(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Bais Medrash (c) Torah.Org

Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 21:37:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: The Universe: Why Did G-d Create It?

Shlomo Goldstein, responded to my claim that there is life on other
planets, with nations of cruelty (like the Egyptians), people of faith
(like the Patriarchs) and prophets who would save them from the tyrannical
nations and give them laws. I also suggested that the laws they receive
would look like our Torah--for all civilizations need disciplines like
Family Purity to preserve marriages, laws governing theft etc. Shlomo

<  <  A few weeks ago someone wrote about life on other planets. That writer
speculated that perhaps they also had a revelation of G-d like the Torah.
While it's nice to share, his view is, in my opinion, wrong. Maimonides in
his famous 13 points of faith(Commentary to Mishnah Sanhedrin Ch. 10)
posits that Moses' prophecy is greater than any past or future
prophet(point 7). Also, the Torah is immutable and one may neither add nor
subtract. (point 8). So a "new" Torah on another planet would violate the
supremacy of Moses' prophecy as well as violate the prohibition of adding
to the Torah.>  >

A good question--the answer is simple. The Talmud says that "Moses has gone
up and serves in heaven". Apparently Moses may be coming down to these
other planets and helping them establish laws. This answers the question
about the "supremacy of Moses prophecy"

As to the question about the uniqueness of the Bible...I already clearly
stated in several postings that the content of a Torah on another planet
would look almost identical to the content of our Torah. The only things
that might change are the names of the Patriarchs, the name of the nation
that enslaved people etc. The CONTENT of the laws would be the same. I
argued this logically---all civilizations need periods of abstention
(family purity, Kashruth), equitable treatment to the poor (charity, etc) I
certainly don't think I have proved my case. But I do believe that I have a
tenable position consistent with Jewish law.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA;
Moderator Rashi is SImple, http://www.shamash.org/rashi/