by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
What if a person who is not Jewish wants to do the mitzvah of tallit katan (the fringed garment commanded to Jewish men), and to wear tefillin, and to study Talmud? Is this alright to do? I have heard it said that goyim (non-Jews) cannot be taught Talmud. I hope this is not so.
Non-Jews are allowed to study the Torah on their own, but we are not allowed to teach it to them. This rule applies to the areas of Torah that are not commanded to them. However, Jews are to teach them about the Seven Noahide Mitzvahs. The Seven Mitzvahs are more than the 7 rules. These seven rules are actually categories of law, and learning all about them can be a long and involved process.
The problem with non-Jews doing the mitzvahs that have been specifically given to the Jewish people, is that these mitzvahs will actually draw non-Jews away from their own inherited path. They are not Jews, so they will find their spiritual answers in the wisdom that they have been given, and not in the wisdom that has been given to another people. They should delve into the physical and spiritual life that they have been given. Then, their reward will be great, both in this world and in the World to Come.
Yesterday, a tourist walked up to me with a big smile on his face. I asked if he was Jewish. He said, “No. I’m a Bene Noach.” This is the “official” name for a non-Jew who keeps the Seven Mitzvahs of Noah. He opened his wallet, took out a business card, and still with that huge smile on his face, he handed me his card. On it were printed the seven commandments and his website address. I called out to the other guys at the tefillin stand, “Hey here’s a tzaddek! (an entirely righteous person) He keeps the Seven Mitzvahs.”
I said, “Now that you know the truth, you are in a position to help a lot of other people, too. But I see from your card that you already know this.” I patted him on his chest, and he walked off a very happy man. And he should be happy, too. He has found his spiritual way in a very physical world.