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Please do carry on in there! If there are any new recommendations for improvements of this post, please post new comments here. But the entire book is bad, full of twisted and misrepresented facts and bad logic.
But in my opinion, the other answers here have not done this justice by any stretch. Before any evidence is considered, that really is the only position that makes sense: There are thousands of religions, each with firm believers.
So nobody, Jews included, should start with a biased impression that they lucked out and were born into the right faith. The basic answer is going to need to explain how much evidence in favor of Judaism would be sufficient to justify belief in the faith and then examine what evidence there is.
With that, this answer will attempt to approach the question from a rationalist perspective. How much evidence is needed For many things in life, not that much evidence is needed to believe something.
Book Notes. American Jewish Life. Imagining the American Jewish this single volume is grounded in scholarship and filled with colorful anecdotal detail about Jewish communities throughout history and information on topics as diverse as the development of Christianity Contemporary Jewish Writing in Europe: A Guide, edited by Vivian . After the Babylonian captivity, ketav Ashurit was fully restored to the Jewish people by Ezra the Scribe and came to be called Lashon HaKodesh (the holy language). This same script has been used until this day for the writing of Torah scrolls. Enhance reading and language arts skills with our extensive collection of reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing process, phonics, grammar, and spelling lessons, printables, and resources.
For Judaism, it is more equivalent to the latter cases. For an outside observer, it can come off as an extraordinary claim that a given religion is true and that stories of supernatural events did happen and that the Jewish people had the unique ability to properly maintain stories without modification over a hundred generations, particularly since it is controversial in the sense that secular people have their own arguments against it.
So a reasonable response to those arguments along with substantial evidence or reasoning is what is needed to be sufficiently confident that Judaism is true. It is not a strong position, and possibly theologically unsound to dismiss the meaning, especially as it is understood as literal in various places in the Talmud.
Further, the Torah records specific genealogies dependent on the historicity which are not well suited for allegorizing. Some Rishonim such as the Meiri also prohibit interpreting the story of creation as allegory, as discussed in this Machzikei HaDas essay on the varying opinions regarding allegorical interpretation of scriptures.
Non-literal meanings are also made tenuous by the writings of other Rishonim, such as Rambam who says that it is a fundamental principle of the Torah that Adam was the first human created and that the genealogies and language development described in Genesis are correct in Guide for the Perplexed, Part III Chapter L and Rabbi Yehuda Halevi who says that evidence of pre-Adamic human civilization would weaken his belief in Kitab al Khazari, Part One paragraphs The Torah and Tanach appear to have contradictions Another challenge is that the Torah and Prophets though not necessarily the Writings are supposed to be inerrantyet some stories and verses appear to contradict with one another.
According to the genealogy in Genesis 46 Benjamin had 10 sons, according to Numbers 26 he only had 5, and there are differences about this as well in I Chronicles 7 and 8.
II Kings 25 and Jeremiah 52 have various differences, such as whether Evil-merodach elevated and freed King Jehoiachin on the 27th of the month or on the 25th of the month. There are more examples, especially contrasting Chronicles though being in Writings it may not have to be inerrant with the narratives in the Prophets.
So if the verses contradict, the Tanach must not be a reliable text, and it must not be that it was truly divine and inerrant. Of course, Talmudic sages and later commentaries do offer resolutions to these contradictions, for example by saying that in one of the verses it meant something different from how it appears.
Rather, such apparent contradictions may be intentional, explained in the Oral Law, possibly to convey deeper meanings. For example, in Genesis Or in Exodus 1: There are various other examples in the Torah and Prophets. But again there are responses.
Maybe the archeologists are mistaken, or maybe references in the Torah should be understood differently from how one might initially think.
For example, maybe the reference to Ramses in the Torah was to a place not known to archeologists, and Egyptian rulers happened to have that name and a similarly named city afterwards.
From the issue of the missing years where the Talmud considers the Second Temple period to have been significantly shorter than what is known from archeology of the time, to some views expressing a flat-earth cosmology, to apparently indicating that lice spontaneously generate, errors show the sages to be flawed.
But these errors can also be explained within Judaism.
Rabbi Natan Slifkin is noted for his addressing of discrepancies between chazal and science. By some opinions, you are required to believe that the sages did not make mistakes, in which case you may consider Talmudic errors to simply be allusions to their actual, deeper meanings.
By other opinions, the sages are not considered infallible, and the only science that it matters for them to get right is when it relates to Halacha. Discussing and answering them all would be outside the scope of this answer.
In general, the degree to which these and any other challenges to Judaism seem significant, and the degree to which their resolutions are satisfactory, will come down to a matter of opinion. Arguments for Judaism There are a wide array of arguments in favor of Judaism.
Kiruv resources have gathered a variety of pieces of evidence and logical proofs. Unfortunately, they often get passed around without scrutiny, and that is counterproductive.
But before something like that is repeated, it should be fact checked first to rule out misinformation.
Personal Experience and Miracle Stories A fairly common argument that individuals use as evidence in favor of Judaism is stories of miracles or Hasgacha Pratis divine providence. This is basically the category of supernatural coincidences. The limitations of this line of evidence, though, are 1 that without having a personal experience yourself, you may not trust the supernatural event truly happened in the way the storyteller suggests, 2 that similar miracle stories are also commonly used by Christians, Hindus, and people of other religions, so unless Jewish stories can be meaningfully and qualitatively distinguished from other ones, it either is evidence of God but not a particular religion or it may not be a reliable way of determining the truth of something, and 3 these things may often be explainable by statistical expectations and cognitive shortfalls.
Basically, when taking all the letters without spaces in the Torah and Tanach toostarting with one letter and skipping a fixed and ideally small number of letters can produce new words, or skip codes.Ezra the Explainer.
One of the great explainers of the Jewish people was another Ezra, Ezra the Scribe. Start studying (World History 8th grade) Israel. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Story map done for "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats. I like the pictures to show understanding of the story elements instead of writing-a lot of times much quicker for very young students.
good idea for anecdotal notes Find this Pin and more on Language Arts Lessons by Stephanie Winzer. Ezra is introduced to us as "a scribe skilled in the law of Moses" (Ezra ), and also a priest, as well as a scribe, "learned in the words of the commandments of the Lord and His statutes to Israel" (Ezra ; cf.
vs. 12, 21). He was a direct descendant of Aaron, the brother of Moses (Ezra ). Anecdotal notes of students identifying names. Guided writing is designed to teach specific skills or strategies to the whole class, small group, or individual.
random letters, and inventive spelling. The developmental level of the student will determine if the teacher will scribe what is dictated by the student or if the student will.
Enhance reading and language arts skills with our extensive collection of reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing process, phonics, grammar, and spelling lessons, printables, and resources.