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"Little Green Men?"

05/14/2020 02:32:24 PM

May14

Rabbi Reuben Israel Abraham, CDR, CHC, USN (ret)

In this week's double parshiot of Behar-Bechukkotai, we read the following: "Then I shall command My blessing for you in the sixth year, and it will generate its produce for three years." (VaYikra 25:21)  The Torah portion speaks of the Sabbatical year.  If B'nei Yisrael were to follow the Laws of Shemitta by letting the land lay fallow during the seventh year, then they would never be for want.  Keep this verse in mind as you read the following vignette which I found in Rabbi Moshe Kormornick's book Short Vort.

After being dragged to an Aish HaTorah "Discovery Seminar" by his friend, Jay found himself sitting and listening to the Rabbi give a very convincing and rational lecture on "The Proofs of G-d's Existence."  All during the presentation, Jay argued with the Rabbi only to end up agreeing with the Rabbi's convincing arguments.  As he concluded his lecture, the Rabbi was summing his proof that HaShem gave the Torah at Mount Sinai and that it could not have been written by a man by citing the verse quoted earlier.  The Rabbi asked the following question of the class: "If G-d was not the One who wrote the Torah, and instead it was written by a mere mortal, this person was obviously driven by his desire that people should live by his religion.  If so, why would he have written this verse?  Why would he have ever allowed himself to be tested like this, to be held up to such scrutiny?  To make such a promise as stated in this verse is nothing short of promising a miracle, something a mere mortal could never deliver thus risking his failure to do so in the first place.  If it was not HaShem who wrote this line, how long do you think such a religion would last before being exposed as a fraud?"  Jay put his hand up and shouted: "Six years!"  The Rabbi shot back: "Absolutely correct! But surely if the Torah had been written by a man, even by a genius such as Albert Einstein, we would have proven this verse wrong many, many centuries ago?"

The room was totally silent!  The people were stunned!  Nevertheless, Jay stood up and triumphantly declared: "Rabbi, thank you for your presentations today.  You have answered all my questions, and I cannot refute what you have said.  As time went on, I even became more convinced that you are right.  I even thought about enrolling in a Yeshiva to learn more. However, I have one final argument that I just know you cannot disprove.  You see after hearing all your evidence, I do agree with you that a man could not have written the Torah let alone created the world and everything in it while sustaining it since the time of Creation.  But maybe it was aliens who wrote the Torah?"  Jay stopped speaking, and everyone in the room could see he was completely serious.

Although he was taken aback by Jay's question, the Rabbi had an immediate answer: "You know what?  You are absolutely right!  I cannot categorically disprove your theory.  But let me say this to you: If a group of aliens came and created the world, if they created everything in it from my eye with its millions of sensory nerve cells to the highest mountains, if they can maintain the the distance of the earth to the sun at exactly the same amount every minute so that the earth should not freeze or burn up, and if  they wrote the Torah and can guarantee a blessing to anyone who keeps the laws of the Sabbatical Year, and then they tell me to keep Shabbos, then...I am going to keep Shabbos!"  This time Jay was stunned.  He sat down, took a moment to reflect on what the Rabbi had just said, and then declared: "Okay, Rabbi!  Where do I sign up for Yeshiva?"

Fri, July 3 2020 11 Tammuz 5780