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  • Basics of Jewish Faith

Basics of faith

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Rabbi Chaim Tabasky

18 Tammuz 5767
Question
From what i understand people usually send you questions to this e mail But i have some thoughts, and i would like to hear what you have to say about them. Let me start by saying that i feel myself as a part of the Jewish people And as an Israeli, and I’m proud at it. I believe in god - but i don’t think it will qualify for the traditional Jewish conception of god I believe that god or a higher being or cosmic force or some kind of pre-historic (yet) unexplained kind of energy or any Other discripsion is what we ALL evolved from - and hence - god is within us all. When i look at nature at its beauty - its the revelation of god to me. I am a man of science - and physics describes how nature behaves but it doesn’t explain why it acts this way and not differently... I believe that god is there - in the equations - in the beauty and simplicity of things. I believe that the bible and the "Tora" is a fascinating work of literature and an history book - and as such - was written by humans by flesh and blood - people just like you and me. It is a form of early times law book and it gave the early society the structure for maintaining order and discipline. It has within it allot of great moral tales and folklore - but it is nothing more and it - in most part - unrelevent to today’s society. Today we have democracy and courts and government and other kinds of structures for order in the society, I believe that men by nature are good - and if given proper - morals and discipline in their up-bringing - They won’t need "mitzvot" and the bible as a guide - because - we all know how to tell right from wrong And we should not steal - not because its says so - but because it’s not moral. I believe that my god wont judge me by my "mitzvot" - but rather than by who i am and the action I’ve taken in my life. Do you really think god cares of you eat your stake and then order some milk ice-cream as desert? Further-more i don’t know if an after life exsist or not - but i tend to think its no different from being in a coma or a deep state of sleep Or just unconsciousness (just like it was before we were all born...) There are too many unanswered questions in the bible and present day rabbi’s answers to them seem like A desperate attempt to keep - what was once - a system of control - alive. I think that a man should be good to others and to himself - and everything else will fall into place. Faith is a wonderful thing but unfortunately religion just makes the world a much more complicated and dangerous place for as all. Can you un doubtebly prove me wrong? How can you be sure that what I’m saying isn’t true? I don’t mean in any way to offend anyone - it’s just my point of view.
Answer
I enjoyed your letter very much. Although we disagree on many basic points, you set forth a wide variety of issues and beliefs which call for discussion on an individual basis. I believe that the key to Jewish living and thinking is the clear knowledge that I live in the presence of G-d. One who does not have a clear sense of that reality will have great difficulty appreciating any aspect of Torah thought or practice. This knowledge is not imparted by arguementation. I cannot convince you to believe. I am able to make many aspects of Torah seem reasonable or logical, but the faith in a living G-d who is cognizant of my actions and cares about them depends to a great extent on personal sensitivities and inclinations. If the G-d of our fathers is absent, even if there is a belief in some cosmic force, Torah is incomprehensable. You ask "How can you be sure?" Although I could ask you the same, the answer in both direction comes not from rational analysis but from inner conviction. I believe that any Jew (or any person) who desires to be aware of G-d's presence will find Him in nature and in Torah. I bless you that you should both attempt to realize G-d's presence in your life, and that you should acheive this knowledge with happiness and health.
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