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How Do Torah and Mitzvahs Contribute to World Peace?

How Do Torah and Mitzvahs Contribute to World Peace?

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Take a moment to imagine the following scenario. Bored with your job and the same daily routine, you decide one day to do something radically different. You take a crash course on robotic computer programming, and discover an unknown aptitude and penchant for this kind of work. After some preliminary projects, you get started on your real masterpiece, your own mini-world, replete with plant, animal, and functional human-like life.

Your robots are each created with a special task in mind. Each has its own niche in your world. At first, your creations are well in tune with your plans, and life is harmonious.

After some time, the robots grow restless. They begin to explore their own freedom and ability to do as they please. Your carefully designed blueprint is ignored. Your robots lose interest in the purpose you had in mind for them, and look for their own meaning, and sometimes find it in places which wreak havoc on the mini-universe. The place is becoming chaotic.

Desperate, you decide to be bit less subtle. You call a mass meeting with all the robots and lay out your plans: Each creation has their own unique purpose, each has a predetermined way to fulfill it, and living in the manner you had envisioned for them will secure their ultimate happiness.

Your robots have chutzpah. They’re not going to take this lying down. “How can you claim to know what’s best for us?” “How do we know this is a good idea?” “Who says listening to you will bring any peace to this chaotic world?”

But of course you know best. You programmed the world! You designed every detail! If your creations would follow your dictates, existence would be perfect.

Each of us has a purpose in this world. The Master Designer has a plan worked out for us to the most minute detail. The job of every Jew is to follow Torah’s instructions, and that of any Gentile is to observe the seven Noahide laws as instructed by G‑d. How does that ensure world peace? The same way your robots will achieve peace by following your instructions. He designed this place. He knows best.

Malkie Janowski for Chabad.org

Malkie Janowski is an accomplished educator who lives in Coral Springs, Florida. Mrs. Janowski is also a responder on Chabad.org's Ask the Rabbi team.
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jacqueline meyers pennsylvania February 27, 2014

Wonderful Analogy I am Catholic, a teacher, and mom. I believe strongly in our Judeo-Christian roots and for that reason, I truly enjoy your emails. This is a wonderful, clever analogy written by a "fellow-teacher" - I will use it in my classes... Shalom, Peace, Thank you! Reply

Norton Mezvinsky New York, N.Y. February 27, 2014

I can understand why some of the commentators are negative about this article. There is a built in assumption that G-d chose only the Jews and Judaism to instruct all other people in the world how to act correctly. For a great number of people, including myself, that is preposterous and indeed could be viewed as bordering on racism. On balance, I believe the article suggests a silly analogy and is unsophisticated in the extreme. The article lacks adequate specification, explanation and/ or discussion of how the Torah and mitzvahs could lead to world peace. The article, moreover, makes no mention of those parts of the Torah that could be and have been interpreted by numerous knowledgeable commentators as being opposed to an advocacy of world peace. Reply

No'am-David Stalybridge February 27, 2014

Jews are not better than anyone else, but we do believe we have been given a real mandate to be good people. That mandate is open to any other religion or group of people. We should take responsibility for our wrong-doing and set a good example in the world.

On the other hand, there ARE many Jews who are arrogant, looking down their nose at people. On more than a few occasions, I've found myself being condescended by Jews who consider themselves more 'religious' than me. That is a problem. Reply

LR NY February 27, 2014

Malkie Janowski What is an 'accomplished ' Educator? Reply

Eugina Giovanna Herrera New York City, New York February 27, 2014

We are his designer We are his designer with the master of his wisdom which is Torah. World peace will ensure with his wisdom through us. Remember 3 lights, One G-d kept, the second light is given to us and the third to our instructions. Twelve angels and twelve tribes + 1 = 13. 12+ 1= one G-d Shem... We all live in this world different shapes and forms. Different backgrounds and different colors we are all ONE!
Peace! Forgive your brother and sisters! Reply

Kate Gladstone Albany, NY, USA February 26, 2014

If your programmed plan was so great in the first place ... If your programmed plan was so great in the first place ... Your robots would never have even wanted anything else. Reply

Samuel Chennai, India February 26, 2014

Robots? The Creator did not create robots; or rather he created Robots with FREE Will. It was for the Robots to find "Shalom" in a maze of disruptions, for which Teshuva was deployed to return to ground zero. When the Robot finds its Shalom, the task is completed. With the Mashiach it will be much easier to find it, for He is our Shalom. Reply

Angela Hoffberg Richland, MS February 26, 2014

Getting there one step at a time When it comes down to it, we're little robots turning on the Wheel of Life anyway. God's destiny in us will be fulfilled and eventually His will (will) be our will. We get there step-by-step, doing one special goodness at a time, until one day we no longer have to obey rules because all the bad will have been eradicated. Reply

ATM February 26, 2014

To Matt No racism in this article. I have my problems with it, among them the idea that humans are "robots." It also glosses over the parts of the Torah dealing with violence and sexism. (Similar glossings occur with Christians and the NT and certainly with Muslims and the Koran) But, no racism arose in this article. It spoke of the human race. There is no Jewish race anyway so the whole "race" issue, created by the modern world out of an existential angst of losing the certainties of the medieval world, is bunk, both scientifically and philosophically.

