Adding wood to the anti-Torah fires
So I found myself on an anti-Torah, anti-Semitic forum. While I was on that anti-Torah (and anti-Semitic) page, something was highlighted to me more than ever.
I can now understand a possible reason why the Torah has no clear command for Jews to spread their worldview by “proselytizing” and why it has no command for Jews to be in charge of the whole world. And I can see why some rabbis shoot themselves in the foot and why the whole “sanhedrin” idea that appeared a number of years ago shot itself in the foot with regards to the way it handled Gentiles. It actually ties together a few threads of information that I’ve learned over time.
From a number of books, and from what I’ve seen around me today, I’ve seen that there is, at least, an under-current of Jew hatred or Torah hatred throughout the world. And this undercurrent has gone on throughout history. It pokes its head out in a number of ways throughout history whenever it can attack either entity – either Jew or Torah. Whether the attack come Europeans (including the British) or from people of other nations, whether it comes from christians or muslims or secular humanists and atheists, whether it comes from the upper class or the lower class, amongst the ruling class or the slave class, no matter what, it has been a immovable stain on the nations for such a long time. I’m not saying that every single individual amongst the nations has this stain, but amongst people groups it has been present, a lot like racism but more focused.
Secondly, there is a tendency in people groups not to like being rescued in a similar way to how various nations attempted to “liberate” the people of Iraq or Afghanistan. It seems to be that liberators, especially if they stay too long in a place that they “liberate”, begin to get classed as the occupiers whether they act properly or not. And in some ways it is easy to understand why: because a liberator can take power and self-respect from the “liberated” just like an occupying force can. The selfish side of a human can easily think to itself, “oh, so now the liberators think themselves better than me!” And why? Because to be liberated is a statement that a person or people is weak and helpless. And there aren’t many people who like feeling like that. Part of the reason why rebellions and insurgences arise is based on simple logic: a great sign of strength is to beat the person who was strong or clever enough to defeat the one who beat you. In case that’s too confusing, imagine this.
Kevin has been bullied by Butch for years. And then Simon comes along and beats the hell out of Butch to stop him from bullying Kevin. Now Kevin can feel grateful. Or he can realise that Simon has made him a worse target by showing that Kevin can’t take care of himself. Kevin needs to feel like he can take care of himself. If Simon was strong enough to beat Butch, then one way to make sure people know that Kevin isn’t easy pickings is for Kevin to beat Simon. In fact, if Kevin had a certain mindset, it may be the one of the few ways that Kevin can convince himself that he is strong enough to take care of himself.
Hopefully you can understand what I was trying to convey now.
The last point is like the previous one and can be seen amongst the Jews themselves. Or at least they highlight it very well. There are many times that, as a people, the Jews hate to be ruled by foreigners. Now it can easily be said that their experience has taught them this. Having “enjoyed” the “pleasures” of living in the lands of other people, and having been abused and kicked out of so many, this has taught them the “joys” of foreign rule. But although this can be easily put forwards as an excuse or reason for Jews not liking foreign rule, I believe this feeling has gone on even during times of their independence. They don’t want to be ruled by foreigners, they want to be ruled by their own people. And this isn’t racism. It’s fairly natural for someone to want to be lead by someone they have something in common with and who may better understand their history, heritage and possible mindsets. And who best to do this than someone with the same heritage? But remember, the Jews only highlight this mindset, a mindset that exists amongst so many other people groups who consider themselves nations. In fact it can exist as locally as on the town or village level, where a community doesn’t want an outsider telling them what to do.
So those are three strands: anti-semitism, the curse of the “liberators” and the curse of foreign rule.
Now what am I getting at after all this? What is my point?
The fact is that with some Jewish and rabbinical sentiments I have seen and some beliefs amongst certain religious gentiles who call themselves “noahide”, they are playing into the hands of those who are looking for trouble, those who are looking for a “Zionist”, or “Jewish” conspiracy, and sometimes the normal Joe or Sue on the street who doesn’t like the idea of foreign rule, no matter how “benevolent”.
