This is a lengthy article, bear with me, it had to be written in one piece.
For over a decade now I have concluded in my own mind and soul that the book of Bereishit/Genesis has all the answers for life contained with in it. Our Creator saw fit to make it the very foundational book of His Torah/Instructions for His new creation.
This blog is a rebuttal to an article floating on Facebook that has deceptive, misleading statements in it and is dangerous for the righteous gentile.
The Noahide Laws, the seven categorical laws the Creator gave mankind to live by are all laid out in the book of Bereishit/Genesis. With the Creator’s help, I will be writing a series going through their source locations and discussing them. But for now I feel the need to deal with an issue that can cause righteous gentiles to be led astray and down a dangerous path.
From The Beginning
Every principle in life goes back to the very beginning of Creation. It all goes back to the two trees – the lessons from the Garden and the two trees are eternal and must be continually studied and meditated on.
From the start the Creator took man and put him in a situation to test him and teach him. The Creator created two trees – this is where we learn about the free will that He created in us, without giving a choice, we have no free will.
Then the Creator put the snake, the tempter in the midst, this was all part of the test as well.
(The snake has come to represent the Evil Inclination the Creator put in us to test us. He also put the Good Inclination as well – from these inclinations we obtain free will – the will to choose between right and wrong.)
There are many lessons from the two trees and as we will learn later in my series on the Seven Laws, they too have their root in the two trees of the Garden. So some things you will read in this article will be a repeat for you later.
Bereishit/Genesis 2:16-17 are two statements from one sentence, let look at it.
“And Hashem G-d commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the Garden you may freely eat; but of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, you must not eat thereof…” Artscroll Chumash
From this we learn that the Creator gave man restrictions – He gave him one area that was his but He also showed him that there was an area that was off limits. Even though the Creator created the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, it did not belong to the man, it and its fruit belonged to the Creator only.
The Snake Enters
The snake comes into the picture and asks the question, “Did, perhaps G-d say: “You shall not eat of any tree of the Garden?” Bereishit/Genesis 3:1
The snake is playing games with not only his words but with the emotions of the woman. In other words the snake is asking the woman, “Why would G-d have created the trees if they are not to be enjoyed” – including that which was forbidden with that which was permitted. The classic ploy of the Evil Inclination is that pleasure is to be enjoyed and so it is foolish to believe that the Creator would have commanded one to restrain oneself from doing so” (paraphrased from the Artscroll Chumash commentary)
When man ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, before he ate he stole something that was not his. He did not have permission from its owner to use any part of the tree. An outside source led them with trickery of words and a play on their emotions to take what was not given to them.
Danger Will Robinson…
I wrote all of the above as a foundation; I will be using the above understanding to judge the quote below and the entire article that I read.
I was asked to review an article that came out of a new upstart group within what is being called the Noahide movement – it is only a movement in the sense that the term ‘Noahide movement’ is used to represent a group of people who have left the religions of the world and are returning to the Creator and His instructions for the non-Jewish nations.
Below is a quote right from the article that concerned me and spurred me to write this blog. I will be taking a close look at the wording the statements take from the article.
“Now, perhaps this Noahide feels unfulfilled by the Seven Laws, which are seven prohibitions, and contain no rituals or traditions. The Seven Laws are really meant for governing societies more than guiding the souls of individuals or families.
And so, this unfulfilled Noahide begins to yearn for the warmth and light of the Torah – Chanukah, Pesach and, most of all, he wants to observe Shabbat and learn Talmud or Kabbalah.” Chaim Clorfene – Warning: Do not convert to Judaism
Under The Microscope
“Now, perhaps this Noahide feels unfulfilled by the Seven Laws, which are seven prohibitions, and contain no rituals or traditions.”
First, I find it interesting that in the English translation of Bereishit 3, the word ‘perhaps’ is used and it is also the same word that the author of the article chose to use. The word ‘perhaps’ used by the snake was to induce doubt in the command of the Creator, causing one to second guess the command.
Second, the author is not only inducing doubt on the Seven Laws of the Creator but his also is playing on the emotions of the righteous gentile.
A majority of folks that have returned to the Torah/Instructions of the Creator has come out of Christianity which in and of itself was a very emotional event in their lives; and for many years to come they deal with emotional baggage from that event and their past. They walked away from what they had been taught and many rituals and traditions that formed who they were. So ritual and tradition is a sore spot for them.
