In Torah there is a concept of "Yeridat Hadorot", the descent of the generations (Shabbat 112a). Earlier generations are seen as on a higher level than later ones. The reason given is that the closer to Sinai one is, the higher the spiritual level one is.

This sounds like a logical argument, and therefore implies a naturalistic descent. Each generation could only pass on a percentage of their spiritual level to their children, until the last generation is receiving a tiny fraction of it.

Is that true? Or is there a supernatural element involved as well? To consider that it has been 3300+ years, and we still have some of that spirituality left boggles the mind, especially if you know some of the wonderful Yidden that I've met in my travels, who to me appear so holy that I can't see why they weren't zoche to be at Har Sinai themselves!

Simple math also helps see the difficulty with the natural picture. If there has been 100 generations since Sinai, and each generation passed on 95% of their spiritual level to their children, we are left with less than half a percent! It has likely been more than 100 generations, and to think they consistently passed on 95% is being very generous, right?! If it were 80%, then we are left with about a billionth of the spiritual level (although maybe the answer is indeed that we are less than a billioth of their stature!). At 50% and we are talking about a planck-unit of spirituality (8x10-29%)...



You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .