The place of the rabbis for Gentiles – the aftermath
So I got a number of various reactions to my previous articles about the role of rabbis for gentiles, one article written by me and another written by Mattitjahu Kranendonk, a Dutch Jew. I enjoyed the fact that even though some disagreed with me, they offered to just talk with me. We may walk away with different attitudes and views about the matter, but I respect the approach of such people. A deep thank you to each person that spoke with me, disagreed or agreed with me, but still allowed a conversation to develop.
There was one person who I will give no description of – there’s little point in gossip – who decided to use my articles as the means to slander me and claim certain things about my character and worldview, going so far as to call me anti-Noahide and anti-Semitic. What is funny is that this person never talks to me. He doesn’t know me. We live in different countries and have never even walked the same street, and yet he believes he has an insight into the way I live my day-to-day life (my worldview). I had to chuckle. I don’t see any point in debating such people because when you get a sense that a person has absolutely no respect for you then arguing with them makes no fundamental change. As I was saying in a facebook discussion on how some christians lie about Judaism saying that the rabbis have stopped Jews from reading Isaiah 53, beware of what someone is willing to believe about you! If someone is willing to believe that you are an instigator, an imposter, a bold-faced liar, a trouble maker, whatever insult there is, or accept something about you that you know to be a lie or false, then that person is not your friend. They can act friendly towards you, but there is a layer of dormant hatred that is waiting to come out and it just needs the encouragement of suspicion to help it rise to the surface. That’s why it is good when you stand your ground about what you believe (not just for the sake of argument, but because you actually hold it to be true), because it can help shake up people enough to let their true colours come out.
Now this article isn’t meant to focus on my experiences. I don’t want to bore you. As usual, I just want to clarify for you where I stand so that no one gets the wrong idea. But then again, judging by what that person was willing to believe, people can get the wrong idea if they want to. But as God advised Moses (according to the oral tradition) when Moses was concerned that idolators would read the Torah and think that it gives support to their idolatry (Genesis 1:26, “let us make man …”), “He who wants to err, let him err.”
What I’m not saying
I’m not saying that rabbis are evil and that the rabbinical aim to rule the world. (Even the notion of this crossing a person’s mind is utter crap, trash and garbage)
I’m not saying that we should not listen to rabbis teachings.
I’m not saying that I condemn any individual who chooses to see the rabbis’ words as authoritative or educated. (The amount of times I quote or mention rabbis in my blog, I’m confused that anyone would think I’m saying this)
I’m not saying that rabbis are worthy of being disrespected, although since respect can be a personal thing, it can be touchy ground (just try to speak to them in an honourable way and hold them up as honourable unless the character of that individual rabbi obligates you to do otherwise – rabbis are human too).
What I am saying
I am saying that there is a Torah law that commands Jews to listen to and obey the judges of Israel.
I am saying that no such Torah command exists for a Gentile to listen to and obey the judges of Israel.
I am saying that right now it is customary for Jews to see the rabbis as the judges of Israel or having a similar authority which means they are to be obeyed.
I am saying that there is no Torah commandment or custom for Gentiles to do the same.
I am saying that the judges of Israel have jurisdiction over Israel and that Jewish rabbis are given jurisdiction over their own people, the Jews.
I am saying that rabbis do not have jurisdiction over Gentiles.
I am saying that the notion of rabbis giving “rulings” to gentiles implies that they are either in the place to rule Gentiles or that they are judges over Gentiles. I am saying that no such authority exists for rabbis over Gentiles.
I am saying it is good and beneficial a lot of times for a Gentile to go to rabbis for educated advice, but how a Gentile chooses to take that advice is totally in the hands of that Gentile.
I am saying that rabbis may have expertise on Jewish life and Jewish Torah Law, and maybe even on the way the Noahide Law is stated in the Talmud and Rambam and other oral law sources, but that doesn’t mean that they are in the best place to judge Gentile life and Gentile Torah law correctly.
I am saying that the role of the rabbis, as priests to the nations (priests, not rulers or judges), is to point out and describe our law to us, not to dictate it, or to make legal decisions.
I am saying that the Seven Commandment Law of Dinim (justice) states that we Gentile are to make legal decisions on our own law, not the rabbis. I am saying that we Gentiles, or at least some of us, should be working to get the tools needed to make such decisions. But I’m also saying that all of us should be aiming to have enough knowledge to keep God’s law for ourselves.
I hope this clarifies for you where I’m coming from in case my use of many words confused the issue in my previous articles.