THE PRINCIPLES OF RELIGION
Now that we have laid the foundations of true faith, we may examine all religion and distinguish between the true and the false based on these self evident truths:
1) It is based on the claims of one individual and does not have a mass prophecy to back it up.
2) Even though it recognizes the mass prophecy of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and claims to be a continuation of it, this claim does not hold water, since Christianity claims to supersede and abrogate it. Moreover, there are many accounts in their “Testament” which portray the, so called, “Savior” as openly and flagrantly transgressing the commandments of the Torah or advising others to do so. This contradicts the above principle that all prophecies either prior to or subsequent to the mass prophecy must be in full concordance to it.
3) Many forms of Christianity profess the doctrine of the trinity in regard to G-d, heaven forbid. This contradicts the principle of G-d’s absolute Unity and singularity.
4) Even those forms of Christianity that do not profess trinity believe that a man, with a body and form, was (and is) G-d, heaven forbid. This contradicts the principle that G-d has neither body nor form.
5) Furthermore, this man said about himself, “I am first and I am last”. This contradicts the principle that only G-d is first and last. In other words, only the existence of G-d is intrinsic to Him. He existed before the existence of the world and He will continue to exist after the world ceases to exist. Moreover, by claiming to be the son of G-d he inadvertently contradicts his claim to being first and last. Through this statement we see that, even according to himself, he does not exist intrinsically, for otherwise, how could G-d be his father?
6) Christians pray to their, so called, “savior”. This contradicts the principle that it is only befitting to worship and pray to G-d, and that praying to anything other than Him constitutes the worship of false gods.
7) By acknowledging the giving of the Torah (The mass prophecy) at mount Sinai, but, nonetheless, not following its dictates and claiming that it has been superseded and abrogated, Christianity contradicts the principle that the mass prophecy is the unchanging truth.
8) In doing so, it also denies that the mass prophecy is true for all generations and will never be substituted for another.
1) It is based on the claims of an individual and does not have a mass prophecy to back it up.
2) Even though it recognizes the mass prophecy given to Moses at the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, it claims that Mohammed is a greater prophet whose prophecy supersedes the mass prophecy. This is in violation of the principle that all prophecies must be tested against the mass prophecy for their veracity.
3) There are many discrepancies in the accounts given in the Koran which diverge from those given in the mass prophecy of the Torah given at Mount Sinai. This is in violation of the principle that there can be no discrepancies between any other prophecies and the mass prophecy.
4) It modifies, changes or omits many of the commandments which were given in the mass prophecy at Mount Sinai. This is in violation of the principle that the dictates of the mass prophecy are unchanging and true for all generations.
1) It does not have a mass prophecy to back it up.
2) It does not have prophecy at all. This is in violation of the principle that without prophecy it is impossible to have any knowledge of G-d or matters of G-dliness.
3) It believes that its “holy” men are incarnations of G-d in the flesh. This is in violation of the principle that G-d does not have a body or form.
4) These “holy” men are actually worshiped and prayed to. This is in violation of the principle that it is only befitting to worship and pray to G-d.
5) It believes in many gods. This is in violation of the principle that there is only one G-d, that He is an absolute singularity and that it is only befitting to pray to Him.
6) They worship graven images. This is in violation of the principle that G-d has no form.
1) It does not have a mass prophecy to back it up.
2) It does not have prophecy at all. This is in violation of the principle that it is impossible to have any knowledge of G-d or matters of G-dliness without prophecy.
3) It believes in “holy” men who are incarnations of G-d in the flesh. This is in violation of the principle that G-d does not have a body or form,
4) Some forms of Buddhism actually worship and pray to these “holy” men. This is in violation of the principle that it is only befitting to worship and pray to G-d.
5) It does not believe in a G-d who is a conscious being who is aware of everything in existence. This is in violation of the principle that G-d is conscious and all knowing.
Now, it must be noted that here we have only pointed out several problems of these particular religions. Nonetheless, as explained above, even if only one of these principles is either missing or distorted, this, in itself, is sufficient reason to categorically reject that religion. Moreover, here we have only dealt with the world’s “Great” religions (And have found them to be deficient). The reader may feel free to examine any religion he so wishes, against the above standards.
As explained above, by definition, an effect cannot grasp its cause. Since this is the case, the only true possibility for us to have any knowledge about the Creator and the purpose of His Creation, is if the Singular Infinite Being Himself, informs us about it. Though, due to our own limitations, we are incapable of grasping this knowledge by ourselves, nonetheless, He, being unlimited, is capable of giving it to us. Moreover, in order for this knowledge to be recognized as the incontrovertible truth, it must be transmitted by way of mass prophecy. In doing so, there will thus be mass witnesses to testify to its veracity. Now, in contradistinction to all other religions, which base themselves on the claims of single individuals, Judaism is the only religion based on a mass prophecy and on the mass testimony of millions of witnesses.
