OPEN LETTER TO JEWISH-AGNOSTICS OR JEWISH-ATHEISTS
returned from a Shabbat service in a conservative synagogue in my city. This
was the first time I attended a Jewish service, and I was quite impressed.
The spacious welcoming hall was teeming with joyful families, and a host of
happy children who seemed quite content to be there. The services revolved
around readings from the Torah, with sporadic announcements about boys who
had their Bar Mitzvah and girls who had their Bat Mitvah.
Grand-parents and parents were called to the front of the hall to pray for
their grand-children, who had just been initiated into adulthood. The Rabbi
was warm, humorous, and made all feel very much at home. It was a
heart-warming religious service, but something was missing: you.
For centuries Jews
around the world stayed faithful to their religious traditions and to their
God. In spite of frequent persecutions and pogroms they held fast to their
laws and their Jewish customs. With various degrees of zeal, they abided by
the principles of the Torah that distinguished them from the people that
surrounded them. Since the Holocaust there has been a great change. An
ever-increasing number of Jews has moved from the faith of their fathers to
doubt or disbelief. Today more than 50% of Jews are either agnostics of
atheists. In fact some of the foremost and most influential atheists, such
as Freud, Marx, Asimov, Weisel, etc. came from Jewish backgrounds.
I don’t know why you have rejected your roots. The reasons may be several
and complex. My doubtful Jewish friend, Fred, has no definite reason for not
accepting the divinity of the Torah, except that his logical mind simply
will not permit it. Maybe, like the author Elie Wiesel, you have concluded
that a loving God would have never permitted so much suffering among His
people. Perhaps, like Freud and Marx, you see the Torah as a collection of
myths that your ancestors created and compiled. Or maybe, like Einstein, you
love the moral teachings of the Torah and see their transforming power, but
you do not see in them any evidence of divine.
Where do you fit? Is your rejection of your religious roots well pondered?
Do you really know what you have rejected? Was your conclusion perhaps too
hasty? Do you know why people like me – a Gentile—elevate the Torah to a
high and lofty divine plane? Or why billions of people still base their
faith on it? (Both Jews and Christians revere the Torah as God’s Word.
Muslims consider the Torah to be a collection of “holy” books.)
Perhaps you are very scientific and rational. Maybe you have rejected the
Scriptures because to you they are scientifically untenable. You may believe
that what Genesis teaches about the origins of the universe is contradicted
by well-established scientific facts. All accumulated evidence tells you
that the universe began 15 billion years ago, not nearly 6000 as many Jews
and Christians believe. That alone makes you put the Bible down and makes
you never want to read it again.
But if you had researched the topic in greater depth, you would have found
that nowhere does the Torah teach that the universe is only a few thousand
years old. The Torah simply says “In the
beginning God created the heavens and the earth” not “5772 or 6000 years
ago God created the Heavens and the earth.” The beginning could have
been any time, even 15 billion years ago, if scientists’ calculations are
But what about geology, you may add? The various layers under our feet
indicate that vast eons of time have preceded us, and that great quantities
of life forms existed on earth for hundreds of millions of years before this
era. How does that fit into what is described in Genesis?
The fact is that everything fits perfectly well, if understood properly.
You see, there is a word used in Genesis that clears up many questions, and
it’s the word “Was,” found in Genesis 1:2.
The original Hebrew word can be translated “was” or “became.” If we
translate the word “was” it gives the impression that the earth was created
empty and void waiting to be populated with life "for the first time." If we
translate it “became” then we see a totally different reality; a reality
that allows for multiple creations, and perhaps multiple catastrophes
preceding "our" creation, as geology appears to indicate.
God is an eternal Being. He is a powerful Creator. He has been creating
different worlds for eons. He can use a planet like an artist uses a canvas.
He can paint a stunning picture and then, when tired of looking at his work,
He can cover the painting with a new layer and start anew, keeping only
aspects of the previous painting, if He so wishes, or creating totally new
ones. And this is exactly what we see in geology.
But what about the Flood, you may ask? Where is the scientific evidence for
a worldwide flood? Again, when we think about floods, we think of rain and
torrents of water rushing down valleys. Clearly, no amount of rain could
cover the earth and the mountains of the earth in
40 days. The Torah agrees with that objection. Read
Genesis 7 carefully, and you’ll see that there is more to this story than any foolish
myth could expound.
In verse 11,
we are told something of great importance that readers rarely notice: “…the
fountains of the great deep were broken up.”
This is a key point in this whole story.
The greatest amount of water gushed out in gigantic quantities out of the
earth. Perhaps it was water that was, and still is, stored under our
feet. Perhaps it was created miraculously for the occasion. The key point is
that the water came from underneath, not from above. Thus, cities and
structures made of stone and other robust material may have been covered
from the bottom up and preserved. The dynamics of that flood were
totally different than the usual floods. Thus, what is being sought is not
being found, because the signs left behind by the Great Flood are totally
different than what is expected.
The point I am trying to make, my friend, is that a superficial knowledge of
the Torah is simply not enough to reject this astounding collection of
books. One must study it, in depth, to truly appreciate its
greatness, and its accuracy.
And greatness is what describes the religious foundation that instructed,
guided, and inspired your forefathers for thousands of years. Consider, for
instance, the Decalogue. Consider its message of justice and its
transforming power. Consider its aim at protecting the weak in society.
(Please read “Ten
Great Proofs of God’s Existence” on this site for a discussion of
their undeniably divine nature.)
Consider, also, the extent to which the God of your fathers was concerned
with the weak of society: the widows, the orphans, the strangers.
“You shall not afflict any widow or
fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all
to Me, I will surely hear their cry" (Exodus 22:22-24).
"He administers justice for the fatherless and the
widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing"
Furthermore, the Torah contains health principles, such as the laws of
hygiene and the food laws, that protected the health of Jews and greatly
increased their longevity.
And what about the great Hebrew Prophets and the dozens of prophecies that
for centuries have been fulfilled and are still being fulfilled? I wish I
could share with you my Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecies.
It’s hundreds of pages long, and it details and
discusses dozens and dozens of prophecies that have been already fulfilled.
But you may say, “If God
is our God, then why has he allowed so much anguish to befall His people?
Why have we been taken into captivity so many times? Why has He allowed
Gentiles to harm us on so many occasions? Why the gruesome holocaust ?”
The Holocaust, for many, is the paramount reason why they rejected God. It
is very hard to comprehend why God would allow such great anguish on His
people. But I believe there is an answer even to this crucial
question, and I believe that it’s embedded within the Torah. I wish all Jews
would be familiar with Leviticus 26, since it addresses this critical
concern in great detail.
Before reading it, though, please understand that your people’s relationship
with God goes back about 4000 years, all the way back to your father
Abraham. He was chosen to become the father of a great nation that was to be
e shining beacon for all the peoples of the world to see. But first, that
nation was to experience slavery in Egypt, after which it would have been
freed miraculously and would have been brought to the land promised to
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
At the appointed time, Israel was freed and then was brought to Mount Sinai
for a personal meeting with their Savior God. There, an eternal contract was
signed by God and your forefathers. Israel promised to adopt a code of
conduct that would have made them healthy, prosperous, powerful and great.
Their part was to introduce the ways of God to the nations of the
world, who would have watched and would have been astounded at the fruits of
obedience to God’s laws.
The other part of the contract contained consequences that would have
ensued, if they had stubbornly disobeyed God. Please read both sections of
this contract. As you read, please consider that a self-aggrandizing set of
literature would have never contained such a damming document. In fact, if
the Hebrews Scriptures were ego-building and group-flattering they would
have never contained so much critical material as they do. The fact that the
Hebrew Scriptures contain very many "unflattering" condemnations of the
Israelites, is one of the greatest proofs that they are not a human
Please read the following contract carefully, and remember that it also
applies to you.
‘You shall not make idols for yourselves;
neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for
nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it;
for I am the LORD your God.
You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary:
I am the LORD.
‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them,
then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce,
and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall
last till the time of sowing;
you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make
I will rid the land of evil beasts,
and the sword will not go through your land.
You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you.
Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten
thousand to flight;
your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.
‘For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and
confirm My covenant with you.
You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new.
I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you.
I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
that you should not be their slaves;
I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.
‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments,
and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that
you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant,
I also will do this to you:
I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall
consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart.
And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies.
Those who hate you shall
reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.
‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven
times more for your sins.
I will break the pride of your power;
I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.
And your strength shall be spent in vain;
for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land
yield their fruit.
‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will
bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.
I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your
children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number;
and your highways shall be desolate.
‘And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me,
then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times
for your sins.
And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the
when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence
and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in
one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat
and not be satisfied.
‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me,
then I also will walk contrary to you in fury;
and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your
I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your
carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols;
and My soul shall abhor you.
I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I
will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas.
I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall
be astonished at it.
I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you;
your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.
Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you
are in your
then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
As long as it lies desolate it shall rest—
for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it.
‘And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their
hearts in the lands of their enemies;
the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee;
they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no
They shall stumble over one another, as it were before a sword, when no one
and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat
And those of you who are left shall waste away in their iniquity in your
also in their fathers’ iniquities, which are with them, they shall waste
‘But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their
fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and
that they also have walked contrary to Me,
and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them
into the land of their enemies;
if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—
then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and
My covenant with Abraham I will remember;
I will remember the land.
The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while
it lies desolate without them;
they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because
their soul abhorred My statutes.
Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not
cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My
covenant with them;
for I am the LORD their God.
But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I
brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might
be their God:
I am the LORD.’”
46 These are the statutes and judgments and
laws which the LORD made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount
Sinai by the hand of Moses.
This is the central reason for the plight of the
Jews through the ages. It is a painful reality, but it is reality
nevertheless. This is the saddening side. But a God of righteousness, love
and justice would not simply stop at grave punishments. God has the last
word, and His last word is glorious for you and for your people.
single last Israelite that suffered and died in Egypt; every single last
Israelite that died on the way to the Promised Land; every Israelite that
died in wars, in various captivities and in the various holocausts will
be brought back to life in the resurrection.
read this great promise in the book of the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel, chapter
The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the
LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of
Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were
very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry.
And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.”
Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry
bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter
into you, and you shall live.
I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and
put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise,
and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.
8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh
came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no
breath in them.
Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say
to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath,
and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’”
So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they
lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then He said to me, “Son of man,
these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are
Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My
people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves,
and bring you into the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your
graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.
I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in
your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it
and performed it,” says the LORD.’”
As for the Israelites who will be alive when Messiah comes, the promises for
them are just as stunning. Please continue reading Ezekiel 37.
“Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children
of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather
them from every side and bring them into their own land;
and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and
one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations,
nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.
They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their
detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver
them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will
cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
“David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have
one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes,
and do them.
Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant,
where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children,
and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be
their prince forever.
Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an
everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and
I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore.
My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they
shall be My people.
The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My
sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
of the prophet Isaiah is replete
with prophecies of those glorious days. One such prophecy is found in Isaiah
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter
That the mountain of the LORD’s house
(Converted, faithful Israel, under God)
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many people shall come and say,
“ Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.
That, my friend, will be a time when the nations of the world will finally
learn to love and respect the Jews and will seek to join them in worshipping
the true God.
saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men
shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of
the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have
heard that God is with you"
The future of your people, my Jewish friend, is stunning beyond belief. The
day will come when all your people’s suffering will finally be over. The day
is coming when your rewards will be unimaginable. Most of all, the day is
coming when your people, with God’s help, will finally accept the mission to
be a light to the nations, and the nations will see and greatly rejoice.
I hope, my dear friend, that this Gentile who loves your people and the God
of your people, has succeeded in at least stimulating some thoughts in you
that will lead you to re-consider the God of your ancestors. Most of
all I hope that, after much study and reflection, in the future you will
again re-embrace your roots, your religion and your God.
Almighty use you in the future to enlighten many others.