Code of Law or Divine Revelation
Commandments do not bind they acquire. Making a small error in the beginning of shooting an arrow causes the arrow at the end not even coming close unto the target. The idea that all mankind is bound by the 7 laws of Noach commandments makes about as much sense as that all men bear the guilt of the original sin - joke!
Outside thinkers like to impose a reality upon mankind. A great teacher can simplify a complicated subject. A bad or even worse lying teacher makes a complicated subject and simplifies it unto absurdity. It appears that this teaching of Rabbi Ginzburg follows along the second of the 2 pathways.
Its not the commandments that makes a goy (gentile) into Bnai Noach but rather the Oath-Brit. To cut a brit with heaven like prayer and reading the Megilla on Purim requires kivvanna. Simply because a goy (gentile) is born into this world his birth in no way proves that such a goy (gentile) or even a Jew for that matter has a brit relationship with the Elohim. The latter, requires further qualifying conditions but still remains applicable. If a Jew despises his people, takes a goyish wife and abandons the culture of Moshe and Israel, that Jew is cut off from the Brit. While he/she might technically have the label of being a Jew this person by the choice of abandoning the Torah does not bring a curse from the Torah upon the world.
Profaning a brit relationship requires making a formal oath. No oath No brit end of discussion. Rabbi Ginzburg failed to consider the foundation of cutting a Brit. Since the foundations' wrong everything built upon sand collapses. The first book of the Torah teaches explicitly how to cut a Brit. The next 3 books of the Torah discuss in detail the brit that Israel as a nation cut with the Creator of the Universe. The last book does legislative review and establishes this as an essential constitutional principle of Torah scholarship.
The purpose to cut a brit with the Elohim is to fill the world with justice so that the world thereby is tohor and fit to be an inheritance of the Elohim to dwell and fill the world. This statement applies unto the bnai brit noach or israel because there is ONE simple Brit!
The commandments are not some code of law, irregardless that this concept of Torah law came into fashion in the darkest night of galut jewry, none the less neither the Talmud, bavli or yerushalmi, nor the midrash understands commandments as a codification. A commentator in the middle ages does not possess the power to determine the commandments. Just between the B'hag and Rambam the dispute concerning what constitutes as a commandment is vast. The best these latter works can do is offer a general simple outline of a much larger and abstract subject. But bad scholars of Torah pervert general outlines into specific details and confuse everybody in the process. The Talmud does not teach that the Torah exists as some code of law, but rather the Torah and prophets understood the commandments as prophetic revelations in this world occurring between the parties who actively seek the brit relationship. The commandments define the meaning of the Torah, but the commandments themselves require interpretation which requires prophetic revelation. Torah is primarily a spiritual relationship. Poor Torah scholarship perverts spirituality into an intellectual rubric's cube
Just as not every person born into the world becomes of prophet of the Elohim so too every goy (gentile) born into the world does not become a Bnai Noach! Rabbi Ginzburg his premise is that every goy (gentile) born into the world is bnei noach. In this the Sifre disagrees. Rabbi Ginzburg in his defense can fall back upon reshonim and achronim who held that the Bnai Brit noach applies universally to all mankind. But it appears to me that in so doing the dog is taking a man for a walk! Its the Masoret that determines the intent of the Torah not the commentators, irregardless of how much fame there name inspires. The Masoret has been sealed, all generations of Israel possess equal merit to study the sources and turn unto the Elohim for understanding.
Perhaps you could enlighten us as to what the Talmud does say about these particular questions? Most non Jews do not have access to the Talmud.
