Jewish Civilization’s Impact on the World Today

Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim

Sarah Mangum of asked me to reply to this question: How does the history of Jewish Civilization impact the world today?

Jewish civilization, from Abraham and Moses, through Maimonides and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (late 1900s) have shared with the world a way of life based on truths, not beliefs. Throughout the existence of Jewish civilization, Biblical miracles[1] were witnessed by Jewish and gentile masses, unlike other religions that possess no evidence of God’s interaction. This was the Creator’s method of assisting truth-seekers, and endorsing such a life in the eyes of all peoples.

Before the Bible was given, in his monotheism, Abraham veered from the idolatrous ways of all other men. With no teacher, Maimonides recounts[2] how Abraham extricated himself from his idolatrous family and that culture. Using his mind alone, he discovered God. He grew in his wisdom, composed books, reached out to mankind and taught others until he had tens of thousands of followers. Threatened by leaders his philosophy opposed, God miraculously saved Abraham. Thus, even without the guide of the Bible, Abraham’s perfection led him to lead a life where he valued truth and wisdom over all else, and his love for mankind compelled him to teach others, until they saw the truth with their minds. 

Truth is at the core of Judaism. Sharing truth with others is at the core of the perfected man or woman. Truth convinces a person of what is real, not coercion, which is sinfully adopted in other religions. 

The divine obligation of the Jew to is to share with all God’s peoples His will, that is equal for all men and women. God gave only one religion[3], since there is only one mankind. As we each share the identical design, numerous religions is not sensible. As God commanded His one religion be not altered,[4] this point that just one religion is to exist forever was made patently clear. However, due to human insecurities and a need for tangible gods, man violated his reason and Biblical prohibitions by inventing new religions based on imagination, and without an ounce of validation. 

Intelligent people must discern mass “acceptance” of other religions, from mass “witnesses” found only at Revelation at Sinai. Masses of followers do not validate that religion’s beliefs as true, or as historical fact. Why did the two major religions not create their religion anew, from the ground up? Why did they base it on the Jewish Bible? This was because the Bible was recognized as absolute truth. Those religions would not be credible, or adopted, had they denied known Jewish history with a brand new religion. 

For the purpose of this article, it is necessary to now briefly share the unique character of the Bible, which compelled the world to accept its accounts as true, like all history.

 God designed man with reason and intelligence so that we engage both, and certainly in the most vital of areas, our relationship with God, i.e., religious life. Using reason, we today realize that such a massively-attended event — Revelation at Sinai — must have occurred. We possess the same proof as those 2.5 million eyewitnesses over 3300 years ago. For if Revelation at Sinai did not take place, and Moses attempted to convince individuals that they and millions of others saw something which they had not, the story would never get off the ground. Moses would be viewed as a psychotic. That nation would not adopt Moses’ lies in place of what they all knew was their true history. Imagine someone telling a few thousand New Yorkers that they just witnessed the Twin Towers suddenly reappearing. Not a singe soul would pass this on to his children as a true event, and 3000 years for now, such an event will not be incorporated by major religions as part of their systems. This is exactly what Moses would have confronted, had he lied about Sinai. But the fact that the world accepted the account throughout time, is a testament to the truth of God’s revelation. It must have occurred. As is true regarding any historical account, Sinai too relies on mass witnesses for its validation. But had it simply been Moses’ word alone, or the word of small groups, this does not provide proof, for motive to lie can be found in small groups. Only with mass witnesses do we know for certain that an event transpired. This was the single time in history where God revealed Himself to man. Additionally, had Moses lied, today the world should be in receipt of the “true” Jewish history during the time of Moses’ lie. But there exists no “alternative Jewish history.” 

Mass witnesses is how the Bible and all histories are proven. Without mass witnesses, all other religious claims remain unproved, explaining why other religions demand faith. For they have no proof. This reasoning proves the historical truths of Caesar, Alexander and others. The Bible is no different.

Sadly, Jews do not share this core Biblical history, allowing false religions to flourish. Here, Jewish civilization’s history is not impacting the world out of silence.  

God orchestrated an undeniable miracle at Sinai: intelligent words emanating from the inferno of Sinai. Nothing of biological or of earthly origin survives in fire. In all other elements, we do find life. But fire is the one element inside of which all life perishes. That 2.5 million Jews heard intelligent words emanating from fire was proof that there exists an intelligent being not of physical form. This is precisely why God included fire in the miracle! God’s existence was thereby proved, as was His single religion for mankind. And as God included in His words that His Bible not be altered in any way for all time[4], we understand He intended only one religion for man. The Jews — and not another people — received this law, for all other peoples were then idolatrous. Abraham alone was monotheistic. Abraham’s descendants through Isaac and Jacob then became the keepers of God’s law for all peoples.   

