02 February 2015

An Open Message to (Would-be) Righteous Gentiles

13 Shevat 5775

Written in response to a few "anonymous" comments from gentiles writing with regard to yesterday's post Havdalah (Separation)...

First of all, it's not all about you. You must understand that the world does not exist for you. It exists purely for the sake of Israel. This is the truth. If it's hard for you to hear, then maybe your ego is more important to you than the truth. Each of the nations refused the Torah and only Israel wanted it. Today, if you want to share in this heritage and in this responsibility, Hashem, in His great mercy, allows Israel to accept sincere converts. If this does not appeal to you for some reason, then you must be satisfied with what Hashem has already given you because that's all there is - Israel and the nations. 

There are no third or fourth options. There is NO "fourth house of Israel" called Gerim!

Today, with the internet and the proliferation of books on the subject, a gentile who aspires to be "righteous" has all the knowledge on the subject available to him in his own home. The Seven Laws are very straightforward...

  1. Do not deny God
  2. Do not blaspheme God
  3. Do not murder
  4. Do not engage in incestuous, adulterous or homosexual relationships
  5. Do not steal
  6. Do not eat of a live animal
  7. Establish courts

There is no need whatsoever for rabbis to be traveling to groups of gentiles around the world, staying in their homes and giving regular lessons on Torah subjects. This has come about because what the gentiles really want is an alternative religion to follow - a substitute set of rituals. But religion is an invention of man. Judaism - for Jew and for gentile - is a way of living in relationship to G-d and to each other. That becomes very clear from just looking at the laws themselves.

Gentiles coming out of false religions, have a need to continue communal meetings with Bible study and a "pastor" to lead them like a flock and a "shabbat"-like day of rest. Well, whoever said following G-d and performing His will was ever going to be easy or self-satisfying???

Instead of trying to accommodate the gentiles and makes things easy for them, the rabbis should be telling them that they are being called to a higher standard of life which requires adjustments that may seem very painful at times. Nothing worthwhile in this life comes easily. They should be encouraged to give up the religious structure of Xianity as well as its beliefs. And they should be advised from a distance. There is no excuse for Jews and gentiles to be entering into relationships of any kind whatsoever for any reason.

What I'm seeing among many gentiles leaving the churches is a group of people who desire to "share" in all of the honors, privileges and promises of Jewishness, including rights to our Holy Land, without the obligations or inherent dangers and hardships or any commitment on their part. Well, dream on. That's not the world Hashem created.

Acknowledge your Creator. Hold His Name in reverence. Thank Him regularly for His beneficience. Get married, have children and raise them to fear G-d. Be honest in all your dealings. Treat others as you want to be treated. Do not cause animals unnecessary pain and suffering when you take their lives for human need. Make and enforce just laws to benefit all of society.

And enjoy the life G-d gave you. 


  1. Thank you...

  2. Well said. Kol HaKavod.

  3. "Gentiles coming out of false religions, have a need to continue communal meetings with Bible study and a "pastor" to lead them like a flock and a "shabbat"-like day of rest. Well, whoever said following G-d and performing His will was ever going to be easy or self-satisfying???"

    KING DAVID DID MANY MANY TIMES, who by the way was a grandson of a convert.

  4. ariella - what did King David do "MANY, MANY TIMES"?

  5. " Well, whoever said following G-d and performing His will was ever going to be easy or self-satisfying???"

    Read Psalms, Plainly many times King David said it was a delight to follow HaShem and self satisfying. Being negative is no help to no one. I am utterly stunned by this article and dismayed. HaShem is greater than this. ugh

  6. ariela - read again. What I said has no relation to what you are saying. I said that gentiles who are giving up Xianity are looking for a replacement religion which some so-called rabbis are inventing for them. Instead of trying to accommodate their junkie-like need for religious trappings, they should instead be educated to the fact that they don't need a religion. It might be hard to give up in the beginning, but Hashem never promised that doing the right thing would be either easy or satisfying to the ego, perhaps is a better way to put it. That's what I meant by "self" - satisfying.

