February 1, 2018 10:29 am at 10:29 am #1461005
Rav Avigdor Miller on The G-d of the Cherry Tree
Q: Can you prove clearly that there is a G-d?
A: That’s a question that I like to hear. I’m going to prove it clearly right now to you. And I won’t charge extra for it. Now, some of our people here are veterans, but bear with me for the benefit of the newcomers.
One night, I slept in the country. And outside my window, there was a wild cherry tree. Now for months the wild cherries had been available only to birds. If you couldn’t fly or you didn’t want to climb the tree you wouldn’t get them. But that night, all night long, I heard the pit-pat of falling cherries. Pit pat, they were falling on the lawn. Pit-pat, pit-pat, all night long they were falling. And I was thinking, “Why all of a sudden are they coming down?” The cherry was holding on tightly all the spring months. What makes it come loose and come down?
If you study a little bit of botany, you know that a fruit doesn’t fall by accident. Because why doesn’t it fall by accident at the beginning of the season? It first has to become ripe – it has to become sweet. And then, at her same time, it has to acquire a pleasant color. And only then, certain cells start developing in the stem, where the stem is connected to the twig of the tree, certain abscission cells. And it is these cells that cause the fruit to fall.
So the question is, why is it that when the fruit is still unripe, it doesn’t fall down? That is a question that we have to face. And don’t try to dodge that question because that question is of the utmost consequence. Why does the fruit let go only when it’s ripe? You’re not talking here about a hurricane that comes and blows down unripe, green fruits – a random hurricane will blow down the tree too. But why does the fruit fall only when it’s ripe? Every time!
And the answer is, that we couldn’t get up to it otherwise. The tree knows you don’t have wings. The main eaters, the most important eaters, don’t have wings. And that’s why the tree lets go when the food is ripe.
Now pay attention, why is it that before the fruit is ripe, that it’s always green? All unripe fruit is green. Whether the fruit eventually becomes bright yellow, like a banana or an orange; or beautiful purple like grapes, or bright red like apples – whatever happens – but before it’s ripe it’s always green. Why is that?
There’s only one answer. Because when it’s green – first of all why isn’t it something else? Why isn’t it bright yellow when it’s unripe? Why isn’t it bright red when it’s unripe? All over the world wherever you go, you won’t find a single fruit, that when it’s unripe it should be any color but green. You know why? Because green is the color of the leaves. The fruit is hiding among the leaves. When it’s unripe the fruit is saying, “Don’t look at me – I’m not old enough yet.” And it doesn’t fall down. It’s holding on tight. It’s not fit to eat yet. Even if you shake the tree, it wouldn’t come down. Maybe one would – a sick fruit. But all the healthy fruit hold on tight.
It’s only when the fruit becomes ripe, then it acquires an attractive color. Then it says, “Look at me.” And when you look at the tree, you’re look at a miracle! Who hung all those beautiful and luscious fruit on the tree? And they’re packaged in such gay colors!
Now if you never saw an apple tree before – I was a city boy and the first time I saw an apple tree full of of apples it was an apparition to me. A treewith apples on it?! I had never seen apples before except in a basket. Apples hanging on the tree! And they’re all brightly colored! And you give the tree a little shake and they start tumbling down.
The question now is why is it that this series of adjustments took place? That the apple, all the fruits, when they’re unripe, they’re all green. Do you think that happens by accident? Do you think it’s a coincidence that green is also the color of the leaves? It happens by accident that the fruits can hide among the leaves? And why is it that when a fruit is ripe – and only then – does it acquire a conspicuous color. By accident, apples become red? By accident bananas become very yellow? By accident, grapes become blue or whatever they are? Why is it? And why is it that when they’re ripe, they’re ready to come down?
And you want some more? Why is it that when you’re finished eating the apple, you come to the inside there’s an area that’s hard to eat, and you’re discouraged from eating it. That’s the ovary – it’s where the seeds are.Because the ovary has in it plastic pieces in order to protect the seeds. If you try to swallow it, it’s sticks in your throat; it sticks in your gums. It’s inedible. You can’t eat that plastic. So why is it that when you walk sometimes in the morning and last night there were gangs roaming the street – boys and girls eating apples – you see apple cores scattered everywhere? And had it not been a paved street, but an earthen field, it would have taken root eventually. What is it that makes people spare the seeds and spit it out for next year’s planting?
