A conflicted soul torn between two worlds, the world of Hassidim and the world of reason. It is two different worlds yet I’m in both of them at the same time, acting like a Hassid but thinking like a Heretic.
I am a Baal Tesuvah that was recruited by Aish Hatorah. I am interested in leaving Judaism since the Orthodox lifestyle is way too difficult for me. However, there is certain circumstancial evidence used to prove Judaism that scares me into believing that maybe I should be frum. Here are some things that worry me:
1. In Deuteronomy there is a prophecy that Israel would be taken away in captivity (fulfilled during the Babylonian captivity) and that Israel would one day return from being scattered across the nations( did occur) and that people would return to Judaism (Baal Tesuvah movement).
If some prophet foresees events that happens many years after they were proclaimed one may entertain the idea that this prophet got his messages from someone who knows more than a normal human being can know, although one may argue that it was a coincident. But...
What if the relevant verses in Deuteronomy were written after the first set of events happened (after the Kingdom of Israel was dispersed), indeed way after - perhaps during the Babylonian period when all of the Jews (the important ones at least) were already exiled? What if refers to the return of the diaspora from Babylonia? In order to be phased by the prophecy we must be surer that it means what we now see as the events that unfolded, and was indeed foreseen before the events happened.
Also, while our history verges on the miraculous, culminating surely, with the return of many Jews to a homeland dispersed almost two millennia prior. A large contributor to our return to the land must be the constant yearning, daily prayers and seasonal reminders - these have been enforced by the promises Jews believed to have been given by the almighty. Perhaps a self-fulfilling prophecy.
2. The fact that we were persecuted by so many nations, yet survived so long.
That is extraordinary indeed, but it is hard if not impossible to use that as proof of anything other than it being extraordinary. Some may find an easy answer in a deity that prescribed the history of the Jews in the diaspora, but in reality a deity raises more questions than answers - it becomes the unnecessary added explanations not allowed with Occam's razor.
3. Evidence geological and in stories across cultures that there may have really been a flood.
Geological evidence supports localized floods that contributed to the stories many cultures have about floods - there is no evidence to believe that there was a central flood all across the world. From this evidence to the belief in a very confused biblical account - with a deity involved - requires a huge leap of faith.
4. The torah stated correctly that there is only one animal that has split hooves and does not chew its cud.
An interesting twist on the proof of the torah's divinity originated in the Talmud that there are only 4 animals in the world that have only one of the two kosher identifiers but not the other.
Aish apparently had a problem with the talmudic proof for a few reasons, kangaroos being one of them. In addition the hare and hyrax are not ruminators at all, rather, like hamsters they are coprophagous animals. So the proof was tweaked a little.
Truth is, the Torah never stated anything of the sorts. It just lists, erroneously, 4 animals that have one of the two kosher signs but never claims them to be exclusive.
5. Many aspects of Greek philosophy were stolen from Torah.
Suppose it's true, and it's hard to do so without specifics, so what?
That is the circumstancial evidence that scares me. Here are some philosophical arguments that worry me:
1. How could Moses managed to convince so many people to obey the laws of the torah?
2. Without monotheism we would be sacrificing babies to Moloch.
Said who? Fads change.
(Monotheism was, according the torah, hundreds of years old when Jews still practiced human sacrifices.)
3. Judaism was the first monotheist religion and how could someone invent the concept and ideas of monotheism?
1) I'm not so sure it was the first. 2) reading the torah critically clearly reveals a transition from monolatry to monotheism. 3) Why couldn't someone invent it? Some one had to invent the wheel too - surely a much harder invention as it actually had to involve trial and error. Although, just like most other ideas it evolved over the time from simpler ideas.
In order to hide my identity I use a lot of misinformation and may intentionally be misguiding on details that could lead back to me. However, the stories I’m telling and mainly the feelings and thoughts I’m writing about are true, and isn't all a fairy tale.
God is in the details they say. When I gave up on god I gave up on the details too, but the essence of anything I write is true. Unfortunately.