Read the following which was one of the purposes of the seemingly failed sanhedrin project:
The purpose of the council, which was the brainchild of Rabbi Avraham Toledano, is to assist the B’nei Noach in their struggle to observe the word of G-d. “The goal is to unify, serve and organize all kosher B’nei Noach communities of the world under a single body that can operate under the direct authority and supervision of the Sanhedrin,” … (in an article called “Sanhedrin Moves to Establish Council For Noahides” dated 28th September 2005 by Ezra HaLevi at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90646#!)
Take careful note of what will be easily noticed by people with any of the issues I’ve summarized above: under the direct authority and supervision of the Sanhedrin.
Add to this what I’ve noted in previous articles, about gentiles who call themselves “noahides” going to Jews for “rulings”, meaning authoritative judgments. Many Noahide groups seem to need the authorization of rabbis to get certain actions underway.
And then I find myself in that anti-Torah group – and yes I really do mean, “I find myself” as I didn’t ask admission, I was just put there. And one of the idiots there – is it too harsh to call a spade “a spade”? – is pushing the idea that one of the seven laws commanded upon Gentiles is that we create courts of law under the supervision and being overseen by the rabbis, the Jews. According to the leader there, it is elementary logic (in his mind) that – even though there is no Jewish text that overtly states it – although the Noahide code written in the Talmud only states that Gentiles must make our own courts of justice, then it is elementary logic that these courts need to be overseen, and that Jews must do the overseeing. This logic is one of the evidences he uses to pour lies and hatred against both the Jews and the Torah.
And yet, even though his logic is far from “elementary” and much closer to “prejudice”, I see it echoed 9 years ago in a Jewish online newspaper from the mouth of rabbis who want to exercise authority over what they call “kosher Noahide communities”. Think about it. That same article starts with the statement that a council of Gentiles who keep the Seven Laws has been selected and will be ordained by the Sanhedrin project. That in itself tells you were the authority lies.
I said it once and I’ve said it again. Such sentiments, although having a genuine sentiment to learn our Torah, our Seven Commandments from those who have kept it safe in their care whilst the rest of the world messed their minds on idolatry and selfishness, such sentiments play straight into the hands of the foolish adversaries, people that don’t just hate Torah and the Jews, but people that hate the God of the Torah as well. [Aside: but then again, it is hard to hate one without hating the other two.]
Let’s be clear. The Seven Commandments say nothing about Jewish rule or supervision of the whole world. Neither the written Torah nor the oral Torah state anything about Jewish rule or supervision of the whole world. The law of Dinim or Justice in our Seven Commandments only states that Gentiles should set up righteous courts of law avoiding injustice. And the word “righteous” means that it doesn’t contradict the Seven Commandments. The Seven Commandments for Gentiles give no authority to rule or give judgments and/or rulings to Jews. Although Jews are a great resource for teaching and learning, their role is not dictating.
Let me supply evidence.
Both Ravad and Ramban were of the opinion that Israel cannot enforce the Noahide Law upon neighboring nations that Israel conquers militarily, let alone Gentile nations over which it has no control (cf. Ravad on Malachim 6:1 and Issura Beah 12:7–8; Ramban’s commentary on Bereishis 26:5, Devirim 20:1, 11; Tosafot Avoda Zara 26b). The Jews are to lead by example, not by strength. “The nation which is to descend from him is to represent one entity to the outside world, but internally it is to be a multiplicity of elements united into one. Each tribe is to represent an ethnic individuality in its own right. The nation of Jacob, which, as ‘Israel,’ is to demonstrate to the other nations the power of God, triumphantly pervading and shaping all of mankind, should not present a one-sided image. As a model nation it should reflect the greatest possible variety of national characteristics in a microcosm. In its tribes it should represent variously the warrior nation, the merchant nation, the agricultural nation, the nation of scholars, etc. In this manner it will become clear to all the world that the consecration of human life to the covenant with the Law of God does not demand occupational restrictions, or depend on specific ethnic characteristics, but that all mankind in all its multiplicity is capable of accepting the concept of monotheism taught by Israel, and of fashioning the multiplicity of human and national individualities into one united kingdom of God.” Hirsch, T’rumath Tzvi, 158. (pg 403, in the chapter “How to be Sieved”, in the book “Secular by Design – A Philosophy of Noahide Laws and Observances” by Alan Cecil)
God makes man chiefly responsible for himself. So long as [Gentiles] have the God-given obligation to keep these laws themselves then it’s reasonable that [Gentiles] must also, ordinarily, determine the details of these laws for themselves. This responsibility obviously falls outside the scope of the authority of the rabbis …. While they also have an obligation to others, their duty, as they have seen it, is less one of prescribing the details of God’s Noahide laws than simply describing matters of Torah to [Gentiles] – and usually even then, only upon being asked. (in the chapter “Who Decides What? – New Approaches” in the Kindle book, “The Rainbow Covenant” by Michael Dallen)
Again remember one of the widely used description of Dinim/Justice comes from Rambam which, in one part, tells you clearly who is in charge when it comes to the Seven Commandments.
