Thursday, August 12, 2010

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How About Japan?

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by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

     We got another one yesterday. This time, it was a Japanese guy who walked into the Kotel with over one million gods and walked out with Only One.

     Why is it so important to teach non-Jews this concept? Although it is rarely discussed, one of the main privileges of being a Jew is that we are to be a “Light unto the Nations.” This was Avraham Aveinu’s main service.

     For many centuries, we were not in a position to openly teach non-Jews about the One G-d. We were always guests in foreign lands, hosted by idolaters who definitely frowned upon (to put it mildly) anyone preaching “strange” beliefs to their congregations. Due to our precarious position in those lands, we were quite content to be able to teach even our own people about G-d. But now, thank G-d, things are different, especially here in Israel, and even more so when they come to the Kotel.

     This concept that G-d is One, is the first of the Seven Laws of Noah, and it is the only one that a non-Jew might not be able to learn on his own. The others six laws are really logical. This too is logical, that is, once you understand it.

     The first of the seven laws is the prohibition against idolatry. The others are: the prohibitions against blasphemy, murder, thief, adultery, unjust courts, and the prohibition against eating meat that was taken from an animal while the animal was still living.

     When a non-Jew keeps these seven laws, he has a wonderful life in this world, and he has a share in the World to Come. He becomes a tzaddik (a righteous person), whom we are to love and respect.

    First, you have to help yourself. Then you have to help the destitute, then your family, your people, your town, and you keep on spreading out until you run out of time.

2 comments:

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

Over a million gods huh!?! Wonder where he keeps all those idols?
Overstate much?
A more honest approach would be 'he comes from Japan where they have over a million gods'. If he personally had over a million he's never get through praying to them all in his lifetime!
I know I'm being snarly but please, a little restraint in your overjoyishness.

Akiva said...

A very quick Google and Wikipedia lookup found Hinduism describing itself as having 330 MILLION gods. Whether this is their religious rhetoric or some catalog of their gods I don't know.

A quick lookup of Shinto (primary Japanese religion) finds 'Shinto teaches that everything contains a primary spiritual (kami, often translated as gods), of which yaoyorozu no kami - an expression literally meaning "eight million kami".

So Reb Gutman was off by 299 million for Hinduism and 7 million for Shinto.

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