Man's Greatest Achievement

What do you think it is?

Comments (23)

(23) Joey, August 20, 2009 11:39 PM


I would hazard religion as one of man's greatest achievements; the ability to turn our eyes upwards to something greater than ourselves is what sets humanity apart from the animals, and what ultimately can give all other achievements meaning. God bless!

(22) Grace Fishenfeld, August 2, 2009 1:19 PM

Justice through law and the collective conscience

Sixty years ago, a body of people representing the world decided that the Jewish people deserved to have their homeland. To realize that a suffering people were deserving of this recognition is remarkable and a giant step for all of mankind. That we are capable of enforcing justice through empathy, I believe we have come close to thinking in God's way. That is a great achievement.

(21) e. m. lefrak, August 2, 2009 5:18 AM

regarding the Jewish People

Several people wrote that the greatest achievement is that of survival of the Jews. I wouldn't classify that as an achievement; rather, it's all HaShem's doing . . . It's true that it's amazing, marvelous, a proof that Judaism is the true way of life . .. but an achievement? I don't quite agree.

(20) Anonymous, July 30, 2009 8:17 PM

HaKadosh Baruch Hu

I think that man's greatest achievement is the recognition of the One Above. When Avrahom Avinu realized that there is something Greater and more Awesome, he created a connection between us and our Creator and that connection is what keeps the world going, day after day, creation after creation.

(19) Mike, July 29, 2009 11:55 PM

Greatest Jewish Achievment-so far!

The greatest Jewish Achievement to date has been transmitting knowledge of Hashem to the world. This one act has had an astounding impact on mankind. This is nothing compared to what will happen when Mashiach comes, but it is a necessary preparation. Let us all remember that Hashem runs the world. It is not what we achieve, but rather what Hashem achieves through us, his servants.

(18) Alice, July 29, 2009 9:59 PM

Jews' greatest achievement

Still being here despite all the anti-semitism. Fantastic!

(17) Elana, July 29, 2009 9:08 PM

Greatest Jewish Achievement

This is obvious and it has to do with the idea of monotheism. Of course! Abraham was the first one to recognize G-d as an all powerful ONE being. I cannot imagine the world as it once was...sacrificing children, etc. Yes, we do live in better...much better times; and of course, we can always do better. Man's greatest achievement?? The advances in medicine so that man can live longer to enjoy life longer. Remember, every moment here is a gift.

(16) avraham m, July 29, 2009 12:03 PM

greatest achievement

surviving all the centuries without our land. the fact we could build the Temples in the ancient days.dispersed through all the nations we are still Jews..having the Torah to live by..

(15) Anonymous, July 29, 2009 1:02 AM

Controlling ones desire for the better of the situation and oneself is perhaps the greatest acheivment.

(14) Anonymous, July 29, 2009 12:05 AM


I think our greatest achievement is learning how to love.Not just some sentimental slop,but respecting diversity,respecting people to love who they will,worship in peace and dignity,and walk in peace,unlike all the warring countries of the world.Of course,we're far from being "there",but it's progress,not perfection that matters

(13) Ariel, July 28, 2009 11:47 PM

Jews greatest achievement

I think the greatest Jewish achievement the fact that we are still here and still Jewish. People like Pharaoh, Haman, and Hitler have tried time and time again to get rid of us. Some how we are still here and they are not. The Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Romans, the Egyptians, the 3rd Reich there great power is gone and their names are mud.

(12) Joel Friedman, July 28, 2009 11:04 PM

The concept that human beings through their actions can bring holiness into the physical world

A major theme emerging from Sinai is that human beings can bring holyness into the physical world. That we can emulate God associated attributes-mercy, creative energy, healing, dispensing justice etc etc is profound beyond all measure and sets in motion the postive evolution of the human condition.

(11) Meira, July 28, 2009 10:10 PM

Who is Who

You gave us very easy questions, Rabbi. And both of them are somehow connected: Don’t remember who said that the most outstanding discoveries of mankind were Kopernik’s, Darwin’s, and Freud’s and all of them attack human dignity. Another said, that whatever scientists achieve or discover, the result of their work is a new weapon. On the other hand, we cannot say that Torah is our national achievement, or Sinai is our personal victory, but JEWDAISM, as it was preserved and developed in works of Jewish leaders, starting from Moses up to modern sages and scholars is the best that Jews bring into this world. Why? - Because it stands for Human dignity. I mean real sages and scholars, not fanatics who contribut nothing but hate.