    Read the next post. Perhaps the words of the Ramchal will be more enlightening.

  7. Also, what should be made clear is that there is no such word as 'religion' in the Torah. The Torah is the ultimate Truth, the Eternal Truth, which was given to the children of Israel as a guide to life. It is our Divine Instruction Book, given to the Jewish people by the Creator. The Seven Laws of Noach are also part of the Torah given for the benefit of the nations. It is the proper way of life. Forget 'religions' which are idolatrous.

  8. I have never been so comfortable with this "all is for Israel" idea. Sounds narcissistic to me. The Netziv and Rav Hirsch talk about Israel's purpose being to educate the gentiles. That suggests that gentiles also are the purpose.

    I think the idea of all is for Israel refers to world events, that they are guided on behalf of Israel.

  9. Israel, if I'm not mistaken, you live outside the Land of Israel, right? And you're comfortable there? If so, then I can certainly understand how you would feel UNcomfortable with the Torah as it's meant to be lived in Eretz Yisrael. If I'm right, then you are living in the nations of the gentiles and dependent upon their good will.

    Fortunately, it's not left up to our "feelings" or how it "sounds" to know what is right. Let's look at the sources and use our minds. We must conform to the Torah and not try to make the Torah conform to our own image of what we think it should be.

    Would you please bring those sources so we can read them and see what it actually means? Maybe they were speaking of educating the gentiles as a positive by-product of being in exile since we were put there anyway. I don't think they ever meant to claim this is our main purpose and mission in this world since that is patently untrue.

  10. Hi,

    So let's first address the cliches. The first is that all American Jews are comfortable. maybe the rich are but we are not all rich. I am not even close to comfortable in the USA. The second is that American Jews depend on the largess of the USA and Israelis do not. We are pretty much the same in that regard.

    Now for the sources: See the Netziv on his introduction to the book of Shemos. See a summary of it here: http://www.torahleadership.org/categories/netziv__s_introduction_to_exodus.pdf. The summary says the following: "Therefore Israel’s reception of the Torah is not the telos of the world, but rather
    a means of enabling the world to achieve its telos. The telos of the world is for
    all humanity to have knowledge of G-d. Netziv goes on to assert that Torah is necessary for the Jews to fulfill their particular
    telos of being the light by which all humanity comes to see G-d, but that it is not directly
    necessary for nonJews to fulfill the general human telos of knowing G-d, which can be
    achieved via reason and character development." I don't have the Netziv's text in front of me but I have seen it and this is what it says. I have seen this brought by Rabbi J David Bleich of YU, so you have good authority on the correct reading of the netziv.

    And from R' Hirsch: ""God has dispersed Yisrael among the nations as eved and shifka, as "servant" and "handmaiden," to labor on behalf of God's great work on behalf of mankind. Yisrael is called "a servant" to indicate the arduous labor inherent in its outward position vis-a-vis the nations, and "a handmaiden" to denote the joyous fulfillment of its life's task within the sphere of its own homes, families and communities. For the proper discharge of both these tasks Yisrael needs extraordinary spiritual and moral talents and energy; and it is for these faculties that Yisrael : looks up to God its God even as a "servant" and a "handmaiden" would look up to their Master." Tehillim 123, 2"

    Now I don't know if they are saying that Israel's entire purpose is to educate the gentiles, even though they seem to be talking like that here. The point for us is that educating mankind is part of Israel's purpose which means that mankind is also part of the purpose of the world. Not everything is for Yisrael.

    Now, as for separting feeling from Torah, we all like to think we do that. Few do it all the way. Rather we tend to do it on topics where we naturally agree anyway. I'm sure I can show you all kinds of Torah that you'd struggle with. (I fully admit that I struggle) I find this often with material on the subject of gender and issues like the exemption of women from positive time bound commandments. Most people today, particularly BTS and people in the MO world, walk around with made up notions to fit their feelings and can't accept the hardcore classic sources. So one must be careful in declaring himself or herself the truth teller.

