Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A Gentile will accept this Truth Immediately!

At the opening of the book of Genesis, the commentator Rashi explains: “Rabbi Yitzchak said: The Torah should have opened with the words “This Month is for you...” (the first law of the Torah). Why does the Torah begin with the account of Creation? Because (G-d) informed His People of his powerful act of giving them the inheritance of the nations.” Similarly in (Deuteronomy 32.43): “Sing, nations the praises of His People, for He will avenge the blood of His servants. He will bring retribution to His enemies, and He will appease His Land and His People” (for the distress inflicted by the enemy). The original Hebrew text omits the word ‘and’ because the Land of Israel and the People of Israel are one.

Hashem's Universe

Rashi emphasizes that a gentile needs to clearly know that everything belongs to G-d. ‘He initially gave the land to them [the Canaanite nations], and thereafter to us’. No one is in denial that nations had previously lived there. Yet, just as He gave it to them, so did He choose to take it from the nations and confer it to the Children of Israel. G-d informed His people that they (not limit this information to being heard only within in the house of learning and study with a friend, but to) convey this message to the gentiles, openly and proudly, to the entire world, even for a five year old to understand.

When stated with conviction, the gentile will immediately accept it. For a Jew to accept an open truth, he needs to battle with himself. A gentile is not faced with such decision making. He will understand and accept the truth immediately especially when bearing in mind that the Torah wants this message to reach the gentile world. 

True, it is forbidden to study the Oral Law with a gentile. But he should be taught the Seven Noachide Laws. Maimonides explains that at a time when the Jewish people are strongly established they have the obligation to coerce gentiles to observe the basic Seven Noachide Laws of human behavior. One of these laws is ‘Do not steal’. A gentile needs to be taught that if the land of Israel is in his possession, this constitutes theft. By transgressing one of these laws, one incurs the death sentence. When careful about this, he merits life. When the land of Israel is not in his hands– this is for his good.  Not as is argued by those that purport to ‘pursue peace’ that if Israel is not held by the gentile, it is bad for him. To the contrary: specifically when the Land of Israel is not handed over to him, it is for his good and he thereby merits life. 

No portion [of the Land] may be handed over. (Every inch is part of the borders of Israel) as this would constitute theft. A gentile has no portion in the Land of Israel!  At the Covenant (of the Pieces), G-d gave the Land of Israel to the People of Israel. Prior thereto the verse states (Genesis 13:15): ‘To you will I give it’. And further on, (Genesis 15:8) ‘I have given it to your progeny’– it has been given! Rashi comment’s that the word of G-d – is absolute. Henceforth  the Land of Israel became ours. 

                                                                    Public address Shabbos Parshas Bereishis 1970

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