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How to Be on the Right Spiritual Path?

Torah from Heaven

Two proofs are to show that there is a Divine source for the Torah. But they must be understood in depth and not simply in accord with the folk approach – 'that millions of people would not lie about the description of an event, especially not to their children.' This approach will not withstand objective criticism, and it can only strengthen the conviction of those who were already convinced beforehand. We will be able to find satisfactory answers by delving more deeply into the matter.

First of all, we must note that revelation is a formative event in the history of a nation. A national identity is not the result of a deliberate choice. Instead, it is born within the nation and is, in fact, a forced element on the people. Every national identity is built based on collective psychology, which stems from powerful events that leave a deep impression on the nation. If the event took place before the era of history began, it is clouded in doubt, and it may well be a myth spawned by imagination. This is not true of an event that took place after the national identity was formed, such as the story of the wars of Troy or the Exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Torah. In such cases, we can verify that the event took place – not because there are witnesses but because of its strong impression on public awareness.

In addition, the character of a story can by itself be an indication of the truth. It is especially valid for a story that is beyond the limits of human imagination. While it is true that there are stories of personal or collective revelation in all cultures, such that they might indeed be the fruits of fiction, these stories always, without exception, involve an "immanent" deity who is internal to the world and not a transcendental [metaphysical] revelation by a G-d who created the world and is external to it. The only story where the revealed one is the Creator Himself is the one that the Children of Israel tell. And in fact, the written description of the event emphasizes that the people who experienced the revelation were wary of participating [See Deuteronomy chapter 5]. 

The interference of the Creator in the natural course of events can interfere with the spiritual stability of man, and it would never occur to humankind to invent such a story, even to establish a new religion. All others who developed a new belief [religion/faith] spoke only of revelation by an entity part of creation, such that it did not undermine the foundation of existence.

We must also try to refine the concept of a Divine Torah from heaven. Rav A.Y. Kook explains a man can admit that the Torah came from heaven, but he might be referring to a shallow level of heaven. He imagines the one who gave the Torah as a 'pedantic accountant' collecting the relative weights of commandments [mitzvot] compared to sins. And others feel that they deny the Divine origin of the Torah while searching for a source of the Torah among the highest levels of human wisdom and morality. Such an approach [the last one] is, in fact, very close to the true definition of Torah from heaven.

[Rabbi Oury Cherki - head of the Noahide World Center]

To see more on this topic: How to Be on the Right Spiritual Path?


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