Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Gentile will Accept this Truth Immediately!

By the Lubavitcher rebbe, Leader of our generation.

At the opening of the book of Genesis, the commentator Rashi explains: “Rabbi Yitzchok said: The Torah should have opened with the words ‘This Month is to you…’ Why does the Bible 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 do we find (Deuteronomy 32 / 43) ‘Sing, nations the praises of His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants. He will bring retribution on His enemies, and He will appease His land and His people’ (for their distress inflicted by the enemy). The original Hebrew text omits this word ‘and’ because the land of Israel and the people of Israel are one.]

Rashi emphasises that the Gentile needs to clearly know that everything belongs to G-d. ‘He initially gave the land to them, then to us’. No one is in denial that nations lived there. Yet, as He gave it to them, so did He choose to take it from the nations and give it to the Children of Israel. G-d informed His people that they (not be seated in the house of learning and study this with a friend, but) convey this message to the gentile. Openly and shamelessly, to the entire world. That a five year old will understand.

Stated with conviction, the gentile will immediately accept this. 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 this truth immediately. Especially bearing in mind that the Torah wants this message to reach the gentile.

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 the gentile to observe the basic Seven Noachide Laws of human existence.) One of these is ‘Do not steal’. The gentile need be taught that if the land of Israel is in his possession, this constitutes theft. Transgressing one of these incurs the death sentence. If careful of 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 exact contrary: specifically when the Land of Israel is not handed over to him, is this for his good and thereby does he merit life. No portion may be handed over. (Every inch is part of the borders of Israel). This constitutes theft. A gentile has no portion in the land of Israel!

At the Covenant (of the pieces) did G-d give the Land of Israel to the People of Israel. Prior thereto does the verse state (Genesis 13 / 15) ‘To you will I give it’. And further, (Genesis 15 / 8) ‘I have given it to your progeny’, it is given already! Rashi comments that the word of G-d is a given. From then on was the land of Israel ours.

(From a public address Shabbos Parshas Bereshis 1970)

israel rashi bereshis seven noachide laws lubavitcher rebbe maimonides genesis


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