THE "Y" FACTOR

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Chapter Four

THE CLAIM

There is, of course, one book that makes a phenomenal claim. It is not that no other work has ever made the same claim; on the contrary, many have. Itís just that no other work has made the claim and still maintained a respectable level of credibility.

To appreciate the claim, an analogy would help.

Imagine purchasing a sophisticated watch, only to get home and discover that the instructions for using the watch were missing. How will you figure out what all the buttons are for and how to use them?

One option is to race back to the store and pick up a set of instructions, but that means traveling halfway across town. The second option is to call the manufacturer and see if you can speak to someone there who will explain all the intricacies of the watch to you.

After reaching the manufacturer, you ask to speak to a technician. "For which product do you require a technician?" the receptionist asks, and you tell her about the watch you bought. "Oh," she says, "If youíd like, I can put you through to the designer of the watch himself. Would you prefer to speak to him instead of one of our technicians?"

What would your answer be? Why speak to a technician when you can talk to the designer himself? Who knows the creation better than the creator himself?

For the individual who wishes to live a meaningful life at the least, and a fulfilling life at most, the Torah makes a very significant claim: it understands with perfect clarity what mankind is all about. This stands in contrast to modern day medical opinions, many of which are in doubt about the nature of man. Are the advocators of Torah simply naive?

But the Torah also makes another claim, one far more daring than the first claim. Not only does Torah claim to understand mankindís nature, but the source of its information is God Himself. Who knows the creation better than the Creator Himself?

The second claim is so fantastic that many people simply shrug it off. For many, the notion of a book dictated by God in an era when science has created the illusion that God does not exist, is too much for them to take seriously.

But logically speaking, one has to take the claim seriously, at least seriously enough to investigate Torah thoroughly. For if the Torahís claim is true, then the Torah has the potential to enhance a personís life many times over. The nature of the claim is enough to motivate a thorough investigation of Torah.

An analogy illustrates the power of a claim.

Imagine a brain surgeon who has to perform a complicated operation he has never performed before. Obviously he is going to do research and seek out any source of information he can to increase his chances of succeeding, especially since a life is at stake.

Letís say that in the midst of his research, the doctor reads an article in which another doctor makes the claim that, not only has he performed a similar operation, but that he has developed an expertise in performing such operations. What would the first doctor do?

The first doctor is going to want to verify the second doctorís claim, and if he checks out to be what he claims to be, learn from him all he can. Certainly the first doctor is not going to dismiss the claim without first investigating it. Worse comes to worst, the first doctor will expose the second doctor as a fraud.

Although weíve been around for a long time, weíre still a long way off from understanding the complexity of human life, though perhaps one day the scientific community will make such a breakthrough. But in the meantime, we still live only 70, maybe 80, perhaps 90 years of life - we need to be fulfilled now.

In the meantime, the Torah makes its claim:

Iím an expert. Iím quite familiar with what you are and the procedure for making you happy. Now granted, at first glance you may not see how this is true, but Iím sure that if you were to open me and read through me, and make a point to understand me, it would quickly become clear that my claim is in fact true. After all, such a claim is too fantastic to simply be ignored. If you love life, youíll love me.
Worse comes to worst, youíll know once and for all if the Torah is of a Divine origin. Better comes to best, youíll have discovered the secret to a level of fulfillment you never knew was possible to achieve. Check it out.

© by Mercava Productions

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