Anything about JUDAISM
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ProudlyJewish Posted - 30 September 2009 19:20
I made a huge mistake; I decided I was 'strong' enough in my emunah, and 'smart' enough to challenge apikorusim and athiests w/o being affected by them.
I was wrong.
For at least a month I was having on going arguements with them, laughing at what they had to say.
Then one night the things they said were echoing in my head, I got really scared and I was asking myself "What if they're right?".
For a week I was struggling w/ this and it really took a toll on me.
Even though I realize most of them are egotistic, illogical, arrogent, cynical, and refuse to listen to what anyone else has to say, what they said had a huge effect on my neshama.
I keep hearing 'how do you know??' when I'm davening or my mind wanders.
I keep arguing w/ my yezter hora, and it's the same arguements every time. I know most of the proofs, too.
What's bothering me the most is this; I feel like I have to prove to them that they're wrong. If the proof is there why are so many people still believing the wrong things.
How do I know I'm right?
Lately I've been getting a better handle on this; but my emunah is still really suffering.
What should I do?
asilbs2 Posted - 13 October 2009 15:39
What you were debating with them about?
Matisyohu28 Posted - 13 October 2009 15:39
proudlyjewish - chazal tell us that emunah is not a solely intellectual quest. While proofs are a factor, there is something else - all over the seforim, we find a concept of an inborn emunah in hashem - while this can be weakened, it is there, and needs to be brought out. This is what emunah peshutah is - not just saying 'i believe because i believe' or other christian nonsense, no, rather, it is the understanding that I already do believe, it is an intrinsic part of my make-up - however if you ask why YOU should believe, ill give you proofs about our mesorah and so on. The proofs are a great chizuk, but it's not everything, because what happens when you have a kasha? drop it all? and so the rambam explains the mitzvah of lo sasuru as being because a person with his limited mind and the limited capabilities of his scope might not have a factor in mind, might miss something, or so on, and therefore must not follow heretical thoughts. There is however, another level - one of negios. Rav Elchonon Wasserman HY'D asked your question - how can the torah obligate a bar mitzvah bochur in the mitzvah to believe if we see brilliant scientsits and philosophers who only partially believed, or who outright denied everything? The answer he says, is that people have negios - scientsits, atheists, you name it - all have biases and desires, and they know that if they dont believe in g-d or torah, they will be able to do literally whatever they want9or whatever they decided is right for thesmelves). We can see this in the elementary questions they pose - carl sagan was an atheist/agnostic/otherwise apikores because he had a bomb kasha, what came before g-d? And he said this was his reason. He was th gadol hador, lehavdil, of the scientific community.

The chazon ish, who lived before him, brings the same question and says that this question is a 'knee-jerk response', and comes from limited, surface-level, elemtnary thinking. He answers that since G-d made everythingh and is outside time, there need not be anything before him, since before and aftere only exist in a world where there is time, but since eveything in the wiorld, including time, is only the result of hashem constantly pouring energy and 'thinking' us up every second of every day, he is above that. Time doesnt exist of its own, and neither does anything else, including carl sagan - this is a simple answer that sagan could have thought of if he had used his head the way he used it for science; but science does not have the same implications as believing in G-d - sagan did not want to keep shabbos or not live with women when he pleased, and so he was a koifer because of a simple kasha. I doubt he even asked any rabbonim before making these remarks, but I think even the christians understand enough to beat these kashes.

Most atheists are such because of reasons of a desire for peace, since they beleive religion causes harm and violence - atheism is on the decline today because of this, since thistory shows atheist governments and leaders are just as violent and hateful as religious fanatical ones, if not more so.

Like all avodah zara, atheism comes from bad middos - have you ever met an atheist or kofer who was humble, satisfied with his lot, never angry, never jealous, no taivos, not hateful, had hakjaras hatov, etc.. - I haven't.

Mussar teaches you how to live. But learning bava kama is living! - Rav Avigdor Miller ZT'L

tryingright2 Posted - 13 October 2009 15:39
emunah is a feeling, a feeling that there is a g-d and he gave us the torah
if you know the proofs and realy understand and believe in them then you're on the right way
that that you have a small voice saying ''what if'' is normal.
what you should is be mechazek yourself should read articles about emunah should read out loud the 13 principles of emunah of the rambam (the 'chistonios have an effect on the pnimius)
and the quistions that if were right and there wrong why tho so many people believe in them, if you think about it, who is them there is christians muslim's protestants hindus ,,,,,
everyone claims they have they truth,
those people who spoke to you all have claims against judaism but the are not proving there religion against the dozens other ones ,
and you should know the lifestyle on a christian is much easier than that of us jewish people.
it's easier telling yourself that judaism is not true and that christian is true and that joshke's blood purifies all of the sins .

btw. the fact that now you have questions and doubt those not mean that beforehand you were not strong in your emunah it's a natural thing that everyone gets maspiah from the surounding, from other people.