The Jewish siddur should be followed until the bnai noach judges determine otherwise. I would recommend circumcision. But again the final matter depends upon a judicial interpretation made by bnai noach judges. The Torah teaches that the Nefesh is in the blood. This means that the Neshama, dedicated breath meditation an abstract idea, enters the blood and defines the 13 middot tohorot and 13 middot tumaot. The 26 av middot are called Nefesh. "Animal soul" is a label describing the Yazir HaRa?, the 13 middot tumaot. bnai Noach must determine their own customs, head coverings and like matters are really trivial ritual matters. The meat of Torah spirituality centers upon the discipline of one nature so that the 13 middot of the All Mighty dwell within the soul of a person as expressed by the establishment of justice in human behavior. Words like "heavenly yoke" and other rhetoric mean nothing in and of themselves. The yoke of heaven as I understand it, the burden of keeping the oath-brit. Since the goyim to date have never cut an oath-brit this term is totally irrelevant to non Jews. The real objective of bnai noach should center on acquiring a Safer Torah and cutting an oath-brit for the purpose of creating a bnai noach people and nation(s). My Torah stands upon the merit of my wife, though my Rav taught of middot I did not fully appreciate what he meant until I encountered my wife's advanced emotional development. A man should seek an advanced emotionally developed woman for a wife. The real issue as opposed to the smoke. Non jews have no kedushin in marriage. The conditions by which a person acquires his wife according to the Talmud, a man should have intent upon have children and educating these children to cut the oath-brit. Since non Jews have no brit they have no kedushin in marriage! Kedushin means a sacred dedication, the sacred dedication: passing the oath-brit of the fathers unto the children. World to come requires interpretation. The Torah begins with בראשית because the creation process is a continual continuous process as such it qualifies as the World to come as I understand it. A non-bnai brit person has no connection unto the World to come because that person is not in the continuous creation process loop. The Torah has the power to create and re-create the human soul. A non-bnai brit person because the Torah has no connection unto their lives therefore has no inheritance to the "World to come". That's why bnai noach so desperately require acquiring "their" Safer Torah and swearing "their" oath-brit and developing and refining "their" 26 middot thereby leaving "their" cave of many colors. Prayer as opposed to rhetoric. Prayer requires kevvanna not rattling of word as found in some holy book. Worshipping words has no honor and is meaningless. The great standing prayer over 247 prophets contemplated, this according unto the Yerushalmi Talmud. The siddur is the vehicle, but a vehicle requires a driver and its the driver that important NOT the vehicle. The vehicle might be very expensive but its not alive and has no soul. Garment thinkers confuse the vehicle with the driver the inanimate with the living. Fools are really a pain in the extremities. The standing prayer has 13 middle blessing, ever notice that number anywhere else? The Torah has two parshaot of blessings and curses these qualify as the 2 crowns of the Torah, put the crowns aside and that leave 52 weekly Torah portions, 52 is divisible by 13. Hence the Siddur can give an order unto the chumash and the chumash can define the intent of a particular blessing of the Siddur! Go and learn. Leave this Mashiach mess alone! Bnai Noach have to seek within themselves the will to cut an oath-brit and bear the burden of responsibility for their actions. This cowardice of waiting for someone else to take responsibility to establish the ruler-ship of justice in this world is a terrible abomination. Bnai Noach require the skills to interpret "their" Torah! This means giving unto their children the means to have access to the original Torah not translations into english and other languages. As a consequence bnai noach require a study approach that shall empower them with the skills to study the primary sources, that means Talmud. To do this the basic requirement of study entails reading the chumash in hebrew like one can do an english newspaper! Followed by doing the same with Targum Oncleoes. Followed by doing the same with Targum Uziel. Its really not hard just dive in. Billy Jack Dial I have given a method of how to do it. Ask him to show you. Leave the commentaries alone. The hassidic piety books have nothing to do with developing the skills to study the primary sources. These late additions to mankind might add a pinch of spice to the taste, but its the steak and not the A-1 sauce that a bnai noach seeks to eat. After you have learn chumash and targum, next comes nach and targum. Its a step by step process. The nach exists as the recorded scholarship of the 1st Temple period, its targum records how the scholars of the 2nd Temple period understood the nach! Inch by Inch its a cinch yard by yard its hard. After that comes the midrash. Midrash records the scholarship of the period of the gemarah. Rhetoric simple folk, drums make allot of noise and are empty inside, proclaims midrash as stories. Midrash in fact embraces