The author is correct in that there are no rituals and traditions found in the Seven Laws but that can be a freeing element of them since all false religions use rituals and traditions to trap their followers. At least, this way with the Seven Laws there are no traps to fall into. The Creator has given us a clean strait path to walk with Him by.
“…feels unfulfilled…” Again the author is inducing emotions here instead of proper guidance.
Lets look at this statement from the perspective as if we were talking about Adam and not just a modern Noahide (a righteous gentile).
How would you think the Creator would have responded if Adam had approached Him and said, “You know, Master Creator, I am not feeling it, I am not fulfilled with that commandment of Yours.”
But yet, this is the very thing a person does when they say that the Seven Laws are unfulfilling or lacking.
“And so, this unfulfilled Noahide begins to yearn for the warmth and light of the Torah – Chanukah, Pesach and, most of all, he wants to observe Shabbat and learn Talmud or Kabbalah.”
So, unfulfilled Adam wants more than just part of the trees in the Garden, He wants what he has been restricted from as well, so he tries to find loopholes so he can take what was not given to him.
Sorry, but feeling unfulfilled in what the Creator has given you is cloaked ungratefulness. The fulfilment of the commandments should be in that you got the opportunity to obey the words of the Creator. You should never call the commandments of the Creator lacking. Feeling or being told that the Seven Laws of the Creator is un-fulfilling is spitting at the Creator and being ungrateful for what He has given you to live by so that He can prosper you.
“The Seven Laws are really meant for governing societies more than guiding the souls of individuals or families.”
This is an outright lie and misrepresentation of the commandments of the Creator.
First, when the seven laws were given they were given to individuals and passed on orally to individuals and families.
Second, guiding our souls is exactly what the Seven Laws are about, and they also guide society as well for they are what the Creator not only judges the individule by but the world as well i.e. in case point the Flood.
The words of the Creator is clear on this point. It is the soul that sins will die. Sin is when we violate a command of the Creator. He did not say that the society that sins will die – The Creator says that the soul that keeps His commands will live and not die – see Ezekiel 18
The Creator is very clear that the Seven Laws are for the guidance of the souls of mankind. The Creator did not give ritual nor tradition for the souls of mankind, He gave them to His priest as part of their duties in service to Him.
From The Beginning There Have Been Two
From the beginning the Creator has established the creation on the foundation of ‘two’.
Heavens and earth, day and night, right and wrong, good and evil, male and female, and the nations and Israel.
When the Creator made woman, He made her from a part of man but she became a separate individual with a very distinct role from her counterpart, the male. There are duties that the Creator gave her to do that the male cannot do, like bear children and He equipped her for that role.
Israel, the priest nation is like the woman – the Creator took her from the out of the nations and made her a priest, gave her a certain role to play that the rest of her counterparts do not have and equipped her for her role just like He did the woman.
But like some in today’s society, they want to confuse the role between the man and woman – boys and men claiming that they are a female and they are not, they do not process the body nor functions of a female – thus this is what is happening in the Noahide movement, there is a confusing of the roles of the righteous gentiles and the Jews, it is a continuation of a deception like the Christian Messianic Movement where the identity between Jew and gentile is being blurred by those trying to be something they are not.
In the days of creation the Creator said that the luminaries in the heavens were to separate day and night; they shall serve as signs, and for festivals, and for days and years. Bereishit/Genesis 1:14
It was not until the Creator took Israel out of the nations and made her a priest did He giver the rituals and traditions of the festivals, see Leviticus 23 and see who the festivals belong to and who they are given too. It is very simple reading.
Like the woman, made from a part of man and given specific role to play in creation, Israel was taken from a part of the nations and was given a specific role to do. It has nothing about being unfulfilled in the commandments of the Creator, It has nothing to do about your soul’s fulfilment.
Now on the other hand, unlike the woman, the Creator has an open door for those who may want to join the nation of Israel. It is a very lengthy and challenging process in which I will not get into in this article. But one should not attempt to join Israel because the commandments the Creator gave you to do is unfulfilling. If you are dissatisfied with the commandments of the Creator from the start, what makes you think that will change when more is added on? Adding ritual and tradition will not change who you are on the inside – if you are a rejecter of the Creator’s commandments on this side, in time you will be a rejecter on the other side as well.
There is a snake (The Evil Inclination) in the Garden, do not talk to nor listen to his words; cling to the word’s of the Creator designed for you and your soul will prosper.