The rambam says that you should better live in a dessert that between wicked man
i heard once a vort that the rambam is speaking to someone that is listining even someone who is on such a level that will go the dessert even he should go tho the desset

good luck

taon Posted - 13 October 2009 15:39
First, a story. One upon a time, I mean, I once saw a "disproof" of Torah. It was pretty ridiculous, I'm too embarrassed to repeat what it was. But I was apparently punished for looking, and I also had doubts. A little later, when my mind cleared, I realized how incredibly nonsensical the "proof" was. I could have asked a child to prove it wrong. But the yetzer hara latches onto such things. It's not just you. Since you already realize what you were told doesn't make sense, the steps to clearing your mind should be easier. Review proofs to Torah, or something similar. Pick a few to repeat in your head whenever the yetzer comes, saying that no matter what you heard, these proofs are still strong. Think about passukim or tefillos that serve to inspire you, go over them several times in your head. See the Yad Hashem in your life even more than usual. Anything else that may inspire you would also help.

May the Geulah have come before this post goes up.

questions? go here:

ProudlyJewish Posted - 01 November 2009 17:48
Thank you so all so much!
I got the book "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt", and it is really great.
But I'm afraid this will take me a while to fix b/c I spent so much time argueing w/ them.
Asilbs, I wasn't argueing w/ them like a back and fourth conversation.
They'd ask a question, they'd get an answer, I ask a question they give me an answer. And believe me, their answers were both ridiculous and unintellegent.

I really hate myself for doing this to myself. But thanks for your advice.
I have the 13 principals of faith hung up in my room, so I can always see them.
Hopefully, no one else should fall into the trap I did.

jewishgirl1 Posted - 01 November 2009 17:48
It doesn't matter if you want to prove them wrong. You have to stay away from these people. The yetzer hara is extremely strong in this area. There's a chazal that says "hakol b'yedei shmayim, chutz m'yiras shamayim." It seems that if Hashem "can't control" this it must be up to us to provide it - and a reason we are on this earth. Getting involved with these types of people prevents you from increasing your y"S, and thus emunah.

As for getting the thoughts out of your head. You can find an English version of the Kuzari. (make sure it's a good translation.) It's an entire sefer devoted to proving how yiddishkeit is true. It has a lot of information about Hashem.

You can also read Derech Hashem. Again, there is a translation of it that's really good.

There are many other sefarim about Hashem too.

It's always a good idea to talk over your thoughts with a mentor or a trusting friend. Remember, emunah problems are normal. we all go through them. just don't put yourself in a situation that you will have to question what you know. Proving someone else wrong is a pretty poor excuse for decreasing your emunah.

Much Hatzlacha!

ProudlyJewish Posted - 16 November 2009 22:32
Things are not getting much better.
I have something echoing in my head, something one of them said.
I reccomend you do not read the following:

They say that people beleive in G-d b/c life is hard and it's easy to say someone is protecting/taking care of you.
They say it's for comforting you, like oh don't worry G-d will take care of it.
I don't fully belive this, but it bothers me b/c in a sense they're right. Belif in G-d does make life much easier.

What do I do??

MODERATOR Posted - 17 November 2009 0:36
Answer these questions

1 To an uninformed observer, would Torah seem easier, or harder?

2 If you were to decide you needed something to latch on to, what would attract you most?

Answer those questions, and you should have two refutations to your yetzer hora. But the claim is ridiculous for many reasons. Is anything that makes life easier automatically a lie? even microwaves? It's absurd. Some kiruv sefarim address this issue, if you want to see more on it.

