The Answer to One of Worlds Oldest Questions


I would like to outline the reasons I feel strongly that the Torah is the as vital and important today as it was at the time it was given on Mt. Sinai. But first I must answer the question that has been bothering the non-Jewish world for eons. That is “Why would G-d choose a small part of the human race to reveal himself to, and call them his treasure among peoples ?” Intuitively, a large number of people rebel against this idea since it sounds not only absurdly parochial and biased (especially in todays egalitarian world), but it seems illogical for its own sake. Why not let the entire human race benefit from divine enlightenment, especially if it is that important to G-d himself  and the greater good ? Furthermore, if the counter-intuitive were true, would we not see a clear difference in the behavior of  these chosen people which would distinguish them from all others  Then at least there would seem to be some justification.


The answer is really quite simple, but I believe there is no doubt that it is unchallengeable, as amazing as such a claim may seem. Ok, Ready ? Here's the answer in three and a half words exactly. IT WOULDN'T WORK !!! Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling himself and denying the historical evidence to the contrary. To believe that this would work, you have to ignore several of the most proven points in human history;


 1)It is the most dangerous thing in the world to tell a person or group of people that they are superior to all others or they are right and everyone else is wrong. I have little or no doubt that this is at the heart of why so many people loath the idea of “organized religion”. There are just too many people merely waiting to hear that they are the purpose of creation. They will in short order leverage this to plunder, enslave or just plain murder their fellow man all with divine blessing in hand, not to mention the comfort of a clear conscience.  Do I need to provide the actual historical examples ? Whether we like it or not human nature and its attendant society is statistical. There will always be a handy supply of people ready to act out these roles. Here we are talking about a snowballing revelation. That is, even if the divine truth is revealed to one or a small group of people with the open ended mission to spread the word to all other people (which is what usually happens) the end is always the same. People crowd into the once exclusive club until it turns into a mass movement with its own self-serving dynamic.


 2)This will lead to the next stage; Assuming everyone available is converted to the true faith, the leaders and would-be leaders will step up to claim their share of the power structure or deny the veracity of the original leaders out of jealousy, hatred, anger  or the perception that they are not getting their fair share, thereby leading to a second slaughter, and splintering the unity of the project.


 3)The entire doctrine which motivated the original movement will probably sooner than later morph into something quite different than was originally intended. It is the old failsafe policy that the means and the ends get perverted from their original roles. Need an example on a somewhat more innocent level ?  The government creates a new branch of human welfare services with the ends being “help raise the standard of living of the poor of society”. It won't be long before that organization starts seeing its continued existence as its main mission with distribution to the poor being the excuse for that existence. Meanwhile the poor themselves and those aspiring to be poor will become ingenious in how to game the system.


I am not saying anything new that the average person may not be aware of at least subliminally. But most people are in a state of denial and will either not admit this to themselves or they continually hope against hope that somehow, someway this will change for the better. All it takes is a new election or the adaption of some program which has failed everywhere else it was tried.  Politics always spins around this axis, which is why we are so wary of it. This does not mean there is never a good man in government or religion, but rather it is a vain hope that somehow given enough time and experience things will somehow work out. The sad truth of the matter is that in the world as it actually works now there is but one immutable rule. “ALL HUMAN BASED SYSTEMS FAIL”. Why ? Not only because humans too often do not perceive the underlying consequences of the system they have devised, but just as unfortunate,  they will never consistently put effective policy (or the common good) above their own interests. They may fail quickly or they may hang around for a considerable amount of time before succumbing to the inevitable, but fail they must. This leads to a profound religious truth. The idea of the coming of the messiah in the Jewish religion is not just some fantasy born out of despair despite any appearance to the contrary. It is based on the brutal fact that human beings will never be able to solve their own problems in a complete way. It is beyond our capabilities in the world as it has been designed and currently functions and the model that it functions under is based on “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. The messiah is the idea that without divine intervention there can be no lasting solution to the problem of life and social, spiritual integrity. You may be asking at this point, so why was it designed this way. While this question if of course an excellent question it is certainly beyond the scope of this essay. However, it is literally the bread and butter of the Jewish Kabbalistic literature. This is a prominent reason why the Torah solution to cosmology is superior to the secular one. The secular solution cannot deal with the issues according to their true dimensions. It is more of a series of observations which in the name of  a minimal “objective truth” claim that is not part of science to make decisions on ultimate questions of the human existential condition, thereby helping to insure its failure to solve the problem.


So haven't Jewish institutions failed in the same way I am accusing others of failing in ? Yes, because they are also in the hands of human beings. But here's the difference;


 1 – they are backed up by infallible divine principles which cyclically regenerate themselves without need for the destruction of the entire structure.


2 – Jews were created and perpetually remain a minority – meaning they lack the power to become a physical danger to the rest of humanity. Rather they were empowered to be “A light unto the nations” pointing the way to the solution without overpowering it or relying on physical might.


This is as it were, the negative reason, that is to prevent the abuse of power and destructive destabilization in the conduct of civilization. The positive side of the equation is that it is contrary to the very design of creation and counter productive to take away free choice from men. Compelling a man to believe or conduct himself according to an assumption which is forced upon him, is a poor substitute for a meaningful and just life, although we certainly try to educate people to do the right thing. However, this does not mean that society should not be protected from miscreants and mischief. Rather, good must be supported, nourished and defended least we are forced to deal with the consequences of evil. But we must distinguish between the the social  or political contracts men enter into to provide protection and smooth functioning for a community i.e. civil law, and the spiritual assumptions which motivate them to make the choices to act or not act in a given situation in their life.


 Furthermore, it would debase and denigrate the Torah itself if we had to force people to choose good. It would be equivalent to admitting that the Torah does not have the power in and of itself to appeal to people and attract them with its inate beauty and solution to the inigma of life to choose the correct path. There are of course other profound answers to the enigma of the "choosen people", however this dimension is usually what most people mean when they ask this question, that is, the simple reason in terms of the geopolitical perspective.