Indications of Torah Authenticity - Truth of Judaism|
by Y. Sebag, physicist, electrical engineer
Buy Paperback Version of this on Amazon (non-profit, ships worldwide)
Here are some "food for thought" indications (not proofs) of the authenticity of the Torah.
These points were prepared by an orthodox Jew and are meant for thought provoking purposes only.
Torah and Judaism
- Reason Testifies - many aspects of the natural world on our planet appear to have been designed with vast wisdom and ability. Since man is the star here, and this Intelligence is hiding from us, it follows that some sort of communication should exist for Him to explain to us what this enigma is all about. This leads us to the first and foremost book on prophecy, the source and basis of most religious belief on our planet.
- Uniqueness of the Torah - the most popular book of all time. No other book has been as widely copied, read, and cherished as the Torah. Even today it has been translated into more languages than any other book. Likewise, it is the most influential book of all time and has shaped the core of humanity in so many ways. The two great world religions - Christianity and Islam are but daughters, though sometimes ungrateful daughters, of Mother Zion. Whether or not they realize it, they have spread to humanity, at their level, major concepts of Judaism. (see here for more).
- Unique Rules of Conversion - Judaism is different from all other major religions in that it does not easily accept converts. On the contrary it piles on difficulties to those who want to convert. Judaism wants only the true, the sincere. We are confident that the true truth seeker will find it with G-d's help. Likewise, we can observe that G-d hides from us, hinting to us through the divine wisdom manifested in nature. For He built this world around the concept of free will. This is why every phenomena including life has an opening for being interpreted according to the atheistic views. G-d does not want to compel human beings to believe in Him. He wants this and our other choices which touch on morality to come from our own free will (for only in such a situation of struggle can a person attain true levels of righteousness and holiness).
- Uniqueness of the Hebrew Language - there is something much more to it than plain convention as explained here. There is an African prince by the name of Natan Gamedze, fluent in 14 different languages, whose conversion to Judaism came through studying Hebrew. Hebrew words are formed from roots by changing vowels and by adding a wealth of prefixes and suffixes to that root word. Thus they can pack in enormous depth of information and parallel layers of hidden meanings through hints, ambiguities, numerical values, permutations, combinations, cross-references, root word relations, letter expansions, and more. Unlike other languages which are mere convention, the Hebrew language is an extremely sophisticated, intelligently designed code language. See the lecture "DNA of Creation" by Rabbi Becher here or "Wonders of the Hebrew language" here from "Classic Sinai" or the Chabad video series "Letters of Light" here for an intro. Even the forms of letters contain lessons as the Talmud discusses (Shabbat 104a, and likewise in Midrash Otiot d'Rebbi Akiva and Sefer Yetzira).
- Unique Cultural Survival of Judaism as explained in this lecture by Rabbi Mordechai Becher. Ancient Tefilin and Mikves have been found which meet all halachic requirements of today's. Judaism today is almost exactly what it was thousands of years ago, see there amazing words. This indicates a special providence on the Jews more than any other nation as explained there.
- No need to be Jewish - Judaism claims that you don't need to be a Jew to be counted among the righteous, go to paradise, etc. (for gentiles through fulfilling the 7 commandments of Bnei Noach such as don't kill, don't steal, respect for G-d etc., what may be called natural religion). Even though you never kept the Sabbath, you never put on Tefilin - you are considered a good, fulfilled human being. (see here for more. This is another reason we don't proselytize). Other religions damn those who don't practise their creed and promise them eternal hell. For example, according to Christianity it is sufficient to "believe" in Jesus in order to atone for all of your sins. And he who does not believe in Jesus will, according to them, be damned in hell forever and ever - regardless of how upright and G-d fearing he may be. According to this view, those cruel people who savagely tortured and slaughtered non-believers will go to heaven while their poor helpless victims will go to hell. Likewise, a study of history shows how early Christianity and Islam spread. They did not go about debating people but rather used political force and brutal violence as explained here.
The Jewish People
The Torah tells us that G-d elevated the Jewish people at Sinai and appointed them to be the light unto the nations. Let us look whether there is anything peculiar about the Jews which supports this claim.
- Unique Intellectual Abilities - Jews have received an extremely disproportionate number of Nobel prizes. Their contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, etc. are uniquely way out of proportion to their numbers (ex. 36% of US recipients despite being 2% of the population and 22% worldwide despite being 0.2% of the population. Among women laureates it is 50% US and 33% Worldwide). Likewise, the concentration of Jewish minds in Israel has produced a global research and development monster in only a few decades. (ex. recently the Intel VP, Ran Senderovitz, said in an interview that "the most advanced technologies are developed in Israel")
- Unique Physical Survival of the Jews - On this Mark Twain (a non-Jew) wondered in an essay:
"The Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greeks and Romans followed and made a vast noise, and they were gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, and have vanished.
This is all the more amazing when you consider that the Jews are the most persecuted and most defenseless of all nations. Can you imagine 2000 years without the Israeli army?
The Jew saw them all, survived them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmaties, of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert but aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jews; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?"
- Unique Influence - although Jews have rarely had missionaries, they have had more influence on humanity than any other people. Among many others, John Adams, a non-Jew and the second president of the United States said:
"I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations ... They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern".
A nice short movie on the Jews was made on this. see here.
- Unique Hatred and Demonization of the Jews - throughout history the hatred of Jews has been consistent, universal, and predictable. Even in our times, the UN general assembly passes more resolutions against Israel than the entire world combined. Something about the Jews' very existence arouses profound animosity. In every generation there are those that fanatically rise up to annihilate them. Hitler gave higher priority to the trains to Auschwitz than those to reinforce his own struggling troops. The Muslims claim their time will not come until the Jews are destroyed (Bukhari 52:177). The Christian bible claims the Jews are "sons of the devil" (John 8:44) and "sons of vipers" (Mathew 23:33). There has also been tremendous hatred of Jews from within. Throughout history, dissident Jews have often been the biggest and most bitter enemies of religious Jews. All this unique irrational hatred and demonization of the Jews indicates to those who examine with candid eyes that there lies the painful truth.
- Unique Financial Success - historically, after the Jews are expelled and arrive at another country they rapidly take over and prosper more than the native population. On this Rabeinu Bahye writes (almost 1000 years ago) in Duties of the Heart (Gate 2 ch.5):
"If any one seeks evidence at the present day similar to those just mentioned, let him look with objective eyes at our position among the nations since the Exile began and our orderly condition in their midst, notwithstanding that we do not agree with them in belief or practice - of which disagreement they are aware. Observe that even so, our financial situation is close to theirs, and perhaps even better than theirs. You will see that an average person among them must toil more for his livelihood than an average or even a below-average among us. This is like our Creator promised us: 'And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them...' (Lev. 26:44)". End quote.
This strange phenomena has led to many conspiracy theories such as the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" which purports to describe a Jewish plan for global domination.
- Different Makeup - spiritually and in their outlooks Jews are different. One needs to speak to many Jews and non-Jews to arrive at this conclusion. Jews are by nature, merciful, seeking beyond the superficial, seeking absolute truth. One can see today in Israel how in hospitals they treat terrorists and victims alike. Likewise, how extreme the Israeli Army tries to avoid civilian casualties despite being fired on with missiles and rockets to their own capital. No country in the world would act with such restraint. (of course there are many good non-Jews. the point is Jews have a disproportionate tendency to be merciful,etc).
- Unique Spiritual Searching of the Jews - we find a disproportionate number of secular Jews in the world who don't know what to do with themselves. It's not an exaggeration that although Jews are less than 2% of the general population in the US, at the same time they are over 40% of all the cults. Likewise, there is an enormously disproportionate number of secular Israelis seeking spirituality in Tibet or India. In some towns there, the shops advertise their wares in Hebrew. The phenomenon of secular Jews seeking spiritual meaning in Buddhism has become so common that it has a name "Jew-Bu's". Where does this spiritual yearning come from?
- The Torah's prophecies of the return of the Jews to Israel - can a nation exiled from its homeland and splintered into a dozen minor ethnic groups for 2,000 years, have the ability and resolve to return en masse to their homeland and become a universally recognized world power? This category includes the miraculous victories of the Israeli army (see for example: here or here or here). Even Ben Gurion who was a secular Jew is quoted as saying: "In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles". There is a documentary "Against all Odds" by Michael Greenspan with eyewitness accounts of miracles. Some arabs even reported seeing apparitions which scared them off. This is all the more amazing when you consider how bitterly and relentlessly the arab armies fought (and continue to fight) the Jews' return (the sight of Jews there fills them with burning, murderous hatred. For in truth, the very existence of the state of Israel highlights the falsehood at the foundation of their religion - Moshe Feiglin).
- The Torah's prophecy that no Nation shall dwell in Israel during the Exile - the Torah states regarding the exile: "I will make the Land desolate, so that it will become desolate [also] of your enemies who live in it. And I will scatter you among the nations" (Lev.26:32). Since the Jews left Israel 2000 years ago, no nation was able to establish itself there. The land was mostly barren and desolate. When Mark Twain visited Israel in the 1800s he observed (Innocents Abroad 1869):
"...[a] desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds-a silent mournful expanse... A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action... We never saw a human being on the whole route... There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country...
Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince. The hills are barren, they are dull of color, they are unpicturesque in shape. The valleys are unsightly deserts fringed with a feeble vegetation that has an expression about it of being sorrowful and despondent. The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee sleep in the midst of a vast stretch of hill and plain wherein the eye rests upon no pleasant tint, no striking object, no soft picture dreaming in a purple haze or mottled with the shadows of the clouds. Every outline is harsh, every feature is distinct, there is no perspective -- distance works no enchantment here. It is a hopeless, dreary, heart-broken land...Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes."
- Other Torah Prophecies:
- Eternity of the Jewish people - "So said the L-rd who gives the sun to illuminate by day, the laws of the moon and the stars to illuminate at night, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar, the L-rd of H-osts is His Name. If these laws depart from before Me, says the L-rd, so will the seed of Israel cease being a nation before Me for all time" (Jeremiah 31:34). This prophecy was said 2400 years ago just after the first temple destruction. Many more verses like this. We have witnessed in our times how the Jews arose phoenix-like from the ashes of the holocaust.
- Always Few in Number - the Torah promised a paradox. Eternity of the Jewish people on one hand even during the long exile and on the other hand, always few in number: "And you shall remain few in number among the nations to which G-d shall lead you" (Deut. 4:27). Indeed, the Jews have been bouncing back and forth at the bottom of the population graph throughout the exile. This highlights the special providence on the Jewish people and combined with their prominence makes them a conversation piece in world affairs. For they are like a bad penny which one tries to get rid of and forget yet it keeps coming back. (On this Mark Twain wondered: "If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of...)
- Dispersed among the Nations - "And the L-rd will scatter you among all the nations, from one end of the earth to the other" (Deut.28:64)
- Persecution among the Nations - "And among those nations, you will not be calm, nor will your foot find rest" (ibid) Indeed, historically the Jews have been expelled from virtually every country in which they have resided .
- The Covenant is Binding - many Jews have tried to cure this hatred by abandoning the Torah and becoming like the nations but history shows it has resulted in the opposite effect, as predicted in the verse (Ezekiel 20) "When you say, 'Let us be like the nations, like the peoples of other countries...' As I live says the L-rd G-d, I will rule over you with a strong hand, an outstretched arm, and outpoured wrath.." The State of Israel was founded in the hope of curing this anti-semitism but paradoxically, it has become the source of anti-semitism worldwide (among other things, the state has kindled the wrath of the arab world and this fury has spread worldwide on all Jews).
- International Isolation - similar to above, the torah predicted: "the nation shall dwell alone and not be reckoned among the nations" (Numbers 23:9). The destiny of the Jews is international isolation and to stand apart from the nations. History shows that although Jews have tried many times to be reckoned among the nations, but sooner or later, they were put back in their destined place. Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk (1843–1926) famously wrote of contemporary German Jewry, in his book Meshech Chochmah (Lev.26:44), "They think that Berlin is Jerusalem.... From there will go forth a great storm that will uproot them." We can also see this today with Israel's international isolation at the UN.
- Unique Troubles - the Jews are supposed to reveal G-d to humanity. If they follow the Torah, they will do this through supernatural blessings (as was the case in the days of Solomon). But if they don't, they will reveal G-d in reverse manner - through supernatural troubles that befall them as the Torah writes (Deut. 29): "And all the nations will say, Why did the L-rd do so to this land? What [is the reason] for this great rage of fury? Then they will say, It is because they abandoned the covenant of the L-rd, G-d of their fathers, [the covenant] which He made with them when He took them out of Egypt".
- Tisha b'Av - the Talmud (Taanit 29a) states that G-d set aside Tisha B'av (9th of Av) as a day for troubles. Rashi there explains: "it is frequent for bad events to occur on that day". Even the Rambam, who is inclined to offering rational explanations for Torah, writes (Hilchot Ta'aniot 5:3) "Tisha B'av is a day set aside for sorrows". We find, sadly, the Talmud's assertion to be historically accurate: The First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II on July 20, 1095 (in Jewish Calendar Av 9, 4855), killing 10,000 Jews in its first month and destroying Jewish communities in France and the Rhineland. Jews were expelled from England on July 25,1290 (Av 9, 5050 in Jewish Calendar). Jews were expelled from Spain on August 11, 1492 (Av 9, 5252 in Jewish Calendar). On Tisha B'Av 5674 (August 1, 1914), World War I broke out, causing unprecedented devastation across Europe and setting the stage for World War II and the Holocaust.
- Light unto the Nations (Isaiah 42:6) - despite being the most hated people, few in number and dispersed across the globe, Jews are the most influential people the world has known . In the 20th century for example, of the big revolutionaries Darwin, Freud, Marx, and Einstein - 3 of them were Jewish. Who can deny that the 7 commandments of Bnei Noach (don't kill, set up courts of law, humane killing of animals for food, don't blaspheme G-d, etc.) have not become an integral part of western civilization. The world used to be a place of anarchy and human sacrifice (see audio "World Perfect" here for just what a disaster the world used to be). Likewise for the 7 day work week with one day for spiritual reflection.
Maimonides teaches us in (Laws of Kings 11:11) that Christianity and Islam were allowed to flourish in order to spread major concepts of Judaism to the world. These two religions are basically watered down forms of Judaism:
"And all of these events involving Jesus the Nazarene, and this Ishmaelite who succeeded him [i.e. Mohammad] - they are only to prepare the way for the messianic king, and to improve the whole world to serve G-d together. As it says (Tzephaniah 3:9): 'For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the L-ORD, to serve Him with one consent'".
Perhaps both Islam and Christianity were allowed to flourish so neither one can claim proof of its religion based on strength of numbers.
- Teshuva (Return) Movement - (Deut. 4:30) "When you are distressed, and all these things happen upon you in the end of days, then you will return to the L-rd your G-d and obey Him" - in our times there is an unprecedented movement of Baalei Teshuvas (secular Jews who return to Judaism). Even in secular Tel Aviv, new prayer minyans are popping up everywhere and demand for Torah classes is higher than ever. (our times are widely seen as the "end of days" era for various reasons)
- End of Days - we have a tradition that the Jewish calendar will not exceed 6000 years (Rosh Hashana 31a, Sanhedrin 97a, Zohar 1:117a) (current year:5779). We can see in our times the pace of events accelerating exponentially more than any other time in world history. Something is brewing. More on this later..
- Insolence and Rebelliousness at End of Days - the Talmud (Sotah 49a) gives some prophetic signs of the "end of days":
"insolence (chutzpah) will increase and honor will dwindle. The governments will turn to heresy. The meeting-place of scholars will be used for immorality. The wisdom of the learned will degenerate, those who fear sin will be despised, and the truth will be lacking. Youth will put old men to shame, the old will stand up against the young, a son will disgrace his father, a daughter will rebel against her mother. So upon who is there to rely? Upon our Father in Heaven."
Have these signs been fulfilled in our times? The rebelliousness of the youth seems to have really picked up with the Hippy generation and continues well into today. As for heresy and "despising those who fear sin", the public has clearly turned towards atheism. The atheists supported by the governments of the nations with billions in funds have harnessed all the schools, literature, press, televisions, etc. to spread their views to the masses under the guise of science. Believers in G-d are ridiculed and lampooned with derogatory terms such as "fundamentalist", "ignorant", "anti-science", "creationist", etc. the list goes on and on. As for the degeneration of the learned, anyone familiar with torah scholarship can testify that although we definitely have huge numbers of people today learning torah full time, the caliber of scholars is nowhere near anywhere close to what it was just a few decades ago. "The truth will be lacking" - the leftists, liberals, anti-theists, lgbt, etc. have fulfilled this to the hilt. Likewise the stone blind scientists have pumped humanity with foolish and stupid beliefs such as that blind chance can act as an engineer and produce the vast wisdom in living things. "Of course it can", they will tell you. "Don't you see the results! What you want to bring us back to the middle ages?!". As for immorality, the television networks have bombarded the youth with obscene images, music videos and movies and now the internet has made the filthiest obscenities a mere click away for the curious youth. Modesty in dress has collapsed. There is a harrowing and rapid breakdown of values in secular society as people become more and more like animals. Can things get any worse?
- Eternity of Torah Study - "as for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the L-rd... My words that I have placed in your mouth, shall not move from your mouth or from the mouth of your seed and from the mouth of your seed's seed," said the L-rd, "from now and to eternity" (Isaiah 59:21). Likewise: "because it will not be forgotten by their descendants" (Deut. 31:21). Even today, no shortage of Yeshivas and Kollels. On the contrary, more today than at least since Temple times.
- Eternity of Torah Observance - "it will not be forgotten by their descendants" (Deut. 31:21), "they will believe in you (Moses) forever" (Ex.19:9). Indeed the torah laws are still meticulously observed in all their myriad details by orthodox Jews even today despite all the horrible persecutions and suffering throughout history for practising Judaism. It is a fundamental principle of Judaism that the Torah received at Sinai will never be changed nor become obsolete. This concept is mentioned in the Torah no less than 24 times, with the words: "This is an eternal law for all generations" (Exodus 12:14, 12:17, 12:43, 27:21, 28:43, Lev. 3:17, 7:36, 10:9, 16:29, 16:31, 16:34, 17:7, 23:14, 23:21, 23:31, 23:41, 24:3, Numbers 10:8, 15:15, 19:10, 19:21, 18:23, 35:29, Deut. 29:28). Likewise, the very last of the prophets was Malachi, among whose very last words were "Remember the Torah of Moses My servant which I commanded him at Horeb (Sinai) upon all Israel statutes and judgments. Behold, I send to you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of G-d" Malachi 3:22-23. The Torah of Moses, not of the Nazarene or the Mohamed, with its statutes and its judgments - not merely its general principles, remaining in full force even until the coming of the last day.
- Never Been Heard Again - "For ask now regarding the early days that were before you... was there anything like this great thing, or was the likes of it ever heard?" (Deut. 4:32). No nation has ever made claims of mass divine revelation on the scale of the Exodus from Egypt. More on this next section. see also end of this.
- Prophecy in Megilah Esther - out of several millions letters in the Bible, a few dozen of them are purposely written smaller or larger by the Tradition. Four of those are in the Megilah Esther in the names of the ten sons of Haman who were hanged. (this is confirmed by manuscripts hundreds of years old in museums) Those 4 special letters code the Hebrew year 5707 (1946) whereby the 10 Nazi criminals were hanged after the Nuremberg Trials over 2300 years later. Weirdly, just before being hanged, Julius Strecher swung suddenly to face the witnesses and glared at them before screaming "Purim Fest 1946". see "Realization of Prophecy in our Times" by Rabbi Mordechai Kraft available here. must see.
- Eternity of the Western Wall - the Midrash Raba which was put to writing 1600 years ago explained the verse "behold, he is standing behind our wall" (Songs 1:9) - Midrash Raba: "this refers to the western wall. G-d swore it would never be destroyed forever." Since then many wars befell Jerusalem, Jerusalem was destroyed and rebuilt no less than nine times - with each conqueror further attempting to obscure the glorious Jewish past. And through it all, one symbol remained intact - the Western Wall ! .
Torah from Sinai
- Unique Claims of Revelation - to establish something as factual in any court of law requires first hand witnesses, since then you are not relying on me alone. Of all the major religions in recorded history, only Judaism makes claims of a historical mass revelation - that two million people had a revelation from G-d at Mount Sinai. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to falsify such a claim. If you want to make up a lie, don't claim there are witnesses for then it can easily be falsified - and certainly not 2 million first hand eyewitnesses. All other religions claim one person had a revelation and then tries to gather a following to believe him. The Christians claim Jesus came back from the dead. The Muslims claim Mohammad came down from heaven in a chariot of fire. How many people witnessed this? Zero. Likewise for the Zoroastrians, Hindus, Budhists, etc. Why would G-d expect people to blindly follow a religion with no credible foundation? see here or here for more details.
- the Chain from Sinai - (Rabbi Akiva Tatz writes:) Many think we are thousands of generations away from Sinai. However, if we take one generation to be forty years (in the talmud Avodah Zarah 5b: "one does not fully comprehend the knowledge of his Rabbi before the age of forty").., we find only 80 generations in that chain (40x80=3200 years) - and we know who the leaders in each of those generations were. We have their original works and can pinpoint the handing over of the tradition from one great Torah authority to the next.. In addition we have no record of any disagreement. We have no record of anyone claiming the Sinai revelation never occurred or was in any way falsified. In fact, not only our records agree - even those who have attacked us throughout the generations accept it. Their own religions are openly based on it..." (Guide to Life, Tatz sec. Faith pg.141)
Likewise, Rambam (Maimonides) in his introduction to Mishneh Torah counts 40 generations from Moses to Rav Ashi (compiler of the talmud) in the transmission of the oral law and lists the names of each of these 40 sages.
- the Torah was not forgotten - if you ask perhaps the people were told by some individual who fabricated that the Sinai revelation was forgotten and that their ancestors had it? No, for the Torah writes many times such as: "But beware and watch yourself diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children and to your children's children; the day you stood before the L-rd your G-d at Sinai" (Deut.4). "The L-ord our G-d made a covenant with us in Sinai; Not with our fathers did the L-ord make this covenant, but with us, all of us who are here alive this day" (Deut. 5:3); "You have seen all that the L-ord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt" (Deut. 29:2). Furthermore, the Torah itself promises it will not be forgotten: "because it will not be forgotten by their descendants" (Deut. 31:21). How would these people accept a Torah which contradicts itself? (especially, when this torah demands such enormous sacrifices of time and money)
- the Torah does not End nor pause, but continues forward. The Book of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Daniel, Ezra, etc., then Mishna, Midrash, Talmud, etc. History which every Jew of the time was inside and could verify with simple questions. It also contains "boring" sections which are not proper to add into made-up stories. We find chains of genealogy, ancestry, measurements, and other such things in great and precise detail. Furthermore, we even know the gravesite location of many of these individuals and amazingly they are still intact even today.
- the Egyptian Plagues - the giving of the Torah was likewise claimed to be preceded by open miracles for all to see such as the 10 plagues in Egypt. These plagues were a prelude to Sinai so that there would be no doubt whatsoever that the giver of the Torah was G-d Almighty (Drashas HaRan). For example, the plague of smiting the first born Egyptians occurred at one time (midnight). To do this one needs to be in every place at every time. Only G-d can be at every place at every time since He transcends space and time. Furthermore, to know who was first born, one must be at every birth to know and remember the mother of each person. Obviously, we are talking about an omniscient G-d who is without a physical body.
Interestingly, in the early 19th Century an ancient papyrus, dating from the end of the Middle Kingdom, was found in Egypt. It was taken to the Leiden Museum in Holland and interpreted by A.H. Gardiner in 1909. The papyrus was written by an Egyptian named Ipuwer and appears to be an eyewitness account of the effects of the Exodus plagues from the perspective of an average Egyptian. see here for details. see also the amazing Hebrew book Mikra v'Archeology by Daniel Rothstein .
- Litmus Test - there are tens of thousands of religions out there. Who has time to investigate all of them? On this the Sefer Ikarim writes (1:20):
"That which is grasped by the senses is more accepted by a person.. Due to this G-d wanted the torah to be given through Moses with great publicity and in the most open way possible, before millions of people. According to our sages this event was perceived by all human beings in the whole world, such that it could not possibly have been more open..
G-d openly publicized the giving of the torah to the Jewish people to teach that the divine religion must be given openly with great public view and any religion which is not given in such an open and totally public manner is not divine.
- Weird Phenomena - the giving of the torah also involved strange phenomena that is difficult to imagine and fabricate such as "seeing" sounds: "And all the nation saw the voices and the torches and the voice of the horn" (Exodus 20:14). Rashi: "they saw what was audible, which is impossible to see elsewhere". Another example in Exodus 34:30 "Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses and behold, the skin of his face had become radiant, and they were afraid to come near him".
- Never Happened Again - some claim G-d made the Torah obsolete and presented a new plan for humanity. The big question is, of course, why didn't G-d gather everyone together again and make this clear? Bring everyone back together. Make another mass revelation, and say it straight out so there won't be any confusion. After all, G-d warned the Jews in the Torah many times not to veer right or left from it, nor to add or subtract from it (Deut.4:2).
Although the two imitating religions, Christianity and Islam both admit (and base their faith on) the historicity of the gathering at Sinai where the torah was given in the presence of millions in the most open and spectacular manner never equalled, yet they also claim that when the time came for the Torah Law to be abolished, it was done in a private communication to Paul or to Mohamed. Nahhhh. see here for more.
- Unique Analysis of Text - Some claim that the Rabbis of the Mishna and Talmud conjured up the laws in the mishna and talmud for their own glory, and really they never received these things from the Tradition up to Moses. However, anyone exposed to true talmud study can testify that nowhere else in human history can one find such meticulous scrutiny of a text than in the talmud. The sages of the talmud delved into every ambiguity, every word, every discrepancy, every seeming extra letter, word, similarity, root word relation, proximity, etc. etc. Why was this said? Could a better word have been used, why this extra letter?, etc. etc. etc. (see tractate Zevahim for instance). If the Rabbis conjured all this nonsense up for their honor, why would they go through such immense trouble and scrutiny to arrive at the true meaning of the text? (see also Chasdei Avot 1:1 by Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad).
- Bottomless Depth of the Torah - which is evident to all who study it in depth. The more one studies it, the more he will be humbled by how much more there is to know. You have to study a bit in a traditional yeshiva to appreciate the scope of this but it's huge. The Vilna Gaon who was considered the greatest of all the Luthianian Torah scholars in the past 200 years commented on the verse in Psalms "the Torah of G-d is perfect (lit.whole)" (Ps.17:8) - "the Torah remains wholly intact. We have still not touched even a tiny speck of its corner [despite all our knowledge of it]." Human inventions on the other hand can be fully understood. If the Torah were human-made it could be fully understood by humans.
- One Size Fits All - among the wonders of the Torah is that it is written in such a way that even a 5 year old can understand it at his level. It is at the same time a "children's book" and a work of the deepest Kabala and Divinity. For example, the first verse "in the beginning G-d created heaven and earth..." A child can relate to this, while a Torah scholar understands this to mean the spiritual worlds and the physical world . A reading of the Zohar shows how there are parallel books with totally different narratives than how we read it. This is also so for the other books of the Bible and even the Mishna and Talmud as can be glimpsed Here. The Arizal reportedly would expound the Talmud to his disciples in 6 ways corresponding to the days of the week and one way kabalistically corresponding to the Sabbath (pri etz chaim, hanhaga limud). The Vilna Gaon gives us a spectacular example of this on the book of Jonah which is available online here. The Ramban brings the Oral Tradition that the "6 days" of creation are referring to the 6000 years in the Jewish calendar (Ps. 90:4 "for a thousand years are in Your eyes are like a day ") with each day corresponding to the events of that Millenia and the 7th day (Sabbath) corresponding to the world to come.
- Wisdom of the Torah Sages - besides the vast depth in the Torah, there is also the vast study needed even to understand the words of the Torah sages who expound it. Anyone with serious experience in Talmud study can testify that one can study a single page for weeks and weeks and still feel there is so much more to know. Not to mention the holiness one can tangibly feel when studying it properly. See also, this video by Rabbi Yaakov Hillel where he discusses the wisdom of Kabala and how it is vastly more difficult to grasp than Talmud study.
- Torah Codes - suppose a man were sent to spy on an enemy country. He needs to send back hidden messages in documents which will not arouse the enemy's suspicion. Only his sender knows how to deciper the code by skipping letters in a certain pattern which they both agreed on beforehand. It is the same with the Torah. The hidden secrets such as kabalistic Names and attributes of G-d are coded in such a way that only those special few who received the tradition can decipher them. The master Kabalist, Rabbi Moses Kordevero wrote (Pardes Rimonim Shaar HaTziruf): "knowledge of the secrets of the Torah is through tzirufim (equally spaced letters forming words and phrases), gimatrias (numerical values), temuros (exchanges), roshei tevos and sofei tevos (first and last letter acronyms), tochei tevos (inside letters), roshei pesukim, sofei pesukim (first and last letters of verses), dilug osios (skipping letter patterns), v'tzeruf osios (combined letter patterns). Likewise, Rabeinu Bachye writes in his commentary on the Torah (Bereishis): "we have a tradition that in the first verse of the Torah until the word 'bohu' is hidden through many tzirufim the 42 letter Name of G-d of His attribute of Justice..." (which can be used to perform miracles).
Likewise, we have a tradition that everyone and everything that will ever happen until the end of time is hinted in the Torah. In our computer era, there is a whole field of this called "Torah Codes". See this video for an introduction or torahcodes.net
- Kabalistic Numerology - this area includes amazing interweaved hidden teachings through numerology of Hebrew letters and words. Here is an example which gives a feel for this amazing wisdom of The Torah. It gives a glimpse into just how incredibly thought out the Torah is and leaves one with a sense that it's wisdom is otherworldly.
- Mathematical Signatures - the Hebrew language also seems to contain hidden mathematical signatures hinting to its divine origin which we are only now beginning to discover. see this video by professor Haim Shore for an introduction available here or this PDF here.
