Mass Revelation at Sinai

An argument for the truth of Judaism.

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Revelation Implies Responsibility

Now we have another issue to negotiate: responsibility. If the Torah has no divine imprint, then I, as a Jew, have no metaphysical responsibility to perform its laws. Why should I? If the Torah, however, was given by God to the Jewish people, then I as a Jew am responsible to uphold its laws and precepts as I am best able. If God gave it to us, it must be true.

Interestingly, for thousands of years it was accepted in every biblical religion and culture that God, indeed, gave the Torah to the Jewish people. It is only in the last several hundred years that people began claiming that the Torah was really written by humans.

For many Jews, this has directly impacted the sense of what responsibility to God's commandments means and entails, and unfortunately, for these Jews, mitzvah observance has taken on much less significance because the commandments are not seen as deriving from a God-given Torah.

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Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff

Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff is the educational director of the Jewish Enrichment Center and Birthright Israel Next - New York, where he teaches, counsels, and leads strips to Israel for Birthright Israel Alumni. He is also on the faculty of Stern College for Women.