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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Reexamining Childhood Teachings

Tonight is the holiday of Shavous, which celebrates the Divine Revelation at Sinai and the giving of the Ten Commandments over three thousand years ago. A great resource to learn more about the holiday is the Aish site.

One of the benefits of living in the blogosphere is gaining some insight into how others perceive G-d. It seems that most people take the understanding of G-d they received in childhood with them through their whole life. It is unfortunate that they never availed themselves of the opportunity to objectivity revisit the question of G-d's existence with a mature mind.

Another thing you see are people who are convinced that they have iron clad proof that there is no G-d. With a wave of the hand they dismiss a multitude of proofs from advanced by the greatest philosophers of all time. How can anybody be so sure? The simple answer is arrogance. The more nuanced answer is that free choice requires that not believing in G-d be an acceptable alternative for even the "sophisticated" person.

Let me leave you with some thoughts from one of my favorite modern day thinkers, Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller:

The date was the 6th of Sivan 2448 according to Jewish dating or 1312 BCE. Over three thousand years have passed since that date -- the only widely acknowledged public experience with God in human history.

When I was growing up Charlton Heston was my Moses. The effect of seeing a cast of thousands, wind machines replicating the splitting of the sea, and Anne Baxter providing an interesting and distinctly non-biblical sub-plot had the effect of placing an opaque patina of mythology and kitsch over the entire event.

Only later in my life was I able to shake the movie off enough to realize that the (real) Ten Commandments are the most definitive statements of spiritual morality to ever be articulated.


Read the whole thing.