Perhaps, Torah is simply incomplete

Once, on a cold and snowy winter day in the early 1800s, a businessman in Russia needed to make an express delivery.

He hired one of the local chariot delivery services to deliver his package as quickly as possible. The delivery man was honest and reliable; a price was agreed upon, and the item was on its way.

The winters in this place were brutal, and not long into the trip, the horse almost froze to death and refused to budge. Then the axle cracked, and in the end, it took nearly four times longer than expected to get the item to its destination, and by that time, it was not needed.

The businessman, plainly unhappy over this significant loss of opportunity, summoned the delivery fellow to a court of Jewish law. After hearing both sides and based on the agreement between the two fellows, the Court sided with the businessman against the delivery service.

Understandably upset and not willing to easily accept the decision, the delivery man asked to have a word with the judges of the Jewish Court. “I know why you decided against me — because the Torah was given in the wilderness at the beginning of the summer. Had the Torah been given during a cold Russian winter, the law would be more sensitive to my circumstances.”

Another story before I get to my point.

Once again, in Russia, Rabbi Y. Y. Schneerson (1880-1950) and some of his students were sitting in a train car minding their own business while a heated conversation was going on between the locals. What is the most effective and successful way to rule a society? Some talked about the merits of a socialist method, while others were pitching democracy; some were promoting totalitarianism, and others supported a republic; some said an autocracy, and some said communism. Seeing a conspicuous Jewish Rabbi, one fellow said, “Hey you, Jew, why do not you chime in?”

Rabbi Y. Y. Schneerson said, “All of you are making valid points. Since every system of governing and bringing order is another organization invented and developed by the finite brain of man, it will have its benefits. Still, it will also have its deficits and shortcomings.

The finite man cannot possibly consider all possibilities and know the future. On the other hand, there is only one way of governance —created in the mind of an infinite being who knows all in the present and the future — that includes all the positives of governance and none of the negatives or shortcomings of any man-made system, and those are the rules as set in God’s Torah.”

In our book of rules, which serves as the foundation for the most significant religions in the world, and our justice system in the Western democratic countries, there is some element of every type of authority. It is only because it embraces so many different modes of governance that it can include the best of all and any other comparative way of governing a society.

Our Torah has a king and a high priest, a court of law, and an appeals court. There is a place for democracy and socialism, concern and responsibility for others, and room to grow independently. Taxes are less than most people pay in most countries, and there is a clear code for morals and ethics. The Torah offered purpose and meaning thousands of years before Plato and Aristotle entered the scene.

Our Torah and its code of conduct is a philosophical and practical system devised by Infinity itself and presented not to one person in a cave or a small group of several different and divergent people; the Torah was presented — as recorded in the book itself and as transmitted by hundreds and thousands of people from day one throughout the generations — to millions of people. The Torah is the oldest recorded comprehensive guide to life concerned with improving every detail of a person’s existence.

Because the Torah is God’s wisdom, it never needs to be amended.

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai says, “There are three (indispensable) knots in the world that are fundamentally and intrinsically tied to one another: God with (His) Torah, and the Torah with the Jewish People.”

We are smart because our souls are naturally bound to God’s wisdom. The more we study and absorb this wisdom, and the more we put that wisdom into practice, the happier and more blessed we become.

Chapter 264

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" Rabbi Ezagui opened in 1987 the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the Island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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