Beyond the Cusp

May 24, 2019

What are the Jews to Expect from the World?

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:02 AM
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We are told that we are not supposed to expect much from the world. We are further told that the world is not likely to understand or be particularly favorable towards us. We are not to expect the world to understand Jews or Judaism as they are unlikely to have read the Torah or the Bible, in this case the Old Testament. We are told that this does not matter as it is the Jews responsibility to learn Torah and practice all of its Laws and Commandments, all six-hundred-thirteen Commandments. We are to obey the Oral Law which will be our duty and through learning and practicing to live as Hashem desires of the Jews, we can affect the world. Through our actions we can affect the world both for goodness and for evil. The main expectation we have is that should we ever master living lives worthy of Hashem, then the world will take care of itself and peace will rule over the world. But then again, if all Jews were to meet this expectation for a decent length of time, such would usher in the Messiach which would perfect the world. We should not see our actions as repairing the world, we are to repair that in ourselves and should we actually perfect our own lives, then the world will take care of itself and the Messiach would arrive to set the world on its course of perfection. This is, of course, a near impossibility, for every Jew to obey the Laws and Commandments from Torah and as instructed by those knowledgeable of these laws and are charged with teaching us. We also are told to read the Torah and engross ourselves in its words and its ways such that we are to be holy before our Creator. The entire being a Jew sounds easy, except it is not nor is it intended to be easy. Following all that Hashem expects from us is supposed to be a struggle which only a few ever succeed in each generation. These select few may not be the Torah scholars but rather these righteous individuals can be anybody and it is their actions which save our world. The Jews can make the challenge put before these righteous individuals much easier simply by taking care of our own actions.

 

This brings us to what we are to expect of the world. Basically, not all that much is to be expected of the world until we have perfected ourselves. This is the actual instruction given for us to perform to perfect the world, to practice that which we call Tikkun Olam. Largely, Jews are expected to live a Torah observant life and to be holy before Hashem. Would the Jews master this calling and all stand before Hashem and be found worthy of the Messiach, then Hashem will allow for the Messiach to come and rule over the Jews and the rest of the world would see how wonderful our lives have become that they will, in turn, desire to become holy before Hashem, or at least do so as best as they are able. As Jews, we are not to attempt to take on the world and all its problems, threats and challenges as until we have perfected ourselves, who are we to perfect the world. Our example of living a holy life and reaping the rewards which come with such observance will take care of making the world become more perfect. When those who are not Jewish come and ask for guidance towards living a holy life, we are to instruct them on performing the Noahic Code (listed below). These are the seven Commandments provided Noah which were to lead to a perfected world, a perfected world simply by humankind following seven simple rules. These rules are listed in the Torah as a barometer on how the people of the world are behaving. Part of the reason for the Torah and its six-hundred-thirteen Laws was for setting one peoples before the world as an example for how to live a moral life. These laws, when followed, allow for the world to be perfected and thus all will see the Jews living as Hashem expects of them and the rewards they receive in the form of crops and other endeavors taken up by the Jews yielding great rewards, the example provided by the Jews will bring people who will ask, demand even, for the Jews to share with them the ways of Hashem so they too can have the goodness of the land.

 

This brings us to what the Jews are supposed to provide as answers to their questions of how they are to follow Hashem. The expectations the world is to follow has radically fewer Commandments as there exist in Judaism. This Divine Code of laws were initially provided before Noah which is why they are also known as the Noahic Code. This group of laws is significantly less in numbers from the six-hundred-thirteen Commandments expected of a Jew, the Divine Noahic Code consists of a mere seven laws (see graphic below). These, we are told, are the minimal number of laws required in order to have a functioning, good and civilized society. Through having humankind obey the Noahic Code will the world be set on the path towards redemption. This sounds easy, but remember that first the world will be required to meet expectations, something that the world finds difficult to do as they stray from the path which Hashem laid out before them. This was partly the cause of the Great Flood. Hashem promised Noah that never again would Hashem destroy the world in the same manner. We are to remember this promise as a challenge for us to all follow the Noahic Code. When non-Jews inquire of Jews to be instructed in the proper way to live, we are not supposed to inundate them with the Mitzvoth of Torah and all that is entailed in the Laws; instead we are to give them the Seven Noahic Code of Laws, the Divine Code. Should they respond with the query as to ask, is this all that we need, the Jew is supposed to tell then it will suffice and is not as easy as one may believe and they should first attempt to live by the Seven Laws and wish them well.

 

The Divine Code of Seven Universal Commandments

The Divine Code of Seven Universal Commandments

 

The Jews need follow the entirety of Torah and Oral Law which requires that we rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Inside Judaism there is the controversy as to whether we mortals are to rebuild the Sanctuary and the Temple or should we wait for the Messiach before rebuilding. Then there are those who are of the belief that Hashem will provide the last Temple and it will either drop out of the sky or simply appear out of nothing, but we hold the belief that we are required to build the Temple, but not until we have gathered the ingathering and are following the laws of the Written and Oral Codes ourselves. There are those who claim that this is a task which we will never reach completion as it demands too much from us. Where six-hundred-thirteen Laws does initiate quite a challenge, we need remember that approximately one-third of the Laws deal with the daily services and rituals performed by the Cohanim and Levites and the correct distribution of the eaten parts of the sacrifice. These Laws are all concerning the rituals and instruct the order for the daily sacrifices. It was Maimonides wrote in, “The Guide for the Perplexed,” stating, “that God deliberately has moved Jews away from sacrifices towards prayer, as prayer is a higher form of worship,” and this has been taken as a sign that the sacrifices will instead be prayers with the expectations that all Jews will be expected to pray and assist in carrying out this burden. This is another of those items which time will tell and provide us with signs and answers if only we are sufficiently intelligent to interpret them.

