father
heard it from his father all the way back to the generation that stood at the
foot of Mount Sinai and heard "I am the L-rd your G-d, who took you out of
This is but one of the unique narratives that hold true only for the Torah. What culture, what civilization, records every misdeed of its leaders, from the smallest sins, to sins of such embarrassing magnitude? Moses was not free of condemnation, nor was David, Solomon, etc. Where do we find anything similar in Egyptian writings, Islamic, Christian, Eastern, Greek, or Roman religious writings? There is none.
How can anyone trust a history, or religious creed that believes that their leaders are g-ds? The answer is simple; you can’t, unless of course, you are willing to suspend your Divinely-given intelligence to believe they are indeed g-ds. The content of the Christian New Testament writings, namely its moral teaching (to be distinguished from its historical teachings), is a healthy benefit to mankind. The only issue I have, as a Jew, is accepting under any circumstances the notion that any man can be, will be, may be considered G-d, a son of G-d, or even some form of “lesser G-d”. G-d is G-d. We were created in G-d's image and that is the extent of the similarity.
The G-d of Avraham, the Creator, was very clear what He wants from mankind. G-d has no need to manifest Himself, limit Himself, into a physical form, when His primary demand is that He alone be worshipped. To make the claim that G-d came into this world to suffer for man’s sins flies in the face of every truth that G-d demanded in the Torah. For 3500 years, the Jewish people by and large have been free of this absurdity, as the march of civilizations wallowed in these spiritual delusions.
Perhaps, I appear arrogant to you for making such claims against the whole of mankind. It is not with the intent to say the Jewish people are the only ones accepted by G-d. This is the claim of the enemies of my people, not of the Jews. A Jew is a Jew by birth; it is a blessing of physical inheritance which needs to be said and will not be denied. Acceptance by G-d is a truth accessible to all mankind.
Jews have no monopoly on the
World to Come. A Jew can and does suffer
immensely for his or her failure to behave righteously. A non-Jew likewise. The only difference is that Jews have the
It is a wonderful thing to examine and analyze the many books and writings that are available in the world today, each claiming to have marvelous new insights into the wisdom of the ages, but ONLY if one has a foundation, a strong foundation to approach these writings with a clear understanding of the motivations and trappings one will encounter. Shlomo haMelek is proclaimed in the Tanach to have been the wisest man on earth, and he, having spent his life in pursuit of knowledge and the mysteries of life, left us with a piece of advice:
“A further word:
Against them, my son, be warned!
The making of making books is without limit and much study is a wearying
of the flesh. The sum of the matter,
when all is said and done:
It is our obligation to G-d,
for every man regardless of faith, to
correct the sin of Adam. That sin led to
a mixture of good and evil. We, in our
impure state, cannot decipher between the two on our own. Avraham was the first to
successfully accomplish this to the satisfaction of Hashem. Avraham’s clarity
and belief in Hashem, which led to his righteous behavior, is what was
pleasing to G-d. Avraham’s
blessing actually began when his descendents received the Torah at
What does a King desire of His subjects? What is the measurement of a King? A King decrees and His subjects obey. The realm of His Kingdom is limited to who obeys His decrees. It would be foolish to claim one is a King if a people do not obey His will. A wise King, however, will also win the hearts of His subjects, not just submission to His decrees alone.
So what comprises this Divine obligation incumbent upon every man, woman and child created in the image of G-d? It is not the spiritualization of man, or belief alone; it is the actions of man in creating a dwelling place here on earth where Hashem can and will be revealed according to Hashem's rules, not the corrupt illusions of man.
How do we make a dwelling place for Hashem? We do it by fulfilling His will in every action we do on this earth. Our every action should reflect the will of the Creator for us to do good and shun evil. This is what brings Light into the world.
Now I will reveal to you a simple truth that has sustained me for the past thirty years. It is not faith that determines ones closeness to G-d, but one's behavior. It is not enough that one believes, or even understands that one needs to honor one’s Father, but by fulfilling the deepest desires of his Father’s heart does one connect to their Father’s will. This simple formula is most powerful when one engages themselves in Hashem’s commandments that are most contrary to one’s nature. Simply put, “no pain, no gain”. It is not the emotional good feeling that is received from understanding some spiritual truth, but by practicing it, that one does, in body and in soul, enwrap oneself in a unifying relationship with the Creator while they are yet living in the flesh.
The greatest gift G-d gave to His creation is repentance: The spiritual strength to overcome one's past failings and return complete and whole to G-d. When any doctrine claims that complete personal repentance is solely dependent on whom or what one believes, then personal accountability is diminished, resulting in eventual disappointment and confusion. Without repentance, one remains trapped on the same spiritual level.
The essential obligation of mankind is to fulfill G-d’s commandments. Were the Arabs to simply accept the commandant to ‘not murder’, this world would be very different. Were Gentile Christians to have accepted the commandant ‘not to have other G-ds before him’, the last 2000 years would have been very different. Christian efforts to convert the non-saved would have been tempered by a deeper G-dly understanding, preventing the atrocities that were committed in J-sus’ name. Then, perhaps, Isaiah's vision of peace would not be so illusive.
This is the simple truth of the Israelite nation: Behavior, not faith, is what heals the world. Hashem gave the Jewish people commandments. They were told to DO THEM, not coerce mankind to do them, but they, themselves, should do them. Obviously, they failed to achieve the standard of observance, to do them as Hashem desired, and their history of disobedience is living proof before the eyes of the whole world what the result of disobedience breeds.
With the fall of Israelite spiritual strength, darkness descended on the world. That darkness manifested itself in the form of an exile of the Divine Presence in the world. In the Torah, it states the blessing given to Esau, that he would have the strength to overcome his brother Isaac's blessing. When one is strong, the other is subjected, but ultimately, Isaac is the master and Esau is his servant. Now this blessing and historical fact manifests itself in the physical world, but this Torah narrative is also hinting to the spiritual realm. For the last 2,000 years, because of the suppressed Light of the Torah, only a small flicker of spiritual Light remained within the world. This is the fulfillment of Esau’s blessing - he who rules by the sword. Yet, since Esau's blessing is an incomplete blessing, as a counter balance to the blessing that Isaac received from his father, it is limited, and therefore temporary.
The world does not completely understand this; yet the Jewish people, by their very existence over the last two thousand years, have been accomplishing Hashem’s will. Evil and good repel each other. The greater the evil, the greater the resistance to good. Why is it that the more evil a nation is, the deeper and more evident their repulsion to Jews?
Hitler, himself, declared in
explaining his mission, ‘The battle in this world is between the Aryan race and
the Jewish race.”
This is the world reality. I do not need the New York Times to understand that the words of the Prophets are more accurate than an ideological kid eyewitness reporting for CNN, with tainted eyes and limited wisdom.
When a religion or philosophy or false Prophet comes along and contradicts the eternal will of Hashem, then I am much clearer about identifying their claims as good or evil, which is never black and white. Adam’s sin did not separate these two created entities, his sin mixed them together. Do not let the evil that resides within good, even resembles good on the surface, confuse your ability to make clear distinctions. We are all struggling; it is all part of the responsibility that we as humans have to serve Hashem. Let us not get distracted with things that don't add quality and benefit to our lives.