Judaism: Anthropic Principle and the Land of Milk and Honey
Rabbi Nachman KahanaRabbi Nachman Kahana is an Orthodox Rabbinic Scholar, Rav of Chazon Yechezkel Synagogue – Young Israel of the Old City of Jerusalem, Founder and Director of the Center for Kohanim, and Author of the 14-volume “Mei Menuchot” series on Tosefot, “With All Your Might: The Torah of Eretz Yisrael in the Weekly Parashah”, as well as weekly parasha commentary available where he blogs at http://NachmanKahana.com
There is growing interest among the scientific community in what is known as the “Anthropic (meaning: man) Principle”. This principle states that the universe and certainly our planet Earth were specifically designed to support the existence of life. That not only are the principles of biology cogent to the existence of life, but even the laws that govern the non-biological sciences of astronomy, physics and cosmology are fine-tuned to permit the existence of human beings. To mention just three:
1- We are dependent on the sun for light and heat. Solar burning is caused by the combining of a hydrogen proton with a neutron to form the hydrogen isotope deuteron which “burns”. If the nuclear force which combines the protons and neutrons would be slightly less than it is or slightly more, there would no solar burning. The Creator saw to it that the nuclear force would be within the narrow range permitting the formation of deuterons.
2- Planet Earth is in the exact distance from the sun to sustain water. Were we a bit closer, surface water would be at the boiling point; were we a bit further away, the atmosphere would not be breathable.
3- We live on Earth. Mercury and Venus are too hot and Mars is too cold. Mercury has no atmosphere, while the atmosphere of Venus is too thick for the sun’s rays to penetrate to the surface.
The temperature range and other properties of Earth are perfect for life. Earth’s atmosphere is transparent to the same spectrum of light to which our eyes are sensitive.
Conclusion: Anthropic reasoning would attribute this to design with humans in mind. And there are many more examples to substantiate the Anthropic Principle.
Now the big question: For whom did Hashem “go out of His way” to shape the Laws of Nature to make the planet so hospitable for humans?
To answer this question I turned to this week’s Time magazine, and the five people who the board of judges deemed to be deserving of the title “Man (or woman) of the Year,” to see who is important in this time and might justify creation. They are: The Pope, Edward Snowden, Edith Windsor, Bashar Assad and Ted Cruz.
I was incredulous. The Pope represents the billion plus Catholics and Christians who believe in the Trinity, which is a negation of Monotheism and, as such, is idol worship, avoda zara. Snowden contributed to the rights of individual privacy; important but not Earth shattering. Ms Windsor is an insult to the values of Judaism. Assad of Syria has much blood on his hands, and Ted Cruz is nothing to write home about.
So perhaps Hashem fashioned the “laws of nature” for the teeming billions in China, India and elsewhere who deny the existence of the Creator? Unlikely!
Did He create the world for the over one billion Moslems who manipulate the concept of G-d just to further their fascist, totalitarian grip on people and to further their dreams of world Caliphate? Most Unlikely!
So who remains?
The Gemara in Tractate Nedarim 32a states:
גדולה תורה – שאילמלא תורה לא נתקיימו שמים וארץ, שנאמר (ירמיהו לג,כה) ‘אם לא בריתי יומם ולילה חקות שמים וארץ לא שמתי וגו’.
The Torah is uniquely great. For without the Torah the Heavens and Earth could not exist, as stated by the prophet (Yirmiyahu 33,25) “If not for My covenant (with the Jewish nation that they would keep My Torah) day and night, I would not have established the principles governing the Heavens and Earth”.
Indeed. Every thing that exists was created for the Jewish nation which was destined to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai!
Rashi on the first pasuk in the Torah quotes the Midrash which states that the Heavens and Earth were created for the sake of the Torah and for the sake of the Jews, Am Yisrael.
But this requires further investigation.
Did chazal (our rabbis of blessed memory) intend that Hashem created the universe so that the Jewish nation would perform the mitzvot in Babylon, in Lakewood, New Jersey or even in Vilna, Lithuania?
