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Is Judaism the Truth?

Is Judaism the Truth?

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Question:

As a rabbi, I assume you believe that Judaism is THE truth. If so, how do you explain the fact that there are so many other religions, and only a tiny minority of the world's population believes as you do?

Jim (a Christian Missionary)

Answer:

Jim, do you have brothers and sisters? If you do, I'm sure you'll agree that each of you is different. One of you may be musical, another a sports freak, and yet another more academically inclined. Each of you is an individual, and that should be encouraged. It would be wrong of parents to treat all their kids the same. If they would have forced you all to play violin, or soccer, or to read Shakespeare it would have been counter-productive. Good parents know that each child has to be allowed to develop in their own unique way.

The nations of the world are all G‑d's children. He doesn't treat them all the same because they aren't all the same. He wants each nation to develop in its own way. So each nation has a different path to reach their full potential. To the Jewish nation he gave the Torah as our way of expressing our souls. But Judaism is not for everyone. We don't believe that a non-Jew needs to become Jewish to find G‑d. Just like a musically-talented child shouldn't be forced to play soccer. Anyone is welcome to convert, but that is up to them.

G‑d created different nations because each has a unique contribution to offer the world. Maybe your "mission" should be to ensure that your nation fulfils that purpose.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
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Renee September 23, 2016

Jewish people are the chosen people Reply

mark vincent alcock Zimbali, ZA August 20, 2012

Judaism is Truth for me too. I knew instinctively when i first set my eyes (age 13 years ) on the Yeoville ultraorthodox Jews that there was a connection , albeit that they acted and dressed foreign to me . I knew then ( deep inside ) they had something that i had NOT !!! Judaism is truth and its part of each and everyone whom has immersed themselves in the Truth conveyed by God to Moses for us all. Without this divine Truth i would be infinitely poorer overall. And i thank all the lightbearers (old & new ) responsible for shedding the Light ; for opening my eyes to witness and obey the INCONTROVERTIBLE Truth, for without this fulfillment i would remain half baked and incomplete... unable to grow spiritually ,physically and without the benefits of how to discern & understand Kabbalah too .Amen. Reply

Anonymous Detroit, MI August 17, 2012

Re Opinion I appreciate your view and, maybe you are right...that G-d cares about the type of person you try to be verses what you believe. 12 step recovery movements, for example, produce much positive transformation and spiritual growth from the simple idea of a reliance on a "Higher Power" or "G-d as we understood Him"...My point however was simply that you are redefining the term " Noahide". First, all people are techniquely Noahides as we all descend from Noah. But we are discussing the term to mean those non-Jews who actually practice the seven laws given to Noah and his descendents. Those laws are revealed and oulined by the Sages from the Oral Torah. No Oral Torah, no authentic Noahide laws, no authentic Noahides either. So if I am going to call myself a Noahide than I need to study keep what the Sages say regarding them. A person can't honestly call himself a christian and follow Buddha or to put it the opposite way, a person could be an ethical monotheist without being a Noahide. Reply

Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell Riverside, CA, USA August 17, 2012

The beauty of the Jewish culture... Is that as a group, those of us who are enlightened are capable of tempering the rules and laws with WISDOM. There are not too many other religions which hold this quality as a shining star or light. In this manner, yes, Judaism is truth. We pride in our ability to converse, debate, discuss scriptures rather than just memorize them and follow them blindly. Reply

Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell Riverside, CA, USA August 16, 2012

In my opinion, which is not orthodox, I see it as being layer upon layer of truth,, just as was described by one Rabbi about how we each, as Jews, are on different rungs of one ladder. I don't see this as being a strict black and white, good or bad, sinner or saint type of following of the laws. I see the person FIRST, and what they believe second. So, if the person has a good heart, means well, knows no better, and is doing blessings for G-d and helping heal the world as MUCH as is possible for him or her in his or her situation, then to ME, he or she is a genuine Noahide; with some being more observant and compliant, and others not so much but doing what they can. I see Go-d's love and grace covering for their inequities, and do not see G-d striking them down dead for not being perfect. Do they worship idols? It's a given, with the way the world is today. Is it all in G-d's plan? Absolutely! Any person thinking he/she has the only direct truthful line to G-d should re-think. Reply

