Torah For Today! This week: Conspiracy theories
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here
Analysis

Torah For Today! This week: Conspiracy theories

Rabbi Abel takes a topical issue and delves into Jewish scriptures for an answer

Rabbi Ariel Abel

Ariel Abel is rabbi of the Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation

Fifty years ago last month, mankind landed on the moon – but some people suggest it was all a fabrication. What does the Torah say about conspiracy theories?

Following the exodus from Egypt, 12 spies were sent to scout out the land of Israel, but 10 spread lies about the land, and about Moses and Aaron, saying they had conspired for their own glory to take control of the Israelites and were in fact endangering them.

The 10 spies were leaders of Israel, and the impact was fatal to the early entry of the people to the Promised Land. Later, Korach, a cousin to Moses, alleged the same theories against Moses and Aaron. For this, Korach and his supporters perished.

In the ninth century BCE, the false  prophet Tzidkiyah ben Kena’ana accused the real Prophet of God, Michayhu ben Yimlah, of being a traitor against the king, Ahab.

Ahab, who was unused to hearing prophecies that were contrary to expectations and Michayhu’s portent of Ahab losing an upcoming battle against the Arameans, offended Tzidkiyah, who slap-ped Michayhu across the face in indignation.

Condemned as a liar, Michayhu was imprisoned during the battle as a security risk. However, his warning was right – Ahab did not return from the battle. An enemy arrow struck the king and Ahab subsequently died from his wound.

In July 1969, Rabbi Alter, the Rebbe of the Gur Chassidic dynasty, first stated that a moon landing was not possible, as the Psalms declare: “The heavens are heavens for the Almighty,” implying that men cannot reach beyond the earth’s limits.

Once the landing was confirmed, he did not suggest that the event was fabricated.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe accepted the moon landing as fact and simply redefined the limits of earth as all created matter and heavens as the spiritual realm.

 

  • Rabbi Abel serves Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation and is padre to Merseyside Army Cadet Force 
Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments