Project Genesis

Judaism and Non-Jews

Other Faiths

Evidence Vs. Leap of Faith

Question: Could you explain (in just a few sentences) why the Jewish religion is superior to other religions? You, a believer, must have at least some arguments why you are a follower of the Jewish religion and not another one. Therefore I think you must claim your religion to be superior. I really want to know why people claim their religion to be the closest to the truth as it can get.

Answer: Thank you for your question, I appreciate your directness, and I will attempt to be as direct as possible.

Judaism is a belief system based on evidence, as opposed to “leap of faith” religions like Christianity and Islam. A Jew is never asked to believe “just because I said so.” We are never asked to accept one person’s testimony that he spoke with God and therefore we should listen to him. Rather, we are asked to believe in the testimony of the entire nation – all of our ancestors – who stood at Mount Sinai and heard God speak. We have an unbroken chain of transmission from that event 3,300 years ago until today. If you postulate a 60-year gap between each elderly teacher and their students, then you are only talking about a small number of individuals in that chain from the generation of Sinai until the time of Jesus, when everyone agrees that the Judaism of today already existed.

Moreover, all Christians and Moslems believe in the original Judaism as well. There is no argument with the above paragraph (in fact, their belief systems depend on the veracity of the Sinai story). The only question is – was there a further revelation, to the apostles of Jesus, to Mohammed, to Rasputin, to Joseph Smith, etc? But since these were individuals, we would need very strong evidence to accept their claims. And we simply haven’t seen evidence that convinces us to accept their claims.

Finally, the Torah states that God may in the future give miraculous or prophetic powers to individuals, but if one of those individuals asks us to add to or subtract from the Torah, we’re not allowed to listen to them. This is an additional reason why we cannot accept Christianity or Islam. Perhaps there will be a future prophet or revelation, but we will always evaluate the evidence of their veracity and never simply take a leap of faith.

I hope that’s helpful.
Rabbi Seinfeld

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