(10) Dan Cathcart, July 28, 2009 8:39 PM

Torah to the Nations

The Greatest achievement of the Jewish people is the survival through the ages by the hand of G-d. This includes the acceptance of the covenant at Mt. Sinai. From that moment on, the Jewish people have been carrying the "baton" for the nations. What an awsome and humbling experience it is to be asked of G-d to take His Torah to the nations of the world! The promise of Hashem is unbroken and as strong as ever dispite our best efforts to hinder it. Remember Isaiah the prophet: Isa 49:5 And now, says Hashem who formed Me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob again to Him, Though Israel is not gathered, yet I shall be glorious in the eyes of Hashem, and My G-d shall be My strength. 6 And He said, It is but a little thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You for a light to the nations, to be My salvation to the end of the earth.

(9) Ruth Housman, July 28, 2009 8:07 PM


I think there are many great achievements in human history and it's hard to say one was greater than the next, because it's about building blocks, meaning we build civilization and become hopefully more civilized through this "story" that does go back in time. So I think man's greatest achievement is recognizing that we are all of us experiencing a learning curve, that is taking us forward towards greater tolerance, greater support, a realization that what the Jews discuss as tikkun olam, applies to us all, namely the healing of the world. Is this too long an answer and too long winded? I feel it's a winding road, as DNA itself spirals, so do we all, and we are all of us climbing the mountain with Moses. A recreation of some essential stories that are part of our Jewish legacy.

(8) Geoff, July 28, 2009 7:21 PM

mankind's greatest achievement

Yes, I agree that the lunar landing is the great technological achievement of mankind to date. But for what??? We still go on hating , killing, abusing, defrauding around the globe. So the Jewish receiving of the Torah despite its own magnificence has really done nothing for mankind. It did give us the 10 commandments but for what purpose. We (mankind and even Jewish mankind)seem to have lost the plot about how to respect on another. Is the middle east "eye for an eye" the answer? Do we need the 10 commandments because mankind's default mode is bad/dishonest/evil? Sad state of affairs if this is so.

(7) Giacomo, July 28, 2009 7:11 PM

Man greatest achievement

Man's greatest achievement in this life is to obtain the knowledge of G-d. Even a tone-deaf man with years of practice can play a musical instrument with proficiency. Not so with the true G-d. Knowing Him happen only when He reach us. There is not any amount of study we can do to make that happen. Ultimately knowing Him is a pure revelation.

(6) Anonymous, July 28, 2009 12:03 AM


The survival of the Jewish people is the greatest achievement yet. Throughout our existance, many nations wanted to destroy us, but we survived. May we continue to survive while making only a kiddush Hashem until the coming of moshiach in our time. Amen.

(5) Anonymous, July 27, 2009 6:21 PM


recognition of God By most of the world.

(4) Clifford Felder, July 27, 2009 1:49 PM

Greatest: Receiving the Torah, Jewish survival against the odds

Solomon, I think man's greatest achievement was receiving the Torah, the great Divine source of ethical living, how truly to make this world a better place; and the greatest Jewish achievement was the fact that we Jewish people have survived for so long without a homeland or country, under such harsh oppressive conditions against all the odds.

(3) Rosen, July 27, 2009 1:43 PM


While the moon landing was probably the greatest achievement in my folks' generation, I think the greatest achievement in my generation was the advent of the Internet (if it wasn't for that, there would be no for the greatest Jewish achievement, I would agree with Malka that it was unity at Sinai before Moses and G-d.

(2) Malka, July 27, 2009 4:09 AM


The greatest achievement we have ever had, was when we stood together at Har Sinai, ki ish echad be lev echad. I fervently hope we can stand together as one very soon.

(1) e. m. lefrak, July 26, 2009 9:57 PM

it's rather simple, but not easy to attain; yet it's our task:

man's greatest achievement? Look in Pirkay Avos. A strong person is someone who conquers his evil inclination. A person can fly to the moon and back, make the most amazing invention, and still be light years away from true achievement.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive Weekly Current Issues Emails

Sign up to our Current Issues Newsletter.

Our privacy policy