Predictions of the Zohar
- Predictions of the Zohar - the Zohar predicted the rise of Arabs in the end of days when the Jews will return to Israel. The Zohar also predicted the industrial revolution as an anonymous person wondered in an internet forum (abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread891818/pg1):
I challenge anyone here - and not of arrogance, but sincere inquiry - whether they can find another document from any other religious tradition which makes any predictions of the industrial revolution.
Comment: Actually, 227 years is the maximum time. It could well happen in our times. How will modern technology prepare humanity for G-d's revelation in the Messianic Era? Well, we see more and more how humanity is becoming united due to airplanes, internet, etc. We also find that modern science is unlocking the wisdom in cells and in the cosmos. This is providing materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design as we shall see next section. Perhaps then, it is a slow gradual process of revealing G-d. Perhaps also, technology was withheld from man for so long so that he does not destroy himself. Like a child who is given a plastic toy hammer so he won't hurt himself. Technology has good things but it also gives evil people potential to inflict TREMENDOUS destruction.
This is a big deal, because, well, the industrial revolution is SO unusual. Imagine the progress civilization made between 3500 BCE and 1800 CE.. Nothing much in terms of technology, although, Christianity did serve to unify the western world under the banner of one culture, which has some significant sociological purposes; but there is obvious a paradigmatic shift between those first 5,300 of Human civilization, from Ur, till the 1800's. Now look again from 1800 CE to 2012. It's simply astounding. How could anyone possibly have predicted this???
Well, the Jewish Zohar did. If you aren't acquainted with this body of literature, the Zohar was written by Moses De Leon, although some believe he merely redacted it from older texts, the bulk of which derive from the mystic insights of the Talmudic sage Shimon Bar Yochai. Now, this book deals with mostly metaphysical subjects, particularly as exegesis of the Torah. But in some places, it makes predictions.
In the Exegesis on the biblical verse:
"In the six-hundredth year in the life of Noah... all wellsprings of the great deep burst open, and the windows of heaven were opened..." (Gen. 7:11)
The Zohar interprets along prophetical lines:
"in the sixth century of the sixth millennium, the gates of the supernal wisdom will be opened, as will the springs of the earthly wisdom, preparing the world to be elevated in the seventh millennium.
Now, the Jews have a very old calendar. The current year in this calendar is 5773, from the 'time of creation' (which I interpret to be the beginnings of civilization, circa 3500 BCE, in Sumeria, Eridu, Ur etc). The 6th century of the 6th millennium would correspond to the Hebrew year 5600, which would correspond to the secular year 1840.
Zohar, part I, 117a.
The Zohar actually uses the term 'lower' for earthly wisdom, in line with the usual metaphysical axiom of 'above' corresponding to spiritual things, and 'below' to physical things. So lower wisdom is physical wisdom, which is SCIENCE!
I cannot for the life of me explain this. You may reject the antiquity of the Zohar as being no more then 800 years old (to the time of Moses De Leon), but even then, how on earth could a Rabbi predict something that would happen - pretty much on the spot - 600 years before it happened???
Is there any other example of such foresight in any other religion?
Suffice to say, this is highly unusual. The Zohar explains that this 'growth' in physical knowledge is for the purpose of 'preparing' the world for the 7th millenium, the 'shabbat', or period of rest, for man and the earth. The shabbat, according to the Hebrew Calendar, is the year 6000 - 7000. We are some 227 years from that time. End quote.
As far as the "supernal wisdom" mentioned in the Zohar. This refers to the wisdom of torah. Indeed around this time, much novelties in torah occurred such as the yeshiva movement sparked by the Volozhin Yeshiva which is gaining more and more momentum through today and later on the torah codes. Likewise, there has been a revelation of the inner chambers of torah to the masses by the Ramchal and many others. The movement of Chasidut also brought the esoteric wisdom in the torah and made it available to laymen. It used to be one had to attain vast torah knowledge to reach the level of Yirat Haromemut (fear/awe of the greatness of G-d), but now anyone can get there through science or mystical torah.
Other Various Indications
Blessings from Torah Study - in the USA, we find that many communities which were not so strong in torah study could not survive the winds of assimilation and disappeared leaving behind huge synagogues lying empty. While tiny communities which started as a handful of Torah students learning in a kollel have now become huge flourishing Torah communities. (Tip: buy homes in small towns with a new Kollel)
Blessings to Orthodox Society - in the United States, as well as in Israel, sociologists in the 1950's predicted that Orthodox Judaism would soon disappear. Look Magazine in 1964 ran a famous cover story entitled "The Vanishing Orthodox Jew." At this point, there are more than two million Orthodox Jews worldwide (including Chareidi and Modern Orthodox Jews) and the once popular Look Magazine has vanished. Moreover, Orthodox Jewry is the only Jewish religious group that is increasing in numbers. It is growing at a very high rate and is vital and vigorous with many new institutions opening each year. We must emphasize that this is entirely counterintuitive. One would think the less demanding versions of Judaism that are more in harmony with contemporary values would thrive (in truth this was the argument of the reform movement). Nonetheless, specifically the most demanding and most traditional version of Judaism is the most successful version of Judaism in the twenty first century. Indeed, the enduring version of Judaism is the authentic form of Judaism .
Special Providence to great Torah Scholars - the Vilna Gaon for example reportedly achieved superhuman levels of Torah wisdom as explained here and here. More recently, it is reported in the book "HaSod" by (Y. Hershkowitz) about Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv that his grasp of the entire spectrum of Talmud depth was miraculous. He was able to answer the most complicated halachic questions instantly, even those intertwined in multiple complex sections in the Talmud over many tractates. Many times the head judge of the Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem was asked to rule on such complicated questions. He would answer: I can research this and give you an answer in several days, or you can go to Rabbi Elyashiv and get a fully reliable answer instantly.
Special Providence to Kollel Students - this is something I've witnessed first hand. In our times, there is tremendous divine assistance to anyone who chooses to learn torah full time. This is especially so in Israel where the divine providence is felt more intensely (see Deut.11:12 "The eyes of the L-ord your G-d are always upon the land, from the beginning of the year to the end"). Speak to anyone learning at the Mir Yeshiva and others there. They will tell you amazing stories of how they are living on miracles.
The Tzadikim - those who have had the merit and opportunity of meeting with the Tzadikim (righteous Torah sages) of the generation know that even today, we can find shadows of "prophecy". See some incredible accounts of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu here.
Timeless Truth of Torah Teachings - the timeless values of the Torah's teachings are universally recognized by all good people. Love your fellow as yourself, helping the poor, etc. It is impossible to make someone else feel better and not feel better yourself. The Jews are the guardians of that which is good and moral, right and true. Furthermore, the Torah system works. In Israel, there is so little crime in Sabbath observant cities that it does not warrant having a police department there.
Likewise, the top leaders chosen are almost always the greatest Torah scholars of the generation for presumably the Torah has purified them to the greatest extent. Indeed those who have met the great Torah sages can testify that they are men of noble character, great inner strength, and wellsprings of vast wisdom. This indicates that there lies the true path.. The Torah testifies on Moses himself that he was the humblest man on the face of the earth (Num.12:3). see here amazing words. On this the Rambam writes (Igeret Teyman):
"There is no comparison between our religion and the other religions who wish to imitate us. It is like the difference between a living, aware, human being versus a statue cut out of wood or moulded from metal, i.e. from silver or gold, or chiselled from a block of stone or marble until it was in the form of a man. The fool who does not recognize divine wisdom and does not know sculpturer skill sees the statue in its superficial appearance of man and thinks it is the same as a man. For he does not know the interior of both. But the wise man, who knows the interior of each one knows that the interior of the statue has no wisdom while the interior of man has wondrous true wisdom and engineering which reflects divine wisdom. When he studies the muscles, tendons which cause his movements, and the various organs, etc. and his joints, etc. etc. everything in its proper place and function...
So too, is the difference between the fool who does not know the inner meaning of the holy writings and the commandments. When he wants to compare our religion with that of other fake religions thinks there is some similarity between them. For he sees in both of them things permitted and forbidden, procedures and ceremonies, etc. But if he knew the interior of the divine religion (Judaism), that it contains things which lead to perfection of man and protection from the opposite, and to virtuous traits and perfect wisdoms, for the masses according to their ability and the special individuals according to theirs... while those religions who would pretend to be like ours have no internal content, only stories and imaginations invented by their founders for his own glory.. until the matter is a joke and a mockery just like people laugh when they see an ape dressed up to act like a human being..."
Jewish Home - one striking example of the benefit of a Torah lifestyle is the dramatically lower incidence of divorce among observant Jews than among non-observant Jews. A Torah lifestyle which include adherence to the discipline of Taharat Hamishpachah (Niddah) and "forced vacations" on Shabbat and Yom Tov is most conducive to creating a content married and family life. Considering that most of life's happiness or misery hinges on the success of one's marriage, Orthodox Jewry's far lower incidence of divorce is a fact of monumental importance.
Intricate Laws - anyone who has studied Jewish law will find there are myriad details of laws in every precept. The laws of the Sabbath for example contain an enormous array of intricate details many of which depend solely on invisible thoughts. So too for just about every precept. Even just the wood used for roasting the passover lamb contains an array of intricate details. Who in his right mind would sit down and make up all these laws with such extraordinary nit-picky details. Can they have any purpose other than to test man to develop his connection with G-d?
The laws of Shmita - "And the L-ord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying.. in the seventh year, the land shall have a complete rest a Sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field, nor shall you prune your vineyard.." (Lev. 25:1-23). why is mount Sinai mentioned by this commandment? Because from here it is apparent that the torah was given at Sinai. For every seventh year everyone in Israel is commanded to stop working the land for a whole year. G-d promises to provide a bumper crop prior to the seventh year to sustain the people. Furthermore, in the Jubilee year this would amount to two consecutive years where no one in the entire country planted anything. What human in his right mind would fabricate such a claim and risk mass starvation? (if this were for agricultural reasons, it would not be necessary to stop all the land simultaneously and it would be crazy to promise a bumper crop after six straight years of harvesting the land. Normally, the opposite happens after 6 straight years. Yet the torah says: "And if you should say, 'What will we eat in the seventh year? We will not sow, and we will not gather in our produce?!' I will command My blessing for you in the sixth year, and it will yield produce for three years" (Lev.25:20-21). Obviously, only G-d can promise this supernatural promise for all generations. And even in our times when Shmita is only a Rabbinical commandment, stories abound from Shmita observant Israeli farmers. search for "shmita stories" for more.
The Three Festivals - three times a year, every year during the temple era, all Jewish males are commanded to leave their homes and go to Jerusalem for the festivals. G-d openly promised: "Nobody will desire your land while you are going up to greet the L-ord your G-d three times in the year." (Ex 34:24) Who else could make such a claim but G-d? No human being in his right mind would make up such a law, leaving his army vulnerable to being encircled and easily massacred. It turns out it proved true that no foreign nation ever came up to take the land of the Jews during their festivals prior to the destruction of Jerusalem 400+ years later.
Tzarat - another of many examples of laws which make absolutely no sense whatsoever in any shape or form from a human logic perspective is Tzarat. These are usually translated as a form of leprosy like skin disease. The Torah requires quarantining those afflicted outside the walled cities. It seems like simple disease control, right? But the Torah shoots out a bizarre rule - if a person is afflicted from head to toe, i.e. all of his flesh is completely covered with this Tzarat disease, then he is considered pure (Lev 13:13) and no quarantining is needed. What human being in his right mind would make up such laws?
The Sotah (Numb.5) is a woman, who by her suspicious behavior with another man is strongly suspected by her husband of infidelity. If he warns her before witnesses to desist but she continues her suspicious behavior and is caught by witnesses, she must either establish her innocence or divorce without collecting money of her marriage contract. To establish her innocence, she must go to the Temple in Jerusalem and drink a cup of water in which the Name of G-d was dissolved by the Kohen (priest). The Torah promises that if she is guilty, the Sotah water will miraculously cause her belly to explode and her leg to rupture (the agents of sin). If she is innocent, it will heal her and improve her. What kind of human being would make up such a law? If you say, well maybe the Kohen checks it out and poisons the water so that it looks like a miracle. Nice theory, but the Oral Law teaches that the man whom she had an affair with also dies the same miraculous death wherever he is located at the time she drinks the water (as hinted in Numbers 5:22, see Rashi there). The Talmud reports a case, where an adulteress sent her twin sister to drink. Being innocent, she passed the ordeal unscathed. But after coming home she kissed her sister in joy, a remnant of water touched her guilty sister's lips and she exploded on the spot. Oops!
Love of Truth - no other race or group has a chronicle about themselves that paints them in such a poor light. All the other man-made chronicles just go on and on as to how great their people and leaders are compared to others. The Torah is humbling. It does not cover up the embarrassing mistakes and failures of the stiff-necked Jews and even their greatest leaders. Moses was admonished and punished several times by G-d in the Torah. How many times in the Koran is something derogatory said about Mohammad? How many times in the "new testament" is something derogatory said about Jesus? zero. see here for more. Furthermore, we see the Jews were slaves in Egypt. This is a history no nation would like to accept. The Torah reports the Jews' building the golden calf, despite all the miracles they witnessed. This is an embarrassing flaw we would not dare put on the nation. Likewise, all the times they rebelled against G-d despite all the benefits received. These are things we would have erased from our history books - unless they were true.
Compassion - Yousef Alawnah, A Jordanian journalist who was jailed in Israel told a Saudi TV outlet in June 2018 that he was ashamed to compare the dire conditions in prisons in the Arab world to the far more impressive conditions in Israeli jails. He spent 30 months in an Israeli prison for smuggling explosives and told Saudi 24 it was like being incarcerated in an "institute of education", where inmates were given "an opportunity to acquire culture, to read and to study many things." He said: "I am ashamed by [the comparison] between Israeli and Arab prisons". Alawnah was particularly impressed with the extensive prison libraries in Israel; he told the interviewer they also had books in Arabic. "They have all the important books, history books, books against Israel and against Zionism... Even Hitler's Mein Kampf is there". source. What other nation has such compassion and love of truth?
False Prophet - in the era of prophecy (temple times), if an extremely pious and extremely wise Torah sage claimed to be a prophet, he must first be put to a few tests (Rambam Yesodei Torah 10:1). If any minute detail of his predictions in G-d's name does not occur, he is deemed a false prophet and must be executed (Deut 18:22). There is a specific commandment not to fear executing a false prophet. It does not matter if he can perform miracles or is the high priest or even the king of Israel. If the Torah were made up by false prophets, it would not make sense to enact such a law.
Noble Teachings - contrary to popular belief, Judaism is an equal opportunity religion. No other religion puts all human beings on such a high pedestal: "in the image of G-d, He created man" (Gen 1:27). Tana D'Bei Eliyahu (Elijah the prophet): "I testify on myself heaven and earth, whether man or woman, whether gentile or Jew, whether slaveman or slavewoman, everyone according to his actions, the Ruach Hakodesh (Divine spirit) will dwell on him". The Torah is open to all human beings and exhorts each and every one of them to strive for the highest moral excellence. Before Judaism, the pagan religions taught that G-d needs "help" from man. Bring me human sacrifices, bring me food, etc. Judaism came and taught that G-d needs nothing from man. Everything is for man. All G-d wants is that man be moral and treat his fellow kindly.
Hashgachah Pratis (Divine providence) - everyday stories from life; both from the lives of others and from one's own life. If a person pays close attention to what happens around him, he cannot help but note the Hand of G-d in so many events in our lives. There is no need to elaborate here. Included in this category is the siyata d'shmaya (divine help) one merits to see when resolving to follow the Torah. Every Baal Teshuva (newly observant Jew) can testify to the divine help they tangibly feel from upstairs when undertaking to become Torah observant.
On Eagles' Wings - in the torah: "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I carried you on eagles' wings, and I brought you to Me" (Exodus 19:4). The eagle, majestic as it is, is not a Kosher bird. Why would G-d relate the Exodus to a non-kosher animal? In the book "Em Habanim Semecha" (3:18, 2:23), Rabbi Yissachar Teichtal (1885-1945) answers that this verse is alluding to our times (note the double language. It could have simply said instead:'I carried you on eagles' wings to me')". The Zionist Jews which were G-d's messenger to redeem our scattered exile will not appear to be Kosher, but we should nonetheless realize that it is divinely sent, and it is a sign that our time of redemption is near. Interestingly, the passenger airplane began to be common at about the same time as the establishment of the state of Israel. In 1949, 50,000 Jews were hastily airlifted from Yemen to Israel in the first wave of immigration. Coincidence?
Prayer - if a person prays regularly to G-d, he will see G-d answer him. That does not mean that every prayer is answered, but it does mean that if we turn to G-d regularly, we see totally unexpected turns of events that can only be attributed to prayer. This can be seen (sometimes even more vividly) with regard to the prayers of others as well.
The prayer of a Tzibur (congregation) carries more weight that that of a Yachid (individual), and its effects are equally more evident. The prayer of a great Tzadik (righteous man) can perform miracles even in our times as is well known of the Baba Sali and many other great Tzadikim.
Jewish Martyrs - for every Jew alive today, dozens of his ancestors preferred persecution over giving up his faith. Many of these Jews were willing to die in gruesome ways rather than give up their religion. This indicates their belief in Sinai, etc. was deeply rooted and felt strongly in their inner soul. Indeed the Midrash says all Jewish souls were present at Sinai.
Unique Concurrence - from the very fact that there are so many heated disagreements between Jewish groups, and even within each group there are disagreements, yet they all concur on the essential beliefs in Judaism, it must be true. For example, (besides believing in Torah from Sinai and in Moshe Rabeinu and things like that) there is no group within Jews who use less than 10 men for a Minyan; There is no group that does not make Kiddush on the Sabbath (except if it's Yom Kippur); A big one is, the fact that even though the Torah says about the month of Nissan "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months" (Ex.12:2) and there is a disagreement (between R. Eliezer and R. Yehoshua) if the world was created in Nissan or in Tishrei, yet you will not find a Jew who will tell you that Rosh Hashanah is the first day of Nissan (Meir Zirkind).
Likewise, all orthodox Jews have the same Torah scroll. There is no Chasidic torah scroll, Sefardic Torah scroll, Ashkenazic, Yemenite, Iraqi, etc. All are the same despite the long exile and vast physical distance between Jewish communities.
Hardest People to Convince - similar to above, when early Christianity or Islam spread, it was enough to threaten the host population with punishments or death in order to force all of them to accept the new religion. This is not so for the Jews. Countless Jews gave up their lives over the centuries rather than renounce their belief in their religion. Indeed the Jewish people are the most difficult people to convince. Nearly every page of the Talmud is filled with arguments. The intense arguments persist with great vigor throughout the period of the Rishonim (post-talmudic) and continue with the myriad of debate concerning the Rambam and the Shulchan Aruch. Until this very day an excellent Shiur (talmud class) and Yeshiva are distinguished by intense debate and argument. One could argue that it is for this reason G-d chose the Jewish People, the stiff-necked people, to be His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10). If such an argumentative and contentious people report on the veracity of the Sinai revelation despite the extensive demands it makes upon its adherents, then it certainly must be true.
Kohen DNA - genetic tests among male Kohens shows they share a different probability distribution compared to the rest of the Jewish population in the world. Researchers also found that the probabilities appeared to be shared by both Sephardic and Ashkenazi Cohens. See here or here for more.
Hebrew Alphabet - there are signs that Hebrew is the source of all languages. For example, the first four letters are "Aleph", "Beit", "Gimmel", "Dalet", and in ancient Greek it is: "Alpha", "Beita", "Gamma", "Delta". In english: "A, B, C, D". See the book "Hebrew Source of Languages" by Rabbi Glazerson.
Proof is in the Pudding - most importantly, Rabbi S.R. Hirsch says a "proof is in the pudding" type of argument, namely if you keep the mitzvos (commandments) it will become clear to you through your experiences that you are involved in something higher. It need not be explained - you will feel it, if you are keeping the mitzvot properly. This experience is an experience of G-dliness, and is the best "proof" of His existence. This is quoted in Dayan Grunfeld's introduction to Horeb. src. Speak to anybody who has been learning in a traditional Yeshiva delving into the depths of the Gemara (talmud). There is no better proof than finishing ten blatt (pages) of Gemara properly, with the Rishonim and Achronim. Likewise for reciting the daily 100 blessings with intent. The foundation of emuna (Jewish faith) is not logical proofs but rather experiencing G-dliness in one's life through torah study and performance of the Mitzvot (commandments). Indeed people will not change their ways due to any amount of logical proofs. Change comes only from experiencing G-dliness and nothing less than having a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe.
And in Ethics of the Fathers: "Ten who sit together and occupy themselves with Torah, the Divine Presence rests amongst them...from where do we know that such is the case even with a single individual? From the verse: 'In every place that My name is mentioned, I will come to you and bless you' (Ex.20:21)" - One can tangibly feel this as an experience of G-dliness. The root cause of disbelief and atheism, etc. is simply a disconnection from G-d. A person sees the world the way he is. If a person is disconnected from G-d, he will see everything in a physical, materialistic way regardless of all the gigantic holes in this world-view.
Knowledge beyond Their Times
According to Rabbi Avraham Kook : "G-d limits revelations, even from the most brilliant and holiest prophets, according to the ability of that generation to absorb the information. For every idea and concept, there is significance to the hour of its disclosure" end quote i.e. some ideas are intentionally kept hidden, as the world may not be ready for them due to various reasons. History is not a chain of events going nowhere. Rather, there is a goal and along the journey, certain ideas must be kept hidden until humanity is ready for them. Usually, the Torah sages viewed the world according to the science of their times, but sometimes it seems they possessed knowledge from Tradition which was beyond their times. Some examples:
- Camel - the Talmud derives from the Torah that there exists only one large animal on earth that chews its cud but does not have split hooves - the camel. (For small animals, the torah lists two - the "arnevet" and "shafan" usually translated as the hyrax and hare). How did the Torah know this?
Talmud Chulin 59a: "if one were walking in the wilderness and he found an animal whose hooves were split... it is kosher provided it is not a camel.. For Rabbi Yishmael taught: The verse states: 'The camel, because it chews the cud but its hooves are unsplit, it is unclean' (Leviticus 11:4). The Ruler of His world knows that nothing other than the camel chews the cud and is still non-kosher. Therefore, the verse singles it out with the word 'it'" (i.e., it and no other.)
- Pig - similarly, the Talmud derives from the Torah that there exists only one animal whose feet look like split hooves but it does not chew its cud - the pig. How did the Torah know this? Since then many new species have been found such as in Australia and America and it still holds true.
Talmud Chulin 59a: "Rabbi Yishmael taught: The verse states: 'And the pig, because it parts the hoof, and is cloven-footed, but chews not the cud, it is unclean' (Leviticus 11:7). The Ruler of His world knows that nothing other than the pig parts the hoof and is still non-kosher. Therefore, the verse singles it out (with the word 'it', i.e. it and no other)."
(see here for more details). (some invoke the peccary which are classified by modern scientists as outside the pig family despite their very strong resemblance to pigs. the trick here is to assume the Torah follows modern scientist's classification method. Others invoke the hippopotamus. The trick there is that its foot has four toes and does not at all look like the split-hooves of a kosher animal, unlike the pig.)
- Kosher Fish - the Talmud states (Chulin 66b): "All fish with scales have (flapping) fins" (similar to above. see link). We have plumbed the depths of the ocean these days, and it's still true. Neither the Torah sages nor anyone else did that back then. (some invoke the "sea snake" or "sea eel" as a refutation. The trick here is that those scales are embedded in the skin unlike normal fish scales which are armor-like and come off without peeling off the skin as explained here and here. The hebrew word for scales "kaskasim" is the same as for armor.
- in the beginning... - Rabbi Meir Mazuz said (Parsha Sheet Tzav 5778):
The torah's word is above everything, above all the professor's, above all the scientists. All their words are null and void against one word of torah! For example: "in the beginning, G-d created the heavens and the earth" (Gen.1:1). The deniers came along and said: This is false! The earth is part of the heaven. We once had a book called "the heavens" (by the french astronomer, Palmerion). He wrote there: "the heavens are everything. Don't think the heavens are one thing and the earth is another. No! the earth is just one planet in the heaven!" He was not the first to say this. After it was discovered that all the planets revolve around the sun, then all the scientists also held this view.
Thus they said, what is this: "the heavens and the earth"?! (Gen 1:1)
When they reached this conclusion, they asked themselves: "just like there are human beings on the earth, so too there must be also on other planets. There must exist also on the moon, on mars, on venus, mercury, etc.
In truth, there were some torah sages who thought like this. In the days of the Chacham Tzvi, there was a Rav talmid chacham, tzadik, G-d fearing, by the name of David Nito, author of the book Matei Dan. There they asked him: "what do you think of what the scientists say that there are human beings on the moon?". He answered: "Why not? If they tell you there are human beings in India, will you say they walk upside down or they have three eyes?! Of course not. All are the same. So too here. All the planets are the same".
Eventually, this matter was proven false. When? About fifty years ago, when they went up on the moon and saw no men, no horses, etc. There's no air and no water. All desolate wasteland (at that time, Rabbi Nissan Pinson told me: "slowly, slowly they will realize that there is no place fit for life like planet earth".)
For the "heavens" is a vast sphere which has nothing, while the "earth" has so many interesting things. There are human beings, animals, trees, grasses, and there are people who recognize their Creator, pray to Him and thank Him.
This is what is written: "in the beginning, G-d created the heavens and the earth". It has already been fifty years, since the scientists search against this. But in truth, there is nothing. Period.
One word of torah is worth more than all the scientists' words together! They are all as dust and ashes against it. So too, for everything else written in the torah.
- Who invented the Lightning Rod? - Benjamin Franklin of course. Not correct. The Torah sages mentioned its use almost 2000 years ago in a Tosefta (Shabbat 7:10).
- the Lunar Calendar - in tractate Rosh Hashana of the Talmud (25a), the head judge Raban Gamliel states: "I have a tradition from my grandfather's court that the length of the month is no more than 29 days plus half a day plus two-thirds of an hour plus 73 parts of an hour (an hour is divided into 1080 parts so each part is 3.3 seconds). Addition of these numbers yields a lunar month that is 29.530594 days long. Current measurements, as reported in the Encyclopedia Britannica, show a mean time period of 29.530588 days . These two numbers differ by less than half a second. Keep in mind Raban Gamliel died in the year 110 so we are talking about almost 2000 years ago, well before there were electronic clocks, batteries, modern telescopes etc. (note: some skeptics counter perhaps he calculated the times between solar eclipses over centuries, though "I have a tradition" implies from Sinai.)
- Earth Hangs in Space - ancient civilizations thought the earth stood on giant turtles who sometimes shifted causing earthquakes and the like. But scripture informs us "He suspends the earth over nothing (Job 26:7).
- Big Bang - the Midrash Tanchuma on Leviticus 8:3 states that when G-d created the world it was not even as big as the black center of an eye ("dok ha'ayin") and that G-d then stretched space out to the vast regions we see.
- Nuclear Bombs - in Yoel 2:30, which is read in the Passover Hagada, prophetic words regarding the end of days: "blood and fire and pillars of smoke". The word there translated pillars literally means palm trees of smoke. A tall slender column, rising to a great spreading mushroom head, like the drooping branches of the palm tree. Never before in all history had any weapon produced this phenomenon. Our era, it seems, is thus identified.
Claims only G-d can Make
- Universe had a Beginning - for thousands of years, the dominant world view among many of the greatest philosophers and scientists was that we lived in a steady-state universe with no beginning and no end. This view was maintained at all cost until in 1965 (Big Bang discovery), they ran out of excuses and reluctantly conceded to what the Torah has been saying all along - that our universe had a beginning. see here for more details.
- Origin of Life - despite all the hype about Darwinian evolution, the reality is that we cannot point to a single case anywhere of some new organ or new limb arising through unguided, natural processes. For example tracing some creature in the past few hundred or thousand years which we observed without such and such a gland or organ (sensory or otherwise), and now it has "evolved" this organ or some insect with only legs and arms and now it has a new pincer claw. Nor can we even point to a mere duplicated structure, such as some insect species which had 2 eyes or 2 antennas and now it has duplicated an extra eye or an extra antenna and this was advantageous and spread into the population. Of all the millions of species out there, not a single such case has ever been observed (and even for the minor changes observed, there is mounting evidence that most are not at all random, but rather the organism itself senses what it needs and changes itself accordingly). According to the Torah's account, there was an era called the "6 days" of creation where G-d created nature, guided it and shaped it, until it was complete with man. After this incubation period, the laws of nature were left in their present form. This would explain why no new limbs, antennas, etc. have ever been observed. For, (of course) that would require intelligent guidance, and the current state of nature just cannot do the job on its own. see here for more.
This would also explain why the basic cellular unit underlying all known life on Earth has been found to be enormously complex, far more complex than anything mankind has ever confronted. This has led top thinkers including Nobel prize winners to increasingly turn away from the popular evolutionary biology consensus and to say that scientists have absolutely no idea what caused life on Earth to originate .
- Free Will - the Torah teaches us the world was built around the concept of free will. We find nature permeated with paradoxes. Some examples:
* On the one hand every person in his right mind knows that chance can only produce random nonsense. On the other hand, we find DNA similarities between creatures leaving an opening for random evolution.
* On the one hand, vast bottomless wisdom in everything, even the simplest bacteria or even a mere electron or proton can be studied endlessly by all of humanity combined. On the other hand, we can't see any intelligence anywhere.
* The universe shows evidence of the Big Bang, yet at the same time everything uniform as if in steady state (cosmic background radiation, laws of physics same everywhere, Horizon problem, Axis of Evil). Another example, many signs the Earth is young.
* All species in the fossil record appear suddenly and fully formed. Likewise when they leave the fossil record (become extinct) they are exactly the same as when they first appeared millions of years before (see here for details). This is incompatible with common ancestry. Yet, DNA similarities point to yes common ancestry.
Likewise, scientists frequently find fossils of "ancient" creatures in the "wrong" strata, i.e. higher up than much later creatures. Dumbfounded paleontologist can only "conclude" that the strata of land must have flipped. This often involved huge areas of land spanning hundreds of square kilometers and with no credible explanation whatsoever how this could have happened.
There are many more examples. What is the answer to all these myriad paradoxes? Free will. G-d told us the right answer in the Torah. This is what we are supposed to trust.
(note that G-d is perfectly capable of creating the world looking older than it is, just like a painter can draw a fresh painting of a 90-year old woman. According to our sources, He even recreates the world continuously from nothing, like in a movie screen.)
Truth of Monotheism
Judaism is the mother of all monotheistic religions. Here are some indications of the truth of monotheism.
- Universe Testifies - the Torah states the universe was called into existence from nothing by an intelligent Being. Modern scientific discoveries have found that all the Physics, the laws and the values of physical constants, everything seems to fit together just right to produce life. Scientists originally thought that it doesn't really matter what the physics, biology, chemistry, etc. was. They could take a wide range of properties and values, and things still would be capable of sustaining complex life forms of some sort. Instead though, scientists have discovered that the various rules and quantities must all fall into an extraordinarily narrow range of life-permitting values in order to sustain complex life forms of any sort whatsoever anywhere in the universe. This is known as the "fine tuning" of the universe.
For example, if one of these constants is changed merely by one part in 10119 in either direction, the universe would have collapsed in on itself shortly after the Big Bang, or flew apart so fast that no matter coalesced into stars and planets. If another were slightly out of range, no elements heavier than helium can form. No carbon, no life. Not even any chemistry. You have to do a bit of research to appreciate the scale of all this, but it's huge. We are talking about over two hundred physical parameters within the solar system and universe with more and more being discovered as our understanding increases. These fundamental constants and quantities, which are not predicted by any theory, all appear to be carefully chosen.
Most scientists reject the idea of a "lucky coincidence" and speculate instead that there are multiple universes. Where these multiple universes exist or how a multi-universe "generator" came into existence, so finely tuned as to produce an array of universe with different characteristics is, of course, a total mystery.
Cosmologist Paul Davies said: "These rules look as if they are the product of intelligent design. I do not see how that can be denied."
Oxford Physicist Roger Penrose calculated the odds that chance allowed the initial state of the universe and its entropy to be exactly 'right' to allow it to still exist now. His answer was 1 chance in 1010123. i.e. not one followed by 123 zeros, but rather one followed by 10123 zeros. A ridiculous number. Just to write this number down in normal form would fill all the books and hard drives, cds, etc. on the planet and still be nowhere near enough. Penrose himself said if you were to put a zero on every atom in the observable universe, it would still fall short of writing it down . Observe also, how curiously elegant this number is 1010123. Note also that 10+10+1+2+3=26=numerical value of the Tetragramaton-Yud-Heh-Vav-He.)
Furthermore, we find astonishing displays of genius and perfection. For instance water is simultaneously ideally fit for the molecular scale reactions in cells, as well as the large scale needs of plants and animals, and further to the large scale needs of the earth's atmosphere and eco-system. And the architecture of atoms which forms water's properties is likewise ideally fit for many other necessities all the way up to the unfolding of the Big Bang. Likewise for oxygen and many others. There are countless circles within circles here, like a vast Rubik's cube. And they all fit nicely into beautifully simple mathematical equations. see here for more.
- Universe is Understandable to Man - the Torah states that G-d's purpose in creating the universe was man. Scientific progress has shown so far that all phenomena in the physical universe after the Big Bang is understandable to man. Even the weirdest, most bizarre quantum mechanics, black holes, etc. can nevertheless be fit into human-made mathematical models that we can understand and use to make predictions. Albert Einstein said: "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."
The universe works with the same logic that is hardwired into man's brain. The very fact that we can discover a fundamental axiom of nature or that we can conceive a formula describing how an electron works, means that the thought processes that go in our minds reflect the way the real world works (Inner Space ch.11, Aryeh Kaplan).
All this indicates that it is all for us. On this the Ramchal writes (Daas Tevunos siman 40):
"certainly G-d could have established the world through His omnipotent system, in such a way that everything would be totally incomprehensible to us, not before not after, without cause and effect. If He had done so, no one (atheist) would be able to open their mouths for we would not be able to understand anything whatsoever... but because He wanted us to understand a bit of His ways and attributes - on the contrary He very much wants us to exert ourselves on this..."
- Universe is Built Around Man
The more we discover about the universe, the more we see how it is designed specifically and optimally for a human like creature on a planet like earth. There are countless different factors showing that the universe is built or "pre-fabricated" from the earliest beginnings for man. Dr. Michael Denton wrote a powerful book on this called "Nature's Destiny". Must read. The only thing more amazing is how he can remain an agnostic. Here is the book description:
While others search the skies for extraterrestrial life, Michael Denton has examined the recent discoveries in all the sciences to ask - Could life elsewhere be substantially different from life on Earth? Drawing on a staggering knowledge of physics, biochemistry, geology, and evolution, Denton builds a step-by-step argument for human inevitability. Life requires water, DNA, and protein; it can only flourish in an Earth-like environment. Building on these claims -which, until recently, were impossible to defend - Denton dares to address the boldest question of all - Is a homo sapien-like creature the only possible highly intelligent being in the universe?
- Universe is Symmetrical Around Our Solar System
Recent studies in the cosmic background radiation permeating the universe have revealed an axis of symmetry around the universe. Scientists expected it to be randomly distributed. But instead they were shocked to discover that the universe displays symmetry. This axis of symmetry is none other than the Earth's equinox plane!. This has been called the "Axis of Evil" by scientists, because it is something which makes them very uncomfortable. see here for more. An interesting video documentary was made by christians on this called "the Principle". This phenomena is very real and the academics are trying hard to downplay it.
(Note also the diameter of the observable universe is 8.8x1026 meters. 26 is the gematria (numerical value) of the Tetragramaton. see here for more.)
- Life Testifies - despite all of our scientific progress, we still cannot get anywhere near to getting anywhere close to making the simplest organism which can grow and reproduce. All the news about creating life in the laboratory is just plain nonsense hyped up by the secular media as explained here (it is always a case of either modifying a living organism and hoping it will survive or it is something which does not reproduce). Systems of horrendous irreducible complexity have been found to inhabit cells as the British philosopher at the Oligarch explains :
At the heart of Darwin's Theory is random change and natural selection. Computer Scientists have been experimenting with "Genetic Algorithms" for a long time now, and its clear they have enormous limitations. A computer program to play chess, for example, looks several moves ahead and chooses the move that will lead to the strongest position in the future. The power of a chess playing computer is determined by the number of moves it can look ahead. Any modern computer can beat the average human chess player, but it took a massive supercomputer to beat Kasparov in 1997.
Hence, even with infinite universes and infinite time, it would not help to explain the complexity of the cell for its technical structure exceeds what a random gradual change can ever produce as explained there .
As the computer looks further into the future the number of combinations it must analyse increases exponentially. Chess playing algorithms regularly make short term sacrifices for longer term goals. Genetic Algorithms, however, can not do this because they are concerned only with the strength of the next generation. It does not matter how large the population or the length of time, Genetic Algorithms just can not solve Chess problems. Genetic Algorithms are also unable to build a structure such as a bridge which is only useful once it is complete and requires a complex series of meanwhile wasteful steps. Most of the scientific resistance to evolution in the past has come from mathematicians and engineers who have complained about this truly enormous problem. Biologists, on the other hand, tended to wave the theory through - but recent scientific advances in microbiology have been changing that.
Since the discovery of DNA Biologists have been gradually learning that the basic cellular unit underlying all known life on Earth is enormously complex. Far more complex than the latest Intel CPU for example. It's so highly mechanised with concepts such as hardware and software that many at the forefront of microbiology believe a genetic algorithm could not possibly have produced it. Time does not help, its technical structure, they say, simply exceeds what genetic algorithms are capable of ever producing.... Biologists used to just wave the original cell into existence with stories about some lightning and some soup, but now they are really marvelling at how absolutely mind bogglingly complex cells really are. Forget all the rest, many say, how on earth could a random gradual change have ever produced a device like this even in a zillion years?" (here are some videos on cells)
- Engineering Testifies - we all know that the capability and strength of a human engineer or programmer lies in how much he can think through and develop his contraption in the planning stage. The more he can think it through, the greater his capability. But the engineer or programmer who skips the planning stage and merely follows short-sighted, nearby improvements will eventually tangle himself and converge into a hopeless and useless mess of nonsense. There are countless examples of engineering in living things many of which have inspired artificial designs by human engineers. These products of human technology are feeble imitations of those in nature, usually not coming anywhere near close to the perfection and superior performance of those in living things. Studies of these systems often reveal their absolute perfection - "Time and again we see that the nervous system functions at the limits of what the laws of physics allow" (William Bialel, 1997).
This is besides the mind boggling technical sophistication underlying all cells which testifies that they are the handiwork of an Engineer of awesome wisdom, awesome power, and awesome ability. We have compiled a few video examples of engineering in nature here.
- Simplicity Testifies - the genius in an engineer is in being able to make something complex with as little material as possible and as efficiently as possible. Consider that all matter on earth, consists of atoms which are comprised of a mere 3 particles - protons, electrons, and neutrons (the latter serve only to stabilize the nucleus). Everything we see is built from these three particles. They are sufficient to build everything including all the various biomechanical reactions required for all types of life. Furthermore, everything we see on our planet is just the interaction of electrons.
Likewise, consider all living things are composed of cells (with DNA, RNA, ribosomes, etc.). The base-4 DNA codes for 20 basic amino acids. These 20 building blocks are enough to build the simplest bacteria as well as the most complex organisms with all the myriad specialized organs. The basic cell design gives every indication of being perfectly fit from first principles for its job of constructing a plenitude of life on earth. Now, let us consider how many times human engineers and programmers have to redesign their work, often completely from scratch, when doing major upgrades. Likewise consider all the annoying service packs you have to download regularly from Microsoft and how bloated your hard drive becomes. Now consider that the entire Human genome (DNA) is a mere 700mb of data. Does this simplicity not reflect vast genius and foresight?
- Information Testifies - Scientists have invested millions of dollars in building giant radio telescopes to scan the heavens hoping to find signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence. They search for non-random radio signals from space such as prime numbers (1,2,3,5,7..). In other words they are searching for information. All known information is produced by a mind. Instructions, music, messages, etc., are a non-tangible entity encoded by a conscious mind. Random noise always destroys information. DNA, the most complex information code mankind has ever confronted testifies that it is the work of a Supreme Consciousness. There is much to say on this. See here
- Reason Testifies - it follows rationally that "something" must be Eternal and un-caused otherwise nothing would exist in the present. Some atheist and anti-theist physicists such as Lawrence Krauss claim to refute this premise with "quantum particles" which fluctuate in and out of observable existence due to quantum mechanical uncertainty rules. Thus, the world can simply pop out of nothing whatsoever. But as American philosopher Edward Feser s:
"This is, of course, a summary of the argument of Krauss's book. And the problem with it, as everybody on the planet knows except for Krauss himself and the very hackiest of his fellow New Atheist hacks, is that empty space governed by quantum mechanics (or any other laws of physics, or even just the laws of physics by themselves) is not nothing, and not even an "example" of nothing (whatever an "example of nothing" means), but something. And it remains something rather than nothing even if it is a "good first approximation" to nothing (which is what Krauss presumably meant by "good first example"). When people ask how something could arise from nothing, they don't mean "How could something arise from almost nothing?" They mean "How could something arise from nothing?" That is to say, from the absence of anything whatsoever -- including the absence of space (empty or otherwise), laws of physics, or anything else. And Krauss has absolutely nothing to say about that, despite it's being, you know, the question he was asked, and the question he pretended to be answering in his book."
- Diversity of Life Testifies - if the Eternal were just some kind of natural process, then it would not produce such a huge diversity of biological systems. Something which is bound to a nature such as a natural process, always does the same thing. But something which acts by intelligence and free will - will have different actions . In nature we find just about every sort of system imaginable and some beyond imagination. There are creatures with mirror eyes, electric probes, biological pistols, and many, many other amazing systems, leading many scientists to maintain that all possible configurations of creatures and plants have been actualized in nature. We have tried to compile a few example videos here . must see. All this diversity points to the infinite wisdom and ability of the Creator.
- Morality Testifies - we find that all human beings regardless of culture or era possess a common sense of morality which impels him or her to right conduct. This supports Judaism's view of ethical monotheism, namely, that the one G-d is the source of ethics, of morality. Morality is an objective code of right and wrong. It does not emanate from human opinion. Rather, it emanates from G-d and therefore transcends human opinion. see
this video for more. If you ask, what about the Nazis who freely murdered Jews? Answer: the Nazis agreed that murdering a German is evil. So even they knew that murdering a human being is evil. This is why they first debased the Jews to subhuman status with waves of lies and propanganda before they could implement their hateful plan. Likewise we find today the Arabs spread propaganda that Jews are descendants of monkeys and pigs so they can justify the murder of Jews.
(note that if a person or society corrupts themselves sufficiently they eventually lose their sense of morality in those things. On this the Talmud says (Kidushin 40a: "if a person repeats a sin several times, it becomes as permitted to him", i.e. he loses any sense of conscience on it due to changes in his soul. see chapter 1 of "the Gates of Holiness" by R.Chaim Vital for more)
- What Caused G-d? - This question is based on ignorance as to what eternal implies. The Manoach Halevavos commentary on the Shaar Yichud ch.5 :
That which a thing cannot make itself applies only to something created. But that which is Kadmon (eternal, without beginning) and infinite, behold, in truth, it did not make itself. This is the reason why the question of "how did G-d make Himself?" is not relevant.
i.e. only the non-eternal needs a cause. The next question is can the universe be eternal?
The Shaar Yichud discusses the conditions which disqualify something from being possibly eternal. ex. not composite, no boundaries, no "properties", ex. natural laws, not machine-like, etc.
For example, a video game has certain characters, each one having certain properties, abilities, or position on the screen, etc. These things must have been set by a computer programmer. They cannot just exist eternally, without beginning. So too anything with properties, boundaries, position, etc. cannot be eternal. If it has any of these things, then something else must have previously set/defined its properties, boundaries, etc. to be what they are. Hence, something must have existed previously and thus this thing cannot be eternal. For that which is eternal cannot have anything preceding it. see the Shaar Yichud here for more details.
- Beauty in Nature - there is great beauty in nature. Whether in a sunset, the star lit sky, the various plants and animals. The universe is a superb work of art. Compared to human-made works of art, nature wins hands down. All this points that there is a master Artist behind it all.
Likewise for the elegance and beauty of the laws of physics and their display of great order and rationality. Wouldn't an atheistic, essentially random universe appear mostly random? Furthermore, we find much of nature permeated by the golden ratio. This ratio is considered the most asthetically pleasing to the human eye. Wouldn't this indicate it was meant for us to behold?
- Harmony and Uniformity of the Universe - we find that everything follows one order. There is a uniform movement of the laws of physics. If there were more than one divinity we should see changes or conflicts in the natural laws. Sometimes this way, sometimes that way. Instead we find as Hawking said: "The overwhelming impression is one of order. The more we discover about the universe, the more we find that it is governed by rational laws".