the strict discipline of the middot of logic called Oral Torah! Logically linking a story to a verse in the chumash requires middot of logic. The stories like the prayer books exist only as vehicles that transport the logical middot, but its the logical middot that if a person acquires that interpret the Talmud throughout the generations. The Reshonim scholars of the terrible galut due to oppressive and primitive conditions taught the bnai brit people how to read the text, they were very very very versed in midrash. Rhetoric empty shirts today cry like a parrot : What's the p'shot what's the p'shot, and have never studied midrash because simple stories are not serious. Torah parrots love quoting the authority of the Reshonim but do not follow the method by which the Reshonim learned Torah. KNOW THIS its the process by which a person understands the Torah that's important ITS NOT the conclusions that the reshonim ruled. This in no way AT ALL diminishes the conclusions reached by the reshonim. But just as the scholars of the Mishneh the scholars of the gemarah and the scholars of the reshonim periods developed a systematic approach to study so too every other generation of people seeking the wisdom of the Torah. The error of the rhetoric criers centers upon that they embrace the conclusions reached by the reshonim but do not develop the systematic method of scholarship that the reshonim developed by which they formulated their famous conclusions. Its kind of like giving charity to the poor. As a one shot matter give the poor peasant some money but a far better approach teach the peasant an occupation and make him a respectable person in society. The rhetoric people I liken unto people dressed in long black coats with big hat going around requesting charity for themselves and others.
with respect, moshe
the letters that make the word פשט also makes the word טפש the 1st word means simple understanding the 2nd word means simple understanding/fool. Seeking the revelation of just ruler-ship in this world requires the ability to rule over peoples and nations. Galut/exile destroys this most basic requirement. For 2000 years Jews have not known nor bore the responsibility to rule as a nation. Under these pathetic circumstances Jews did or kept the commandments as a remembrance to the coming day when once more the Elohim would give them the opportunity to rule their own land like that which exists today. If we fail to establish just ruler-ship we have only ourselves to blame, its just that simple.
with respect, moshe
Shalom Rabbi Kerr, could you please explain what you were referring to in particular. Please offer some specific examples rather than just making blanket statements. Thank-you.
Be well, Aharon
Shalom Rabbi Kerr, I have a few questions for you regarding your interesting post:
- With regards to circumcision you have encouraged this for Bnai Noah, however I recall reading in the Gutnick Chumash www.kolmenachem.comexternal link that Bnai Noah are actually prohibited from performing circumcision since spilling blood is in the geder (category) of a limb from a living animal - and therefore the Rebbe asked the question of how was it possible for Josef to have all the Egyptians circumcized in Egypt.
- Your comment Rabbi about the 13:13 and 26 Middot was interesting and I have not heard this before. May I ask what is the source for this idea?
- You referred to head coverings as being "trivial" yet by Divine Providence I came across a story from the Talmud recently, which may suggest the opposite:
"Rav Nachman was active in Nehardeaexternal link, and is known as a judge, apparently in the court of the Exilarchexternal link (the political head of the Babylonian Jewish community). Rav Nachman is also the earliest source for why religious Jews are always supposed to cover their heads, which has lead to the modern day Kippahexternal link. According to the talmudexternal link, an astrologer told Rav Nachman's mother that her son would become a thief. Frightened over the fate of her child, she had him cover his head at all times so that he would be possessed by the fear of Heaven, and she prayed that the evil inclination would not take control of him. Once, while in a garden, the wind blew off his head covering. While reaching after it he grabbed an apple growing on a tree in an adjacent garden and picked it off the tree. (Thus proving that without the head covering he would be a thief). He died in 320external link."
Be well, Aharon
The source for learning the middot - all of Sha's. But more specifically the gemarah of Shabbot and the siddur. Erev shabbot observant Jews take wine, or grape product, and make kiddush. The mishneh of sotah and its gemarah teach that if a person wishers over a wound the verse where HaShem promises not to put the diseases of Egypt upon his people if they keep his Torah, for the purpose that thereby the wound shall heal - this act constitutes as witchcraft, an offense that cuts this soul from the brit relationship. Cut a brit: the best example obviously being Israel's relationship with the Egyptians and the death of the first born of Egypt. Just as HaShem cut his choice and separated it from the non chosen peoples in like manner a person makes choices whose consequence either adjoins them unto the bnai brit peoples or the non-bnai brit peoples - its called CORRET.
