IT IS A BIT CONFUSING...
- Category: ASK A POSEK
- Written by Rabbi Bloomenstiel
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I have just listened to lesson 9 and am struggling with the issue of Abraham - it's a tad confusing. I would be interested to read the article about Abraham you mentioned. Thanks.
I will send it before passover (have to dig it up from the computer). The gist is that Abraham had a unique covenant with God. He was not 100% a Noachide because God gave him additional mitzvos unique to him and his family. Hashem also made a unique covenant with Abraham that was not made with the rest of man. At the same time, Abraham was not given the Torah nor bound in the Sinaitic covenant, so he was not a Jew.
I sometimes wonder why there is this desire for HaShem, Israel and finding the right path when it doesn't seem that important. Unless you have a Jewish soul you don't seem to be important. Maybe it's an ego thing that we desire to be special, desire to be God's children/chosen.
I have heard the same frustration expressed by many people. Don't take this the wrong way, but a lot of it stems from misunderstanding the meaning and role of "the chosen people." A Jew does not automatically feel closer to God or have an easier time feeling connected to Him than a nonJew. Both the Jewish and non-Jewish relationships are just that: relationships. They take a lot of work, time, effort, and reflection.
One of the biggest differences between these two relationships is that the Jewish one is guided by 613 mitzvos, while the non-Jewish is guided by 7 categories of mitzvos - the Noahide laws. This path contains everything someone who is not Jewish needs to build a full, meaningful relationship with God.
Unfortunately, due to a difficult history, this path has been neglected for centuries. The Church and other enemies of the Torah have for years sought to steer non-Jews away from Torah. As a result, the non-Jewish world has largely forgotten their path. It is only in the past 35 years that the non-Jewish world has began to rediscover the "right way" to connect with God. Just like the Jewish relationship, though, it takes study and work.
You wonder why you have a desire for these things. That is an easy question to answer - Torah and Hashem are true, the foundations of the soul, and the purpose of life! Of course you want these things!
Know that you, Vicki ARE A CHILD OF GOD. You are in search of the path to Him. Judaism & Israel is not the path you were born into. You were born a child of Noah, and have a spiritual heritage associated with that. Embrace it and live it. It is a process that takes time, but again - it is a relationship. If you feel that it does not meet your desires, then you have the option of joining Israel. That door is there.
I am by nature impatient, I know that, and I am trying hard to sit back and take each lesson as it comes but sometimes it seems that we just be good people and live life accordingly.
Yes - it is enough to be good and live a good life. However, if every person defines that for himself, then we end up with a world in which "being good" is entirely subjective and relative. That situation quickly becomes chaotic (this is what happened in the decline from Adam to the Generation of the flood). God provides guidelines and descriptions of how to be good and what a "good life" truly is.
Is there a purpose?
The Jewish people have purpose and a hope - do we?
Can we elevate our soul to become more like God?
100% yes. The idea of "keeping the seven mitzvos" is that by doing so one makes God's will her will, His values her values. In that way, one becomes like God.
I don't even know if this is making sense. It is hard to articulate what I am feeling.
I think you are making perfect sense.
From a young child I have questioned and searched for truth and now I don't know if I'm going to like it. One of my questions was 'why didn't God love me enough to make me Jew?'
The very fact that God made you is a sign of His great love for you. God doesn't need any of us. He is perfect in all ways. Whenever God creates anything, it is an act of pure altruism. He created you, for your sake. As to why He didn't make you a Jew, know this: No one is created in their final state. We are all made as raw material and given tools and signs by which to shape ourselves. Perhaps you are meant to find your mission and purpose through the Noahide law. Perhaps your purpose is to become a Jew. To question why God created us one way or another is to miss the more important question: where does God want me to go, and what does He want me to do?
Anyway, I will press on. I am enjoying the lectures - it is more intense than I expected but I do like a challenge.
It only gets worse from here on! A lot of these topics are big and require careful exploration. It is important not to draw any conclusions until we have finished any given section. Right now we are in the middle of ger toshav and Noahide identity. This will take a few weeks to go through, and will look at things from many different angles. There is a definite answer at the end, but more important than the answer itself is knowing why it is the answer.
Again, thank you for all your work and effort it is much appreciated.
It is my pleasure.
For a far more in-depth and advanced study of all the Seven Noahide Laws consider taking the Noahide Laws Yeshiva Course.