Saturday, February 10, 2007

G-d Proof?

Shabbos is over, and it was the best Shabbos ever! I ate at Adara's, and it was as delicious as I knew it would be. I was tired, so I was not as talkative as I wish I had been, but the conversation around me was good. Adara's husband, gave a devar Torah about how God's speaking to all of the Jews at Mount Sinai is a distinctly different foundation to a religion from all of the others.
Basically, because the Torah makes the claim that so many Jews heard God speak at the same time, there were three options: 1. All of the Jews actually heard God speak. 2. Moses somehow convinced all of the Jews that they heard God speak. 3. No one heard God speak, but the Torah, whenever it was written, included the claim that all of the Jews heard God speak. If you ignore the first option for the moment, you can tackle the second two options.
It is claimed that there were 3 million Jews at Mt. Sinai who heard God speak. How would Moses be able to convince 3 million people that they had all just heard the voice of God? Sure, a few people may be convinced, but a few people does not lead to the type of mob mentality that could have convinced the rest. It does not seem plausible that 1 man, no matter how well he could speak, could convince 3 million, or even 300, people that God had just spoken to them. So, as for 3. Let's say someone came to you and gave you a book that said a few hundred years ago, your ancestors, millions of them, heard God speak. Wouldn't you wonder why you had never heard of any of this before? Wouldn't you wonder why your great grandmother's experience had not been taught to you through the generations? Or, if not taught to you, then taught to anyone? Chances are, if someone tried to tell all Americans that our founding fathers heard G-d's voice booming down from the heavens, there is very little chance that many of us would convert to a religion based on such a thing. Which leaves us with the 1st option as being more reasonable that maybe first believed.
My summary of the devar Torah is very basic, and the link "Did God speak at Mt. Sinai" goes into more detail. Of course, this argument is not completely conclusive, but it is an interesting point.
In addition to Friday night dinner, I ate on Saturday morning at Barbara's. I was walking to Shul and stopped at her house, speaking to her while she prepared to go. When we returned from Shul, it was a pleasure to eat with her family. Her parents live in my home town, and travel to the area for Shabbos. It is nice to catch up on happenings back home, and I always feel very embraced by SB's mother. After dinner, I walked with my friend Cala to Barbara's house for 3rd meal. (If you can't tell, there is a lot of eating on Shabbos). We all sung and asked questions about Judaism and tried to give ideas for answers. I would post about them here, but I am sleepy right now. I wanted to mention that I read the book A Jewish Soul on Fire by Rabbitzen Esther Jungreis on Friday night. It is linked under the section of books. It is not only inspiring, but also a very interesting read. Her writing is engaging and her stories tug at the heart.
Finally, I attended a Chaim (I think that's what it was called) for an acquaintance/friend who recently became engaged. There was more food, of course. However, it amazed me again at how much the area in which I live can be warm and inviting. People are very accepting and I, along with many others, feel a very strong sense of community. It is wonderful and strange and a bit intimidating. I am very happy to be here.

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