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Jewish Thinking

Proof That The Torah Has Never Been Falsified And Never Will Be

Published on Sunday May 26th, 2019

Is the Torah true?

Is there a way to be sure?

How can one understand that an entire people may submit to it in such an absolute manner and that its members sometimes do so at the expense of their lives?

Where do this strength and this conviction – engraved, against all odds, in the hearts of our brothers throughout generations – come from?

Especially since the Torah itself asks us to sacrifice ourselves for it.

Therefore, it is essential for us to understand where this absolute certainty comes from.

Had we asked this Jew led to the gallows by the henchmen of the clergy in front of the whole village for the abominable crime of wanting to remain Jewish at all costs, even at the precious price of his life: why do you stubbornly stay loyal to your faith? See where it leads you!

Tell me, what kind of argument can be worth sacrificing your life?

His answer, as was one of millions of Jews in the past, would be simple: my father told me that his father’s father saw G.d with his own eyes!

A testimony that passes from father to son, generation after generation, namely: transmission.

This is also the reason that the Torah evokes to justify the faithfulness that we owe it. Thus, the verse states: “Remember the days of old, understand the years of generation after generation. Ask your father, and he will relate it to you, your elders and they will tell you.” (Deuteronomy 32.7)

But how do we know that this transmission is reliable?

Who says that everything was not invented by my father’s father? Moses may have been a brilliant orator who convinced my great-grandfather and a handful of men, thus founding the Jewish people and its history from scratch.

How can we be sure that the first link in the chain was not a fake-news victim?

No chance for counterfeiting

The Torah contains in itself a security mechanism testifying for its veracity, making its falsification impossible.

Indeed, it declares that it was given by G.d Himself to a people of more than five million people (Chofetz Chaim).

Here we have the eyewitness testimony of an entire nation.

If the courts – at all times – have convicted a person upon the statements of two witnesses, sometimes just one, ranging from light sentences to death, it is because it is taken for granted in the universal consensus that, after rigorous checking, the validity of a testimony serves as an undeniable truth.

The Torah states that 600,000 men aged from twenty to sixty were present at the time of the divine revelation at Mount Sinai: “The Children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot, the men, aside from the children.”(Exodus 12.37)

Also: “A beka for every head, a half-shekel in the shekel of the Sanctuary for everyone who passed the counters, from twenty years of age and up, for the six hundred three thousand, five hundred fifty” (Exodus 38.26)

If we take into account the wives, the children, the under-twenties, the over-sixties, and the Egyptians who joined the Hebrew people during the exodus from Egypt (the “Erev Rav” in the text), at least 3.5 million people witnessed the event reported by the Torah (our sages speak of five million people – Chofetz Chaim).

Another very important parameter is worth considering.

The Torah uses throughout the text the second person singular or the second person plural – “you saw,” “before your eyes”…

Let us give a few examples: “Never again has there arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom Hashem had known face to face, for all the signs and wonders that Hashem sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his slaves and all his land, and for all the strong hand and for all the great awesomeness that Moses performed before the eyes of all Israel.”(Deuteronomy 34:12)

“And Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.” (Exodus 14.30)

“Hashem placed signs and wonders, great and harmful, against Egypt, against Pharaoh, and against his entire household, before our eyes.”(Deuteronomy 6.22)

“The great tests that your eyes saw, and the signs, the wonders, the strong hand and the outstretched arm with which Hashem, your G.d took you out – so shall Hashem, your G.d, do to all the peoples before whom you fear.” (Deuteronomy 7.19)

And hundreds of other similar verses can be found.

If Moses was a forger, how could he have convinced so many people that they had lived something they had not lived, seen and done what they had not?

All the more as many of the Torah’s commandments are commemorations of events experienced by the children of Israel: the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb – in remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt, Shabbat – in memory of the Creation of the world, Shavuot – celebrating the Giving of the Torah, etc. How could they have commemorated things they had not experienced?!

Moreover, we are talking here about a long time in the desert – 40 years… “And in the wilderness, as you have seen, that Hashem, your G.d, carried you…” (Deuteronomy 1.31)

The text that Moses gives them excludes any invention on his part – the text states that millions of them saw.

If they had not been millions, how could they believe this man who claimed they were millions? Similarly, if they had not seen (by themselves), how possibly make them believe that they saw for real? That does not make sense.

The only solution for the deception to work would have consisted in the forger saying he was not Moses but an anonymous person not mentioned in the text (for otherwise, where would be all the people supposed to be present?), and declaring that the Torah was given at a date differing from the one it itself states it was given; thus, he could have invented that the whole people was indeed present (as it is recounted in the text), but that the whole people forgot it and that he now came to restore it.

He would then come to convince my great-grandfather and a handful of men to submit to it.

Here too, the Torah is armed with a security mechanism ensuring its inviolability, as the verse says explicitly: “This song shall speak up before it as a witness, for it shall not be forgotten from the mouth of his its offspring...” (Deuteronomy 31.21), like many other verses.

Moreover, how would the whole people have forgotten the very explicit warning: “Only beware for yourself and greatly beware for your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have beheld and lest you remove [them] from your heart all the days of your life, and make them known to your children and your children’s children.” (Deuteronomy 4.9)

Therefore the Torah can not have been transmitted at another date and in different conditions than what it states. The generational continuity attested by the text prevents the possibility of a reported testimony. Five million people happened to be the eyewitnesses of an event that they themselves experienced, conferring to it the status of historical truth.

Which implies that it was truly transmitted to all the people of Israel by the Creator of the world Himself.

That is why the Torah enjoins us to believe in it unconditionally.

Thus, we too, as Jews of the 21st century, have the opportunity to strengthen our faith through sound and rational reflection so as to be convinced of the truthfulness of our Holy Torah.

Chalom GUENOUN - © Torah-Box

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