There is a proof for National Revalation given from Judaism. But I have a question. Even if we were all there, maybe it is possible that some people were speaking from behind the mountain and tricked us into thinking that was G-d's voice?

  • "And All the People Saw the Sounds"
    – Shmuel
    Mar 21 at 13:42
  • See: aish.com/did_god_speak_at_sinai
    – Shmuel
    Mar 21 at 13:57
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    Bertrand Russell famously claimed that if he was at Sinai, he would have concluded he must be hallucinating. The general argument is that the Sinai narrative is not by itself proof, but if one starts with the logical assumption that Hashem would reveal Himself and what He wants from us to mankind at some point in history, Sinai is the only candidate that makes sense.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Mar 21 at 14:09
  • If all the 10 statements were spoken at the same time, that would be tough for some voice behind a mountain to do. Also, without a PA system how would a voice behind a Mountain be heard by 600k people? And how would that voice get silence from all of nature?
    – rosends
    Mar 21 at 16:08
  • @rosends Maybe there was a PA system and Moshe discovered it first?
    – Binyamin
    Mar 21 at 17:32

4 Answers 4


Anything in life is possible, including that we don't exist.

The question between what is "possible" and what is "probable" is a VERY important distinction.

We act and rationally believe in what is probable. Like using traffic lights to avoid accidents even though this doesn't remove all doubt, similarly we use logic even though it is possible that all logic has inherent contradictions or is illogical. (See Godel's Incompleteness Theorem or any self referential contradiction).

The question to me is about "reasonable doubt".

It is also important to temper the national revelation with history before, after, and during.

For example:

Before: 10 Plagues and Splitting the Sea... this is not something that can be done by sitting behind a mountain. This requires greater explanation. That Moses came and promised to soon free them. That the Jewish people regularly saw Moses communicate with Hashem.

During: That they themselves experienced communication with Hashem which was non-natural and different as per the story.

Future: Similarly that this relationship was not a one time thing, but routinely continued to the Jewish people through miracles and prophecy.

I don't think an absolute proof for Hashem beyond all doubt can exist until he reveals himself, but I believe this is by design, because: our free choice to connect and do mitzvahs is the point of our creation (See Daat Tvunot Chelek B Chapter 1).

So Hashem leaves room to doubt, but only if you WANT to not believe, I do think the overwhelming evidence is for a creator and Hashem, personally that is how I see it.

Also each argument although can be analyzed on its own has to also be taken as a group of arguments.

So for example I think it is logical to believe in a creator (a different post) and for him to create, and reveal his desire/goal. If so, the question then might only be: who has the most likely/plausible true creator communication story. Not can I prove the story beyond dooubt in a vacuum.

  • I agree with your last paragraph. But you could argue that G-D just put in miracles and really a different religion is true and the miracles are used to test you. (And Judaism says that directly.)
    – Binyamin
    Mar 21 at 17:43
  • @Binyamin Well imagine the creator had two religions one true and one false. But the creator made the false one logical/miraculous/hitorical and the other one the opposite (or just less so). It is illogical to expect or demand adherence to the lesser "true" religion in my humble opinion. It is logical (imo) that any test should be passable and make sense I think. That is why false real miracles are a test in Judaism, because so much stands against even a real miracle that has a false claim to abandon Torah. But yes these are interesting questions.
    – msj121
    Mar 21 at 17:49
  • Ok, but maybe G-D didn't want a religion at all and just put in miracles to test to see if you would accept the prophet or not?
    – Binyamin
    Mar 21 at 19:15
  • @Binyamin I would agree with the statement "God didn't want religion" :) I don't think Judaism was ever supposed to be a religion. Just a relationship between Hashem and His people.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Mar 21 at 19:29
  • @RabbiKaii Very nice idea
    – Binyamin
    Mar 21 at 19:41

It says in Yitro 20:16, וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה דַּבֵּר־אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּ֖נוּ וְנִשְׁמָ֑עָה וְאַל־יְדַבֵּ֥ר עִמָּ֛נוּ אֱלֹהִ֖ים פֶּן־נָמֽוּת׃, “You speak to us,” they said to Moses, “and we will obey; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.” And the Zohar (Yitro 80b ד"ה ויהי ביום השלישי) says that פרחו נשמותהם (that Bnei Yisrael's Neshama left them) which proves that G-d was the only one to cause such a thing with His voice and it couldn't be anyone else speaking behind the mountain. Although as Binyamin mentioned miracles don't prove anything and aren't a full proof, as Jews we still must believe in these miracles that were done by Hashem and Moshe which surely did take place.

