Maturity vs Rejection
My response to two claims:
1. That real Torah can’t be learnt from books, and
2. That there is some wrong in advocating that we gentiles shouldn’t depend on rabbis.
The fact that rabbis write books teaching Torah repudiates the idea that you can’t learn real Torah from a book. Nothing more to add concerning that.
Nothing in what I said suggested that the nations receive Torah on their own. Reading what I’ve written, you would have seen me state that we should take the teachings of the rabbis. [I refer to them in many of my blog-posts.] Never even said that rabbis contradicting each other was a problem. I can understand that humans have different opinions.
Maybe you don’t understand the role of a teacher. Maybe you fear separation from a mother’s comforting teat and milk. I don’t know. Maybe you feared I was advocating a total split from the Jews. It’s easy to do. But don’t confuse maturity with rejection, no less than a teacher should fear his students may actually implement what he teaches without him around, or that they may graduate.
The fact that I say “I don’t need a rabbi to make this decision” doesn’t mean I’m the new source of Torah. The fact is that once a rabbi writes a book about Torah and it leaves his possession into the hands of readers, that book hasn’t separated itself from Torah. When a rabbi or righteous Jew metaphorically writes the noahide law on the heart of a gentile and then that gentile goes and lives it, nay even teach it, that doesn’t mean that all of a sudden we have torah on our own; the source is still Israel.
And, based on that, a person doesn’t have to learn Torah for gentiles from a rabbi but rather anyone who knows enough about it, which could be a Noahide-Torah educated gentile. Don’t you get it? That, should the noahide laws fill our land, the judges and teachers won’t be rabbis or Jews? We will implement it ourselves unless there are extreme circumstances. They have their own people to attend to. It may surprise you to know that we, even now, have our own people to attend to as well.
So even now, our job is not to be an automaton or puppet. Our job is not to find a problem and immediately run to a Jew or rabbi. It’s to learn enough to do on our own. Yes, it demands responsibility, and it is a heavy responsibility. But we shouldn’t let fear of failure, of responsibility, stop us. That’s part of what being made in the image of God is all about.
Now I’ve learnt personally that there are rabbis that believe that individual gentiles who learn the Noahide Code will never be responsible enough to make our own decisions, any decisions, at all on our own and these rabbis will teach and advocate this point. They will say that we, as individuals, will never be ready to make our own decisions, even minor or easy ones, until the Messianic Age, whenever that comes about.
But just remember what I said about the puppet and the automaton. These rabbis are not with us gentiles in everyday life. They don’t and can’t experience what we experience in everyday life because they have to live by a different set of laws to us that, for example, sometimes stops them from even going to places we can. And they have a primary responsibility to their own people, the Jews. This doesn’t make them bad or evil. They are still great sources of information. But even now, it can never be realistic to rely wholesale on the Jews or rabbis. We can still show friendship and protectiveness about them and their Torah tradition. But we cannot be like babies and infants until the messianic age, some unknown time in the future. We have to have the motivation to learn as much of the general principles of the Noahide Code and example applications given of the Law so that in our day-to-day lives we can be a good example to others of how the Noahide Code teaches a person to grow and mature to the point where we don’t need a “dial-a-rabbi” card to help us know our left foot from our right foot. Of course, for more complicated or difficult issues, go to someone who knows best, and many times that may well be a rabbi. But not always.
Again, we have to take hold of the responsibility, as human beings made in God’s image, that we are supposed to have.