Update: $100,000 Torah Challenge: Can You Prove Judaism is Based on Matrilineal Descent?



Well, it is has been over a year now and the Torah Challenge is STILL up and running….

Despite, regular updates in the Jerusalem Post;  Facebook;  Twitter; Linkedin; thousands of emails sent to every major Jewish publication, radio and television program AND to the faculty members of the religious affairs departments of universities like: Brandies; Bar Ilan; Hebrew Univerity; Harvard, Yale; and countless yeshivas…..

In spite of all that….

In spite of the fact that:



Somehow, no one seems able to collect the prize….

Gee, I wonder why?

Regardless: you can find the original post and conditions here:



Here are the main points of the article:

In order to collect the $100,000 prize you must successfully explain three things and, for each explanation, cite from the Torah:

a) The book

b) The chapter and

c) The verse  


( In case you don’t know: The Torah is ONLY the first five books of the Old Testament).

First: If Judaism is based on matrilineal descent, then you must explain:  

a)How  Sarah is the mother of Rebecca ?

b)How Rebecca is the mother of Leah ?

c) How Leah is the mother of the Canaanite woman who married Judah and gave birth to Onan, Er and Selah…?


(For extra credit: You can explain how Leah is the mother of Judah's daughter in law: Tamar?).

If you want to claim that Sarah, Rebecca and Leah were not really Jewish, that is okay. Just cite the Book, Chapter and Verse in the Torah which explicitly states they were not really Jewish.


For example: In the Book of Numbers, chapter 14, lines 11 and 12, God threatens to destroy all the people and raise up a new nation from the seed of Moses. Since God did not do this, it clearly demonstrates that the Israelites were the same people as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Furthermore, God clearly states that if he did raise up this new nation, it would be from the seed of Moses, not from the descendants of Zipporah: the Midianite wife of Moses.

In addition to this, in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 9, lines 17 and 18: Moses clearly tells the people that they are not to believe that they somehow deserved to inherit the land and he goes on to explain that the ONLY reason they were indeed inheriting the land was because of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.


So: if you want to prove that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were not really Jewish, you would have to locate the appropriate verses which directly contradict the ones I have just quoted.



Second: If Judaism is based on matrilineal descent then you must give the names of nine generations of Jewish mothers and daughters:

So, for example: In The Book of Exodus, chapter 6, lines 16 thru 26, it explains that:….Abraham begat Isaac who begat Jacob who begat Levi who begat Kohath who begat Amram who begat Aaron who begat Eleazar who begat Phinehas.

Now all you have to do is provide a similar list for the ladies…

In other words: you must prove that the wife of Amram, for example, was Jewish because her mother was Jewish. Therefore you must give the name of both his wife and her mother, you cannot simply state that the law requires a priest to marry a Jew. You must prove that Amram complied with the law and this law was based on matrilineal descent. Basically, what I am saying is that I am willing to accept that both Amram and his wife were indeed Jewish, but that it was because the father of Amram was Jewish that he was considered Jewish. After all, we don't even know the name of his mother.

Third: In the Book of Numbers, chapter 31, lines 36 thru 40 it states that the Israelites took 16,000 Midianite virgins as wives. How can Judaism pass thru the mother if 16,000 of those mothers were Midianites ?

(If you want to claim that all 16,000 Midianite virgins converted to Judaism before they married, that’s okay…just quote the Book, Chapter and Verse where it explicitly says that they did indeed convert).

Nevertheless, don't get too excited. No matter what the Chabad Movement or other orthodox rabbis claim, the events described in Exodus 24 are not a conversion. When a Roman Catholic stops worshiping Jesus, converts his religion to Islam and begins to worship Allah, then that is a real conversion. Before the events in Exodus 24 Abraham and his descendants were called either Hebrews or Children of Israel and they worshiped the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. After the events described in Exodus 24 they are still called either Hebrews or Children of Israel and they still worshiped the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So: Where is the conversion? (In fact, no one in the Torah is called a Jew. The first person called a Jew is Mordechai in the Book of Esther).

If a reform Jew decides to join an orthodox community, that is not a conversion. Possibly, one might call it: "an up-grade", but a mere change in one's religious lifestyle does not constitute a conversion. For example: The laws of Judaism which orthodox communities follow today are different from those which governed the life of King David. Are modern Jews: "converts to Judaism"?
The Torah speaks only about intermarriage, not conversions. If you believe the Midianites converted, then you must prove it....

Well, that’s it….A piece of cake, right? After all, “everyone” knows Judaism passes thru the mother. So submit your answer today and collect your prize…

Or better yet, forward this article to your rabbi and have him submit “an official” answer…


Good luck…


P.S.  In the previous 10,000 dollar challenge ONLY comments which provided answers to the questions were allowed and any general comments were deleted.  This time, any comment you want to make will be allowed, but you will only be paid if you fulfill ALL THREE conditions and give specific answers as required. Also, answers can ONLY be submitted to this article as it appears on The Jerusalem Post website. (i.e. You cannot post your answer to another website).