A gross misrepresentation of Judaism appeared in “Pa. Jews and Intelligent Design” (The Jewish Week 9/30/05)
Rejecting Intelligent Design, Rabbi Schertz said science alone (not religion) is guided by proof: “religious views should be based on faith…[while] science has things that are proven.” The Torah’s words reject Rabbi Schertz’s theory, although he has sufficiently contradicted himself: he ‘demonstrated’ his religious distinction between religion and science.
Unfortunately, Rabbi Schertz is ignorant of Judaism’s core fundamental – its distinction from every other religion: Judaism offers and demands reason and proof for God’s existence. God records Moses’ words which recall Revelation at Sinai, “Lest you forget what your eyes saw” (Deut. 4:9), “You have been shown to know that God is God” (Deut. 4:35), and “And you shall know it today” (Deut. 4:39). Moses teaches that God orchestrated Revelation at Sinai, a “demonstration”, precisely so mankind might witness God’s existence, and so future generations receive this proof of the Creator. Faith is insufficient.
Moses’ statements are only sensible if man possesses the faculty of reason, which provides proof. God and Moses state that Judaism mandates “knowledge” – not belief – as the means of following Him. Moses teaches that Revelation at Sinai was designed for the very reason that man follows God with his mind – with proof – and not with faith.
Sadly, Rabbi Schertz’s error is shared by others, who together contribute to intermarriage and assimilation. Misinformed educators misguide our youth to live by faith and emotions. But emotionally-guided Judaism is subject to rejection by the alluring tactics of missionaries. Jewish educators and leaders must teach our youth and communities Judaism’s Fundamentals, starting with the reason why God granted man intelligence: that we possess absolute conviction in Judaism. One’s conviction that 2+2=4 will never be doubted, no matter how emotionally appealing the argument. We can possess this same conviction in other areas, and as God says, we must possess this conviction in His existence. Our greatest Rabbis and sages echoed this fundamental. It is merely today’s ill-informed masses that ‘feel’ differently.
Every person considering himself a Jew must heed Moses’ words recorded by God: we are to achieve unwavering conviction in His existence and His Torah, via His intended proof of Sinai.
God granted mankind intelligence, for good reason.
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim, Founder