03 September 2016

Oy Vavoy! What is Happening To Us?

1 Elul 5776
Rosh Chodesh Bet

Lately, it seems that the greatest threat to Judaism and the Jewish people today is coming from religious-Zionist, self-described "Orthodox rabbis" who are carrying on an illicit love-affair with the non-Jews and using their influence, whatever it might be, to pave the way for their integration and assimilation into the Jewish faith and people ("fourth house of Israel").  

Here is yet another example, as demonstrated by this excerpt from a September 2, 2016 "Israel Inspired" interview...

"What's the Story With These Torah-Observant Gentiles?"

Jeremy: ...The soul connection that I felt with these people that are not Jewish that are living in like a Biblical rhythm, that are living by the Torah to the best of their ability,... 

Ari: You know, it's funny, the only thing you can say at this point is that these people who are not Jewish... 

Jeremy: ...not Jewish... 

Ari: ... because what else...

Jeremy: ...what are they? 

Ari: ...what are they?

Jeremy: No one knows what they are. 

Ari: ...and to me...

Jeremy: They don't know what they are.

Ari: ...that spiritual no-man's land where you don't fit into any box, that to me is almost definitionally a holy, holy, place... 

Jeremy: ...a holy, holy place. I just love these people. I mean the soul connection that I felt with them was more powerful than the soul connection that I felt with a lot of the secular Jews that I spoke with in Manhattan....

...There's a deeper connection that I felt with these people and it's like a movement of historic proportions. And the truth is the Jews don't know what to do with it yet, the Jews don't even know about it yet. When the Jews finally get a taste of what's actually happening all around the world, it's gonna blow their minds, we're gonna have to figure out what do we call these people, who are they religiously, who are they spiritually, what is their identity, can they move to Israel? Are they moving to Israel? The irony was I talked to some Jews in Manhattan that had more money than some states...they don't want to move to Israel. ...All some of these non-Jews want to do is move to Israel, but they can't because of the government, because of the money, because whatever the reasons.

Ari: I want to talk about that on the next program. Talk about what it is, how non-Jews interact here, why can't they be citizens, why shouldn't they be, what their residence should be, if they should be allowed, these are questions that need to be asked....

What is there to talk about? There are Jews and there are non-Jews and there is nothing in-between. All of this has been discussed and set down in law since Har Sinai when the Torah was given (and accepted). And the Torah does not change! So, first some background: 

How Did We Become Divided Into Jews and Non-Jews?
One of the deepest concepts of God's Providence involves Israel and the other nations. With regard to their basic human characteristics, the two appear exactly alike. From the Torah's viewpoint, however, the two are completely different, and are treated as if they belonged to completely different species
...When Adam sinned, he fell from his original high level, and brought upon himself a great degree of darkness and insensitivity.... Mankind in general also fell from its original height, and ...it was in this state that children were born into the world....
God gave Adam's descendants a free choice at that time to strengthen themselves and strive to elevate themselves from this lower state and regain the higher level. ...The Higher Wisdom deemed it fitting that this effort be divided into a period for the roots, and another for the branches.
...The human race initially had a chance to permanently regain its original state and rectify the spiritual damage that had been done. The proper procedure would have been for the roots and heads of Adam's descendants to first elevate themselves to the rectified level. Once this was accomplished, both the roots and their branches would remain in this state forever, since the branches always follow the roots.
The time period for generations to function as roots, however, was limited. ...With the Generation of Separation, this period came to a close.
God then scrutinized all mankind, perceiving the levels that should be made permanent in that generation's members according to their deeds. These things then became a permanent part of their nature in their aspect as roots. It was thus decreed they each should bear future generations, all possessing the qualities deemed appropriate for their root ancestor.
The descendants of each of these individuals were thus divided into permanent groupings, each with its own characteristics and limitations. They were destined to father future generations who would inherit these characteristics, just as members of any particular species inherit the characteristics of their forbears.
According to the Highest Judgment, it turned out that none of them deserved to rise above the degraded level to which Adam and his children had fallen as a result of their sin. [Not a single one had risen above it all.]
There was, however, one exception, and that was Avraham. He had succeeded in elevating himself, and as a result of his deeds was chosen by God. Avraham was therefore permanently made into a superior excellent tree, conforming to man's highest level. It was further provided that he would be able to produce branches [and father a nation] possessing his characteristics.
The world was then divided into seventy nations, each with its own particular place in the general scheme. All of them, however, remained on the level of man in his fallen state, while only Israel was in the elevated state. ...and a new age began. This is the age of branches, which still exists.
God's great love and goodness decreed that the branches of other nations still be given a chance. If they so desired, they still had the free choice to tear themselves loose from their own roots, and through their own actions include themselves among the branches of Avraham's family.
This is what God meant when He told Avraham Avinu (Bereshis 12:3), "All the families of the earth will be blessed through you." Avraham was thus made the father of all converts. 
[This, however, would require effort on the part of the individuals concerned.] Without such effort, they would remain attached to their own roots and retain their natural characteristics.
...If any nation would have then accepted the Torah, it would have elevated itself from its lower state. As it was, none of them desired the Torah, and their judgment was therefore sealed completely. The gate was permanently closed, never again to be opened.
It still remained possible, however, for any individual to convert to Judaism. In this manner, he could still include himself in Avraham's tree of his own free will.
...These (non-Jewish) nations still have the human aspect, blemished though it may be, and God desired that they should at least have a counterpart of what was actually appropriate for all mankind. He therefore granted them a Divine Soul (neshamah) somewhat like that of the Jew, even though it is on a much lower level. They were likewise given commandments, through which they could attain both material and spiritual advantages appropriate to their nature. These are the seven [universal] commandments given to the children of Noach.
...God thus made the rectification and elevation of all creation totally dependent on the Jews. ...Through their deeds, they can cause [His Light] to shine forth and have influence, or, on the other hand, hold it back and conceal it.
The deeds of the other nations, on the other hand, do not add to or subtract from the state of creation, nor do they cause God to reveal Himself or withdraw. All they can do is bring about their own gain or loss, and strengthen or weaken their own directing angel. 
 (Derech Hashem, Part II, Chapter 4, Sections 1-9, by Rabbeinu Moshe Chaim Luzzatto)
 NEXT (iy"H): What the Torah instructs us about relations between Jews and Non-Jews in general.