Terry W. Hayes
15 thoughts on “Warning: There Is A Snake In The Garden”
I enjoyed reading your post but isn’t Prayer an add on ? Prayer is not even mentioned in the 7 laws so why do many Noahides pray ? I look forward to reading your reply.
You are correct, as a command prayer is not one of the Seven categorical Laws. It is one of those areas that naturally comes with walking with the Creator as Noah walked. We are also given the example of Abraham. Even though Abraham was the father of Israel and many other nations, he was on the front side of the Sinai Covenant. Meaning that he was a an observer of the Seven Laws as taught to him by Shem, Noah’s son. Through His example we know he went to the field and talked to the Creator and being the first one to call Him Master.
Per many very good rabbis who teach Noahides, we are instructed that many of the rational commandments of the Torah we can voluntary take on, like prayer but we are not permitted to say we are commanded.
But on the other hand there are specific commands given to the nation of Israel only. It is many of these commandments like Sabbath, Tefillin, Yom Tovim that some want to be able to take on without going through complete conversion. These are not given to us and taking them is a form of theft.
Prayer is communication, one cannot truly walk with anyone if there is no communication between them. We have many examples of non-Jews talking to the Creator in the Hebrew Scriptures. When Adam answered the Creators question, “Where are you?” that was prayer. When the Creator approached Cain with questions, He expected answers.
Nowhere is any man commanded not to speak to the Creator but like a woman being able to have children and a man not – Israel was given specific rules to follow that is not include with the general populous of the planet. Prayer was not one of those specific rules only applying to Israel, it was already
a given before He separated them from the rest of the nations.
Wow! I am in awe of the wonderful way you constructed this article. It shows your way of basing your words on Torah and its commentators. Beautiful work.
Thank you so much for your kind words.
Wonderful analogy here and a great way of explaining to Noachides why they shouldn’t take on Jewish mitzvos. I have wondered, though, if over time Noachides might come up with their own customs. There is no prohibition on Noachides forming their own ways to celebrate lifecycle events, holidays, and even form congregations to gather together for prayer and celebrations, only prohibitions against taking on those things commanded for Jews.
(For background, I am an Orthodox Jewish conversion candidate, 7 years into the process. For family reasons and at the direction of my Rabbis, I was told being a Noachide was not a viable path for me, but I have huge respect for those who are walking it.)
My wife and I spent seven years preparing ourselves for conversion. It was last year at this season that we came to the conclusion it was not the will of the Creator for us and since we decided to remain Noahides our walk with the Creator has grown so much.
I wish you the best in gerus and may the mikvah be a very sweet moment for you.
The biggest Rabbi in the world can have the best academic understanding of the 7 Commandments. But we Gentiles know what it feels like to live them. And that is something Chaim Clorfene will never know.
I have heard something said like that from several long time observing Noahides. They have shown us in the Torah where our laws are and how to study Torah to gain insight on walking with the Creator, there is a time when we have to take the reins and live our life with the Creator as an individual.
Terry….with all due respect…..I think you may have missed a key point in the rabbi’s post. You aren’t joining a religion if and when you convert…..you are joining a nation. The rest of your post is well-worded and good. For my part, I grow extremely weary with all the differing voices of rabbinic advice……you can do this……no, this is only for Jews, but if you do it you must break one of the …….please! For example, I have read books supposedly for “universal” consumption, but it is so full of Mishnah, Midrash, and Kabbalistic stuff that it is, to me, useless and confusing. I honestly think following GOD is supposed to be pretty simple and natural. I enjoy your blog a lot. You are straightforward, you don’t speak jibberish, and you keep it reasonable. Thank you for all your study and work.
Thank you Andrea for your kind words.
I understood the point of joining the people not a religion very well as my wife and I spent 7 years studying for conversion. I have no issue with that point of the article. It was with what I wrote on and some others I chose to leave alone at this time.
Again thank you.
I suggest that you choose one rabbi and follow his teachings. If you read many books by different rabbis, of course you will be weary and confused.
I do have a primary rabbi that I follow. For the past 10 years when I have major questions I turn to him to seek answers and have not been guided wrong yet. But I do have several books on the subject of the Noahide laws by different rabbis because each one covers them a bit differently. Not that they differ in their over all content but one may cover an area of Noahide law more than the other. But when it comes to spiritual areas like prayer and emuna I have the one that guides me.
I directed my suggestion of choosing one rabbi to Andrea Chester. I apologize for not being clear. But I am happy to hear you have a primary rabbi that you follow.
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Great bloog you have here