Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Visitors to the Temple of G-d

Suppose you invite someone to visit you at home; Would you not expect your visitor to behave properly? It would more than annoy you were he to spit on the carpet, or pocket a necklace – thinking you didn't see, right?

This is an analogy to how we might behave; For we too are visitors to this world - which is G-d's domain. Like that visitor, we too mustn’t do as we feel, in disregard of the master of this “house”. We too must behave properly.

But what constitutes proper behavior? How do we know what G-d expects of us?

The answers we find in the “Manual of Life” that G-d entrusted to the Jewish people. This supernatural event occurred in the Sinai Desert in the year 2,448, the day G-d gave Jews “The Ten Commandments”. Moses then took 40 years to complete the Torah as dictated to him by G-d, and by prophesy.

The Hebrew name “Torah” derives from the root word “to instruct”. The Torah, as a book of instruction, contains guidelines by which to live by – for both Jew and Gentile!

G-d chose the Jewish people as the Torah’s trustees. Jews must observe 613 laws contained therein that apply to them. Additionally, there are 7 laws meant for all Gentiles to observe. 

Starting with Adam and Eve, the first 10 generations were expected to observe 6 commandments. After the Great Flood, starting with Noah and his family, mankind received one additional commandment - thus the 7 Noahide Laws.  

Once the Jews received the Torah, they were obligated to disseminate these 7 Noahide Laws to Gentiles, among other obligations.

Eventually all Gentiles must acknowledge this Jewish role and that it derives via Moses (even though Noahide laws predate the Mount Sinai event by 16 generations, or 791 years).

This latter point is important. Were a Gentile to keep the 7 laws, perhaps because he grasps on his own their morality, or recognizes the inherent ideality these carry for world settlement, but refuses to recognize Moses as the mediator – this would disqualify this Gentile from being a Noahide. The giving of the Torah changed the nature of the heretofore Noahide obligations. Since that watershed event, Noahides must accept Moses into their realm of observance. This requirement is almost like an 8th commandment.

So were someone to ask you,"How many religions are there in the world?" The answer should be - "There are only 2 proper modes of decorum in the abode of The Almighty." Judaism is the behavior that conforms to the King’s expectations from His Jewish group of subjects. The 7 Laws of Noah constitute the framework of proper behavior for His Gentile group of subjects. These are two roles, for two groups of people – in the palace of the King.

There are only two ways to worship G-d. There are only two prescriptions of proper behavior in G-d’s domain: Jews serve one way, Gentiles in another.

2 comments:

  1. What would you recommend to the Gentiles who are interested in learning more about what you are talking about? Some of us are very disconnected from Jewish teachers who are willing to teach us how to live and abide by what God has for us.

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  2. I have two recommendations - in that order, or in combination.
    1) Locate your closest Chabad Center and they should be interested in promoting the 7 laws. In case not, find another, tell them, "Did not the Rebbe ask to campaign for the 7 Noahide Laws"? and/or go to option 2.
    2) Visit Noahide Nations (See link on my blog). They have 2 forums, one in their noahidenations.com site - which is an excellent, in fact more than excellent, forum, with a lot of very powerful "hitters". (It looks, though, that they're doing technical work on that forum, because I cannot link to it now). They also have a Yahoo group forum, which is very dilute of good info - in my humble opinion. I only go there sometimes because its creator, Ray Pettersen of the fist site, is a special, nice guy whom I like.

    Carmina - do take care in where you get your info from. Those who avow closeness to Torah - and demonstrate it - those are your very best bets.
    And, if you once in a while, pop into my blog, like you just did, you'll bring a smile to my face.

    Lots of luck. You have everything going for you by being on the right track to bliss and utopia.

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