Furthermore, we find the wisdom manifested in the formation of an elephant, despite its huge body, is no more wondrous than the wisdom manifested in the formation of a tiny ant. i.e. the nature of wisdom is the same everywhere, be it a blade of grass or an ant or an elephant or even an atom, it is all the same character of wisdom. namely divine, bottomless wisdom. It all points to a single Master over everything. The great scientist Sir Isaac Newton saw "a monotheistic G-d as the masterful Creator whose existence could not be denied in the face of the grandeur of all creation" . Though most modern scientists assert it is all an accident and no intelligence was involved, they are finding out the hard way just how ridiculously complex each and every thing truly is. G-d is giving them a run for their money, for even the "simplest" bacteria turns out to be an intense world of bewildering complexity. Likewise for the physicists trying to understand the "simple" atom. It too is an endlessly complex mathematical structure. After all, who can fully understand G-d's handiwork?
- Where does all this wisdom come from? Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most influential scientists of all time said of himself:
I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
This is how scientists used to be. In truth, all the various animals, beasts, birds, fish, insects, plants, etc. etc. are absolutely astonishing. Each one of them is an intense world that one can study years and years, and nevertheless know only a little bit of how it works. Despite all of our technology, we are only playing, toying with nature. Mixing this, joining that. Applying stem cells here or there. Likewise, we are only toying with the many natural laws which are placed before us. we play with the laws of motion, gravity, electromagnetism, optics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, etc. The wisdom manifested before us is literally infinite. It is unbelievable when one considers all that is happening seemingly on its own. Hence, even if one were not religious, provided he had some humility and intuitive knowledge, he would wonder always that there exists before him some kind of unbelievable, awe-inspiring wisdom - and we cannot fathom in any way the source of this wisdom. Nobody knows where this comes from. Except those few who know that it is all only a hint to us, a ladder to come to know Him 
Furthermore, today science is bringing scientists to a greater state of awe than even a Newton. This is because the classical model of science sought a systematic grasp of G-d's laws, whereas today, science leads us to realize that this is probably impossible. Indeed the contemporary scientist is revealing a new kind of knowledge: one that is so vast and awesome in its scope and implications, that it boggles our common, rational view of life and nature. Instead it leads us to a state of complete awe and wonder of the creation.
Albert Einstein believed in a transcendent source of the rationality of the world that he variously called "superior mind," "illimitable superior spirit," "superior reasoning force," and "mysterious force that moves the constellations." This is evident in several of his statements:
"Whoever has undergone the intense experience of successful advances in this domain [science] is moved by profound reverence for the rationality made manifest in existence...the grandeur of reason incarnate in existence.."
Though Einstein could not believe that this Power would be involved on our planet. But advances in microbiology and the cell have revealed a whole "universe within" in the workings of living things on our planet as can be seen here.
"Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality or intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order... This firm belief, a belief bound up with deep feeling, in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God..."
"Every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble..."
"My religiosity consists of a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."..
- Unity in Math - yet another area where we are discovering signs of unity is in the abstract world of mathematics. We find these weird inexplicable connections between seemingly totally unrelated things in math. For instance Euler's formula which relates 5 of math's very important numbers into one beautifully simple equation. Mathematicians still marvel at it; many considering it to be the most beautiful equation in mathematics. It's just too coincidental to be a coincidence. All this perfection and wisdom points that it is the work of an absolute Intelligence. See here interesting words by a school math teacher. Here is an excerpt:
I read a stat one time that said that a mathematician is 2.5 times more likely to believe in G-d than a biologist. No idea how legit that stat is at all but I can totally believe that. Math to me is like an exploration of creation. Of the Divine. It's all theoretical and abstract. You really spend your time thinking in this absolute truth mindset. You think a lot about infinity and complexities beyond your understanding. You get to practice trying to understanding something which you can never fully understand. To me math and G-d are so intertwined. G-d made math and in math I can learn about how G-d works. Every time you go a little deeper into the math it's like you get a tiny glimpse into His mind. And the more you learn, the more you realize there's so much more you'll never understand...
She ends off with a quote from Mike Roshko, a mathematician of the University of Alberta:
For me, it's amazing the way in which the seemingly different areas of mathematics fit together. When you begin studying advanced math, you tend to think of geometry, algebra, analysis and so on as separate entities, each beautiful and elegant on its own.
But as you go on, you realize that these different areas are connected in the most astonishing yet natural ways. You may discover that what you thought of as purely a part of geometry turns out to be an essential part of algebra. And what we're dealing with is not just something we've made up. It's a reality. It's there.
And it all intertwines and works so perfectly, so beautifully, that you realize that Somebody or Something must have done this. It simply could not have happened by chance. It's a kind of revelation, I guess. And it's very convincing." (see there for more)
- Physical Reality is Ghostlike - classical physics maintained that reality consists of objects whose behavior can be modeled by mathematical rules. But as we probe lower and lower approaching the atomic level, the objects becomes less and less real. Instead everything behaves more and more like an abstract mathematical statement rather than a tangible object. If you try to look at things as real objects, you will be trapped by contradictions.
Likewise, for the laws of physics that govern them. Gravity appeared simple at first. It just pulls things together. So it appears quite simple and machine like. "Something" is pulling things together. That's all. But as one probes deeper the laws of physics, here too it begins harder and harder to explain it in terms of machine-like, cause/effect phenomena. It seems more and more that there is some sort of "over-all Intelligence" keeping track of everything. For example, in quantum mechanics an unobserved photon exists in all possible states simultaneously, but when observed or measured, exhibits only one state. The act of observing it by a human fixes the physical reality.
At first, it was assumed that the act of measuring somehow interfered and contaminated the experiment, but more sophisticated experiments have shown conclusively that mere knowledge in the experimenter's mind is sufficient to affect the observed reality. Do the electrons or photons have some sort of ESP into the experimenter's mind or does this indicate that mind has a higher reality?
Another example, "entangled particles" such as electrons or photons remain connected so that actions performed on one electron affects the other electron, even when the two are separated by hundreds of miles or even more. The phenomenon so riled Albert Einstein he called it "spooky action at a distance." According to his theory of special relativity, this weird behavior was impossible since the particles "communicate" with each other faster than the speed of light or even instantly. Several studies have now confirmed that, no matter how far apart entangled particles are, how fast one particle is measured, or how many times particles are measured, their states become inextricably linked once they are measured by a human.
All this indicates that our physical world does not have any independent, objective existence. Rather, it is some sort of virtual reality produced by the mind of a Superbeing who is overseeing everything and keeping track of everything including what our minds perceive. All the strangeness and contradictions one encounters goes away once a person realizes this. Indeed, in the book Tanya Shaar Yichud v'Emuna ch. 7: "G-d's Thought and Knowledge of all created beings encompasses each and every creature, for this is its very life-force and that which grants it existence from absolute nothingness."
Great scientists have also expressed similar sentiments. Max Planck, founder of the quantum theory and one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century, said:
"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter".
Note that there is also a very practical reason for the odd rules of quantum mechanics. Among other things, electrons would collapse into protons thus destroying the universe. G-d does not want that to happen so He made these odd rules as part of the smooth functioning of nature. On this the famous physicist Richard Feynman wrote:
You know, of course, that atoms are made with positive protons in the nucleus and with (negative) electrons outside. You may ask: "If this electrical force is so terrific (powerful), why don't the protons and electrons just collapse into each other?" The answer has to do with the quantum effects. If we try to confine our electrons in a region that is very close to the protons, then according to the uncertainty principle they must have some mean square momentum which is larger the more we try to confine them. It is this motion, required by the laws of quantum mechanics, that keeps the electrical attraction from bringing the charges any closer together.
- Theory of Everything - while science struggles to explain the existence of the universe through narrow theories which only raise more questions than they answer, Judaism presents a unified theory of everything which answers all the questions. The fundamental reality is not the physical, not atoms, not subatomic particles, not energy - it is life. Life is the underlying reality. It is the underlying essence of everything, and it is what grants existence to physical matter and animates the bodies of all living creatures through infusing the available physical means. The reality is a reflection of life and the LIFE is the ONLY reality - there is nothing else. The ultimate reality is G-d, eternal life (whatever that means), and the source of all life. see here for details.
- Inexplicable behavior in Plants another interesting area which supports the above view of life is the inexplicable complexity of plants. Nagging research has provided mounting evidence that plants communicate and make complex intelligent decisions . See this report in the New Yorker (2013) titled "the Intelligent Plant". We also find highly intelligent behavior in creatures as small as single celled-Amoebas. They stalk their prey and make all sorts of complex decisions - despite not having any brain. Michael Denton in "Nature's Destiny" (ch.10) compares their level of intelligence displayed to that of cats. see his book for more or this article in nature.com). This indicates there is more to a living creature than meets the eye. There is some sort of non-physical component.
One can observe that there is a fundamental difference between a man-made machine and a living organism. Any kind of man-made machine functions in a "direct" manner, namely, one thing reacts which causes another thing to react, which causes another, etc. "motorically". For example, a mechanical clock has a battery or spring which causes one gear to turn, and that gear causes another gear to turn, etc. until eventually the hands of the clock turn. Similarly, a computer CPU has a voltage applied to a crystal oscillator which drives one circuit/transistor and that circuit/transistor drives another, etc. Every living thing, however, does not function like this. Rather it all runs simultaneously, together, everything interdependent as if some kind of invisible "force" is simultaneously animating and guiding all the available means to "life". rrrThis "force" is not physical. see here for more.
- Life Force many believe all living things contain within and around them a field of energy unseen to the naked eye. Much of Chinese medicine such as acupuncture is based on this. Some claim the field can be detected with special cameras (Kirlian photography) which detect the phenomenon of electrical coronal discharges. A leaf for example is permeated and surrounded by an aura or "flares" of this energy. Weirder still is that this energy persists even if a portion of the leaf is cut off. This is known as the phantom leaf effect. This has led some researchers to conclude that living things not only have a physical body made of atoms and molecules but also a counterpart body or life force (nefesh?) which they termed the Biological Plasma body. For example, Russian scientist Konstantin Korotkov claims to have photographed the soul leaving the body at death. In Israel, another Russian scientist decided to do some before and after tests of this aura when Jewish males donned Tefilin and claim to have found measurable differences. see this video (hebrew) or this article in english. This area is highly controversial but interesting nonetheless.
- Physics Testifies - a very general principle of physics is that entropy (disorder) will always increase with the elapse of time. This is known as the second law of thermodynamics. Chaos prevails over order. This is why all machines deteriorate over time. Mysteriously however, living things defy this law of physics. The continuous process of life produces greater and greater order on its own and steadily increases information (DNA). This phenomena occurs not only long term but also for individual organisms. For the building-up of living matter out of its non-living constituents also represents an increase in atomic and molecular order, i.e. a decrease in entropy. "We ourselves are configurations of ridiculously tiny entropy (i.e. ultra-high order)" (Penrose, Emperor's New Mind, ch.7). How can a single-cell go on its own and build complex structures for itself? How can a plant seed go and build branches and leaves on its own. The order in the molecular configuration appears to far exceed the original state of order, even with the sunlight and water. This process is not at all understood. Not even for the simplest bacteria. Does this not indicate that there is more to life than the physical? (more on this next point).
- Life is not a Machine - it is dawning on scientists that the DNA only provides the raw materials for living things. But the assembly of biological structures, etc. is done by something invisible. Many are convinced there are invisible higher order factors involved. Dr.Michael Denton, a world famous geneticist who is an agnostic recently gave an interview titled "the Coming Downfall of Mechanistic View in Cell Biology". There he says:
"the mechanistic explanation of cells has really broken down. When you look at the literature now, more and more. the bolt properties to explain higher structures of the cyto-architecture of cells, you've got to look at collectives, to the properties of collectives, and higher order things. You can't see it from below. So this is in fact the beginning of a long process. In mainstream science, it might take one or two decades. But certainly, you are seeing at the level of the cell, a breakdown of that great mechanistic, mechanical idea which has dominated science certainly in the last century, in the DNA age, the genetic age, where 'everything is in the genes sort of thing'. You are seeing in fact that everything isn't in the genes. Everything isn't in the molecules. Everything isn't in the bricks. The architecture of the house is somewhere else... The former is an active principle in nature which organizes matter into the form of a living thing... basically what it is, is there are causal factors in addition to what happens at the molecular level... But it is very difficult to think about this because when we think of a complex system, we think of a machine. To start thinking of something that's not a machine is a big paradigm shift and also it's not exactly clear where this is all going. But what's happening is the machine analogy I think is failing..." (from here)
we know from our sources where this is all going. see the earlier prediction from the Zohar.
Dr.Denton himself hints at this in an interview :
Something that everyone working in fundamental biological research can hardly fail to see is that things are getting more and more complicated every decade as our understanding increases. The endless complexification of biological systems with advancing knowledge was the subject of a recent article in Nature...
Many other brilliant minds echo similar sentiment or more such as Oxford professor Anthony Flew. Here is a quote from his book:
As far as where science is going in the future, I think that it's
going to be increasingly obvious as the scientific revelation rolls on
that you cannot account for life in the universe without proposing that
there's some intelligent order behind it. And I think this is going to
grow more obvious with each year as biological science advances. Already
biological systems are, as currently understood, complex almost beyond
conception - think of the millions of neuronal path finding cells
navigating through the ever changing biochemical matrix of the
developing brain and laying down the circuitry of the nervous system, or
the zoo of regulatory micro RNAs regulating gene expression, or the
complex, ever-changing 3D topologies of the genome during development.
Or consider the fine-tuning of nature to have living things here in
the universe and thriving on a planet like the earth. In this area the
criteria are becoming more and more stringent as knowledge advances
necessitating an ever-greater degree of fine-tuning of nature's laws
toward the end of life. I also see this ongoing revelation as one of the
great purposes of science in human history. So if you ask me where
science is going in the future I think it's essentially going to be
drawn towards some form of intelligent design to account for the world
we see around us. And I think that's perhaps the destiny of science, and
this was perhaps its destiny from its inception. It's perhaps a
somewhat extreme or radical view of the scientific adventure but I think
that's what it's about.
It's time for me to lay my cards on the table, to set out my own views and the reasons that support them. I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite Intelligence. I believe that this universe's intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science...
More words from Rabbi Yaakov Emden (200 years ago, quoted in Masoret Yisrael edition of Chovos Halevavos end of gate 10):
- Upright Man - no creature on earth has a body structure totally upright like man. Not only insects, fish, and land animals that walk on all fours, but even for birds who walk on two legs, their bodies are facing the ground and only their necks and head are lifted up*. The only creature ever found whose body structure is built to stand totally upright from foot to head is man. This comes to indicate and testify to man's lofty purpose, namely, as the Torah states - man was created to serve and minister unto G-d, his Maker and Creator; unlike the animals who were not created for this purpose. Therefore, their bodies bend toward the ground in subordination..(see Gesher HaChaim, Maharal, Avot 2:1) Likewise, the animals are always looking down to eat and eat. This is their life. But man is made to contemplate wisdom and grow spiritually. Therefore he walks upright like a watch tower to observe and contemplate the universe.
Man was also endowed with a beard to give him a majestic appearance, though this honor was also bestowed to the lion due to being the king of beasts (Meam Loez, Bereishis). (see Gesher HaChaim pt.3 ch.4 for 12 other differences between man and the animals.)
