Tuesday, January 25, 2011

// // 5 comments

Questions On Conversion

Question:

If Noahide concept is not a subjective rabbinic interpretation of Tanach, (Bible) can you please cite the Tanach sources where the G-d of Israel explicitly laid down what you claim for the 70 Nations? If Judaism does not proselytize, how are the 70 Nations suppose to know about what you claimed since they weren't "present" at Mt. Sinai (where the Torah was given to the Jewish people)?

Gutman Answers:

    The Seven Laws of Noah are not only for the 70 Nations. They are for all descendants of Noah, which includes all of us. However, the Jewish people accepted the Torah, which the 70 Nations rejected, so we have been given not only the seven laws, but many more laws, too. Much of the Torah is learned from the Oral Torah (Talmud) which includes the details of these laws.

     Judaism does not proselytize by trying to bring the other nations into the Jewish people, but we certainly are obligated (privileged) to help the nations live righteous lives. This is one of our two main tasks. We are to be a “nation of priests,” and we are to be a “light unto the nations.” Besides helping each other, we must help non-Jews come to righteousness, too. We do this by teaching them these seven laws.

        These laws are prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, stealing, eating flesh that was taken from an animal before it was killed, and not having just courts in their lands.

Another Question on, “I Converted

    Why one must assume that the potential candidate for conversion was a Jew in a previous life. The whole reincarnation thing is far removed from actual Torah.

    As I am quite sure that you are aware, this is straight from Hinduism.
With all of the obsession against yoga (a good obsession btw) I cannot fathom why the falseness of the "previous life" business is pushed as part of our faith. Judaism is what our forefathers do, and Torah is the unequivocal truth. Sometimes and in some areas there exist distance.
I do believe reincarnation is far removed from the truth.

Gutman Answers:

     Look in the book, The Mishna Brurah, Laws of Yom Kippur, Mincha. There is a story there of a man who refuses to repent. He says, “I am so used to sinning that I am going to continue to sin, and worse comes to worse, G-d will come and kill me.” The commentator there says, “No, this man must repent, or he will have to come back to this world again, and again until he does repent.”

     Also, look in the prayer book at the prayers that we say when we retire at night. “I hereby forgive anyone who has angered me,… in this incarnation or in any other.”

     We see here, in these books of Jewish Law and prayer, that reincarnation is part of our Torah.

5 comments:

joshwaxman said...

"Look in the book, The Mishna Brurah..."

I'm pretty sure that the commenter's point is that gilgul comes from kabbalah but that it entered kabbalah from Hinduism. Not that you would be unable to cite prayers or halacha that makes the assumption of gilgul. (He would presumably point to Rav Saadia Gaon, who wrote a perush on sefer Yetzirah, blasting it as a foreign belief.)

kol tuv,
josh

Crazy Smade said...

Here's my nutty theory about reincarnation and conversion.

Let's say that in a past life you were a Jewish male, but you married a female Goy and had children. The Tanakh is more than clear about this prohibition. Your punishment?

It would only be just if HaShem stuck you into the body of one your Non-Jewish descendants and gave you a strong desire to convert to Judaism, but placed in your path impossible obstacles to your conversion.

Even if such a thing never happens.... Why would anyone do that to their offspring!? My maternal great-grandfather was apparently a Jew, who converted to X-tianity, changed his name, married a Goy and had a bunch of Non-Jewish offspring. I can't even begin to tell you the disdain I have for this man and Goyishkeit as a whole.

Lesson learned! Don't marry a Goy! Jews need to marry Jews. Converts should marry converts. Noachides should marry Noachides. Pagans should repent and become Noachides.

Djerbani said...

"Look in the book, The Mishna Brurah, Laws of Yom Kippur, Mincha. There is a story there of a man who refuses to repent. He says, “I am so used to sinning that I am going to continue to sin, and worse comes to worse, G-d will come and kill me.” The commentator there says, “No, this man must repent, or he will have to come back to this world again, and again until he does repent.”


Fine ...but what is written there is NOT incumbent upon Jews to believe as proof of reincarnation.
(with all due respect to the M B)
Simply because this story exists does not in any way speak as authoritative as to what we as Jews must believe in.

" Also, look in the prayer book at the prayers that we say when we retire at night. “I hereby forgive anyone who has angered me,… in this incarnation or in any other.”

And where exactly did this spring from? Not any primary sources (as in Tanach,MISHNA ,Both talmudim).
Many people believe that if it is written somewhere,then it must be an unassailable fact that cannot be questioned. Forget thinking for yourself because it is written in a book and "everybody says its so".

Josh is correct that I would site Rav Saadia Gaon but then again if that is not the present day popular "everybody does it"
thing then...what would be the point right.

"We see here, in these books of Jewish Law and prayer, that reincarnation is part of our Torah."

If you choose to believe that,so be it.
However the MB is not the final word on Jewish law, and so much of what is in siddurim is not from chazal nor necessary to recite or incumbent upon us to say or believe.
I'm well aware that many would scream "heretic" at me at this point. But I refuse to be less than intellectually honest with myself.
Hashem gave us a mind.Should we choose to not use it and simply believe because masses do then I think we are wearing a mental "ring in the nose"

"the truth is no more true because everyone agrees with you,
nor is the truth any less true because no one agrees with you"
(I do realize I probably have this quote a little whacked however the point was well made by the Rambam no?)

Reincarnation is IMHO (as well as many others) a belief from avodah zara ...reeking of hinduism.

Anonymous said...

Some of the definitions of who is a "JEW" and who is a "GOY" have no basis in the tanach and borders on outright RACISM. A lot of non descendants of Yaakov in the tanach have been "FORCED" to become Jews by scholars exegesis -with reincarnation and all.

Only Hashem knows who is truly a "GOY" and who is truly a "JEW" especially in modern times. When the moshiach comes these things will be straightened out.

Crazy Smade said...

Anon, we all carry within us the seeds of racism and it doesn't take much water to make them grow. That said, the difference between the Jews and the Goyim is about holiness. It has nothing to do with DNA. It's about one's culture and what that culture is actually cultivating. It's about Goyishkeit vs. Yiddishkeit. What does Goyishkeit cultivate? What is it that humanity should be cultivating? It's not about racism. It's about purpose and direction and meaning, IMO.

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