Christianity maintains that all men are doomed to sin, and everyone will go to everlasting hell unless they accept Jesus as their savior.
Judaism has always held that we do not need that sort of salvation, for we are not doomed or damned at birth. We are not doomed or fated to sin. Quite the contrary. The Torah says: “If you do good, won’t there be special privilege? And if you do not do good, sin waits at the door. It lusts after you, but you can dominate it.” (Genesis 4:7) In other words, you can do good, and if you do, things will be better for you. If you do not do good, sin wants to be partners with you. But you can control sin, you can control your evil desires, and you can be good.
So we have free will, and that is what Judaism has always believed, because that is what the Torah teaches. The Torah does not teach — or even mention — that we are “born in sin,” or that we are fated to sin. Just the opposite. We have the ability to choose. Continue reading