Project Genesis

Basics of Judaism

G-d and Torah

If G-d Only Revealed Himself to Me..

Question: Good afternoon. I have asked this question of many for years and still struggle to find an answer that really speaks to me: 

Why should I fulfill Mitzvot (commandments) if I cannot be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt in the Torah being given from God at Sinai? Even I believe in God, the whole of Jewish law (as I understand it) is founded on the premise that Torah was given to Moses at Sinai (and was not written by humans) and Jews are bound through a covenant to obey.

I have read many books, spoken with many people…. but still struggle. Thanks for your time.

Answer: Your question is why believe in G-d if he doesn’t show himself to you personally.

You do state that you recognize G-d at some level. And can appreciate some of the mitzvot some of the time. Just not all of the mitzvot all of the time.

I believe faith in G-d is “faith”. After delving academically into the vast ocean of Judaic literature, or through experiences in life, etc. one can achieve a certain degree of certainty in the existence of G-d. Maybe 60%, 70%, 85%... The remaining percentage = “Faith”. If G-d appeared to you in person it would no longer be faith it would be “Fact”.

We are in this world to develop ourselves by modeling our Creator (our Benefactor). Just as a child models after their parent or role model, so too we model after our Role Model. Part of our life’s mission is to develop a deeper connection to Hashem. That bond is not created through Fact, it is created through trust. Almost similar to falling backwards with your eyes closed – relying on the person behind you to catch you as an exercise in building trust. Same with G-d we develop a deeper bond by building trust in Him. If you had a 24/7 camera following your spouse that wouldn’t be trust or faith that would be fact. We build a stronger relationship with a spouse built on trust and faith. For Hashem to spell out for you, to perform an open miracle for you, to reveal himself to you… defeats the entire purpose, and crushes the ability to have a relationship with Him.

Try telling your spouse that certain parts of your relationship are great, not sure how committed you are to all of it, and that you might be heading out the door in 15 minutes to do a whole list of things that you know your spouse trusts you won’t do. There is no relationship, there is no trust, and there is no growth.

The reason you wouldn’t feel that relationship is that you are undermining it without giving it a chance to grow and flourish. Hashem doesn’t expect us to be perfect all the time nor do we of our spouses, there are general boundaries though, and they keep us on the straight and narrow in Spiritual relationships as well as Romantic.

Try re-approaching some of your rituals but with an acceptance that you want the relationship to work, but that you need time to adjust to the commitment. And take those baby steps to show you are committed – it doesn’t need to be all or nothing. People don’t usually commit to marriage after a first date.

A relationship needs to grow. So does “FAITH”. Let it grow naturally…

Best Wishes, Rabbi Azriel Schreiber 

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