Ramban (R. Moshe ben Nachman) states (Vayikra chapter 18) that the mitzvot were given to the Jews, Am Yisrae, to be kept in Israel, Eretz Yisrael, adding that to reside in Eretz Yisrael is equal to all the other mitzvot in the Torah. In Shemot 3 verses 12 and 17, it is stated:
And Hashem said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship Hashem on this mountain (to receive the Torah)… And I have promised to bring you… into the land… a land flowing with milk and honey.”
The conclusion is that the 5774 years since creation, which has seen so much human suffering and injustice, were vindicated for the sake of the six million Jews now living in the Holy Land.
Part B: What is propelling the USA against the State of Israel?
Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord
The prophet Amos reveals that Hashem does not readily punish a society for its first three sins, however starting with the fourth severe sin Hashem acts with unrelenting justice and with no impunity.
In the first chapter of Amos, the prophet calls out to the nations with a warning of what awaits them on their fourth strike.
The nations under scrutiny are: Aram whose capital is Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon and Moav.
In the relatively short time since the Shoah and the establishment of the Jewish state, the United States is guilty of three cardinal sins vis–à–vis the Jewish people’s aspirations to return to our Biblical homeland.
1- The US could have saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Jews, by bombing the death camps of Europe or even the tracks leading to those camps. However, in all the excruciating years of the Shoah, not one American or allied bomb was dropped to terminate, or at least to interfere with, the German killing machine.
It is on record that for technical reasons an American plane that was in the vicinity of the Auschwitz camp had to release its bomb load. The pilot was ordered to release the bombs in an empty field but must be careful not to harm the camp or the tracks.
At the same time the US prohibited Jews who fled from Europe entry into the country, and the US did nothing to influence their allies, the British, to permit Jewish refugees entry into Eretz Yisrael, for fear of incurring the wrath of the Saudis who were sitting atop an ocean of oil.
2- While the nascent Jewish State was fighting for its very life against five Arab armies, the US imposed a total arms embargo. Were it not for the miraculous intervention of Hashem, we would have been a closed file in the archives of the US State Department.
3- The United States has degraded into a promiscuous society where every form of abomination is tolerated and protected by law; while the name of God cannot be mentioned in their public schools. And it is this society that beckons to our young Jewish men and women to mix freely with the gentile majority, to intermarry and forget their Jewish heritage.
4- The fourth major sin is transpiring now, when the US is forcefully pressuring us to commit national suicide. The US Secretary of State has visited Israel more than he has been to any other country. With each visit he turns the screw ever tighter, with his present plan that Israel give the Jordan Valley to the Arabs, with Yerushalayim not far behind.
Amos when referring to the fourth sin of the regional powers, deems it to be the worst, for it encapsulates parts of the preceding three.
The US administrations – all of them – are as loyal to Israel as Eau was to Jacob. The US takes its lion share of the relationship while leaving Israel dependent on the crumbs they throw to us.
At present, the US is coercing the Jewish State to dismember itself limb by limb. They are doing it tactfully under the cover of political correctness. The US as a legalistic society does not care about the moral outcome of their acts, as long as they are covered by contractual documentation.
It’s analogous to one who takes his car back from repair, and is asked to sign that he is satisfied with the work, when in fact he has no idea that the mechanics know that he will have to come back in a month. But the paper legally covers the garage.
The idea behind the US assault on Israel is to reach a written agreement with the unscrupulous Arabs, which is not worth the paper it is written on, but will permit the US to gracefully retreat from their “obligations” to Israel and leave the Middle East.
But this is not the real story. Because what is behind the US and the European countries is a Christian agenda. It has been the Christian agenda of 2000 years to negate all that is stated and promised in the Bible. Specifically that we are the chosen nation of Hashem, with the Land of Israel the indisputable, substantive and essential guarantor of the covenant between the Creator and Am Yisrael.
That is the real story – Esau vs. Jacob as it unfolds in our time with Israel as the “tug of war” between the chosen Jews of Hashem and the rejected nations.