Is the Torah on Trial

It often amazes me that in the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, that quoting from our holy Torah can bring with it claims of racism. Many have lost their potential appointments to important positions by committing the “crime” of quoting from the Five Books of Moses. On numerous occasions, Knesset members were removed from the podium for reading direct quotations from Maimonides and his Mishne Torah. This is a very strange phenomenon when we are known as the “people of the book.” It is likely that the primary miracle of Jewish survival during an Exile that has lasted nearly two thousand years, was because of our study and strict adherence to the Torah given on Mount Sinai, as was transmitted by Moses our Teacher. Until modern times, the perfection and sanctity of the Torah was never brought into question. It was understood that this was the only book that was written directly by G-d Himself. It was accepted by way of a covenant that this book applied for all generations. It was impossible for it to grow outdated. Every father and grandfather in every generation took the utmost care to give over meticulously the details as to how to live by the Torah’s teachings. The ability to challenge the validity of the Torah’s teachings has to come from either a great deal of ignorance or unbelievable arrogance. The ignorance might be able to be comprehended on one level. There are many Jews who have never studied or were never really exposed to its teachings. There was a recent study in America that showed an extremely high number of people who did not even know the contents of the Ten Commandments. The very idea that any individual who serves as a judge in Israel on any level and is not well versed in just the basic teachings of the legal system of traditional Judaism and Jewish Law, is unacceptable. If there is such ignorance, it may begin with the assumption that there is no validity to that system. This is where the arrogance comes in. For anyone to casually brush off the teachings of the Torah and the great scholars that existed in every generation, screams out arrogance to the highest degree. Is it possible to say that one’s own value system and determination of right and wrong is more compassionate and more just than that which we received on Mount Sinai? It’s as if this individual is saying to G-d, “You did an admirable job when we heard You speak the first two of the Ten Commandments on Sinai. The book You wrote served us well for a time but, unfortunately, Your book is no longer applicable to today’s modern technological world. But don”t worry, G-d, we’ve come up with our own system that we think works much better than what You gave us.” In essence, this is what is happening today. Often people who are believers in the Torah’s teachings, are accused of not being able to think for themselves. Those who believe that the world was created in six days, are given the title of “creationists”, as if there is something wrong with them for believing in the written word. The reality is that it’s time to accept that the alternative that has been presented, has failed miserably. The degradation of morality continues to decline. Recently MTV carried a segment urging young people to examine if perhaps they need to change genders. Already the Target Department Stores have decided to allocate thirty million dollars to create transgender bathrooms! The “it makes me feel good” philosophy, or so called tolerance of all types of deviant behavior, is not making the world a better place. People are more depressed and more unhappy. It’s time we stop putting the Torah on trial, and go back to living by its truth. The Torah has served us well for the past 3300 years. The irony is that we would not have a State of Israel without it and yet, so many reject it. As we say in our prayers when we place the Torah to the ark, “It’s ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace. Bring us back Hashem to You, and we will return. Renew our days as of old.”