(Penguins have legs in a crouching position, not upright. As can be seen from their skeletons. The fat covers their legs to protect them from the cold. Also, their body shape is built primarily for swimming like seals as evidenced by their slow and clumsy walking on land.)
Modern scientific inquiry has also revealed that our position and orientation in the Milky Way galaxy is highly significant. For it allows us to peer out into space and observe galaxies beyond ours. If we were positioned closer to the center, this would have been impossible and we would have thought our galaxy is the entire universe. Scientists would have continued to maintain it never had a beginning and our knowledge of it would be highly limited. By peering out further we are able to study it and learn about it and deduce many things such as that it indeed had a beginning.
- Eye of the Universe - Although man's body is but a minuscule speck of dust in this vast universe, but nevertheless, his mind is bigger than it. For he can peer out into the sky and observe it's far reaches and even inquire higher above to its Creator (R.Saadya Gaon). see here for more.
- Universe Academy - the Midrash (Kohelet Rabba 7:13) states that the universe was created entirely for man's sake. When an expert craftsman wishes to build a masterpiece, he builds only one perfect device. But when he is trying to teach his disciple, he will build all sorts of different devices of various shapes and sizes in order to teach him. So too, the universe was created for teaching man. Everything in it contains a lesson or ethical teaching for man to draw, such as modesty by the cat (Eiruvin 100b, see there). On this concept, the "Perek Shira" was composed. For example, it says there: "The heavens say: 'the heavens recite the glory of G-d, and the skies tell of His handiwork' (Tehilim 19:2)". This means the heavens teach us on the glory, i.e. the infinite might of G-d. For He is the underlying Power moving these awesomely vast celestial objects (stars, galaxies, etc). This teaches on his infinite power so man will learn this aspect of his Maker. Another example there, "The Dogs are saying, 'Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before G-d our Maker'" For the dog, is always full of gratitude and submission towards its master. Thus man should draw a lesson regarding his Maker. (Sefer Ikarim 3:1). Likewise, the vast variety of creatures is for giving us many opportunities to tangibly recognize the wisdom and benevolence of the Creator (Shaarei Orah vol.1 shaar bechina). Dr.David Jeremiah (christian) said on this: "We are made to know G-d - to know about Him and to know Him personally"
- Only Free Will is in Man's Hands - in the book L'Avdecha b'Emet by Rabbi Dov Yaffe pg.26: "Rabbi Aharon Kotler ztl would say: "there is a simple proof that man was created to serve G-d. For, our eyes can see that the only thing in man's hands (at all times) is the opportunity to serve G-d. If man were created for worldly matters, how is it conceivable that the means to attain the things he was created for are not in his control?"
- Eerie Duality - there is an uncanny dual symmetry in the world. In the realm of particle physics, for example, all charged particles ever found have a corresponding anti-particle (ex. electron-positron, proton-antiproton, quarks, leptons, etc.) with all properties inverted. Even energy photons such as light consists of alternating electrical and magnetic fields which continuously invert each other. Likewise every "particle" itself (including light) exhibits a dual nature at the quantum level (particle/wave duality).
So too in animal life, we find virtually all creatures exhibit symmetry, most of which is mirror symmetry, namely, the creature can be divided into mirror image halves.
Another example is the Fibonacci sequence which is a series of numbers where each number (Fibonacci number) is the sum of the two preceding numbers. Its ubiquity and astounding functionality in nature suggests its importance as a fundamental characteristic of the Universe. This fact has intrigued mathematicians, artists, designers and scientists for centuries. It would take a whole book to present this properly. Do some research and see for yourself.
Other examples of duality are night and day, the moon and the sun (which amazingly appear to us the same size. even though the sun is 400x bigger, it is also 400x further away), male and female, body and soul, good and evil. Where does this duality come from? The Torah which is the blueprint of creation, starts with the second letter - Beit. The Midrash says G-d created the world with the Beit. This is its source. Amazingly, even the form of the Beit reflects duality. It consists of two parallel lines connected by a thin line.
According to the Vilna Gaon, the Beit contains the essence of creation. Namely, the top line represents heaven (the spiritual, the soul). While the bottom line represents earth (the physical, the body). The connecting line is man's purpose - to connect or bring down the spiritual into the physical. This he says is man's job in this world. (perhaps that tiny dot on the top left represents the singularity (Big Bang) from which the universe seems to have emerged). The duality of the Beit and the world also hints to the absolute Unity of G-d, for Unity always precedes plurality and as the Midrash writes that the top right protrusion of the Beit points backwards to the Aleph, the first letter which represent the One G-d.
- Signature of G-d - as is known G-d's primary Name is the four-letter Tetragramaton (the Eternal. see Shaarei kedusha part 4 Gate 3 - "everything is included in it"): . Interestingly, the number four appears frequently in the fabric of nature.
For example, there are four dimensions of space-time (space=3+time=1. Though string theorists say there are perhaps more extremely tiny dimensions, but for all practical purposes from a human perspective there are four). Likewise, Four fundamental forces in physics (gravitational, electromagnetical, strong nuclear, weak nuclear), four states of matter (solid, liquid, gas, plasma, some say energy instead of plasma), four main particles (protons, neutrons, electrons, photons. again from a human perspective, these are the particles we interact with. ex. a table or computer has protons, neutrons, and electrons and we see it through photons).
Likewise, everything is governed by the four fundamental mathematical operations +-x/. All known living things share a common base-4 DNA genetic code, and many other biochemical structures. Likewise geologically the earth has four seasons.
Dr. Michael Denton points out in his book "Nature's Destiny" several examples of the number four appearing throughout molecular biology. In page 192 he writes: "we have also seen that because of the natural twist in the DNA double helix, protein recognition motifs such as the alpha helix can only feel about 4 bases in the DNA double helix. It has often been said that G-d is a mathematician; on the evidence of molecular biology we might add that He is keen on the number four" end quote.
Likewise, in Kabala, there are four levels of soul, four worlds, four kingdoms - inanimate, plant, animal, and human, four windows in the face (eyes, ears, nose, mouth - see Etz Chaim, shaar panim v'achor 1 (which says explicitly that all these things correspond to the letters in G-d's Name), and many other examples (see the book Shaarei Kedusha for details). Is this all a coincidence?
- Existence of Evil - you'd think the more intelligent someone is, the more rational he is. But we can observe in our times how despite the vast, seemingly endless wisdom in cells and in the cosmos is being increasingly revealed, highly intelligent scientists continue to maintain with complete confidence that there is no intelligence behind nature. But is this really the sort of situation where a rational person should be confidently asserting that there was no intelligence involved? Is it not surprising when so many won't even allow for the obvious?! How can so many of these brilliant scientists assert with 100% confidence that there was no intelligence involved? Not to mention, that these scientists admit to their absolute failure to understand even the simplest known bacteria. Don't you think a little humility would be called for when you discover something so complex that you are unable to fully understand how it works despite intensely studying it for decades. On the contrary, the more you study it, the more you realize how much more there is to know? To quote Rabbi Pinchas Winston (Torah.org - Tazria 5763) - "The answer, of course, is Tuma (spiritual impurity). Tuma is like a veil over a person's mind's eye that blurs their perception of reality. They may view the world physically with 20-20 vision, but depending upon how deeply a person is immersed in Tuma, their intellectual take on the situation will be quite blurry and obscured."
- Magen David Snowflakes - probably the most striking example of natural artistry in the inanimate world is in the formation of snowflakes. Each snowflake is a miracle of beauty, a masterpiece of design and no one design seem to ever be repeated. Even more amazing is that if you look carefully under a microscope, many snowflakes show a hexagon pattern which frequently has a Magen David or an outline of it discernable in the middle. Do an image search for "real snowflakes" (not just "snowflakes") and see for yourself. Is this just a coincidence or were the various physical constants rigged to produce this effect? see also this video at 33 min.
The sign of the truth of these things are from two faithful, visible,
Rabbi Matityahu Solomon, the Mashgiach of the Lakewood Yeshiva in New Jersey also brings down a different version of Rabbi Emden's argument in his commentary to the Duties of the Heart, Gate 2 ch.5:
One, our situation and survival in this long exile, which the Creator
fulfilled His promise: "But despite all this, while they are in the
land of their enemies, I will not despise them nor will I reject them
to annihilate them, thereby breaking My covenant that is with them,
for I am the L-ord their G-d" (Lev. 26:44)...
Two, the matter of our land, because from the day we went out of it,
no nation was able to dwell in it, it was like a woman who's husband
went on a faraway trip, and she waits for him, and the verse "I will
make the Land desolate, so that it will become desolate [also] of your
enemies who live in it" (Lev. 26:32), tells us it is guarded for
us...all this are clear signs that our hope is not lost and G-d's love
has not left us, and on this eternal love is based Shir Hashirim, and
just like G-d loves us a strong love, "Torrents of water are not able
to extinguish the love" (Songs 8:7), so too it is our duty to
show our powerful and complete love, like "As water reflects a face
back to a face, so one's heart is reflected back to him by another"
We do not need to contemplate on the great miracles of the Exodus, in
order to examine and demonstrate G-d's goodness and infinite power.
For behold, we have a faithful witness which cannot be denied - our
survival during this exile among the nations. It is proper to quote
the holy words of Rabbi Yaakov Emden (sidur beit kel):
Comment: this amazing phenomena is especially manifest in our times as Rabbi Chaim Jachter (Rabbis.org) wrote in a paper:
"Who is so blind as to not see the divine providence below, that His
eyes are on them always. How could the denier of providence not be
ashamed and stand disgraced? He who examines our unique situation and
standing in the world. We the exiled nation, a dispersed sheep. After
all the troubles and shifts for two thousands years. No nation in the
world is as pursued as us. How great have been our troubles! How
powerful have been those who lifted their heads against us from our
earliest beginnings - to exterminate us, root us out, and eradicate
us, due to their intense hatred which stems from jealousy. They have
brought on us great sufferings but were never able to triumph over us,
to eliminate us and destroy us. All these ancient, powerful nations -
have gone by, their strength has withered, their protection has eroded
- but we who cling to G-d are all alive today (Deut. 4:4). We have not lost in this long, intense exile even a single letter or vowel of the
written Torah. The words of the Sages (oral law) endured. The hand of
time did not prevail over us, they were not able to prevail over us.
What will the sharp philosopher answer to this? Can the hand of chance
do all this? I swear by my soul, for when contemplating these things,
they are greater in my eyes than all the great open miracles G-d has
performed for our forefathers in Egypt, the Sinai Desert, and in the
land of Israel. The longer the exile, the
more the miracle is confirmed, and G-d's strength and power becomes
apparent. For the prophets already saw the exile's intensity,
complaining and moaning on its amazing protracted length before it
happened. Behold, none of their words fell to the ground (failed to
happen)..." End quote
(Rabbi Solomon continues) As Moshe Rabeinu told us from the outset that such and such as trouble would befall us, and thus it happened. Likewise, for all of our exile
- the prophets already predicted what will happen. For all the persecutions and pursuits that befell us, such as the holocaust, it is all spelled out in the verses of the Torah which speak on those times... Can we not see these things with our own eyes?! Behold, only
by examining and contemplating is it possible to see them. Without contemplating them, we remain totally blind.
Rav Yehuda Amital (Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion) often commented that some future historians will likely cast grave doubts on the authenticity of the story of a downtrodden people, who lost a third of its people within six years, who, three years later, managed to reestablish its homeland by winning a war fought on multiple fronts which at times even was won by throwing seltzer bottles from planes and firing fake cannons..
In particular, Israel's survival in its first two months of existence when it had
hardly any air force or armored corps and managed to survive and often emerge
victorious through the use of using seltzer bottles as bombs and ineffective
cannons which made a very loud noise such as the Davidka, was clearly an act
of G-d and eerily reminiscent of Shamgar ben Anat's victory using cattle prods (Joshua 3:31).
A view of the map of the nascent Jewish State in May 1948, reveals the terrible
vulnerability of our people and deepens one's appreciation for G-d's hand in our
surviving an attack from all sides.
Even mighty nations such as the ancient Assyrians, ancient Greeks and modern day Nazi Germany could not withstand an attack on two fronts. We, on the other hand, managed to survive a war fought on three fronts with hardly any weapons and a rag tag army that had just emerged from the underground on the day Israel declared independence. The only reasonable explanation of Israel's survival is the subtle hand of the one "Who peers behind the latticework".
If you ask, how can you say that billions of gentiles are wrong?
Answer: As Rabbi Daniel Mechanic says in an excellent video, "The Truth of Judaism - Conversations with Hollywood Stars":
It is true that there are hundreds of millions of people in the world who believe in their own religion, and many of them are brilliant and have PHDs in philosophy, and are much smarter than me. But number of believers are irrelevant to authenticating the veracity of a story. And here is the proof: the fact is that there are 1 billion Christians claiming that whoever does not believe that G-D said "Jesus is the greatest prophet of all time" is wrong, while 2 billion Moslems claim that whoever does not believe that G-D said "Mohammed is the greatest prophet of all time" is wrong. Since, the two claims cannot be true simultaneously, I just proved that billions of people can mistakenly believe a story took place, when it did not! So how do you know a story is true? Not by how many people BELIEVE the story took place, but rather how many people WITNESSED the story take place
Evidence of the Soul and Life after Death
Is there life after death? The clearest way to answer this is to die. Surely, if there is something beyond the grave, death is one way to find it. Fortunately, there are other ways to deduce this central question which every human being should ask himself.
- Reason Testifies - without an afterlife, there is no justice. We see often good people suffer, bad people have it easy. How is this possible if a just G-d is running it all? How can Hitler just leave existence after all he did with a small pill. The only way things can be just is if there is an afterlife where all accounting is balanced. see this audio by Rabbi Simcha Wasserman zt'l for more.
- Free Will - the brain is no more than a physical mass of biological matter, a sort of advanced biological computer which functions at whatever preset configuration/program is inside it. If so, where does its ability to exercise free will come from? The most advanced supercomputer can only execute instructions which were pre-programmed from the beginning. It never reveals its own independent ideas. Our brains are at the end of the day merely a mass of atoms which cannot go against the natural laws. It is important to realize that the universe is governed by natural laws which never change. These laws of physics act consistently in the same way always. This is why machines and computers are so reliable (and even in quantum mechanics, the probability distributions are always the same). If so, where does our sense of free will come from? Animals have will but they are compelled by their instincts. Man alone can rise above his base instincts and choose to override them. He has free will to choose between good and evil. This testifies on some non-physical component within him.
- Spiritual Longing - the physical brain should care only about physical things. By nature it should not search for spiritual meaning, truth, honor, justice and religion. These things are often the most powerful drives in a person. Animals, on the other hand, find complete satisfaction in physical things. Give a cow pasture and water and it will never complain or show signs of depression. But man's inner being is not satisfied with the physical. He seeks that which is beyond.
- Search for Truth - related to the previous, the Ramchal writes (Derech Tevunot Introduction): "the desire to know the truth is a natural matter for the intellectual soul within us, to the extent that one will not find a man of healthy intellect who will not strive and endeavor, according to his intellectual ability, to reveal truth in the matters which he finds himself engaged in, and to refute and drive away the falsehood therein..." End quote.