  11. Thank you, israel, for adding your light to the subject. I appreciate you bringing these sources.

    As to "comfort" and "dependence", I should have been clearer. By "comfort" I was not referring to physicality, but I was talking about a level of comfort with the foreign culture's ideals that would mitigate against ideas of 'chosenness'. Hence the discomfort with the inverse. As to "dependency," as I said their "good will" since it's their country, not ours. And Israel only imagines that it is dependent on the nations. In reality, it's not true.

  12. israel, so far, I've only had a chance to look at this link to the Netziv information. The first thing I see is that these are not the words of the Netziv, but someone else's interpretation of the Netziv: "I understand his argument as follows..."

    I went to the home page of this site to see who was speaking here and I see that it is basically a Modern Orthodox organization.

    I'm also waiting for input from the Rav-of-the-Blog.

    For me, the ultimate Torah truth is found in the writings of the Ramchal. He's my 'rebbe'. And so far, I've never found any discrepancy between his teachings and Rabbi Kahane's.

  13. Most of these topics need nuance. Choseness doesn't mean that gentiles aren't important. R' Avidgor Miller, who is no softy on the topic of Israel's choseness said that if you were to put the entire physical universe on one side of a scale and a person from the Fiji Islands on the other, the Fiji islander would far outweigh the physical universe.

    But he'll also tell you that the Chumash is built around klal yisrael. The creation of the universe takes a chapter or so and then you have chapters and chapters and chapters about the jews as they are the prime followers of God. But still gentiles have a place and an importance, ie good gentiles.

    Most of these topics go back and forth. They are tricky. Like what is better Torah or Mitzvos. Many People today propose a simple answer for that but if you look at the sources, it's complex and dynamic. Same with men and women and their respective abilities and contributions. Many topics are like that.

    but yes no doubt, the jews were chosen and chose God. They are a nation apart. But part of the reason why is that we are fair and compassionate, and we care about people outside our group. Contrast that with the way most goyim work. See Rabbeinu Yona on perkei avos "Pray for the welfare of the government." He says we should have compassion on the whole world.

  14. Correct, as I tried to indicate, I was pasting the words of somebody summarizing the Netziv. I'll get you the Netziv text later. I have it at home. His words are like the summary.

    My only point is that good gentiles also are important to God. Are you disagreeing with that?

    Of course you are entitled to go with your rebbe. I get very frustrated with people who don't allow other people their rebbes. And the greats disagree at times, even on central principles. It's all good.

    Just remember we have bnei noach reading this blog. We don't want to discourage them. They are exceptional people.

  15. Thank you Dvash for clarifying something that I was taught and thought that every Torah Jew should know too. We were not put on earth to be the educators of the non-Jews. If we were to heed G-D Laws, we would have automatically become a light unto the nations. We have been exiled for the last 2000 years and before then suffered at the hands of many of the empires, only because of our sins and thus thrown among the nations. We are a nation that dwells alone. But, because we were thrown to the four corners of the earth, it had a positive impact on the nations, as two major religions derived from Judaism.
    Agree that the interpretations of those calling themselves modern Orthodox seems to usually be instinctively towards the thinking of modern society, rather than from Torah Law. Interpretation, interpretation, interpretation - depending on the holy level of the rabbi and/or scholar. Modern orthodox intepretations on major basic Torah laws are usually always questionable.

  16. I realize that you want to move on to other topics but I said I'd bring the citation from the Netziv. It is here:

    "Every person is created for his telos and that is his 'service.' Likewise, Israel was created to be an illumination unto the nations and to cause them to achieve knowledge of the Lord of the universe." HaEmek Davar, Ex 12:51

  17. Israel: True, but the eventual true Torah knowledge of H' will be known once Moshiach Tzdkeinu comes!
    "The knowledge of Hashem will fill the earth as the waters cover the seas". But, it is NOT our job to educate the non Jews, but we should be examples of true Torah Jewry and that in itself would be enlightenment. All that needs to be revealed will be after Moshiach Tzdkeinu comes.