It’s like eating a box of cereal and when you get down to the bottom of the box, there’s a coupon there entitling you to another free box. That’s why you spit out the seeds – and that’s what you do, you spit out the seeds – you always spit out the seeds. If you don’t spit out the seeds, they’ll spit themselves out. Try and eat a piece of watermelon, and the seeds shoot out in all directions. They’re made slippery for that purpose.
Now the question is: Why is it that you have seeds in the apples? Why is it that there are seeds in every living thing? And what a seed? That’s also a question – a little question. A seed has within it 100,000 details, all the blueprints for a new apple tree. It’s the chromosomes of the seed, telling it how to make another apple tree; how to produce leaves, and how to produce sap and bark and flowers – all kinds of flowers – and how to produce more apples. More apples with more seeds inside them. All of these plans are in the blueprint of the seed! So the question is: How is that possible? And therefore if you look at a red apple it’s enough proof for you. It’s enough proof for anybody. Nobody can dispute this proof that there’s a Creator with an intelligence that is far beyond the ability of all the scientists put together to even begin to fathom.
Tape #116 (April 1976)February 1, 2018 2:02 pm at 2:02 pm #1461209
I’m not doubting the existence of G-d, but I don’t think it’s possible to prove it or disprove it.
An atheist could argue that everything in the above post can be explained by science. For example, from an atheist’s perspective, since we’re part of nature, we’re programmed by evolution to find nature beautiful.
February 1, 2018 2:40 pm at 2:40 pm #1461245
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You cannot prove the existance of God , thats why there is EMUNAHFebruary 1, 2018 2:40 pm at 2:40 pm #1461238
Joseph, why are you posting this? Also, do you think that this argument will really convince someone? I know many people that have seen apples and seeds, Cheerios and flowers, and still don’t believe in G-d. Do you think that deep down in their hearts they really are convinced by this argument and just won’t admit it? I think they just don’t find it at all compelling.February 1, 2018 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #1461257
Joseph is just a chussid of Rav Avigdor Miller, He loves sharing his torah with everyoneFebruary 1, 2018 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #1461272
But they can not explain what exactly programmed the very “evolution” – How did the first elements of matter –
protons, neutrons etc. appear ?
(known in Hebrew as the ” Yuli” – see Ramban in Breshis and Toras HaShem Temimah)
How did energy form? Who created the very energy/radiation of what caused the Big Bang?February 1, 2018 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #1461264
The above quote from Rabbi Miller is an example of a version of the fine tuning argument.
Even if you would accept the fine tuning argument at best its utility is against the position of randomness. What’s the next step? Most world religions would accept this argument as would the classic philosophers yet their conception of G-D is certainly false.
When (most people) ask for proof of the existence of G-D what they really mean is proof of The G-D who gave US laws, runs (present tense) OUR world, hears OUR prayers.
It is Yitzias Mitzraim and the Revelation at Sinai that is the only rational evidence of revelation. And it is through revelation that we know everything else. Post revelation a study of our unique history as the chosen recipients of the Torah is also relevant evidence.
“An atheist could argue that everything in the above post can be explained by science”
1) What someone “can argue” is not relevant. Ever. A “could argue” without positive evidence is a very weak position and not worthy of a response.
2) Explaining the mechanism by which natural events occur is not an argument against the existence of G-D. It is a straw man argument built on the false premise that believers have no positive evidence for the existence of G-D and use Him to explain what is (was) to them otherwise inexplicable phenomena.
It is also worth pointing out that essentially Emuna is the natural experience we are endowed with by our Creator. Rational argumentation is a tool we use against the the olam hagashmi, the yetzer ha-ra, the culture of the umos haolam, and our own sins which obstruct / corrupt this experience. See Kuzari shar aleph. Also see HaRav Aaron Feldmans excellent article in the latest issue of Dialogue.February 1, 2018 8:16 pm at 8:16 pm #1461356
There is a difference between not having an explanation for something and accepting an explanation simply because you need one.February 3, 2018 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #1461648
Rav Avigdor Miller on The Universal G-d
Q: Is it possible for a Muslim or a Christian to love Hashem?
