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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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A Bridge between Faiths
An Open Letter to Islam
[Part 1]

Rabbi Oury Cherki's "A Bridge between Faiths: An Open Letter to Islam, Part 1" delves into the intricate dynamics between Judaism and Islam post the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel. The piece probes the philosophical and legal facets of Islam's status in Jewish literature, uncovering points of unity and contention. Cherki scrutinizes Islam's potential for spiritual progress and calls for a nuanced understanding amid the unique historical context. The article accentuates the scarcity of literature exploring Judaism's stance on Islam, presenting itself as a contribution to fostering mutual comprehension.

Cherki elucidates the shared beliefs in monotheism, rejecting God's corporeality and idolatry, while acknowledging differences in their understanding. Notably, he highlights the significance of the Seven Noahide Laws, urging Islam to embrace them more unequivocally for enhanced cooperation. Judaism's recognition of Islam as a sister religion and the potential for collaboration are explored alongside historical perspectives, celebrating the initial affinity between the two faiths.

However, the article confronts substantial disagreements, including Islam's assertion of the nullification of the Mosaic Torah and claims of corruption by Jews. It underscores the necessity for Islam to acknowledge the eternal validity of the Torah and the divine promise of the Jewish return to their homeland. Cherki posits three prerequisites for Judaism to accept Islam as a legitimate religion for all, calling for recognition, abandonment of claims of corruption, and acknowledgment of the divine promise.

Concluding with a call for peace, Rabbi Oury Cherki sets the stage for Part 2, promising an exploration of Muhammad's status, Judaism's potential contributions to Islamic faith, and more. This open letter seeks to build a bridge between the believers in the One God, urging Islamic religious leadership to engage in dialogue on critical issues for future harmony.

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