Mabye the second answer is in Zevachim 116a:

ומה קול ההמון הזה ששמענו אמר להם חמדה טובה יש לו בבית גנזיו שהיתה גנוזה אצלו תתקע"ד דורות קודם שנברא העולם וביקש ליתנה לבניו שנאמר (תהלים כט, יא) ה' עוז לעמו יתן [מיד] פתחו כולם ואמרו (תהלים כט, יא) ה' יברך את עמו בשלום

They asked: And if so, what is this tumultuous sound that we have heard? Balaam said to them: He has a good and precious item in His treasury, that was hidden away with Him for 974 generations before the world was created, and He seeks to give it to his children, as it is stated: “The Lord will give strength to His people” (Psalms 29:11). “Strength” is a reference to the Torah, which is the strength of the Jewish people. Immediately, they all began to say: “The Lord will bless His people with peace” (Psalms 29:11).

The fact that Bilam who was the greatest non Jewish prophet had all kings come to him and asked what the noise was, and he said that Hashem is giving the Torah, proves that even the Non Jews knew it was Hashem speaking!

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    Also, the Lubavitcher Rebbe once said: השם מדבר ישר לנשמתה
    – Shmuel
    Mar 21 at 13:56
  • See also Shabbat 88b. I imagine the OP is looking for an answer from logic, not one from authority.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Mar 21 at 14:03
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    Maybe there was a story of national revelation that got passed down from parent to child that got started because of some people hid behind the mountain and spoke loudly to the group, and then later this detail of being scared of dying got added in and no one questioned it because it wasn't a major change.
    – Double AA
    Mar 21 at 14:12
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    @DoubleAA good question, but I doubt the Zohar and other sources I haven't mentioned were added in later to make up the story Mar 21 at 14:18
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    @AvishaiTebeka That doesn't matter to anyone trying to find a proof here.
    – Double AA
    Mar 21 at 14:19

Your question is a common one that is actually addressed in the Bible itself.

Part of the experience of full prophecy is the clear recognition that one is hearing communication from G-d. It is far, far more than hearing a voice. Rather, it is a transcendent experience that comes with a clarity not achievable by mere human senses, rather from contact with the divine. (This is explained at length by the Ramchal in his classic book, The Way of G-d:)

At Mt. Sinai, the Jews did more than hear a voice; they experienced the highest possible human level of contact with the Creator, referred to as G-d speaking to them "face to face." To quote the introduction to the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy:

The Lord talked with you face to face in the mountain out of the midst of the fire.

And after receiving the Ten Commandments, the Jews said:

These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly in the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a great voice which was not heard again. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone, and delivered them to me. And it came to pass, when you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; and you said, Behold, the Lord our God has shown us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God does talk with man, and he lives.

All of this is part of the tradition of Har Sinai that the Jewish nation passed down from generation to generation.

  • you are just saying that without defining how they knew it was G-D and not a human?
    – Binyamin
    Mar 22 at 20:35
  • Part of the definition of full prophecy is the knowledge that one is communicating with the divine.
    – N.T.
    Mar 23 at 5:26
  • Ok, but maybe they just heard foreign voices (or through PA system) that they didn't recognize and interpreted it to be divine
    – Binyamin
    Mar 23 at 16:30
  • I hate to say this, but at this point I'm starting to wonder if you are asking in good faith.
    – N.T.
    Mar 24 at 4:23
  • Why do you think that?
    – Binyamin
    Mar 26 at 17:21

maybe it is possible that some people were speaking from behind the mountain and tricked us into thinking that was G-d's voice?

note: I just saw N.T.'s answer, I just want to add a Rashi to that:

Rashi, quoting Pesikta Rabbati (chapter 21) says that "face to face" meant that Moshe Rabbeinu said:

Do not think that I am misleading you with something which does not exist at all, as an agent does acting between the vendor and the purchaser; behold, the seller Himself is speaking to you

Thus, according to Rashi, there was no room for thoughts of that we were mislead, the seller [of the Torah] was talking directly to us at Har Sinai, that was G-d. Not via an agent (at this point).

I was just reading R'Shimson Dovid Pinchus' sefer Nefesh Shimshon - The Attainment of Torah where he explains that is one of our fundamental principles that we've heard G-ds voice during Matan Torah, it was G-ds voice, not that of an agent, as Rashi writes.

G-d spoke and speaks to each of us individually, but also as a part of Klal Yisroel, as one single hearted nation (see Aderes Eliyahu by the Vilna Gaon on Devarim 29:18; quoted by the Nefesh Shimshon)

  • Ok, but how do we know that is what we heard?
    – Binyamin
    Mar 23 at 16:34
  • Because that is the fundament of our believe. That's Judaism. That is the cornerstone.
    – Shmuel
    Mar 23 at 17:09

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