A: It depends on what he is loving. I must tell you that it makes a very big difference what the gentile is thinking when he talks about his god. When somebody wants to talk about a certain personality, a G-d, he has to know that the personality must be designated by a certain description. And that designation makes all the difference in the world.
Suppose you want to bring a gift to somebody, but you don’t know who you’re bringing it to, so you bring it to the man next door. It might be a beautiful gift, but you brought it to the wrong address. So when people pray to a god that spoke to Mohammed, then they’re praying to the wrong god, because there is no such god. If they declare that “Allah is god and Mohammed is his prophet,” they’re taking about a different god that doesn’t exist.
If people pray to a god that that was supposedly born from a mother, then they’re talking about something that doesn’t exist. And therefore they are idolaters, or at best they’re praying to zero, to something that doesn’t exist. They get no reward at all. They’re not loving Hashem, they’re praying to nothing, to a made-up god.
Prayer is only real prayer if it’s directed at השם אלוקי ישראל. And that’s the Rambam’s statement. It says that the חסידי אומות העולם, the righteous gentiles, have a share in the World to Come. However, the Rambam says that they must recognize that Hashem is the אלוקי ישראל – He is the G-d of Yisroel. He has chosen us! He chose the עם ישראל. Only if they believe that, can they be included in the category of חסידי אומות העולם.
Pharaoh was willing to believe in Hashem when Moshe came to him, but he wasn’t willing to believe in השם אלוקי ישראל. And that was the big problem! And so Hashem got busy demonstrating not only that He is Hashem, but that He is השם אלוקי ישראל.
And that’s why it’s so important to believe the right things about Hashem. If a Jew believes in a universal god, then he’s not a Jew. Certainly Hashem is the Master of the Universe, but He has declared that the universe was made because of His people, the Am Yisroel. And so, we are the main actor on the stage of history and the entire world is nothing but the backdrop and scenery for us. And no matter how difficult a concept that is for you, you’re going to have to learn it. Because we have to live up to that responsibility! And you can only do that if you realize that we are the main performers in this world, and that Hashem has chosen us, and He has declared that He is השם אלוקי ישראל.
Tape # 814 (February 1991)February 3, 2018 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm #1461694
@ Zahavas Dad
“You cannot prove the existance of God , thats why there is EMUNAH”
This depends entirely on your standards of proof. If you apply the Cartesian standard then you can’t prove your own existence either. If you apply the Empirical standard you can’t prove the existence of anything witch is non – physical. If you use the same standard of proof that suffices for everything else for which we demand evidence the above proposition is false.February 4, 2018 6:29 am at 6:29 am #1461736
G-d runs the world but hides Himself behind nature. Yes, one can look at a tree and its fruit and realize how it is all from Hashem or some one can easily explain it as its just nature. If it would be so clear that HaShem runs the world than we would have no bechira to have emuna but because HaShem disguises Himself in teva, it is up to us to find Him in nature.
i thind that there are ways to prove G-d in this world but there are people that will rather take clear proofs that there is a G-d running the world and explain it according to nature. So yes, everything really douse come down to having emuna!!February 4, 2018 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #1462147
Would you please explain how we go from Rabbi Millers proof for the existence of G-D that you quoted in the OP to the proper conception of G-D that you quoted a couple of posts back?
“i think that there are ways to prove G-d in this world but there are people that will rather take clear proofs that there is a G-d running the world and explain it according to nature. So yes, everything really douse come down to having emuna!!”
I think you meant to say: there are people that will rather take clear proofs that there is not a G-d running the world and explain it according to nature
If that is what you meant to say it’s incompetent. There are no such proofs, not even fuzzy ones and certainly not clear ones. Not even the most ardent avowed atheist / materialist has proposed PROOFS for non existence.February 4, 2018 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #1462156
NP, why would you make an assumption that beee meant something incomprehensible?
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