Christians often speak of the obligation of Christians. People speak of their fellow believers as having certain obligations. I am not sure what you would prefer. Would you prefer that the Gentiles be asked to observe 613 Mitzvot? Is this the fairness you want? Or, are you simply existing in a world of emotion where anything you do not like is unfair? Too much of that in this post-modern age! Reply

little bob bolivar mo. February 26, 2014

what if what if Adam and eve had done what ...GOD...told them to do they made a bad choice Reply

Jeanne Ormond Beach, FL February 26, 2014

Robots, People and The Master Designer This is just an analogy, and well written. I was born and raised in a non Jewish household, nevertheless, with HaShem's guidance and teachings from some excellent Rabbi's, I turned away from the religion in which I was raised. I study Torah, and pray Jewish prayers. If I had to explain how this all came about, I don't know if I could do it because the events just seemed to present themselves, continually leading me to Torah. Like Malkie, I will use an analogy....my leaving my former religion and entering the world of Torah reminded me of the enslaved Jews being led out of Egypt. Instead of Moshe Rabbeinu, I had a Rabbi from New York State. Until I find out in some way that I have Jewish ancestry, I approach my studies as a Bat Noach....Noah said that the offspring of Japhet will dwell in the "tents of Shem." And, this is where I dwell...Thank you, Chabad and Rabbis for making me welcome. Reply

Belle brooklyn February 26, 2014

not racism. This is not racism! Nobody is saying anyone is less or more than the other! It's simply saying to follow certain laws. Judaism believes everyone has a purpose for which they were created...it's not Christianity, nobody is going to hell for not being Jewish and it's not Islam...it does not believe that non Jews are descendants of pigs and monkeys...anyone can be Jewish if they desire. Jews believe in Noahide laws for people who are not Jewish...it's a simple basic construct of a humane society to each other and animals. It's beautiful. Reply

David Levant Emerson,NJ February 24, 2014

Never happen. Robots are mechanical in their problem solving ability,and do not feel love. Reply

Steve E Abraham New York February 24, 2014

You wrote "Each creation has their own unique purpose, each has a predetermined way to fulfill it," Did you think that if each has a predetermined way to fill it, then maybe there is not just one way? Maybe, they are just following the computer program, and are really doing what they are supposed to be doing? Maybe, the people who follow other paths, other than Torah and mitzvah, are doing so because they are following their pre-determined path? Maybe, the one who does good without the need for mitzvah is the one who is really rightous, because that person is not following a pre-determined script, but rather is doing what he does because he feels it is right! Maybe, you, your prrogram is deficient, because you need to only do mitzvah, and cannot, in your own mind, choose to do right vs wrong? Reply

David February 24, 2014

Program Question If the program allows the robots "to explore their own freedom and ability to do as they please. ", and if the designer is Hashem and is perfect, perhaps the designer wanted the robots to do this. Perhaps the designer did not want the robots to be constrained by mitzvah, otherwise, why would the designer allow that in the program? Why blame the robots for what the designer made? Reply

Brett February 24, 2014

Genuine Question Are you suggesting that Hashem, who is the master designer and created the program, made a mistake in His program? Are you suggesting Hashem couldn't get the program right? You wrote "But of course you know best. You programmed the world! You designed every detail! If your creations would follow your dictates, existence would be perfect." Are you saying that Hashem, who designed every detail, could not, or did not, do a good job and allowed some of his creation, robots in your story, the ability to do evil? What is wrong with you? Reply

Matt New York City February 24, 2014

Racist Bigotry I am not Jewish. I came across this site while surfing. This is incredible racism and bigotry. Are you saying that you are better than me because you are Jewish! This is so offensive. How dare you! Reply

Steve Florida February 24, 2014

Oy Vei, what a poor story you wrote Are you saying the "master designer" said "The job of every Jew is to follow Torah’s instructions, and that of any Gentile is to observe the seven Noahide laws as instructed by G‑d." and that this was the way to peace? Tell this to all of the gentiles in the world and see how much they will hate the Jews. It is ideas like this that cause the holocaust! How shameful! Disgusting. This borders on being "sick". You should take this off the internet before you create a worldwide storm of protest. Reply

Isaac Brooklyn NY February 24, 2014

question about the programmer If we looked at these robots, and see that it is the programmer who did not make a program that works for all the robots, how can you say existence would be perfect if the creations followed the dictates of the the programmer? PERHAPS, if the programmer allowed the robots to "explore their own freedom", maybe that is what the programmer wanted! How can the robots be blamed for the poor program? If the programmer is perfect, and created a program for the robots that allows freedom, then maybe we should question those who say that they know which is the best program? maybe, there is no best program! Reply

Steve E Abraham New York February 24, 2014

program error 1. If the programmer of the robot did a better job, there would be peace!
2. Why blame the robots if the programmer could have made the program better, and there could have been peace from the beginning?
3. does it make sense for there to be different programs for different groups of robots?Why couldn't the programmer, who is perfect, make one program for all the robots that works, and create love and peace! Reply

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