Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blogging Abraham - The Ger Tzedek


In Parashas Chaye Sarah we find Abraham busy purchasing the burial plot for Sarah his wife and what would later host all of the forefathers; this was none other than the cave Machpelah in Hebron.

The Torah in Bereishit 23:4 uses a very peculiar language attributed to Abraham: גר ותושב אנכי

A "stranger" - I am...

Most people will run through this in the Hebrew and say, "Ger Toshav" - thereby leaving out the "ו" - "and."

This mysterious "and" makes the difference between Ger Toshav and Ger -and- Toshav; for this matter people have the habit of saying "two of the same in meaning."

Yet Torah tradition states this is not so!

When we look to Vayikra 25:47 [and various other sources in Torah] the Torah uses this same format with our now famous "and."

To this extent the Vilna Gaon [taking from Talmudic form] explains this anomaly as such [based on the Talmudic premise that this format perforce means that we hear two revelations as opposed to one, based solely on our proverbial at this point "and":

גר זה גר צדק...תושב זה גר אוכל נבילות

"ger: this one is a ger tzedek / Toshav: this is a ger who eats non-kosher meat"

And as we learned from the Talmud a Ger Tzedek [usually termed a convert] doubles as a Noahide [Ger Toshav] who keeps most of the Torah and is devout in becoming expert in the finer points of the commandments; should he convert he will therefore be of supreme knowledge, and as there is no need to convert, he is in accordance with his Love of Hashem. For this the Talmud calls him a Ger Tzedek [who is not a convert].

The Midrash states that Abraham knew the entire Torah [kept 613 commandments] and that he was a "Ger."

Now we are able to put it together: Shem became known as Tzedek - reaching the place of perfection in righteousness through mastery of Torah. Abraham found himself in a journey to get "there", to the place of Shem.

Thus Abraham as not the first Jew [for that went to Isaac according to the Talmud] yet a keeper of Torah and Commandments can now be explained by his infamous words, "Ger -and- Toshav"; Abraham as a Noahide of the times before Sinai [Tosfos] acting as a true Ger Toshav [in the Land] had an additional strength, "Ger Tzedek!" and for this Abraham said diligently: גר ותושב אנכי.

And now we we see how Abraham would have reason and interest in keeping the Torah, even being called "Abraham my Lover" according to the Navi! [Abraham is even being accused as having lesser fear of God than Ovadyah who was a proper convert to Judaism; converts are said to have fear of God while Noahides Love of God, fitting here to perfection. However after the Akeidah Abraham finds not fear, but a higher fear: Awe!]

Abraham would receive from Shem and give birth Isaac - for eventually like Ruth he gained access to ability to bare Jewish seed, after all, Abraham was said to be unable to have children - perhaps "Jewish" children! - until he reached the place of Shem; as we know the line is extremely fine between levels of Ger Tzedek. The same was true of Rachav Joshua's wife and Ruth King David's Moabite grandmother. Abraham was a male version of soul that suddenly became able to conceive Jewish blood - blood that perforce began as Ger Toshav/Tzedek.

This hint certainly is Holy, the Gematria of the expression גר ותושב אנכי is 998 = קדושה / Holiness. [milui]

A Holy hint indeed, one crucial to the beginnings of Jewish / Noahide History in the deepest roots.

This is one example where "Oral Torah" and "Written Torah" reveal the hidden levels of Torah, levels where the secret is parallel with even the simple meaning; This is called Torat Emet - The Torah of Truth.

And now for this one moment, we can relate to what Abraham was saying, as if he was telling us, as the Torah relates to us for this intent.


Anonymous said...

This is so awesome. I love the explanation of the ger/Toshav and Tzeddek... and the explanation of Abraham's comment "I am a stranger". Shammah Astirah

Anonymous said...

Absolutly brilliant. Spot on.
Ross Bearden

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