I was reading this post the other day, and came across a comment by user DoubleAA who stated in the comments something to the effect of "if the only reason you believe is because of the Kuzari argument of our unbroken mesora, I feel sorry for you". Which got me thinking: What, then, is the better argument for belief in Torah MiSinai? Specifically, what is a proof that doesn't have the same problems as the Kuzari's argument?

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    Am i on topic? 15 – Double AA Oct 23 '14 at 23:17
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    I don't know where I stand on this issue but it seems to me that Double AA's statement was to the effect that "if you rely on a proof, and this is the proof you are hanging your hat on, and it is easily refuted, then you have nothing left." The claim isn't that there is a better proof (or isn't) but that if it all depends on this one then that's a bad idea. – rosends Oct 23 '14 at 23:45
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    Actually, if we edit out the @DoubleAA -specific content from this question, I think it's actually really just a dupe of the linked question. WhoKnows, perhaps consider offering a bounty on that question? – Daniel Oct 23 '14 at 23:53
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    I don't think it's a dupe. That question was Judaism vs other religions. This question is Kuzari vs other proofs. – user6591 Oct 24 '14 at 0:31
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    @DoubleAA At the very least, if that other user was correct in that you were simply saying faith should not be based on any one proof alone, just say so :) If a more elaborate answer is a matter of time, I'd be happy to pay you for yours. This stuff is very important to me. You seem to be hesitant to share this Torah though, for some reason... – WhoKnows Oct 24 '14 at 7:08

main thing is to accept the mesora of our elders as explained in the intro to chovos halevavos, but if you want to delve in chakira and have proper guidance and are motivated to strengthen your faith then:

First thing that should be clear is that G-d exists. This can be demonstrated either through logical inquiry or more safely through studying the divine wisdom in nature. (the extreme complexity underlying all life and that a bounded random process could not possibly have produced such mind boggling complexity. i tried to prepare something here for whatever its worth)

Once this is clear and we are certain that He designed our bodies with an infinite wisdom, then it must also be that prophecy is necessary for Him to tell us what this is all about and this leads us to the most popular book on the subject, which has been translating into more books than any other book, and which is the mother of all monotheistic religions. then we also notice that this book bears the same marks of infinite wisdom as in nature, and we also notice the unique cultural survival of Judaism as pointed out by Rabbi Becher here, and the prophecies in the torah having been fulfilled, etc.

here's also a relevant quote from the pas lechem commentary of chovos halevavos shaar yichud ch.7

(Pas Lechem: He began with the title: "powerful" because according to our understanding, He existed before everything, since immediately after we grasp that there exists a Creator who created the world from nothing, we will immediately recognize His power, namely, the act of creating something from nothing...After this, when we reflect on the details of creation, and we study them and their parts - we will see signs of His wisdom and we will know that He is wise. Afterwards, we contemplate His providence in governing the world, we will know that He is living and among us always. Understand that all of these descriptions are obligatory and follow one after the other, with the creation of the world as their first source)

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    main thing is to accept the mesora of our elders as explained in the intro to chovos halevavos citation? – mevaqesh Oct 16 '16 at 20:44
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    this leads us to the most popular book on the subject, which has been translating into more books [sic] than any other book So if, say, Harry Potter is ever translated into more languages than the Bible, would the argument fall? Why is the number of translations even relevant? – mevaqesh Oct 16 '16 at 20:47
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    and which is the mother of all monotheistic religions DO you have a source for this? Zoroastrianism is sometimes regarded as the first monotheistic religion, although it is often regarded as dualistic. Why does it even make a difference if Judasim was the first monotheistic religion. Maybe hilkheta k'batrai :) – mevaqesh Oct 16 '16 at 20:51
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    then we also notice that this book bears the same marks of infinite wisdom as in nature What are these marks of infinite wisdom? How could your finite brain even determine that any thing contains infinite wisdom? – mevaqesh Oct 16 '16 at 20:52
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    main thing is to accept the mesora of our elders Let's say i'm a baal teshuva or a ger, or descended from them, why should I accept the mesora of Jewish elders over the elders of any other religion. Even if I happen to be Jewish, and the recipient of a tradition, why should I trust the Jewish tradition over any other? – mevaqesh Oct 16 '16 at 20:56

Belief can come from a personal revelation. A good friend of mine was planning to commit suicide on our way home from school in 10th grade. He asked of God that a particular song on play next on the radio if God cared and did not want him to kill himself, and that song came on.

Belief can come from instinctive conviction and commitment. This past year a good friend and I carpooled with a very smart, very skeptical Jew, who very methodically and academically ripped any rational argument for judaism to shreds, and called in to question the whole validity of the Torah. My friend had a serious crisis of faith after one ride. God suddenly be came a demiurge, an opiate of the masses, and a passing fantasy in man's search for meaning, alongside his Omnipresent self. He began to cry, and swore with God's name, and heaven and earth as his witnesses that he would be a jew and uphold Judaism were he the last jew a live, standing before a firing squad, who would spare him if he forsook Judaism, in the face of undeniable evidence of its fallaciousness.

Belief can be a rational choice, based on experience. One can choose choose Judaism because, having studied the Torah they cannot deny that it improves my life and character, and they feel that the set of rules it lays out for mankind, if properly enforced, would do the same for the world.

  • If this is not the type of answer that is being looked for, I will delete. Wasn't sure so I thought I'd just go for it. – Baby Seal Oct 24 '14 at 15:39
  • Great stories. I also have experiences like this I could add. But to the scientific/nonbelievers this does not prove anything. – user6591 Oct 24 '14 at 17:03
  • @user6591 Agreed, see my comment above. I think the 3rd point could be formalized to something of a proof, if need be. – Baby Seal Oct 24 '14 at 18:17
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    Not bad answers at all... Interesting honestly. But I wonder why @DoubleAA won't just chime in and put an end to all this... – WhoKnows Oct 25 '14 at 21:03
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    @WhoKnows here, read the end: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/13767/4682 – Baby Seal Oct 26 '14 at 0:31

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