a bregman August 15, 2012

Assumptions and being a Jew If it is that G-d offered the world's people the Torah, yet none but the Jewish people would accept it, then it isn't so much about truth as it is about commitment. Assumptions in this case really aren't needed, the Torah was given. Was it smooth and seamless? Hardly. So then the question of truth. As a Jew, I struggle everyday to find a truth in this world. Study, while made more efficient with all the technology available today, doesn't provide a shortcut to truth. Why? Technology also connects us as a people in the world more than at any other time in our history, but it times seems as though we must hurdle great distances to communicate even the most simple of ideas. Why? Maybe there is not secret instead, its in the effort, the commitment, the longing (for anyone, but in particular a Jew) to know the Torah, the words of the great sages, and the lessons we have learned through our 5772 years. In that, there is a universal truth. Reply

Anonymous August 14, 2012

Re: Maimonides I thank you for the quote and I am familiar with it as I vist this site quite often and I of course agree! But while I agree that other montheistic faiths like Christianity and Islam are aberrations of Judasim that help pave the way for Mashiach the fact remains that these religions in their present state do violate the seven Noahide laws in one way or another for example shituf, the concept of partnership, in Christanity which Maimonides expressly classifies as idolatry. Though Maimonides veiws these religions as part of the ultimate plan of redemption he does not necessarily view them as being faithful to the Noahide laws themselves. As a Ben Noach who would try to explain to family and friends why I can no longer accept thier religion as they hold to it I feel discouraged to see well meaning people comment that a person can worship a tree as a g-d and still be said to keep the sheva mitzvos as a legitimate Noahide. I would think that you would agree that that is not true. Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org August 14, 2012

Re: Is Judaism for everybody? Perhaps the words of Maimonides would help explain what they mean. Maimonidies writes with regards to other monotheistic (or semi monotheistic) religions that they serve to prepare the way for Mashiach's coming and the improvement of the entire world, motivating the nations to serve God together as Tzephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose.'

How will this come about? The entire world has already become filled with the mention of Mashiach, Torah, and mitzvot. These matters have been spread to the furthermost islands to many stubborn-hearted nations. They discuss these matters and the mitzvot of the Torah, saying: 'These mitzvot were true, but were already negated in the present age and are not applicable for all time.'

Only then that Moshiach will have to do, is explain and reveal how the Torah is still relevant and was never negated. Reply

Anonymous MI August 14, 2012

Re: wisdom That sounds nice but worshiping a tree as a g-d would be a form of idolatry and... "anyone who serves idols denies all of G-d's commandments...any good principles that an idol worshiper observes e.g. honesty in business, restraining from stealing...are not done in fullfillment of God's command since he does not accept G-d..." "Sheva Mitzvos Hashem" (Weiner, 2011) pg. 134. Therefore you can't observe the Noahide laws while simultaneously breaking them. That said I do agree that all things ultimately have thier purpose even, the wrong that G-d permits, but thats a different statement than saying that you can be an idolator on the one hand and a practicing Noahide on the other. Reply

Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell Riverside, CA, USA August 14, 2012

Anon in MI, I think the answer to this Seeming confusion is WISDOM. To everything there is a purpose. Your studies were for the purpose of helping you, personally. In the larger picture, let's say a person believes in~ for the sake of argument ~ that a tree is a god. But, he follows all the 7 Noahide laws, has a sweet character, helps others, is decent, etc. So, yes, that person can be a worshipper of trees and still be a Noahide. Reply

Anonymous MI August 14, 2012

Re: Is Judaism for everybody? Thank you for your suggestion of article. I read it and have a better idea of the point that Rabbi Moss is making in the above article. However the article you suggested leads to a subtler question: I am a Ben Noach and have been studying the book "Sheva Mitzvos Hashem" (Hebrew) by Rabbi Weiner with a Rabbi and close friend of mine. My impression so far is that most, if not all, of the worlds religions violate at least the spirit if not the letter of certain of the sheva mitzvos especially idolatry. At the end of Rabbi Freeman's article he states that non-Jews should study their heritage and take the truths there (as they relate to the sheva Mitzvos) and make that their path. So I guess my question would be are the sheva mitzvos really compatible with the religions of the nations? For example, can a person be an evangelical Christian and Noahide or a Hindu and a Noahide? The article seems to suggest "yes" but my studies indicate "no". Reply

Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell Riverside, CA, USA August 13, 2012

Define truth. How can you even use that word in philosophy or religion? Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org August 13, 2012

Re: defining "proper" I don't think that is what the Rabbi was saying. But here is an article which elaborates upon the point this article is trying to make Is Judaism For Everybody?/ww.chabad.org/857823 Reply

Anonymous MI August 13, 2012

defining "proper" In this case, proper = legitimate/valid or "G-d given". The original question the Rabbi was asked was essentially "if you believe Judaism is the "Truth" than are all of the other religions "Non-truth". The answer the Rabbi gives is essentially Judaism is the the way for Jews to "express their souls"... Non-Jews/the nations being different, have their own "mission" which I assumes he means to be thier own way of expressing their souls, thier own G-d given path to G-d. So, the answer the Rabbi gives seems to imply that Christanity, Islam or any other religion is a G-d given, "proper" way for nations to express their soul/mission. I am curious if that is really the Rabbi's position since I have never heard of this view in normative Judaism but rather the mission for all of the nations of the world is to fulfill the Noahide laws. Therefore I am simply seeking clarification. Reply

Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell Riverside, CA, USA August 10, 2012

Anon in MI, what is a "proper" path to G=d? Define "proper". Reply

mark alcock Dbn, ZA July 31, 2012

answers for Jim. ... explain the fact that there are so many other religions, and only a tiny minority of the world's population believes as you do? Each religion suits each type of nation.The Holocaust wiped out 6 000 000 Jews and the non_Jews are still hell bent in driving the jews into the Red & Dead seas just like Pharoah tried.Jim with all due respect , yr questions seem so unquestionable -even a child can see the Truth with a Bible in his/her hands.Amen. Reply

Anonymous MI July 28, 2012

Seeking clarification The answer the Rabbi gave seems to imply that all of the religions of the nations serve as legitimate paths to G-d and that Judaism is simply God's path for Jews. Does the Rabbi consider Christianity to be a proper path to God for non-Jews? Reply

Beverly Kurtin Hurst, TX February 9, 2012

Missionaries LIE Missionaries to the Jewish people lie to get Jews to convert. It is the only way they can do what they want to do.
Even if they honestly believe what they are doing, they are lying without knowing about it.
When I had a missionary tell me why I needed J's blood, since we no longer had the Temple. I asked him to prove that blood was necessary to be forgiven. He did what I expected him to do: He pointed to Leviticus 17:11, a verse that explains why Jews should not eat blood. It has nothing to do with "salvation." In our morning prayers we thank Hashem that our souls were pure when we were born; Christians teach that every person born has already sinned because of the "original sin" of Adam and Chava." Again, that is nonsense because sin is not inherited.
Read Ezekiel 18 for a comprehensive explanation of the truth. Reply

mark alcock Dbn, ZA April 5, 2011

The Truth be told. G-d gave us all different traits & characteristics too. Accept His Truth ,inasumuch as Judaism is for the Jew, Christanity for the Christians, Hinduism for Hindus and Islam for the Moslems.All monotheistic,but not entirely non-homogenous religions - serving 1 G-d only. Reply

Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell Riverside, CA, USA April 1, 2011

First, I don't believe this Jim exists. I had turned Christian in the past, and was a missionary. We would NEVER have asked such a question, as Christians do not believe Jews think Judaism is the TRUTH. That is not something in their mentality. They think Jews are stuck to the OLD promises of G-d (Old Testament) and are confined by the 613 laws and the strict following of them. They think Jews are stubborn and haven't become "fulfilled" by the acceptance of J.C. in their hearts. They never, however, would accuse us of thinking of Judaism as "truth". Judaism is LAW, which is different from truth, in their minds. So, this would NOT be a question a real Christian missionary would ask. I don't believe it. What is usually asked is, "WHY DON'T JEWS BELIEVE that Jesus is the Messiah (savior),?" since he supposedly fulfilled all the signs in the Old Testament such as coming from the House of David. So, equating Judaism with truth is unheard of in Christian circles. Reply

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