Rav Avigdor Miller on Proving the Authenticity of the Torah
Can you prove the authenticity of the Torah?
So we say to the questioner, you have the floor, please disprove it. Please disprove the authenticity of our Torah. The Torah is here. Here it is, and here we are. We are the nation that claims that our fathers gave us this Torah that they received from their fathers, and we received a tradition that Moshe our teacher gave it to them, and our entire nation stood at Har Sinai and they heard Hakodosh Boruch Hu speak to Moshe and give him a mandate in their presence. “Moshe Rabbeinu, you’re going to speak to this people for Me from now on.”
And therefore, Moshe Rabbeinu when he gave us the Torah was mandated by Hakodosh Boruch Hu in the presence of 600,000 males between 20 and 60 years of age – not to mention the elderly ones, the young ones and the women. That’s our claim; no nation in the world ever claimed such a thing. The Mohammedans don’t make that claim about the Koran. Of course, the Mohammedans claim that the Bible is true because the Jews say so. Christians also claim the Bible is true, because the Jews say so. But when it comes to their books, they make no such claims. Who else? The Vikings? They didn’t have any traditions. The Buddhists don’t have any traditions, they made no such claims.
We are the only ones who claim that Hakodosh Boruch Hu gave it to us. And if you’ll ask, how do we know that it’s true? So we’ll ask you a question: How do you know that there was a George Washington? Prove George Washington. So you say there are books. We also have books. We have books, too. So you say Washington was recent and our claims are old. Is there anybody around here saw George Washington? Did anybody here ever see a man who saw George Washington? How do you know he was there? It’s emunah; you believe people. So should we believe a nation of disorderly people – there were so many shikurim among them, and so many club wielders, so many roughnecks. Such a nation testifies that George Washington was present, and we accept their testimony. Well, you say, there are so many documents; there are a lot of documents.
You want documents? Josephus wrote two thousand years ago a big document. So that’s thousands of years ago, so that’s as good evidence as any evidence that you’ll produce for anything that happened three hundred years ago in America.
Therefore we are standing on solid ground, we have a historic tradition. We are not one person, we are a nation. And our nation always was united behind this. Up until a hundred and fifty years ago we never had a single Jew who disbelieved that Moshe received the Torah from Hashem. Not the Karaites, not the Sadducees, none of them disbelieved that – they all believed. There wasn’t a single Jew up to the time of the German assimilationists and reformers one hundred fifty years ago who disbelieved in the Torah. So our entire nation was behind this tradition. Not to mention the fact that the Christians and Mohammedans all say the same thing about our Torah, that we received the Torah.
So therefore if anybody wants to bring proofs against the authenticity of the Torah, we’ll give him the floor.