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In short, the core of my question would be: Is there a rational basis for granting authority to scripture as the word of God? Or does it take a "non-rational" (in contrast to "irrational") act of faith to bridge the gap between logical deductions and religious belief?   A little bit about myself and where this question is coming from: I was born and raised in Israel as an Ultra-Orthodox Jew. At Young teenagehood I've rebelled against the religious lifestyle I was brought up with, and I've been living a secular life since. I'm currently in my early 30s and living in the US. In recent years, I've been expanding my interest in comparative religion, psychology and philosophy. All that in the wake of a powerful mystical experiences I've had. I personally find much inspiration and wisdom in the biblical scriptures. And from a strictly critical point of view, arguments for the existence of God, such as the ones made by Ibn Sina, Thomas Aquinas, the Ramba"m and many other epic thinkers, make sense and positively resonate even with a skeptic like myself. However, when it comes to the question of exclusive authority to scripture, the answer I often get would be something along the lines of "What do you mean?! it says so in the Bible!" I doubt there is any need for me to point out the fallacy in that kind of argument... The other answer I would often hear, is that the nature of revelation and prophecy themselves are sufficient as proof for the legitimacy of the scripture been the word of God. That actually might be a good argument, however it will fail to explain the exclusivity that is attributed to the Tora for example over other supposed revelations. In other words, how can one deduct the exclusivity of the revelations to 'legitimate' prophets like Moses upon other "false prophets" from Jesus and Muhammad all the way to Shabbatai Tzvi and Jacob Frank? All that without pointing back at the content of the Tora itself as proof. Mind you, if I were to examine my personal mystical experience from an early historical or even medieval context, there is a pretty good chance I would consider myself a profit. Of course from a contemporary point of view, I can say that it was no more than a naturally occurring altered state of consciousness, or a spontaneous psychedelic trip. (The nature of consciousness and experience, and the place divinity takes within the two is of course a subject for a whole other conversation)   "Faith" is a concept that takes central place in most if not all religions, and in the search for meaning, one might reach a point where there is no other choice but to take that 'leap of faith'. If that's the case, it might not be overwhelmingly compelling, but I'll see that as acceptable. After all, many central things in our life cannot be explained by rationality alone. Love, beauty, art and music are just examples...   I appreciate your time and hope to hear back from you soon.

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Christian thought tells you to praise Jesus, but this doesn’t sound correct. I’ve been following man most of my life and I’ve only reached dead ends. So I’ve been trying to understand how to build a relationship with G-d, inspired by Judaism that Jews are the chosen people with their right ears closest to hear G-d and I was wondering: Is this concept in Jewish thought mean to have faith in myself and acknowledge G-d directly?? And, if not, how can I build a relationship with G-d without the idolizing that I believe is happening when holding value to one man to fix all your problems instead of one’s self & the reassurance that G-d is in charge, starting the surrendering process by as easy as falling asleep? Am I on the right track?

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Dear Rabbi, Does the Torah command to believe in God? If so, how can a person be told to believe? Either a person does or does not! Thanks

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During bad times (financial loss, debt, delayed marriage, death of beloved ones etc.) if one lost his faith in God due to suffering (because he may think God does not listen his prayer) - what he should do? Thanks.

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Dear Rabbi, Why does the Shema say "Hear O Israel" that there is one God, instead of saying "See O Israel"? Why the choice of the sense of hearing and not the sense of seeing? Thanks!  

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Most of the gentiles in the world have never heard about 7 noahide laws. There are some jews who have never learned Torah. How about mitzvah and sin by ones who do not know Torah and Judaism? Are sins and mitzvahs by whom don't even know Torah punished and rewarded?

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I was raised an Atheist but at a young age decided to become a baal teshuvah. For the majority of my life, I was relatively observant and did my best to observe as a Orthodox Jew in a household that looked down upon religion as an institution. But, for the past several years I have become increasingly lax in my observance. I do not daven as often as I should, I have been negligent in my observance of Shabbat, I have ceased to do acts of tzedakah in the quantity and frequency that I used to - but, perhaps most frightening of all, seeds of doubts have started to grow in my mind over the existence of G-d - a thought I have cried and lost sleep over and a thought that brings me into a pure and utter state of terror incomparable to anything else I have ever experienced. How may I resolve my doubts and will Hashem forgive me?

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I heard some Reform rabbis say that Monotheism is the religious renovation of Ancient Jews. According to them, Abraham renovated ancient polytheistic religion to Monotheism. Monotheism is an invention of Jews, not the revealation of HaShem. Is it true? If Monotheism is merely a good idea of Abraham, there is no reason to believe in One God.