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If Emunah is logical what is the Nisayon?

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#1 shaya



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Posted 18 September 2011 - 09:47 PM

if believe in god is a logical idea, why would the torah ask us to do so? is my question a part of the reason why some say there is no mitzvah to believe in hashem?
Start with God - the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 11:14 AM

The fact that G-d exists is, to paraphrase Rishonim an Achronim both, obvious to anyone who is not an imbicile. The question is in fact asked that because G-d's existence is so obvious, what kind of Mitzvah - what kind of sechar Mitzvah - do we get for recognizing it?

There are many answers in our seforim, but none contest the unassailable fact that the existence of a creator is obvious.

One answer is that because there is a tremendous vested interest a person has to not believe in G-d, the Mitzvah here is not to believe what you want to be true but rather what you know objectively is true. This is indeed a great Nisayon. We are all "jurors" who have much to gain on many levels if we find in favor of the State. Our entire lives are free from so many restrictions, there is no accountability and no mandatory rules, your entire life is yours to mold. So many people - educated people, intelligent people, most people - believe that the defendent is innocent. They say they can prove it; they write scientific books proving it; they consider "unsophisitcated" those who do think the defendent is - haha! - guilty.

A juror with such a personal interest in the outcome of the trial would never ever be chosen to serve on that jury. His entire lifestyle depends on the verdict. But you're on the jury anyway.

That's the Nisayon of Emunah. And it's a big one. We are on that jury. We have 2 choices: Defeat our own vested interests, remain objective, find the truth and stick to it, or let yourself be influenced by your desires, by society, by all the vested interests you have to just say "Yes, I agree with the sophisitcaed, educated, multitudinous aththeists. Now please pass me the pork sandwich." (And I am using pork as a metaphor for the real nisyonos).

The Torah says that bribery blinds the eyes of the wise. We may or may not all be wise, but we are all bribed. The Nisayon of Emunah is to declare the truth espite the fact that we are bribed.

The Mitzvah of Emunah is to follow objective truth rather than subjective and faulty reasoning. The Mitzvah of Emunah is for every intelligent teenager over Bar/Bas Mitzvah to resist the tmeptation to believe what they may want to believe, but ratehr believe what the objective truth is. The Mitzvah is to follow your mind and not your feelings. Thats a big Nisayon.

And so, Reb Elchonon ZTL says, the prohibition to believe heresy (i.e. anything that is against the Torah) is worded as "lo sasuru acharei levavchem" - "thou shalt not follow thy heart". Because since objectively the Torah is true, believing Apikorsus is due to following your feelings, not your mind. It is your feelings that are influencing your mind. If someone would follow their unadulterated objectivereasoning they would see the truth.

Thats what Emunah requires.