 

Initially, we were taught back in the times of the two Temples, mankind was brutish and uncivilized with the majority not even aware of the Divine Code nor aware of Hashem as they worshiped idols and their idolatry included often human and child sacrifice. Judaism spends an inordinate amount of effort refuting any possible reason which might claim that idolatry was a good thing. Many of the idolaters also practiced human sacrifice even to include child sacrifice, something the Jews were forbidden from doing. In Judaism, all human life is precious. As to what the Jews were to expect from the world during the Biblical and Temple period was very little. The outside world was perceived more as a threat than an opportunity. We were warned that should we follow in the path of Hashem, then we would receive the necessary rain for our crops and would not be defeated by those others who basically surrounded us. Should we fail to follow the Commandments from Hashem, then initially the rain would stop and famine would come as a warning to repent. Should the Jews not repent, then they would be conquered which is exactly what occurred bringing the First and Second Temple Periods to an end. Jewish sages placed the main reason for the destruction of the First Temple to the people turning to idolatry and the Second Temple’s destruction was due to Jews disrespecting one another. These horrific disasters which struck the Jews could have been used as a moment of learning, but as is usual, no lessons were taken to heart by the world. One good sign that the Jews may have learned something from the destruction of the First Temple came from archaeological excavations of Jerusalem, Hevron and other ancient cities before the destruction of the First Temple, it was common to find what would have been household idols and personal idols and in excavations of post First Temple Period almost completely devoid of idols.

 

In current times and with the return of Israel, our ancient homelands, Jews will once again have their own nation. This will bring up the question as to what the Jews expect from the world. We need to be brutally honest with ourselves and with the peoples of the world. We do not expect that suddenly the Jews will have become the darlings of the world with everyone loving them. What we expect is rejection of our return by at the least half of the world if not more and indifference from the majority of the remainder. The United Nations has proven that even that might have been overly optimistic. We do not expect acceptance by many who practiced replacement theology as they took a path in which the Jews are the accursed. Jews have no chance for redemption unless they renounce Judaism and convert to whichever Christian or Islamic sect or denomination holding to this theory. Islam believes that they not only replaced the Jews but also the Christians and that they are the final reformation which was inspired by heaven. Any following of replacement theology views the Jews as accursed and having been cast away by Hashem never to be restored to their ancestral position or to their ancestral homelands. This is partly why the Catholic Church, almost all of Islam and numerous Christian sects which denounce the Jews returning to Israel and demanding that the Jews and Israel be destroyed. This comes down to a basic and central concept within replacement theology in that the Jews cannot return to their ancestral lands and rebuild the temple as such would be proof that Hashem never did condemn the Jews and forsake the Jews but rather still holds to the covenant between Hashem and the Jews. The Jews cannot expect anything other than continued rejection from these peoples.

 

From the world at large, the Jews pretty much expect little to nothing. The Jews require a more inward inspection where they need to reach some conclusions to some very deep questions. The biggest of these is whether or not to rebuild the Temple and, if so, where. Such an effort will have those holding to replacement theology doing everything in their power to prevent this from being completed. We hope that with time Israel will become more religious and we will live better lives following the Commandments. As we improve our totality and come closer to Torah, we will then expect that we can affect the world in a positive manner and expect the remainder of the world to at the very least attempt to follow the Noahic Code. We will, as the nation of the Jews, continue to provide disaster relief around the globe whenever disaster places people in need. We will continue to make advances in every field and share these with the world at large. We expect nothing more from the rest of the world beyond please just leave us alone within our tiny lands west of the Jordan and stop attempting to destroy what little we have remaining from the British Mandate, a whole twenty-two-percent with the Arab Palestinians already having been given the seventy-eight-percent of the region. We desire peace and an end to terrorism. Not just in Israel, but over the entirety of humankind wherever we reside and on whatever planet we may find on which to start a colony in the future. We would like to lay claim to Planet Israel pictured below should such ever be found. Otherwise, we simply desire to live amongst everyone in peace and mutual respect.

 

Planet Israel

Planet Israel

 

In the end, the Jews merely desire to be considered as one of those civilized peoples and we simply hope that such a reference continues to apply to more peoples each year. We wish to grant respect to all and hope they will return the same. We hope to treat others with respect, caring, love and peace and hope to receive the same. As Jews we will try and set an example of living a good life where all are granted the respect due them as creatures beloved of Hashem. This, we hope, will spread to the entirety of the world and we can all work together for the mutual benefit in all things. We will respect life. We would like to be able to expect such in return. We wish to grant the world the Noahic Code and in time share the wisdom and ways of the Torah with those who feel the desire to become closer to the teachings in the Torah. We are not seeking to convert any unless they come and ask us. Our mainstay for attracting others is by living the life as defined in Torah. We will not proselytize and only answer those who inquire. Even those seeking to convert will find that it is not easy to do. This is intentional as we only wish those who will represent Judaism with the warmth, love and respect for human life and Hashem with all the Commandments held in their heart. We hope to be mindful of others and pray to receive the same. We do not desire more land or to rule over the world or even rule others, taking care of ourselves is sufficient challenge. We do not seek wealth but are not afraid of it either. We do seek acceptance and know to receive such one must first grant acceptance which we will to all with a special place for those following the Divine Code and an even closer place in our heart for those of the Covenant, keepers of the Commandments. It really is that simple.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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