Mr. Tal was born in Israel in 1978 to an atheist family. In 1984 he moved with his family to England where he learned much about Christianity before returning to Israel again in 1986. In November 1995 he became interested in Jewish fundamentalism as a result of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In 1997, after attending lectures and seminars of Orthodox Jewish outreach, he became "convinced" (mainly by willpower) of the truth of the Torah (the Pentateuch). He entered the religious Jewish fold despite parental objections (the rabbis instructing him that the obligation to honour one's parent is null and void if the parents do not lead a religious life).
For two years he tried to keep the faith and to observe Jewish Law but, as a critical thinker, he could not keep doubts away. Soon he began to visit "forbidden" Internet sites, notably Talk.Origins, which made the case against the God of the Bible and against the doctrine of biblical inerrancy (to which Orthodox Jews adhere as well as evangelical Christians). In 1999 after taking everything into consideration he dropped all religious observance and began to believe in the impersonal God of Deism, one who created the world but left it to its own devices. His views became further refined to the point where he no longer felt the need to postulate any creator-god and embraced metaphysical naturalism. In fact, the absence of a god was the logical conclusion brought about by the absolute indifference which recorded history shows towards the fate of people and nations. While Mr. Tal's grandparents escaped Hitler's Reich and fled to British Palestine, the rest of the family had remained behind and perished during the Holocaust.
Now Mr. Tal resists theism, especially Orthodox Judaism, which threatens to demolish the wall between church and state in Israel and turn it into a Jewish Iran. He is also a regular contributor to Hofesh (Hebrew for "Freedom"), a secular Jewish site dedicated to fending off Jewish religious coercion and educating the public against Orthodox outreach (which is effectively Torah evangelization).
He is currently a student of computer system administration and linguistics. He knows Hebrew, English, Arabic, and German and can read the New Testament in Greek and the Koran in Arabic.
On the walls and signposts of Israeli cities one can see pictures of a great teacher who is heralded as the Messiah, and under those pictures, written in Hebrew, "Long live our Master, Teacher and Rabbi, the King, the Messiah, for ever and evermore." But this teacher, this "Messiah," is not Jesus, of course . . .
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