Monday, December 31, 2007

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The Spiritual Perspective - Non-Jews

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

Do not think that the requirement of helping others spiritually applies only to your fellow Jew. We are also charged with being a light unto the Nations.[i] This obligation is upon each of us. We are to help every person we can come to the knowledge of the one G-d, and how they can live a holy life.

A non-Jew is obligated to keep the seven mitzvahs that were given to Adam and Noah. They concern idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, stealing, eating flesh that was taken from an animal before it was killed, and having just courts in their lands. Of these, the one where they usually need the most help is the prohibition regarding idolatry. There are many people who believe they are worshiping the One G-d, yet they are actually worshiping an idol. An idol is any representation of G-d, or worshipping a limited god.

Frequently, at the Kotel, I have the opportunity to try to help non-Jews. The vast majority of the non-Jewish visitors who come to the Kotel have studied Christianity, so I use that as a base to move them toward truth.

The conversation usually goes like this:

“Tell me, according to your religion, is G-d in the heart of the devil?”

They are almost always taken aback by the question or they blurt out, “No way!”

“That’s why we say that your religion has a small god. Because your god is only in the good. The G-d of the Bible is everywhere. King David wrote, ‘If I make my bed in hell, you are there.’[ii] G-d is even in hell. G-d is unlimited. But you have a limited god.”

To become “believers” in their religion, many of them go through a rite, “asking god into their heart.” After they do so, they believe that G-d is then in there, and all they have to do from then on is to believe, and follow their bible. So, I also ask them, “Since G-d is everywhere, you did not have to ask Him into your heart, did you? He was in there before you were.” Although they have to be closed-minded to protect themselves from change, they walk away from this brief exchange with ideas that challenge those false beliefs.

When a non-Jew keeps these seven laws he becomes a “Righteous Person.” He has a wonderful share in this world and a share in the World to Come. There can be no greater accomplishment for him. What a wonderful gift you will be giving him.

[i] Isaiah 42:6
[ii] Psalms 139:8

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