A question for Jewish Dopers

According to the Jewish faith, has God done anything in the past 2000 years? I’ve been raised Catholic, and we’ve got this whole new Testament, and a history of Saints that have performed miracles and whatnot in the name of Jesus and all these visions of Christ and other saints, but to my knowledge, we accredit everything to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but nothing seems to be credited to God. So, I’m curious, from another religion’s view point, what has God (not Jesus or the Holy Ghost) done lately? Have there been any additions to the Torah over the past several hundred/thousand years, or is it still the same ol’ Torah?

Same ol’ Torah.

In fact it’s an article of faith (at least among Orthodox Jews) that the Torah that we have today is the same one that Moses received on Mount Sinai.

An interesting story regarding God’s recent activities is related in the Talmud[sup]*[/sup] (sorry, I don’t have the location handy). A gentile woman once asked one of the Rabbis what God has been doing since the end of Creation. His answer was that God has been busy making matches (couples, not firesticks!) and that in fact, making matches was as difficult for God as the splitting of the sea. Not believing it to be so difficult, she started pairing up her slaves. By morning, none of the “couples” was happy.

Zev Steinhardt

[sup]*[/sup] Obvioulsy, the story is not meant to be taken at literal face value. The splitting of the sea didn’t take any effort on God’s part. It’s just used illustratively.

What Zev said. I should also add that throughout Talmudic and Rabbinic literature there are tales of miracles that occurred to individual righteous men (e.g., there was a Rabbi who was walking around with his tefillin on at a time that the Romans had forbidden it. He saw a Roman policeman, took them off quickly, the Roman asked what was in his hands, he said “doves’ wings”, the Roman asked to see them, and sure enough, he opened his hands and he was holding doves’ wings) within the last 2000 years, but there have been no prophecies since approximately 350 BCE, and no public miracles, like the splitting of the sea or Elijah’s big show against the Baal.

Is adding to the Torah allowed then? I guess not? I know adding to the New Testament of the Bible is not supposed to be allowed although the only place it says that is at the end of Revelation and it seemed obvious when I read it that it meant the Revelation not the whole Testament. But Christians point to that and say “No adding to the Bible”. Even though it also says there that nothing should be taken away and I thought a whole bunch of stuff was taken away and made into the Apochrypha.


Nothing can be added to the Five Books of Moses; no prophet could ever be as great as Moses (this is an article of Jewish faith).

Since then, books have been added to the scriptures, the sections knows as “Prophets” and “Writings.” However, they must be composed of genuine prophecy or genuine divine inspiration, which requires a degree of prophecy to determine. The rules for evaluating the truth of prophecy are laid out in Deuteronomy; by those guidelines, no true prophet has existed since Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi, in approximately 350 BCE, so nothing can, under current conditions, be added.

Chaim Mattis Keller

The question as posed is a bit different than the questions that’ve been answered.

The question was, what’s God been doing recently?

The Jewish answer would have to be: governing the Universe. To what extent God takes a hand in running things, and to what extent people exercise freewill, is a different discussion.

What God has NOT been doing has been adding to Revelation. The original Revelation at Mt Sinai (the Torah) has not been added to or changed (according to traditional Jewish belief); prophecy ended with the last prophets (as noted by cmkeller). In short, God has spoken, and delivered the Message(s) many times in antiquity, and does not speak through prophecy any more.

The other thing that God has NOT been doing is miracles of the large, visible, un-natural sort (splitting seas, turning water to blood, etc.) God’s miracles nowadays are the quiet, invisible sort, like giving people the strength they need to face what is before them.

On the vast historic level, some argue that God’s miracles nowadays include things like the defeat of Nazi Germany or the collapse of Communist Russia – which seem to arise from “natural” causes, but which also seem to help the side of “good” against the side of “evil” in the slow progress of humankind towards a more humane world.

The Talmudic and rabbinic stories of “small miracles” such as cmkeller references (and such as most of the stories about saints) are not taken literally by most Jews today, but are taken as instructive or illustrative stories to make moral points.

<< So, I’m curious, from another religion’s view point, what has God (not Jesus or the Holy Ghost) done lately? >>

Just to be crystal clear: From the Jewish point of view, Jesus died when he was crucified (or perhaps never existed at all), and so has done nothing since. He’s just been dead. And there is no such thing as a “holy ghost.”

<< Just to be crystal clear: From the Jewish point of view, Jesus died when he was crucified (or perhaps never existed at all), and so has done nothing since >>

Does the Jewish religion have prophets who predict a Son of God? I’m under the impression that the Jewish and Christian (and perhaps Muslim) faiths all foretell God coming to Earth in the form of man, but diverge when comes to who it was / will be.

(ignorance bows head, waits to be smote…)

Sorry, padabe, but nothing like that in Judaism.

Judaism does believe in a messiah, but he will be a man, born of two human parents in the old-fashioned way. The idea that God could become human is outside the pale for Judaism altogether.

Zev Steinhardt

For me God and the world are a lot like Cecil and this message board. He takes an interest, keeps track and shakes his head a lot but pretty much leaves us alone to make our own mistakes and try to dig our way out of them.

(I used to try to give serious answers to Jewish questions, but now I leave that to Zev and Chaim [and C K]. They do it so much better.)