dumb(not so much)blonde Posted - 25 November 2009 22:40
so i keep seeing in the replies advice to review 'the proofs', but- excuse me for asking so bluntly- what are the proofs? i dont wanna be an apikorus or a/th but i never completely understood a straight clear proof for hashem and the torah. its rlly bad but i emunah isn't rlly that great. i rlly try to accredit things that happen to me to hashem, and thank Him for good things, and daven for Him to help w/ my probs and stuff, and i rlly try to look for hashgacha pratis in e/th, but sometimes doubts just enter my mind and i see possibilities of it not being true and then i hate myself and i feel horrible. or other times i keep thinking abt and its very hard, sometimes i dont rlly feel bad or a/th but i just keep thinking abt these things. and its super difficult to stop myself. my teachers always say that a proof is that by har sinai it was the whole nation testifying to seeing hashem, and we're the only nation to claim that, but how do we even know that the whole nation saw hashem as a fact?? sorry it just kinda bothers me. i dont wanna be an apikorus but i sometimes see these possiblities. s/o please help!! for now i usually just push these thoughts aside and forget abt them, but every so often it pops back in and oooyyy!! but also i dont wanna just be pushing it aside and shoving it away, i want it to be s/th i thought abt and resolved and figured out for myself and understood how it works. im going to try to read the kuzari since i have an english one in my house i think, so i hope it helps. and any proofs a/o can please tell me wud be gr8! thanks!!
ProudlyJewish Posted - 29 November 2009 16:05
Don't worry, there are many many proofs for Hashem and the Torah. If you are serious about stregthening your emunah you should get the book, "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt". It's AMAZING!
So, back to proofs:
did you know there is mathmatical probability that proves the existance of G-d (beyond a reasonable doubt). As in, what are the chances, say, just the human race was created by chance. (Now, I'm assuming you know what it means when you say 'three to the power of three', because you'll need to know that to understand what this number is).
The chances of that are 1 in 1 to the trillionth power. As in, it's a 1 followed by a trillion zeros. That's not even a trillion, a trillion would be a one followed by 15 zeros. So you'd have to write down a trillion 0s after a 1 to actually see this #. And that's just the mathmatical probability that humans were created by chance, and I don't have to tell you there are several other things in this world much more impressive than humans.
That's something I learned from that book, I think you'd learn a lot from it as well.
taon Posted - 29 November 2009 16:05
<<what are the proofs?>>
Some basic ideas:

There is much more, this is just a start.

<<i dont wanna be an apikorus>>
Chas vesholom, there is nothing wrong with asking.
<<sometimes doubts just enter my mind and i see possibilities of it not being true and then i hate myself and i feel horrible.>>
It's putting these into your mid. the yetzer hora. knowledge of how to asnwer it is the best defense.

<<my teachers always say that a proof is that by har sinai it was the whole nation testifying to seeing hashem, and we're the only nation to claim that, but how do we even know that the whole nation saw hashem as a fact??>>
When would it have been faked? If you say at Har Sinai, how would that be possible? Or for any of the things that happened before then to have happened? If you say afterwards, how could someone come to a people even our worst enemies call clever, stubborn, and skeptical, and say that this happened to their ancestors, just the males between 20 and 60 numbering 600,000? And why wasn't that event recorded, if they saw no reason not to believe it? Everything else is recorded. Where is the evidence to sggest such a thing? You cant say they all agreed on such a lie becuase 1 they had to be a lot of people considering how many they would have said they descended from, and it's hard enough to get five people to agree on something 2 they would have written something easier to keep, with less things that could be disproven, and nicer things about their ancestry 3 so many people would not lie to their kids about everything and maintain the lie. And many other reasons

<<im going to try to read the kuzari since i have an english one in my house i think>>

The Kuzari is good, though if it's a direct translation it may jump around a little. There are more proof-oriented sefarim, if you'd prefer. HAtzlacha and Shkoyach

"Just because you don't understand, doesn't mean it's not true"

questions? go here:

josh1 Posted - 13 December 2009 20:20
Jewishgirl1 is totally right, You have to stay away from the argueing. Leave that to the experts.
jewishgirl1 Posted - 30 December 2009 22:15
I just read in Rav Schwab on Payer that it says in the Zohar Chadash (Rus): "a sure, daily remedy for a person in this world is the regular and timely reading of the shema. this means that he proper saying of krias shema is a remedy for any doubts that a person may have concerning the veracity of the existance of HaKadosh Baruch Hu or Torah min haShamayim. The proper saying of Krias Shema is a refuas hanefesh, a cure for the spirit, and serves to recharge the battery and strenghens the emunah of a person."

Krias shema must be said 2x a day. Once at night and one within the FIRST THREE HOURS of day, the time when most people get up.

So if you sleep late on shabbos and sunday morning ...

ari-free Posted - 18 October 2010 12:28
The Torah says that if the Jews sin, they will be persecuted and small among the nations. But despite this, the Jews and the Torah will always survive.
When I step into a yeshiva and see Jews still learning despite all the years of persecution and assimilation, after thousands of years of great empires rising and falling, that is when I KNOW the Torah is true.

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