Why Religious Jews Should Be the Smartest People in the World
By Rabbi David Weissman
Why should religious Jews be the smartest people in the world? The answer is because they have the answers to the greatest questions that face mankind. (I hope they realize this!)
How do we know there is a G-d? How do we know the Torah is true?
Although to every believing Jew, the answer to these questions is that he has a tradition handed down from his forefathers, we will attempt to provide logical arguments. These arguments are so strong that they are quite beyond reasonable dispute.
These arguments are rooted in the most fundamental of questions – questions most people are afraid to ask, but yet, must be asked if humanity is not to remain lost and adrift. They are as follows:
Why does anything exist? Existence is not essential, in fact, the opposite is true.
Why does the universe run in accordance with an extremely organized set of rules for governing the way it functions?
Why do we see such a close interrelationship between all that exists in the universe? Why do all things seem to be governed by the same rules (like physics) and things seem to complement each other (for example nature’s eco-systems here on earth)?
It appears that the more humanity makes discoveries the more we realize that the mystery goes endlessly deeper. Why is that the case?
How is it that man can comprehend the intelligence that orders how the universe operates? In other words, what a wonder it is that the human intellect is sufficiently similar to the intellect underlying the universe to allow mankind to understand it. Why is that so?
There is only one logical answer to the above questions: There is one Supra-Existence (beyond being as we know it) with supreme intelligence that brought everything into being, and continues to do so. He set the rules by which all the universe runs and continues to will it to be so continuously. He is infinite and his wisdom is infinite. He created man with the intellect that, in some minute way, mimics his own.
Now, is it logical that this Supreme Intellect brought everything into being for no reason?
Although it is possible that the objective of this above-existence Being is beyond our ability to comprehend, would He create a thinking creature with the ability, and the deep desire, to know why it was created without providing this creature (mankind) with an answer?
Based on the way that this Supreme intelligence has ordered the natural universe, is it possible that He set down no order in the moral universe?
Would this Supreme Being and Supreme Intelligence not communicate His will and instruction for life to the being to whom he gave the ability to ask “how should I live” and to whom He gave the ability to choose its conduct?
Could it be that this Supreme intelligence left man to be led by his conscience alone, which is often contradictory and shifts based upon human needs and popular ideas of the day?
The only logical answer is that this Supreme Being communicated His will to man through what is called “prophecy” and the giving of the Torah.
Now, this Supreme Being must have a plan for mankind and the universe. Would He allow the result of this plan to be solely dependent on the man or would he place an agent in the world of man that would lead creation toward the objective that G-d willed for it, like it or not?
Of course, He would guide his creation, and particularly humanity, towards the objective that He willed for it. Furthermore, He would have an agent compelled to move things in that direction. That agent is the People of Israel, the Jewish People, and the plan primarily comes about through their actions (voluntary aspect) and their history (involuntary aspect). The nations of the world also play a role by the way they keep the Noahide Laws and interact with the Jewish People. This providential motion in history will eventually lead to the moral maturity of man and the messianic age.
Now you know the facts! Let’s get to work studying Torah, strengthening Judaism in all aspects, and making the world a dwelling place for G-d!
(The above is based on the writings of Dr. Abraham Livni found in his important work, “The Return of Israel and the Hope of the World”.)