The Atheists’ Unintended Gift

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8 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    The basic impulse to disbelieve is often the realization that belief has consequences; you can no longer do any old thing you want to.

  2. Benjamin Epstein says:

    I read the sign differently – not as meaning “good without G-d” in the sense of “ok without G-d” or “ok with not believing in G-d”, but as implying “[morally] good without G-d.” That’s a more interesting challenge from the atheists, I think.

  3. One Christian's perspective says:

    “I read the sign differently – not as meaning “good without G-d” in the sense of “ok without G-d” or “ok with not believing in G-d”, but as implying “[morally] good without G-d.” That’s a more interesting challenge from the atheists, I think.”

    Comment by Benjamin Epstein

    The ultimate challenge from the atheists is “God is not” however they package their drivel. I would be interested is seeing how they define “good” and how do they see that being worked out in society today considering even people of faith struggle to walk with God daily and often don’t realize they do wrong – usually, only until God has revealed the wrong to our hearts so we can turn back to Him -.

  4. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    I congratulate R. Avi on seeing the silver lining in such a cloud. I think that is the way a Jew is supposed to be. Such an attitude will also attract people in the long run if it is sustained and not found to be a PR strategem. Let us try to live up to that approach in our lives in general and in kiruv in particular. Kiruv starts with ourselves and our families. What you do and what you teach in your daily life is what people pick up on. There is all too much quashing of honest questions in the religious world today.

  5. Shades of Gray says:

    At times, I hear non-Jewish preachers on the New York City subway system, and I wonder if I should take a personal message in the spirit of hashgacha pratis, Providence. They might say, for example, “Repent today”, or “have you thanked the Lord for waking you up today?” I might substitute “Hashem” or “HKBH”, and I reflect if I ought to see the itinerant preacher as having delivered to me something of a personal mussar schmooze(after eliding any faith-specific content).

    When I saw the atheist posters “a million New Yorkers are good without G-d” on the backdrop of ethereal clouds, I did not quite know what to make of it, and simply ignored it. I thank R. Shafran for the idea that one can see a spiritual message even in this!

  6. Mr. Cohen says:

    Sir Isaac Newton handwrote:

    Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuto LeOlam VaEd, in Hebrew.


    Sir Isaac Newton was always known for his genius in physics and mathematics, but now, a newly-released collection of 300-year-old manuscripts by Britain’s most famous scientist shows he delved deeply into the Tanach [Jewish Hebrew Bible] the Rambam [Maimonides, who was born in 1134 and died 1204] and even the Zohar [part of Kaballah] to try and solve cosmic puzzles fare beyond the grasp of science.

    The Newton manuscripts, purchased at Sotheby’s auction in 1936, then bequeathed to Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1951 by a Jewish intellectual, went on display last week at the university’s Jewish and National and University Library after having been under lock and key since 1969. While details of the manuscripts were revealed in 2003, this is the first time that they are being publicly exhibited.

    Exhibit curator Yemima Ben-Menachem said that the papers reveal that Newton believed “there was wisdom in the world that was lost.”

    One of them included sketches of the Beit HaMikdah [Jewish Temple in Jerusalem], whose plans, Newton perceived, mirrored the arrangement of the cosmos, a concept that is brought down in Midrashim [sacred Jewish stories] and in the Zohar. >>

    SOURCE: article titled: Newton’s Wisdom on Display by Dr. Yaakov Wise of Manchester, Mishapacha Jewish Family Weekly, 2007 June 27, page 16

    “When Henry VIII issued a royal letter in 1546 calling
    for the creation of a new Cambridge college in honor
    of the ‘Holy and Undivided Trinity,’ the monarch never
    dreamed that its most gifted scholar would one day
    reject the very Christian doctrine for which the institution
    was named.”

    SOURCE: Page 248 of In the Presence of the Creator:
    Isaac Newton and His Times by Gale E. Christianson,
    1984, Free Press / MacMillian, New York, ISBN 0-02-905190-8)

  7. moshe shoshan says:

    Does not the kiruv world’s instance on “proving” the truth of the Torah beyond a shadow of a doubt, rejecting the possibility of other positions suggest a similar in security on our community’s part?

  8. Phil says:

    That’s true of /some/ in the kiruv world, Moshe.

    When I read the phrase, “we are ‘good without God'” I imagined a sapling that was plucked from the earth saying “look how beautiful I am.”

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