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Where is the proof that God exists?

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The desire to “feel special” is engrained into the very DNA of humanity. Everyone on Earth wants to feel needed and called to something greater than who and what we are. In essence, this is the very concept of religion; the fulfillment of our innate desire to serve and be used for a higher purpose. I have never met a working person that told me their job was the easiest to do. Every cook, secretary, janitor, police officer, executive, dishwasher, plumber, waiter, accountant and firefighter I have ever met has told me that they have the “hardest job on the planet”. How is it possible for every person to have the hardest job in the world when there are thousands of different professions? Because of our desire to feel special, each of us believes that we are the only ones who can perform the task which we perform, this is a fundamental truth of the human condition. In reality, everyone has special talents that can be harnessed for the greater good but the ultimate deception is when parents tell their children “you can be whatever you want to be”. In my personal opinion, this is one of the greatest lies we tell ourselves as a society and I believe that it’s more important that we understand our limitations so that we can focus our true talents on things which are real, instead of things which may be out of our reach. For example, I will never tell my children that they can become the greatest basketball players because I realize that even though they may want to be, their intrinsic qualities are not geared for basketball greatness. For one, my children are short and that would give them a physical limitation which would be very difficult to overcome. Second, out of the thousands and thousands of people who try out for professional basketball, the number of people selected is infinitesimally small in comparison. Instead, my children are gifted with creative talents and can sew, cut, design and create magnificent works of art and fashion. As a parent, my encouragement would be better served to help guide them towards a path that uses their natural abilities rather than to pursue a career for which success is likely to be considered futile. Not everyone can be a doctor, lawyer or politician and the sooner we recognize our inherent abilities, the sooner we can become more productive members of society using our naturally imbued talents. Religions, all too often “fib” to their adherents by making claims of uniqueness and specialness where no actual claim can be substantiated by fact. For example, if a specific religion tells its worshippers that “Your reward will be in Heaven” or “All your sins are forgiven and you will have eternal bliss”, how can we physically validate these claims? How can a person actually tell if these statements hold any verifiable truth? As humans, we exist in a realm of the tangible; sight, smell, taste, sound and touch. Things which lay beyond these 5 senses are speculation at best and have no way of being proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. The Jewish people were the first of many religions to make a claim that “God gave” a list of laws and commandments to us but how can we as Jews know if these claims are real or like every other faith in the world, just something we say to ourselves to make us feel special? According to recent statistics, there are 22 major religions in the world listed below in order of size. [http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html] Christianity: 2.1 billion Islam: 1.5 billion Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion Hinduism: 900 million Chinese traditional religion: 394 million Buddhism: 376 million Primal-indigenous: 300 million African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million Sikhism: 23 million Juche: 19 million Spiritism: 15 million Judaism: 14 million Baha'i: 7 million Jainism: 4.2 million Shinto: 4 million Cao Dai: 4 million Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million Tenrikyo: 2 million Neo-Paganism: 1 million Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand Rastafarianism: 600 thousand Scientology: 500 thousand Regardless of whichever faith you practice, I believe we can all agree that each religion claims they are the “true” religion given by God with maybe a few exceptions. Christianity believes that the New Testament is the last true revelation of God and Islam believes that the Quran is the last revelation. Mormons however, accept the Book of Mormon to be the final word of God, so how can we know which one is correct and which one is not? As a practicing Jew, I also believe that my faith, Judaism, is the only one which was personally handed to the Jewish people by God in front of an entire nation of 2 million witnesses (to my knowledge, we are also the only religion to make this claim). One major difference however is that Jews don’t state that Judaism is the “only” true religion and that everyone must be Jewish to get to Heaven. In fact, Judaism claims that all people from all religions can attain heavenly reward but just that our path is “right for us”. The Talmud, the massive compendium of explanation of the Hebrew Scriptures states; “The righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come” in addition it also says, “If any other religion claims they have truth, believe them. However, if any other religion claims they have the Torah (God’s divine instruction manual) don’t believe them”. In other words, the Jewish sages recognized that all religions possess some inherent forms of truth and each one has the ability to connect to the divine in their own way. Like other religions however, we too believe that our scripture is divine. So…. if Jews believe that the Jewish scripture is given by God, what separates us from any other religion on that list that makes the same claim? Why is my argument any different than anyone else’s? The answer may astound you; Judaism makes the claim that not only is our scripture divine, but that the spiritual reality of our divine selection as God’s chosen people will manifest itself in tangible, physical reality right here and now. Judaism doesn’t expect the world to believe us based on blind faith as other