- Window to the Soul - when one looks into the eyes of another person, he is picking up vastly more information than he could possibly get simply from the surface of the face. There is some kind of interaction of consciousness occurring, a perception of another conscious being outside yourself only superficially represented in the face. What is it then that you are noticing when looking into the eyes of another person? This is the soul, the intangible, self-aware "personality" living in that body. You notice the soul through the medium of the eyes. It's an amazing thing. People can live a whole lifetime without realizing this. They are constantly noticing the souls of others without even realizing that this is what they are seeing. We tend to be so focused on the physical that we don't realize that what we are detecting is the spiritual. The face also reveals the spiritual state of the soul, i.e. whether the person in there is good or evil.
An animal's eyes, on the other hand, are lifeless in comparison. One doesn't detect much beyond the surface of its eyes. They are lifeless and dead in comparison for there is no higher order spiritual being wearing that body. Thus, our spiritual faculties do not detect anything much more than the physical creature.
- Empty Shell - we have a tradition that part of a person's soul leaves his body during deep sleep. Observe a person's face when he is deeply asleep. If you ask him to close his eyes, relax and pretend he is asleep. It will not be the same. In the former, the person appears like an empty shell of his usual self. Is this due to the facial muscles being more relaxed during sleep, or is there more to it than this?
- Mystery of Consciousness - Anthony Flew, a British philosopher, Oxford professor, and leading champion of atheism for more than fifty years who renounced atheism in 2004 and declared himself a believer in G-d explains this enigma well. Here is a short excerpt from his book: "There is a G-d" (available online here. just skip the stuff on christianity):
We are conscious, and conscious that we are conscious. No one can deny this without self-contradiction - although some persist in doing so... All our mental actions are accompanied by conscious states, states in which we are aware of what we are doing. In no way does functionalism explain or claim to explain the state of being conscious, of being aware, of knowing what we are thinking about (computers don't "know" what they are doing). Still less does it tell us who it is that is conscious, aware, and thinking...
Similarly, in the book "Sefer HaYashar" (5:18) by Rabeinu Tam: "we see that the soul has 'knowledge' (daat) to study everything in the world. It also has another higher form of knowledge (daat) - knowledge of knowledge. With this knowledge it is near to the Creator..."
Many misconceptions about the nature of thought arise from misconceptions about computers. But let's say we're dealing with a supercomputer like the Blue Gene, which does over two hundred trillion calculations per second. Our first mistake is to assume that Blue Gene is an "it" like a bacterium or a bumblebee. In the case of the bacterium or the bumblebee we're dealing with an agent, a center of action that is an organically unified whole, an organism. All its actions are driven by the goals of maintaining itself in existence and replicating. Blue Gene is a bundle of parts that jointly or severally perform functions "implanted" and directed by the creators of the collection.
Second, the bundle of parts does not know what "it" is doing when "it" performs a transaction. Supercomputer calculations and mainframe transactions performed in response to data and instructions are purely and simply a matter of electrical pulses, circuitry, and transistors. The same calculations and transactions performed by a human person, of course, involve the machinery of the brain, but they are performed by a center of consciousness who is conscious of what is going on, understands what is being done, and intentionally performs them. There is no awareness, understanding, meaning, intention, or person involved when the computer performs the same actions, even when the computer has multiple processors operating at superhuman speeds. The output of the computer has "meaning" for us (the weather forecast for tomorrow or your bank balance), but as far as the bundle of parts called the computer is concerned there are binary digits, 0's and 1's, that drive certain mechanical activities. To suggest that the computer "understands" what it is doing is like saying that a power line can meditate on the question of free will and determinism, or that the chemicals in a test tube can apply the principle of noncontradiction in solving a problem, or that a DVD player understands and enjoys the music it plays.
The problem becomes insoluble when you realize the nature of neurons. First of all, neurons show no resemblance to our conscious life. Second and more important, their physical properties do not in any way give reason to believe that they can or will produce consciousness. Consciousness is correlated with certain regions of the brain, but when the same systems of neurons are present in the brain stem there is no "production" of consciousness. As a matter of fact, as physicist Gerald Schroeder points out, there is no essential difference in the ultimate physical constituents of a heap of sand and the brain of an Einstein. Only blind and baseless faith in matter lies behind the claim that certain bits of matter can suddenly "create" a new reality that bears no resemblance to matter....
Although the new atheists have failed to come to grips with either the nature or the source of life, consciousness, thought, and the self, the answer to the question of the origin of the supraphysical seems obvious: the supraphysical can only originate in a supraphysical source. Life, consciousness, mind, and the self can only come from a Source that is living, conscious, and thinking. If we are centers of consciousness and thought who are able to know and love and intend and execute, I cannot see how such centers could come to be from something that is itself incapable of all these activities. Although simple physical processes could create complex physical phenomena, we are not concerned here with the relation of simple and complex, but with the origin of "centers." It's simply inconceivable that any material matrix or field can generate agents who think and act. Matter cannot produce conceptions and perceptions. A force field does not plan or think. So at the level of reason and everyday experience, we become immediately aware that the world of living, conscious, thinking beings has to originate in a living Source, a Mind. (Anthony Flew, There is a G-d, appendix A) end quote.
- Morality - In the spiritual realm things similar are close together. Thus when one acts morally, he draws closer to G-d and when he acts the opposite he distances from G-d (See Ramchal's Maamar HaIkarim). This is something one can tangibly feel. Do a good deed and you will feel this spiritual light shining on your inner being. Do an evil deed, and you will feel a disturbing darkness and unhappiness. True it is not physically tangible but one can manifestly detect it with one's spiritual faculties, namely, the higher soul. This is why animals do not have a sense of morality. The lion can eat his prey alive and not feel any sort of remorse or pity. For it has no higher soul to feel good and evil and cannot draw nearer or further away from G-d through his deeds like a human. If one corrupts himself to a great extent, he can sever this connection and is left like an animal or worse - he actually enjoys cruelty and evil.
- Inner Struggle - we have a tradition that as a person comes of age (13 for boys), the "good inclination" begins to enter him. From then on, he will feel an incessant struggle within himself between two selves or two natures or two wills with two different viewpoints and aspirations - the selfish animal who aspires to material, self-centered gain versus the spiritual soul who aspires to good, truth, and G-dliness. The mussar sages call this "the most difficult, incessant war". Most people can feel this inner struggle within themselves to varying degrees if they pay attention. (see Gesher HaChaim part 3 ch.4).
- Wisdom of Elders - as a person ages, his body becomes weaker and weaker. His strength wanes and his organs weaken. But this is not so for the minds of great torah sages. On the contrary, the older they get, the wiser they become. This indicates that wisdom is not entirely from the body (from Kuzari ch.7, see also Talmud Shabbat 122a). (for example, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt'l reached the age of 102 and was of extremely weak body. But his vast Torah wisdom and reasoning power only increased more and more over time and he was the address for the most complicated, most difficult Halachic rulings in the world.)
- Near Death Experiences - many people report seeing themselves and their surroundings while they are clinically dead. For example, the Lancet Journal, one of the world's oldest and best known general medical journals, published a scientific study in 2001 of the phenomenon documenting several verifiable cases and concluded "Our results show that medical factors cannot account
for occurrence of NDE". see the original here with a few examples of verified, true out of body experiences. see also this Shmuz by Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier.
Recently, a large scale highly scientific study by NYU concluded consciousness indeed persists after the threshold of death. see this CBS video for details (female interviewer).
- Clairvoyance - some rare people possess certain powers of clairvoyance. I realize most people have not been exposed to this and will be skeptical. But I can testify from my own experience that it is real. Rabbi Yaakov Hillel is considered the expert on the subject in the Jewish world. He wrote a book against dabbling in such things called "Faith and Folly". Nevertheless, even he concedes that such things do exist and are real. Here is an excerpt of his words from an audio lecture which he gave on the topic: (at 46:01)
"sometimes some of these people seem to have some sort of power of intuition. they can be quite prophetic. impressively. they can know hidden things. sometimes I've checked it out and I found out they have well organized system of obtaining information (i.e. they are charlatans) ... but others really have this type of power... (skipping to 51:18) we should not be impressed when we see someone who knows hidden things...there are these types of things. It exists. but that's not what impresses us."
Likewise, the Ramban commentary on the torah regarding the "false prophet" (Devarim 13:2) writes: "it seems the verse hints at what does in truth occur. For in the souls of some people is a prophetic power, whereby they sometimes know future events. These people do not know from where this comes..." (see there. I have personally met such people. Many of them wind up in Jerusalem.)
- Seances - this is popular among young secular Israelis (it is forbidden by the Torah (Lev.19:31) and can also be very dangerous). Granted some are hoaxes but there are far too many first hand accounts out there to just dismiss it. I have personally heard from reliable sources that it is sometimes real. Here is a video of a Seance by a novice Israeli group that got more than they expected. I realize many will reject this, but for those who have had been exposed first hand to communication with the dead and know that it is sometimes quite real, I ask you to consider the following story. Eran Benezra, a formerly secular Israeli lawyer relates in his book Hochachot (vol.2 pg.216):
When I was in the army, I served in a small base. Sometimes we were on night guard duty in pairs. One time, after I had already become religious, I was with Yisrael, the "heretic" of the group, who boasted to all that he was an atheist and could do whatever he wished. I was studying a Torah book when Yisrael asked me if we could speak to pass the time. I asked him what he would like to speak about. He asked me if I truly believed in all this (Torah). "certainly, I believe, but even you Yisrael believe". He told me: "what are you talking about? it's all foolishness. I don't believe any of it."
I asked him if he believes in Seances. He thought for a moment and then answered affirmatively. "why do you believe in that?" I asked him. He answered that he once attended a seance and is certain that it is true. "maybe they tricked you". I asked him. "why are you certain it is true?"
Yisrael told me that when he was studying in college, a good friend of his died in a car accident. After the accident, the fellows made a seance to try to contact him. They succeeded. Yisrael told how at first he thought it was fake, some kind of trick, but he then asked him questions that he alone could know the answers to, and related to him experiences only the two of them knew about. Hence, currently he is certain it is true.
I asked whether in the seance he contacted his body or his soul. Yisrael did not know. I asked him whether he saw or heard him. Yisrael said no. But the glass moved on the board with letters and numbers (ouija board). Thus they communicated with him. I told him that if he did not see a body it indicates he contacted the spirit (soul). I asked him if he now believes in life after death and that man has a soul. He answered yes. I asked him: "where does the soul come from? from monkeys?! Have you ever tried to bring up a monkey in a seance? That is not possible because the monkey has no soul (only a nefesh-life force), and no life after death. But man has a soul. How can you explain through random Darwinian evolution the existence of the soul?" Yisrael asked me where the soul comes from. I answered "from G-d. He created the body and the soul." I asked, "do you now believe in G-d?" Yisrael answered: "Yes".
Final Words (by Rabbi David Mescheloff)
Our belief in the truth of the Torah has, as one foundation, our belief in G-d. That belief has two aspects: a - G-d is transcendental (expressed in the Torah by G-d's tetragrammaton), which means there is nothing in this universe, including the entire universe itself, that is G-d. G-d is not measurable "in" dimensions of space-time-matter-energy. This is not too difficult to prove, beginning with the notion that we are speaking of G-d Who is not limited or restricted by anything. In recent years, the conviction, supported by measurements (cosmic background radiation), that space-time-matter-energy may have come into being in "the Big Bang", supports the notion that "there is something else, other than our space-time-matter-energy universe". So I take that as proven in several ways...
I must be brief. The proof of the truth of the Torah lies in the vitality of the Oral Torah which accompanied it ab initio, and which has kept the Torah meaningfully alive for thousands of years, to this very day. It is not primitive, it is not superstitious, it is not out of date. Many hundreds of thousands (or several millions) of Jews live it daily, experiencing through its commandments the presence of G-d in our lives, both as individuals and as a people, infusing our material lives in this space-time-matter-energy universe with a deeply spiritual meaning that is difficult to convey to others who just think about it or read about it or relate to it as if it belonged in a museum. It is an intensively lived life, intellectually, sensuously, spiritually - with many daily vicissitudes and challenges, not all of which we meet to our own satisfactions, because we are human beings, not gods and not angels. But as human beings we experience the truth of Torah by living it, and by seeing what it has done to our people over the course of several thousand years, and what it is able to do and does today. G-d's presence is unmistakable, especially in the Land of Israel and the State of Israel. And this is just the beginning! 
We end off with some words from the Torah Sages (Gesher HaChaim pt.3 ch.2):
Every good deed, every good word, every good thought - refines a person's makeup and purifies his soul. It lightens and also delights the religious service on him. And every bad deed, word, or thought - darkens and coarses the soul; it burdens and makes hateful to him the service of G-d until he no longer senses the spiritual nor matters of holiness and nobility. He becomes entrenched in physicality - just like the instinctive and selfish animals. This is what our Sages said "the evil inclination is at first thin as a strand of spider silk, and eventually strengthens like the thick ropes of the wagons" (Suka 22a)... (ch.5) Another general principle. Just like everything G-d created never returns to nothing, and just like man cannot create something from nothing, so too man cannot make something into nothing. Nothing is ever lost... greater still from the torah, even the things physically intangible also never cease to exist. Nothing is ever lost from the world, not even a breath, or a single word uttered by a human being, or a cry - each and every thing has a place and abode (Zohar Mishpatim 100)...
i.e. do what you can. Know that nothing is ever lost. G-d bless.
special thanks to Eran Benzera
- Awake My Glory by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
- the Universe Testifies by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
- Nature's Destiny by Michael Denton (agnostic. for science people)
A Few More Quotes from Scientists
Many scientists who have delved deeply into the divine wisdom cannot help but experience a religious feeling. Here are some quotes.
"This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being" – Sir Isaac Newton - "General Scholium", in Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
"Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble." – Albert Einstein
"The scientist's religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is utterly insignificant reflection" – Albert Einstein
"The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books - a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects." – Albert Einstein
"Would you not say to yourself, 'Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.'" – Fred Hoyle - Astrophysicist
"The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural 'constants' were off even slightly. You see," Davies adds, "even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life-almost contrived-you might say a 'put-up job'." – Paul Davies - Professor of Theoretical Physics
"A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of G-d is made larger with every discovery we make about the world" – Joseph H. Taylor, Jr. Nobel Prize in Physics
"It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to G-d than religion. People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview." – Physicist Paul Davies
"I think that the most impressive arguments for G-d's existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries. I've never been much impressed by the Kalam cosmological argument, and I don't think it has gotten any stronger recently. However, I think the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it... Absolutely. It seems to me that Richard Dawkins constantly overlooks the fact that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design." – Anthony Flew - Oxford professor, and leading champion of atheism for more than fifty years who renounced atheism in 2004
"As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming." – Physicist Freeman Dyson
"Astronomers who do not draw theistic or deistic conclusions are becoming rare, and even the few dissenters hint that the tide is against them." – Astrophysicist Hugh Ross
"Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover.... That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact." – Robert Jastrow, Astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies
"As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency-or, rather, Agency-must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it G-d who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?" – George Greenstein - The Symbiotic, Universe: Life and Mind in the Cosmos pg.26-27
thanks for reading. to contact the author: