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The natural state of humankind is to be a Ben Noach. A gentile who observes the laws God gave Adam and Noah. The first 20 generations of humanity had no Jew among them. God made people the way He wanted them to be. But then He added a different role, that of the Jew later on. But if it wasn’t broke, why fix it?  How do we understand this?

Before Sinai, people kept making bad choices that precluded spirituality in a world without Torah. But the Torah demanded going beyond the normal service expected from humans. God gave Noah seven categories of commandments, approximately 60 laws in total. But the Torah has 613 commandments. The Torah was an upgrade to a world that in some ways was not ready for it. Yet, God knew most nations would not accept the Torah. Therefore, it was not God’s intention to make the spirituality of regular humans depend on those 613 commands directly. Rather the Torah commandments were to make a special people, to be an example for regular humans, to compare notes with and then continue on their progression in spiritual self improvement. But that people is the exception not the rule. Jews are an essential spiritual vitamin to the world, but not the norm that God desired to create this world for.

That explains the emphasis on “The World to Come” for Jews in the Talmud. This world is not and cannot fully be theirs. They must help this current world progress, but await a world more akin to their spiritual nature later on. To enjoy this world a Jew must “elevate it” such as by saying a blessing prior to a meal. For a Jew this is a solemn duty for which there is a spiritual consequence if it is not met. Thus only if they bring a taste of the World to Come to this world can a Jew enjoy this world without risk of forsaking their natural world for a world that was created for normal humans. Jews are not a natural part of this world from the moment after accepting the Torah on Sinai or after a kosher conversion to Judaism. Yet to love God, one must love the world He created. So the students of the prophets, the holy Rabbis of the Talmud, began the Talmud with the laws of blessings, to strengthen the practice of loving God by loving the world and it’s gifts.

How then are gentiles more natural to God’s plan for this world than the Jews?

“Olam chesed yiboneh, God created the world for chesed (the performance of kindness),” (Tehillim/Psalms, 89:3)  therefore He made most of the spiritual workers on the planet, those people who could potentially pursue God’s work 24/7. These are the gentiles. But they need spiritual representatives to pray for them and guide them, but those representatives must rest from their projects a full day of the week, whether they like it or not, so they can maintain that lofty role. Those are the Jews. Yet they cannot work one whole day of the week. Yet, “Adam leamal yulad, man was made to work,” (Iyov/Job, 5:7) and clearly in this context, the most adaptable pool of workers for God’s honor are the gentiles.

While Jews have an extra spiritually intense role featuring 10 times the commandments that regular people have. They are people who joined a spiritual “thinktank” as it were, and it can only be expected that they have some elevated knowledge level, in this case, capacity for spiritual guidance, more than the average person. A knowledge that can help humanity in its progression towards eternity. But as far as long term projects of civilization, Jews must perforce be cloistered away from normative society, especially on the sabbath day and on festivals in order to preserve the lofty spiritual state required to keep up that heavy spiritual workload, with joy. If you feel you are missing out on what normal people enjoy, it’s hard to serve God with joy. The Jews MUST accept their extra burden with joy, lest the light for the nations dim. But what is the light for? What is the role of the nations?

While a Jew is in prayer on the Sabbath, a gentile can be performing an act of kindness by tending the ill at a hospital. Whereas a Jew must stop helping someone with their broken car, or pause their arguments online against an idolatrous missionary, as the Sabbath begins, the gentile can simply complete the task right then and there. While Jews are compelled to be in a festival prayer service, a gentile astronaut at that very moment can repair a weather satellite in outer space to help protect island residents from the consequences of tropical storms. The spiritual task at hand is the gentile’s main priority, not the prayer service at Synagogue, because God created that spiritual flexibility as an intrinsic power in normative humans. But He substituted that for a different role for Jews.

The Jew must interrupt for the Sabbath, but the Gentile continues the current good deed that is before him or her. The kindness? Done. The defense of God’s honor, NO delays necessary, thank you!  They do not have the priestly constraints that a Jew has as a member of mamleches cohanim, the priestly nation.

God knew EXACTLY what He was doing when he made most people gentiles.  By making most people gentiles, God was preparing a pool of talent for perpetual kindness to occur in the world. That is only possible, when gentiles try to be the best gentile they can be, the best natural human they can be, in order to fulfill the goals of the Blessed Creator.

Rather than seeking to convert to Judaism, gentiles should first attempt to be happy in their portion. There is no need to convert to Judaism to fulfil the ideals that God has for a person. Conversion is only for individuals who feel they were meant for the ten times more difficult spiritual workload of the Jews, that separates them from the natural freedom God intended for humankind. Whereas Jews must trust in the Divine wisdom of and be grateful for their roles as well.

The Torah says, “Declare liberty throughout the land.” (Leviticus 25:10)  A person does not, must not, give up liberty for just any reason. If a person can serve God without a change of spiritual category, from gentile to Jew, then they are doing EXACTLY what God wants of them.

But Jews are God’s servants (ibid. 25:42,55), blessedly constrained from the freedom granted regular people. Only those select few gentiles who feel Jewish and constrained without the 613 commandments should seriously consider conversion.

For the Divine plan to work, people must try to find happiness in their portions. Gentiles must try to do so just as they are, before they can consider any alternatives. Jews must realize they are not gentiles and accept the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven that is upon them.

Every human being has an important role in God’s world. It is free for the taking. One need only choose the path that God intended for you, and follow it with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your means. May it soon be so for all humanity, by the grace of God.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The Role of Gentiles in Creation

  1. Kavod HaRav Friedlander,

    Thank you for your beautiful post. It was very encouraging. Writing as a bat noach, myself, it is not the glory that belongs to Am Yisroel, nor their position as the light for the nations that causes my soul anguish and makes me mourn that I was not born Jewish and could not give my children a Jewish soul. Instead, it is two things. The first is that Hashem expresses His love for Am Yisroel so frequently in the Torah, but I cannot see where He says that He loves us. I do not long to be loved instead of Am Yisrael, I only wish that Hashem would love the goyim, too. Secondly, I tremble because the punishment for a gentile violating one of the Sheva mitzvoth is, from what I understand, the death penalty. I am a weak human, I greatly fear violating the mitzvoth because, even if now there is no court to enforce the Sheva Mitzvoth, does not Shemayim enforce the penalty? The case of goyim seems hopeless, whereas the case of even the least observant of the Jews seems full of hope, as it says in Pirchei Avoth concerning Israel, “all your children are righteous, they all have a share in the world to come.” I cannot understand how a gentile can perform teshuva if breaking one law even once earns the death penalty. I ask you forgiveness for speaking bluntly. I believe the Torah, but these two things cause my heart great anguish. I hope that you will show me mercy by guiding me on these two matters.

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    • 1) The Torah of Moses and it’s laws cannot be added to or subtracted from, but additional books of Tanach can be added. When moshiach comes, prophecies of God’s love for the nations will likely be written. Until Moshiach comes, it is difficult for the prophets of Israel to be filled with expressions of God’s love for the nations because they knew the 2000 years of torment that was about to come from the nations to Israel, and if the Torah praised them, it could have been misinterpreted as a form of approval for the cruelty by many who already rewrote parts of the Tanach to fit their needs. But deep down at least they knew that had to change God’s Holy Word to get away with it. The Tanach was against their cruelty. There are however verses in the Tanach that by logical implication show God’s love for all people. Such as Psalm 104 which lists many of the signs of love God has for people by all the wonderful things he put in this world for them to interact with. He did not place us all in a gray metal box but in a flourishing garden. Note verse 26 where it discusses how God made the sea creature leviathan in which to rejoice. If God loves whales and such, how much more must He love people. All humans are in the image of God, and thus more precious to Him than the animals He commanded all humans to not be cruel to. Just as a child resembles the parent. Only Jews are called children to God in part because before moshiach comes, the only entire nation that acted according to the Torah was the Jewish people. It will be interesting to find out how the nations will be described after moshiach comes.

      2)
      A) Most penalties only occur if there is no repentance. If someone makes a mistake, they should simply repent. Regret, resolve to never repeat the error and verbal confession to God not people for any violation of a command toward God, and restitution as well for a command violated against people.
      B) All Jews having a share in the World to Come is a natural byproduct of having so many commandments, but it assumes they do not squander the opportunity given to them. If they did, they face the same path as anyone, to prove they deserve to go to the good place. A Jew trying to repent for sinning in all their commandments, mathematically has a 10 times bigger work load to repent than a gentile in a similar situation would have.
      C) It is difficult to violate a capital offense. When the laws of Noah are the norm for the world after Moshiach comes, it will seem rather straight forward to keep the laws. Just as riding a bike is less fraught with fear of falling to someone who has mastered it and has plenty of experience riding without falling.

      Thanks for writing! 🙂

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    • Dear Jennifer, in the Tanakh, Hashem expresses His love for all mankind in many places, it’s not just “the Jews” that he loves. In addition to what Rabbi Friedlander wrote, I may add several other sources:

      Deuteronomy 32:8 – Hashem gave an inheritance (land) to every nation.
      Psalms 47:7-9 – The goyim and the “people of Avraham” join together in the worship of God.
      1Kings 8:41-43 – King Solomon prays for the sake of the Gentile believers in the One God so that Hashem hears their prayers at the place of the Temple.
      Psalm 67 – “May your way be known on the earth, and your salvations to ALL the nations”
      Psalms 22:27 – The goyim will praise Hashem because He reigns over them.
      Amos 9:7 – Hashem redeemed other nations, not just the Israelites.
      Malachi 1:11 – God praises the nations who gice offerings to Him.
      Jonah – Hashem cares about the people of Niniveh and sends Yona to make them repent.
      Isaiah 19:20-21 – God will liberate and bless the Egyptians when they will call upon His name.

      The list could be much longer.

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  2. Kavod HaRav Friedlander,

    Thank you so much. You have answered my questions beautifully. I had been seeking the answers to those two questions since 1999 when I stopped believing in shituf. No matter how hard I searched, I could not find the answers myself. Now my nefesh is comforted and I have confidence to tell my children to trust in Hashem because He cares for them. Before, I only knew to fear Him.

    May Hashem bless you with all good and pleasant things. May Hashem bless and protect you and your family, and all Am Yisroel.

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    • HaShem bless you and yours and all good people in the world as well.
      To quote another source on God’s love for all people:
      “And you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘So said the Lord, “My firstborn son is Israel.” ‘ (Exodus 4:22)
      If Israel has the designation, firstborn, the implication is that the rest of the world are also children unto God, but they ought to mind the Word of Our Father in Heaven that was left in the keeping of their eldest brother…
      Comparable to children that went camping together, on condition that they go to bed when the oldest child says it’s bedtime, and return home at the time the parents told the oldest child to bring his siblings home with him.

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