religions do, Judaism recognizes that if our religion is truly “from God”, then the entire world should be able to see the signs using their five senses. In other words don’t let the Jewish people tell you that God chose us to be a nation of priests, let God tell YOU himself. This claim to the best of my knowledge is not made by any other religion in existence, and is the only way that any of the 22 religions listed above can “prove” the divine aspects of their faith. [As an aside, Christianity and Islam both claim a divine book of miracles by witnesses however since no one around today was alive to witness these miracles, we are forced to rely on the words of others. The Jewish litmus test however is different. We don’t ask you to look at miraculous fulfillment of miracles thousands of years ago (like Moses splitting of the sea), if our scripture is really from God, you should be able to look at the world today, right now, and see these things for yourself.] Let me give you a few examples: Leviticus 26:33 – “I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins”. Did this happen? Yes, the Jews were exiled from Jerusalem just as the scripture promised. Today, wherever mankind is found, you will find a Jew. We are in every land and every race. Okay, maybe you’re a skeptic and think “this could happen to anyone”… ok I’ll give you that one, keep reading. Hosea 9:17 – “My God will cast them away because they have not listened to Him; and they will be wanderers among the nations”. Again, this promise is still seen today after thousands of years. Up until 67 years ago, the Jews had no land of our own. We wandered through time and place, hence the name “the wandering Jew”. Has any other nation in history wandered from nation to nation except the Jews? Leviticus 26:43 – “For the land [Israel] will be deserted by them and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees”. In 1867, Mark Twain visited the land and published his thoughts in his book “The Innocents Abroad”. After 2,000 years of Jewish exile, he described Israel as devoid of vegetation and human population: He said, “….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” Strange that after 2,000 years of desolation no other nation was able to work the desert land. It remained barren and desolate, waiting for Israel’s return just as God had promised. Leviticus 26:44 – “Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God”. Did this happen? Yes, for 2,000 years the Jewish nation has continued to exist despite our enemies’ best efforts to annihilate us. We have wandered the world living in the land of our enemies, yet God in his infinite kindness has promised not to abandon us or destroy us. How many other nations in history have been exiled and are still around to witness? Deuteronomy 7:7 – “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you are the fewest of all peoples”. Is Judaism the largest faith? By no means, we are one of the smallest. It’s one thing to have two billion followers and make a claim that you will be around forever but it’s quite another to be the smallest nation always on the brink of extinction and claim that you will still be around in a few thousand years. God is proving to the world that Israel’s size is not what keeps her safe, but that He does. God wants the world to know that He exists. Deuteronomy 28:37 – “You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the LORD will drive you”. I think it’s safe to say that not only has this happened, but it continues to happen throughout the world. Anti-Semitism in Europe is on the rise and hatred of Jews is once again growing just as it did in the 1940’s during the Second World War. Still not convinced? Now, if we had just been exiled 2,000 years ago, that would have been enough proof but God wanted to prove to the world that He alone controls Israel’s fate and that we are His chosen. How? By making a promise 3,000 years ago that He would return us to the land he swore to our ancestors. Deuteronomy 30:2 –5 “when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors”. Did this happen? Yes, the Jewish people once again live in the land which was promised to our forefathers nearly 4,000 years ago. Is Israel one of the most powerful and wealthy nations on the planet today? Yes. Israel has accomplished in 67 years what many older nations could never accomplish. Israel has the highest number of scientists, technicians, and engineers per capita in the world with 140 scientists, technicians, and engineers per 10,000 employees. In comparison, the same is 85 per 10,000 in the United States and 83 per 10,000 in Japan (Wikipedia) - In 2012, Israel was one of the world leaders in stem cell research, with the largest number of articles, patents and research studies per capita. Teva Pharmaceuticals headquartered in Israel, is the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world and one of the 20 largest Pharmaceutical companies worldwide. How’s that for “returning and more prosperous” than our ancestors? Genesis 12:3 – “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you”. In every nation where Jews have lived freely, the host countries have seen tremendous prosperity and wealth as a result of the Jews. The nations which have expelled and persecuted Jews however have crumbled throughout history. Jewish contributions (blessings) to the world cannot be denied. Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 850 individuals, of whom at least 24% were Jews, although Jews comprise less than 0.2% of the world's population. Overall, Jews have won a total of 41% of all Nobel Prizes in economics, 28% of medicine, 26% of Physics, 19% of Chemistry, 13% of Literature and 9% of all peace awards. Winston S. Churchill: “Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world. Isaiah 66:8 – “Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children”. Isaiah is stating, has any other nation been exiled and reborn as the nation of Israel? This happened in 1948 just as Isaiah predicted. Lastly, upon the final return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, God promised; Isaiah 35:1 “The desert and the dry land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus flower. They will burst into bloom, and rejoice with joy and singing”. Isaiah continues to repeat this theme in Chapter 51:3 “The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.” In fact, the borders of Israel are commonly referred to as the Green Line which separates the dry desert lands of the Arab nations with the blossoming land of the Jewish people in Israel. For 2,000 years the land lay barren awaiting the return of the Jewish nation just as Mark Twain had witnessed in 1867, however less than 100 years later the same desolate land bloomed into a productive nation as God promised thousands of years earlier. Samuel L. Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the latter often called "the Great American Novel". Twain recognized the uniqueness of the Jewish people and would often make statements to that effect. One of his most famous remarks came from an article he wrote “Concerning The Jews”, in Harper's Magazine, March, 1898. - http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1898twain-jews.asp "If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstruse learning are also very out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world in all ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself and be excused for it. The Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greeks and Romans followed and made a vast noise, and they were gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, and have vanished. The Jew saw them all, survived them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities, of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert but aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jews; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?” Are Jewish people smarter than everyone else? Absolutely not! Are Jewish people genetically superior to everyone else? Absolutely not! Do Jewish people have more luck than everyone else? Absolutely not! Are Jewish people given special opportunities over everyone else? Absolutely not! So then the question is, if none of the above statements are true, and there is nothing physically special about the Jew, how can we explain the miraculous items we discussed? Since almost every major faith today recognizes the Jews as God’s chosen people, and recognizes this as a result of the miracles surrounding Israel we see today, how can other religions claim their belief is the “true” religion when not a single prophecy can be proven to be true in our time. Did Jesus rise from the dead? Christians claim he did but can it be proven? No. Did Mohammed ascend to Heaven on a fiery chariot? Islam says he did but can we prove it? No. Does worship of Jesus as God wipe away all sin and death in the spiritual world? Christianity claims it does but can they prove it? No. Does following Islam allow me to get 72 Virgin women in the world to come? Islam claims it does but can they prove it? No. All of these “claims” sound great but since they can never be proven, they cannot stand under logical scrutiny and we must ignore these claims as false. Out of all the religions in the world, only Judaism professes that God would keep us around even though we are smallest in number, that He would exile us from our land and then return us thousands of years later. And on top of that, He would bless us with wealth and prosperity so that we would be a blessing to every nation we inhabited. There is no way for any other religion to make that claim because it would not come true. Only the Jewish nation has the backing of the “true God” which enables us to make claims that can be proven throughout history and even until this very day. So the question one should ask is this, why would someone trade factual proof for circumstantial proof? Why would I take anyone else’s word that they are “chosen” when they have absolutely no way of proving it like the Jewish nation? I would like to conclude this discussion as follows; this is by no means written with haughtiness or conceit on the part of the Jewish people or myself. As I’ve said throughout this piece, there is nothing at all physically special about the Jew. Any uniqueness which we possess is not through our own hands but because God wanted us to convey an exclusive message to the world. Our claim that God gave the Jewish people His only divine truth is not backed by delusions of grandeur in a spiritual place you’ll never see but by physical proof through our existence as a nation. Any miracle which may or may not have happened thousands of years ago is just a nice story but a miracle which extends through all time is tangible proof. The Jewish people were chosen to be a light unto the nations and it is that light which shines ever brightly today which is proof of our eternal and divine mission to teach the words of the Torah and explain to the world about the God of Israel, “Shema Yisrael, Adonai Elohainu, Adonai Echad” What others have said about the Jews. John Adams: “I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations… They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews.” Leo Tolstoy: “What is the Jew?…What kind of unique creature is this whom all the rulers of all the nations of the world have disgraced and crushed and expelled and destroyed; persecuted, burned and drowned, and who, despite their anger and their fury, continues to live and to flourish. What is this Jew whom they have never succeeded in enticing with all the enticements in the world, whose oppressors and persecutors only suggested that he deny (and disown) his religion and cast aside the faithfulness of his ancestors?! The Jew – is the symbol of eternity. … He is the one who for so long had guarded the prophetic message and transmitted it to all mankind. A people such as this can never disappear. The Jew is eternal. He is the embodiment of eternity.” Eric Hoffer: “The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese–and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.”

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1 Cary W = "The Jews call their Torah, "God's Divine Instruction Manual", and as far as it having the largest collection of prophecies fulfilled, it beats all other texts.  Jesus Himself honored, quoted and even fulfilled many of the words of the Torah.  Then the game changed.  Jesus proclaimed to be God's Divine Instruction Manual.  God gave us a living book, the Lord Jesus and a real relationship with Him and Father G-d."