The Tests

Stuart Fickler, Ph.D.

In order to become an effective observer of God's creation, one has to put aside preconceived ego-driven biases. One has to accept Maimonides approach for religion as well as science, what is demonstrated is proven. Then if humanity is to be God's observer, it must be constantly tested.

In the story of "the sacrifice of Isaac", we are explicitly told, "that God tested Abraham" 1. And later, Jacob was told that his name was changed to "Israel, because you have commanding power with God and with men, and you have prevailed." 2

It appears that the Torah is the description of God's continuous testing of humanity's conformity with the cosmic Laws of God. The Tree Of knowledge was a test. Cain and Abel, Noah, Babel were tests. Abraham, Jacob and Joseph were tested. The Israelites in the desert were tested.

During the High Holidays, a time of introspection, we are expected to test ourselves.

Alternatively, as demonstrated by Abraham's 3 and Job's 4 confrontations with God over issues of justice, we are empowered to test the Laws of Creation given to us in the Torah. This is also demonstrated in the Talmud 5.

Starting in the next installment, we shall examine some of the more controversial issues in Torah from the perspective of modern scientific thought.


1. Genesis 22.1

2. Genesis 32:29

3. Genesis 18:20-32

4. Job 38 ff

5. Talmud - Mas. Baba Metzia 59b