The sheer vastness of space almost mathematically guarantees that there are other species or advanced civilizations in other galaxies or solar systems.

How do we reconcile this with the uniqueness of the Jewish People - and the specific mission that G-d has granted the Jewish people by the giving of the Torah.

  • 2
    Although note the Fermi Paradox (G-d is perfectly capable of creating a Great Filter, should He so desire)
    – Joel K
    Jun 8, 2020 at 8:38
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    Um, there are "other species or advanced civilizations" right here on Earth, too. Why ask about extraterrestrial ones?
    – msh210
    Jun 8, 2020 at 14:12
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    @msh210 good question. I would presume that one could say that revelation accounts for them too - for them to either be witness to the messiahs redemption. But for Hashem to have created an entire other world and civilazation outside of the Jewish purview - how do we understand that Jun 8, 2020 at 14:19
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    Why so many downvotes? How can we be the light unto the nations that are light years away?
    – user6591
    Jun 8, 2020 at 17:30
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    Think about the phrase "almost mathematically guarantees". What does it mean? Maybe almost - but not quite. Jun 8, 2020 at 18:37

3 Answers 3


R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik addressed this point when asked about alien life by R. David Holzer.

The Rav Thinking Aloud p. 93

[DH:] Would the discovery of alien life be an issue in terms of the Torah view?

It is possible that Hashem created other life forms on other planets. It is no problem to yahadus. The reason man likes to think he is the only created being in the entire universe is because of his egotistical nature.

Even the concept of am ha’nivchar may only be relative to our world, our small section of the universe. The Torah is written from the viewpoint of our sun, moon, and stars. It would not detract from our being the am ha’nivchar of this region of space if there were other am ha’nivchar in a distant galaxy.

  • Same here,had this in mind when I saw the question.
    – sam
    Jun 9, 2020 at 4:34
  • I don't understand the context in which this was said, if any
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Jun 9, 2020 at 18:15

Mathematical likelihood has no bearing or evidence about what Hashem did or did not create .

Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky said that there may or may not be living creature (animals) in out of space but there absolutly are no human like creatures with Bechira (free will) because Hasehm would not have created creatures with Bechira without Torah to guide them and the Torah given to Klal Yisroel on this planet is the ONLY Torah.

Zos HaTorah Lo Tihay Muchlefes.

  • Maybe they just haven't gotten Torah yet. American Indians also didn't have torah for some time
    – Double AA
    Jun 9, 2020 at 1:17
  • @DoubleAA How do you know that? According to Rav Azaria de Rossi, and several other sources I've seen, when the Tanakh mentions Ofir it means the New World. And indeed more and more evidence is coming up that ancient civilazations from the New and Old worlds did in fact have contact with each other for millennias. For an example, Pharaoh Ramses II was found to contain traces of Tobacco and cocao in his body cells
    – Adam
    Jun 9, 2020 at 3:45
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    @Adam Your last two sentences are most likely incorrect. AFAIK, there's no evidence of ancient New/Old World trade routes.
    – magicker72
    Jun 9, 2020 at 5:12
  • is there a source for this statement of Rav Kaminetsky? (Is he cited anywhere, did he write this, etc.)
    – Binyomin
    Jun 9, 2020 at 12:51
  • Rav Kaminetsky having said this is quoted by many Talmidim in general. I heard it in his name from Rav Yisroel Belsky It it also in B'Mechitzos Rabbinu .
    – Schmerel
    Jun 9, 2020 at 13:07

If there are sentient beings on other worlds, and they are NOT the descendants of human beings from Earth, it would invalidate a key teaching in the Talmud [Sanhedrin 37a, 38a]:

-Why did God start humanity by creating only ONE man?

-So that unbelievers would not be able to say: There are many authorities in Heaven, and each created a different person.

-So that no one should be able to tell his neighbor, “My ancestors were better than your ancestors”.

-So the wicked could not say: “We are children of the wicked, so we cannot change our ways.”

-So the feeling of fraternity among people will limit crime.

-So people would know that God is One: Even though God created people in His image, every person can still be different from every other person: Unity in diversity.

-So that people would know that he who destroys one life is as if he had destroyed an entire world, and he who saves one life is as if he had saved an entire world.

  • So you’re saying it WOULD be an issue? Jun 9, 2020 at 5:29
  • In the sense that these teachings would no longer be valid. But it's still possible. Jun 9, 2020 at 11:46

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