The best example of the din of corret is Shabbat. So when observant Jews make a blessing over wine to distinguish shabbot from the work week, what is in their heart? If these folk think that saying verses over a glass of wine, that the verses somehow transform the day from chol to kodosh this is disgusting for the reason as spoken above. If the persons seek to employ wine, a significant blessing, (After making a blessing over wine all other drinks are permitted without requiring a blessing, because they are בטל to the wine; bread also qualifies as a significant blessing), as a means of distinguishing his intent of ceasing from doing the 39 principal labors, hence the blessing says malacha 3 times, then by this act a person as made a most acceptable havdalah.
The 39 principal labors are holy works, for by this means Israel made the mishkan. Hence on shabbot the central distinction that separates it from chol is holy labor! If i want to move a couch with a bed in it from the basement of a house to the roof 4 floors up this work is permitted to do on shabbot. Therefore the 39 principal labors in no way entails all forms of work. This is a very important point whereby a Torah observant Jew can "do and guard" shabbot. If holy labor is forbidden on shabbot how does one sanctify the day? To sanctify a thing requires a conscious act and or action. For example a person brings a sacrifice unto the Temple because of the act of making a vow or oath, the consecrated vow or oath causes a consecration of an offering unto HaShem. Its important for the first to be first and the last last. Silly people say because a person brought a sacrifice unto HaShem that a person has consecrated his/her vow or oath. Its important to understand cause and effect and not foolishly confuse effect for cause. The t'nach calls a curse upon a person who calls day night and night day.
If a person dedicates not to do the "39" acts of holy work, what equally and opposite "39" acts of work does the person sanctify to do on Shabbot, thereby distinguishing it from chul? A hint to this is found in the additional prayer, mussof amidah, said after reading the Torah on shabbot morning. The 4th blessing - the א ב letters go in the reverse order from ת to א. Another significant matter of keeping shabbot centers around the 3 meals. The after blessing continually adjoins the Name with Elokinu. The redemption of Israel and our salvation comes from Elohim. Any teaching contrary to this faith qualifies as an abomination. How does Elohim redeem and save his people? Following the sin of the calf the Elohim revealed unto Moshe our Teacher that when the nation faced destruction, like Israel did following the sin of the calf, that salvation and redemption comes by way of the revelation of the 13 middot. There's an open contradiction in the chumash of Moshe. At the revelation of the Torah at Sinai the Torah clearly declares that there is no semblance unto the Elokim not in the heavens nor earth, yet the first book says that man is in the image of Elohim! That the Elokim blew a Neshama into clay and it became a living Nefesh. The Nefesh is transported in the blood, blood carries oxygen throughout the body. In the lungs an exchange of gases occurs. Forming the Yazir of man occurs by means of emotional attributes they're called Yazir HaTov and Yazir HaRa. Man being in the "image" of Elohim has 13 middot. 13 + 13 + 13 = 39. A person sanctifies shabbot by dedicating to bend his/her middot tumaot before his/her middot tohorot 13 + 13 = the numerical value of HaShem. The middah that a person sanctifies his/her middot in equal measure a person can call upon the middot of Elohim to dwell within the Tabernacle of Derech Eratz. Hence Derech Eratz precedes the Torah just as a Avraham walked before Elokim! When the 13 middot of Elohim reside within its mishkan, the anointed dedicated one has built the Temple and redemption and salvation come upon Israel. The midrash teaches that the Temple shall descend in fire from heaven. The first word of the Torah contains 2 words אש ברית! When a man builds the substance of the Temple, then the trivial head covering of wood and stone follows. But a curse upon all who call day night and say that the redemption of Israel awaits until the messiah builds a house of wood and stone; that until the Temple is built Israel languishes in galut, even when we live within the oath consecrated lands of Israel!
with respect, moshe