As Revelation at Sinai became the litmus test for validating God’s word, by comparison, all other religions claiming divine origin fail to prove themselves. For God demonstrated that when He wishes to prove His words, He does so with undeniable miracles attended by millions of witnesses. He does not wish confusion among men as to what He said and what He did not. 

Revelation at Sinai impacted the world for some time afterwards. God’s Bible makes a remarkable and indelible impression on an intelligent person, just like it did on Queen Sheba:

Kings I, 10:1-10:

“And Queen Sheba heard the tidings of Solomon in the name of God, and she came to test him with riddles. And she came to Jerusalem with an exceedingly great entourage, camels carrying spices, and very much gold, and fine stones, and she came to Solomon and spoke to him, all that she had on her heart. And Solomon told her all her words, there was no matter hidden from the king that e did not tell (respond) to her. And Queen Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon, and the house (Temple) that he built. And the food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the standing of his officers, and their clothing and their drinks, and his sacrifices that he brought up to the house of God, and she had no spirit left in her. And she said to the king, “The matter that I heard in my land was true regarding your matters and your wisdom. And I did not believe the matters until I came, and my eyes saw, and not even half the matter was told to me, there is more wisdom and good than the matter I heard. It should be that God is blessed, in that he desired you, to place you onto the throne of Israel in God’s eternal love for Israel, and He has placed you as king to do justice and righteousness.” And she gave to the king 120 kikar of gold, and very much spices, and fine stones. There never came again the quantity of spices that Queen Sheba gave to King Solomon.”

But as the Jewish nation sinned, our temple was twice destroyed on the identical dates 656 years apart, in 586 BCE and 70 CE, both on the 9th of the Jewish month Av. The identical date was God’s message of His divine retribution for our sins of idolatry and failed morality. Astonishingly, this date was also when the Jews refused to enter the land of Israel in Moses’ era. God ensured this date be echoed throughout time. Ultimately, the Jews became a derision of the nations as described by Jeremiah in the book Lamentations (Eicha). We no longer held the reputation that earned us respect, nor did we possess the voice to impact others. The message to the world we once offered, was silenced. What were some of those primary lessons?

• God exists and works with Reward and Punishment:

The Ten Plages exposed idolatry and all its beliefs as false, for no god of Egypt was able to defend itself against the Ten Plagues. Furthermore, false theories that God abandoned the world were rejected. And most crucial was that the world learned that when a people unjustly enslaves and tortures another people who follow the one true God, Abraham’s children, they are punished. 

• God desires man trust his senses and intelligence:

The Ten Plagues also taught mankind that what is true and real, is what we perceive. This was in contrast to Egypt’s beliefs in dormant imaginary powers and silent gods. Only the God of the enslaved Hebrews — Abraham’s and Isaac’s seed — manipulated natural laws to orchestrate the plagues. 

• God needs no help:

The Ten Plagues also demonstrated that God alone rules the universe; all of the Earth, the heavens and all in between. 

• God desires the good for man:

God’s laws and teachings — His Bible or Torah — gave the development of mankind a giant leap forward; ideas that may not have been arrived at for centuries independent from prophecy, were suddenly within grasp. The 613 laws and numerous principles and moral truths open man’s eyes to authoritative insights. 

For those who today question the validity of all stated above, one must be honest and wonder why not only the Jews, but why Christianity and Islam accept the Jewish history, the Bible, we call the Torah. The greatest minds known to man, the original recipients of the Bible all hold the Bible to be true, including: Moses, Joshua, and the Bible’s original teachers, Kings David and Solomon, the Prophets, hundreds of the authoritative Talmudic and Mishnaic sages, and the Rishonim — medieval Rabbis including Rashi, Maimonides, Nachmanides, Ibn Ezra, Sforno and many others. And we know these men to be brilliant, as they authored works like Deuteronomy (Moses), Psalms (King David), and Proverbs (King Solomon).

Despite God’s commands not to alter His Bible, not to create physical deities, not to deify man, to affirm that He alone runs the world He created, and that His chosen emissaries to mankind are Isaac’s children — not Ishamael’s children[5] — and that the Messiah descends from Davidic lineage…despite the clarity of God’s words, new religions arose violating all these commands. Why? Judaism’s truth was unbearable. Other peoples could not tolerate they were not God’s chosen nation. The hostility was generated as they failed to realize that the Jews were not selected to remain exclusive: the Bible is intended for all mankind. God merely commanded Isaac’s descendants in protecting the Bible’s teachings. But this message was obscured by the failure of others to study God’s clear words. They acted based on emotions instead of reason. The Rabbis rightfully ask, “Why is Mt. Sinai called Sinai?” They answer, “For from Sinai came forth ‘sina’ (hatred).” Revelation at Sinai was undeniable. The Jew was chosen to receive God’s one-time communication, and then share it with man. But the sibling rivalry of other peoples generated contempt for the Jew, and drove them to rewrite history, making them God’s chosen, replacing the Jew. Christianity altered God’s word and added to it, fabricating events and characters to mimic Biblical accounts[6]. And Islam took the corrupt path of taking credit for giving Moses to the Jews, and Jesus to the Christians. Both religions are fabricated ploys to gain credibility. Both religions used the sword to threaten conversions, since reason and proof was not on their side. But Judaism never committed such atrocities, for the Jewish ethic is that each man use his free will to decide his life. Coercion is not God’s plan, so this is not the Jew’s plan. The emergence of Judaism evoked jealousy, instead of intelligent study and respect for God’s proven words. 