How must the gentiles fulfill the commandment to establish laws and courts? They are obligated to set up judges and magistrates in every major city to render judgement concerning these six mitzvot and to admonish the people regarding their observance. (Mishneh Torah, Shoftim, Laws of Kings and Wars, Chapter 9, halakhah 14, http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1188354/jewish/Melachim-uMilchamot-Chapter-9.htm)
See very clearly, the obligation and thus the responsibility is upon Gentiles, giving nothing necessarily or naturally in the way of authority to Jews at all. So it is fine to go to rabbis for learning but the notion that we should be under their authority is not a fundamental part of the Seven Commandments.
But consider the points above – anti-semitism, the curse of the “liberator”, and the curse of foreign rule – and you’ll see why notions of the rabbis ruling the nations by means of the Seven Commandments currently bring about a backlash and has certain people running to the conspiracy pulpits to preach of the Jews’ underhanded schemes to run the world, not only through finance and film (yes, they can come across as idiots, can’t they) but now through their Gentile stooges, the “noahides”. The anti-semitic spirit that lives in our nations will revolt again the idea of the Jews and the Jewish rabbis meddling in Gentile affairs. The notion that the rabbis are trying to save us by means of the seven laws and thus showing the weakness and inability of the nations to live uprightly on their own kicks against the ego. And the notion of foreigners telling us Gentiles what to do … that just goes without saying. It doesn’t matter how good or how wise their are, if the Jews don’t like it (foreign rule), how can they expect Gentiles to just accept it? Especially there is no divine command for it? Remember, rabbinic rulership or authority is not part of the legal part (the halakhah) of the seven commandments.
Before I was put into that forum, I had known that anti-semitism existed. I knew that there were people who hated God and Torah. But it is very different when you’re in the midst of it. And it makes it all the more clearer how the current dependency Gentiles who call themselves “noahides” have on rabbis can be seen in such a negative light (and maybe, just maybe, justifiably so if this dependency makes the rabbis the leaders of the Gentile groups). It makes it all the more clearer that these Gentiles asking for rabbinical rulings, although well intentioned, are unintentional signs in the eyes of both the fool and the uninformed but well meaning Gentile that accepting the Seven Laws means you have to accept foreign rule over your lives, Jewish rule. For the religionists, these “noahides” show that you shrug off a christian preacher or muslim teacher telling you what to do for a rabbi telling you what to do. For the political mind or for those who are aware of oppression, the Gentiles become second class citizens of the Jewish or rabbinical global state. But all this is foolishness, to be blunt!
The Seven Commandments are about us taking responsibility of ourselves in order to create a civilised society. It ain’t about conspiracy. It ain’t about some second class citizen nonsense. It’s not about the Jews taking over the world. It’s about something much better than that. It’s about Torah taking over the world, Torah in the sense of proper conduct between one another and ourselves. It’s about there being an actual standard of morality that isn’t just based on the whims of a generation or culture but on something objective. It’s not about Jews controlling Gentiles or Gentiles rebelling against Jews. It’s just about each group fulfilling their God-given roles and responsibilities.
It’s easy to point the fingers at the idiots and fear-mongers, those that are anti-Jew, anti-Torah or anti-God, and help reveal the fallacies in their thinking, the ravenous or fearful animal that growls in their hearts. But when both Torah observant Jews and Gentiles give them fuel for their folly by aggrandizing the Jews or the rabbis as our judges and rulers under whose authority the “noahides” or Gentiles must obey, something that isn’t part of the Seven Commandments, then those sincere Jews and Gentiles bring more damage to the cause.
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