At Mount Sinai, approximately 2,500,000 to 3,000,000 Jews experienced mass prophecy in the form of a direct revelation from G-d and received the Ten Commandments from Him. This verified, without a shadow of a doubt, that Moses was a true prophet of G-d, who could be relied upon with confidence. Moses then ascended the mount for forty days and forty nights and received the Torah in its entirety. This included the written Torah and the Oral Torah, which includes the Mishna, Gemara, Midrash etc. as well as the teachings of Kabbalah, which are the secrets of the Torah and explain the workings of Creation. It also included the teachings of Chassidus, which are the secrets of the secrets, and give insight into G-d himself.
The exodus from Egypt and the subsequent revelation at Mount Sinai fifty days later are historical fact that are not subject to serious historical debate. All accepted history is based on the fact that the event was witnessed by many people at the time and that there is an established tradition amongst their descendents that the event actually occurred. To the degree that there are no variant traditions that either negate or modify it, it is accepted as reliable historical fact.
A case in point is the American Revolution. Today, there is not a single living human being who witnessed the events of the American Revolution. This being the case, how do we know, with certainty, that it actually took place? Certainly, it is not because it is written about in history books, for many “history books” are fabricated out of whole cloth, such as The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, or The Book of Mormon. What makes the American Revolution reliable history is the fact that millions of people actually witnessed it at the time and that there is an unbroken tradition, amongst their descendents that it took place. Its reliability is further strengthened by the fact that there are no variant traditions amongst descendents of people who lived in the colonies at the time, who claim that American emancipation was achieved differently, through the peaceful withdrawal of British troops and a benevolent granting of independence by the British crown. The same principle holds true in regard to any other historical event.
Every year on Passover, Jews around the world gather together at the Seder table. The sole purpose of the Seder is specifically to recall and to transmit the events of the exodus from Egypt to the next generation. This has been taking place in an unbroken tradition, year after year, all the way back to the very first Seder which took place in Egypt as the events were actually happening! Furthermore, there are no variant traditions amongst Jews that differ in their account of what happened. There are not, and there have never been, Jews who claimed that they received a tradition from their forefathers, going all the way back that the events were different! (Reform or Conservative Jews, who may contest this, do not do so on the grounds that they have received a different tradition from their forefathers. Rather, they will be the first to admit that they are a break from tradition. It is specifically for this reason that their claims hold no water.)
No other nation on the surface of the earth has kept such a strong and unbroken tradition of transmitting its history, its teachings and its heritage, to the coming generations, as the Jewish nation. With this in mind, it must be concluded that this is a most reliable history. We can accept as incontrovertible historical truth, the account of the exodus from Egypt and the receiving of the Torah, directly from G-d, fifty days later.
With the above in mind, we can state with confidence, that even though the effect cannot understand the cause, and we cannot, through our own devices, understand the origin and development of the universe, what its purpose is, or what our role is in the fulfillment of that purpose, nonetheless, G-d, the Singular Infinite Being, who is not limited by these constraints, can and did inform us in this regard. This He did through the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
Now, in regard to all the self evident truths stated above, and their ramifications, not only is Judaism the single religion which fits them, but, more so, these principles, in and of themselves, are the recognized and articulated foundational principles of Judaism. This is so much so, that in many congregations these articles of faith are recited daily, as part and parcel of the liturgy. These are known as the “Thirteen Principles of Faith”. They are:
1) I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator, blessed be His name, He created and conducts all the created, and He alone did, does and will do all that is done.
2) I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator, blessed be His name, is singular and there is no singularity such as His, in any way. He alone is our G-d who was, is and will be.
3) I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator, blessed be His name, is not physical and cannot be comprehended by physical comprehension. He has no likeness at all.
4) I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator, blessed be His name, He is first and He is last.
5) I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator, blessed be He name, it is only befitting to pray to Him. It is unbefitting to pray to anything other than Him.
6) I believe with a perfect faith that all the words of the prophets are true.
7) I believe with a perfect faith that the prophecy of our teacher Moses, peace be upon him, was true, and that he is the “Father” of the prophets, whether those who preceded him or those who followed him.
8) I believe with a perfect faith that the entire Torah, which is now in our hands, was given to our teacher Moses, peace be upon him.
9) I believe with a perfect faith that the Torah will not be changed and that there will not be another Torah from the Creator, blessed be His name.
10) I believe with a perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, knows all the deeds of man, and all their thoughts, as it states, “Who forms all their hearts and understands all their deeds”.
11) I believe with a perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be He, rewards with goodness, those who keep His commandments and punishes those who transgress His commandments.
12) I believe with a perfect faith in the coming of the Moshiach, and though he may tarry, nonetheless, I await him every day, that he might come.
13) I believe with a perfect faith, that there will be a resurrection of the dead in the time that it is desired by the Creator, blessed and elevated be the memory of His name, for eternity and for ever and ever.
Now, in no way should it be construed from the above, that all peoples must become Jews in order to be followers of the “True Religion” or to be loved by G-d. On the contrary, Torah True Judaism is a universal religion which recognizes the value and role of every individual, Jew and non-Jew alike. We all have a role to play in coming close to G-d and fulfilling His purpose in Creation. Nonetheless, our roles are different. For more information as to the purpose and role of non-Jews in fulfilling G-d’s will, see: http://www.AskNoah.org