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Thoughts On The Divine Authorship

by Facebuker Rebbe

Good morning (and if its afternoon, I hope it was).

 

My friend, you ask for factual evidence that G-d provided us with the Torah. When discussing the Divine origin of the Torah one must take into account that there are two sides to every coin. The proof of that is in the pudding; I say G-d written, someone else says man written. As I mentioned earlier in the stream, Man was given free will to choose what they believe. Therefore the question can not "Give me absolute proof" but rather "Based on the available evidence, which position makes more sense? Could a human have written this or would it have to be G-d?"

 

Allow me to make a claim. "There will never be, for the rest of time, a three year span when the NY Mets will win the World Series" How can I make this claim? Granted, the laws of probability are on my side (sorry Mets fans) but the reality is, I can not make this claim because I am not G-d.

 

G-d, however, can make claims because He can know the future. Let’s pretend this man (or group of men) (ladies?) are sitting around and are thinking about what to put into this Torah scroll. "Don't kill" Sounds good. Honor Your Mother and Father?" Also good.

 

Ok, here's a good one: Every seven years the entire nation of Israel may not work the fields. It says in the Torah, "But the seventh year shall be a complete rest for the land, a Shabbos for G-d; your field you shall not sow and your vineyard you shall not prune. (Vayikra 25:4)" You know, that sounds pretty bold for a man/group of men/women to predict what the crops will be every six years--that is to say there will be enough to last through years 6-8. Can man promise such a thing? Even with women being higher spiritually than man, even a woman would be hard pressed to promise such a thing. I've got an idea. Let’s promise a triple crop after the ground has been left fallow and the triple crop will come in year eight. This way, if it comes- we look great but if it doesn't we wise guys can say, "Sorry, u didn't deserve it"

 

But the Torah promises the bounty in year six BEFORE the seventh year even arrives. Logically, only G-d could have promised such a thing. As an aside, the above mentioned verse can be found in any synagogue, temple or shul that has a kosher Torah scroll, whether the affiliation is reform, conservative, orthodox, etc..... because we all have the same Torah.  Please check out this piece on Fallow Fields, Rich Tradition from the Jerusalem Post: http://www.torah.org/features/spirfocus/fields.html 

 

 

Ok, let’s go further. Wait a sec; let’s be clear about something. To anybody reading this: If any of this makes any sense, even a little bit of sense--do not think for a minute you have to turn your life upside down TODAY and keep 613 commandments and cover your hair, grow peyos, keep Shabbos and kosher etc all before 5PM today. <No one person can keep them all, anyway>  My hope is , that by sharing this with you, you will see that our life is a journey that can and should bring us a deeper understanding of G-d's involvement in our lives and that His Torah is the blueprint of which we can grow to have a closer relationship with Him. Relationships take work. When the Jewish people said "we will do and we will listen", they committed to learning and growing. It is a process and all good processes take time, but, like the thousand mile journey, it must begin with the first step.

 

 

Ok, where were we? Trying to determine if it is logical to say Man (men?) wrote the Torah. Logically, If you were writing the Torah (the same one that is in every Reform, Conservative and Orthodox synagogue around the world (all 304,850... letters of it) you would want to write a law that would constantly reinforce the religion as being accurate and the authority of the enforcers. A man would probably write something like this " 3 times a year every person should come to the central processing location and re-accept the sovereignty of the guys who wrote the book. Without this constant reinforcement, what binds us together? But we better make sure people come in shifts. We would not want the land to be unguarded so we will exempt all soldiers from making this pilgrimage. That is the way a logical man or woman would write the Torah.

 

But the Torah writes: "Three times in the year all males should appear before the Master, Hashem, G-d of Israel" [Shmos 34:23]. This is the source of the obligation to be "Oleh Regel" -- to go up to the Beis HaMikdash [Temple] in Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] -- on Pesach, Shavuos, and Succos. The next pasuk/verse continues, "...no man will covet your land when you go up to appear before Hashem, your G-d, three times a year" [34:24]. The concept makes sense; all males should go and reinforce their acceptance of a sovereign somebody but only G-d can say, with perfect confidence that ALL males should go, AT THE SAME TIME and that “no man will covet your land when you go up" meaning the land will be safe. Would any man be willing to risk his credibility and legitimacy for all future generations when there are 'logical' work arounds that seem to make perfect sense? Logically, Only G-d can make this promise and deliver.

 

I could continue but I hope I think these examples lay the groundwork for an acceptance from a purely logical standpoint that we mere flawed mortals could not have pulled off what G-d did. I hope by now you have listened to Rabbi Kelemen as well < http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/torahtrue/ >  who spent 12 years doing post graduate work so we wouldn’t have to. :) An undergrad from UCLA and graduate studies at Harvard, he makes the case for mass divine revelation in a humorous yet serious way. There is more brilliance at that link than just Rabbi Kelemen. Enjoy!

 

It was great to chat with you... Please stay in touch.

 

Warmly

Me

 

This article is excerpted from a conversation stream between the Facebuker Rebbe and a Facebook Friend: You can friend the Rebbe on Facebook  @ Facebuker Rebbe

 

 

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