Today, Israel and Judaism are still targeted without provocation, and for the same reason: the world recognizes the truth of Revelation at Sinai. But it can’t handle such “favoritism,” which is the wrong interpretation of why God selected the Jew, as stated above. Despite increasing the risk of losing more soldiers, Israel takes sacrificial measures to protect Palestinian civilians when defending itself from missile attacks. Despite Hamas’ and the Palestinians’ firing missiles from civilian populations, schools and hospitals, Israel is the one condemned. Despite the ongoing martyrdom indoctrination by Abbas of Palestinian children that robs their lives, an indoctrination incited by the lie of “occupation,” while unearthed evidence of Jewish nationhood dates back 3000 years…Israel is condemned. An unbiased assessment reveals that this aggression against the Jew must come from our one peculiarity, that being the only people with whom God spoke.

From his persecution, the Jew has become fearful; his silence adds to the anti-Semitic wave. But this is one Jew who is not afraid. In fact, it is not an issue of fear, but a desire to share God’s knowledge that I undertake my obligation to study the Bible and teach it. The Bible reveals beautiful marvels, all true to one’s mind, and it is the most fulfilling experience. The attachment to truth and the care to share truths with all other peoples is what compels a Jew to teach. There is no ulterior motive, but the love of another one of God’s creatures that motivates a person share the truth. This is what motivates me. And for 20 years, I have labored to present the truth, i.e., God’s Bible, freely, to all who are interested, with no other motive (see I have seen firsthand, perhaps hundreds of times, where gentiles and unaffiliated Jews who are shown the Bible’s marvels, recognize it as the one true religion. 

Sorrowfully today, many Jews do not follow Abraham’s lead, to unabashedly and genuinely share monotheism with all peoples. Thereby, they allow other religions to retain credibility, although they violate many Biblical fundamentals.  The degree of impact Jewish civilization once had, where Queen Sheba and the Jews[7] were enamored by King Solomon’s wisdom, where Abraham had tens of thousands of followers drawn to him due to his intelligence, is no longer. But these histories are a clear lesson of the potential of God’s Bible when taught truthfully and openly.

Jewish civilization once had tremendous impact on the world.  Not to validate them in anyway, but world religions would not exist today, had the Jewish people never existed. The major religions cannibalized Judaism, distorted it beyond form, and threw it back at the world saying, “This is God’s true religion.” This is akin to someone building a wagon, bringing it to Henry Ford and telling him, “This is the real Ford.” 

God’s plan will still come to fruition, and this will be spearheaded by His Messiah, when God deems the time proper. This too is based on the validated prophecies of the Jewish prophets. But until that time, each Jew has the obligation to share the truth with the world. In this manner, all peoples can benefit. If the world will recognize the source of anti-Semitism and abandon that baseless hatred…if religions will recognize the truth of Revelation at Sinai and allow the Jew to teach them the undistorted Bible, like Queen Sheba, all peoples will be impacted by the Bible’s astonishing insights the Jews have carried and died for, for 3300 years. All people would recognize the fallacy of their religions, and realize God gave but one religion to His one mankind. 

[1] Noah’s Flood, the Ten Plagues, the Splitting of the Reed Sea and the Jordan, Revelation at Sinai, the manna, the pillars of cloud and fire, Miriam’s well, the sun and moon halting mid-sky, the walls of Jericho, and many others. 

[2] Maimonides’ Mishne Torah, Laws of Star Worship, 1:3

[3] There exists no history other than Revelation at Sinai where God communicated with mankind.

[4] “Every thing which I command you to do, that is what you should be careful to do. Do not add upon, it and do not detract from it (Deut. 13:1).”

[5] Gen. 21:12

[6] Exodus, 4:19: “God said to Moses in Midyan, go, return to Egypt, for there have died all the men that sought your life.”  Matthew 2:20: “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead.” 

Exodus 1:16: “And (the king of Egypt) said, ‘when the Hebrew women give birth, and look upon the stone, if it is a son, kill him, and if it is a daughter, let it live.”  Matthew 2:16: “Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under...”

Genesis 37:25: “And there passed by Midianite men, traders, and they drew him and lifted him (Joseph) out of the pit and they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver and they brought Joseph to Egypt.” Matthew 26:14-15: “14. Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15. and said, ‘What will you give me if I deliver him to you? And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.”  

[7] Kings I, 3:28