Friday, May 31, 2013

Growing With The Ger

Parashas Shelach

The Ger In High Definition

Rabbi David Katz

In this week’s Parsha, we cover the three most distinct angles of the Ger [in relation to Israel] that serve as the main function of the Ger [Toshav] in the Land, setting precedent from within and throughout. The Parsha begins with the spies, and the two spies who don’t speak evil speech, [loshon harah] will go down as two of the biggest pioneers in Jewish – Ger history; none other than Caleb and Joshua. What they stand for, [spreading Seven Laws as a method of subduing idolatry as opposed to military might] shall lend itself to the next phase – a Ger in land [and his obligation/ability to sacrifice [Olah Offering], leading to the last position of the Parsha – tzitzit; religious identification/uniform in the Land – in the merit of Shem, he who founded Jerusalem, and by these means the Land itself [Canaan would then be to Shem as the Caananite Nations standing before Israel]. The three topics could easily be pinned down to three perspectives: The Jewish confronting [potential] Gerim, the Jews and Gerim facing each other, and the Ger gazing at the Jew; spies, sacrifices, and garments respectively. [The Gra identifies this as three distinct stages of daughter – sister- mother in relation to Torah]

When the decision is made to spy out the Land, twelve spies are elected from amidst the Children of Israel, highlighted in historical context by Joshua and Caleb. These two were existentially different than the rest, even for the mere fact that where the others stood to deride the Land of its harshness, Joshua and Caleb offered tunes of praise. However the key in understanding where it went right for these two [and a point of digression for the others], is to consider the path of Caleb – a destination with the Avot!

It should be very clear by now, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the Patriarchs of Israel, yet a Jewish People would not stand until crossing over through Sinai. That makes everyone before Sinai a Ger [Tzedek], and the standard as such, carrying on a legacy that began with Adam, was entrusted to Noah, and was perfected and influenced by Shem, who made it an eternal path of righteousness. [This follows the Zohar that explains the words of Torah were actually spoken as vessels that belonged and originated with Gerim.] Caleb, as he had “a different spirit within him” would then seek to connect not with his Jewish Brethren [and thus speak an evil report], but would cling to his forefathers who saw Judaism from the eyes of the Ger [hence the perspective point of view of this Parsha], and would, ultimately draw influence from them specifically [and perhaps it is for this reason it is said that the forefathers along with Adam sleep (w/o decay) in the Cave of Machpela; a well of inspiration for he who wishes to connect to their reservoir].

Caleb [and Joshua – who also led a life of devotion to Gerim for the sake of the truth; both Caleb and Joshua deliver their seed into the vessels of Gerim, under the lens of “The Righteous spiritual level of Elijah”] takes a different route of operation in the Land in conjunction with God’s commandments from within the Torah, concerning Derech Eretz in the Land; he chooses to fight as the Avot fought – with Torah. The other spies were limited in their view of success, as they thought in terms of bows and arrows; for that Hashem showed them [in their enemy’s hands] AK 47’s and Merkava Tanks so to speak. For Caleb and Joshua, the view was different, for they chose to fight as Samson – with the Seven Laws of Noah; Hashem then promptly and quite clearly showed them signs of victory. Where the ten evil reports of the spies cried over destruction, Joshua and Caleb were busy preparing the Land as ancestral heritage, laying the seeds of what would be conquered land in the name of God and His Torah.

The loshon hara would go down as the quintessential Tisha b’ Av the day commemorating a Temple’s destruction and a near eternity of agony for Israel. Joshua and Caleb are then essentially in stark opposition, laying foundations for even the Third and eternal Temple of God.  Joshua lays a foundation in the House of Rachav, and Caleb becomes the most recent Patriarch of Hebron [in merit of his influence there from the Avot] – to your seed, an inheritance, says Hashem.

Essentially, “the spies” chose poorly and this resulted in destruction by military might, whereas the other two saw that Hashem’s command of conquering Israel can be done through Torah and Noahide Laws, allowing for the Jewish – Shem pipeline to become once again live and well. This is seen by the Parsha closing with the command of Tzitzit – a mitzvah of the white strings in merit of Shem, while the blue string is the merit of Abraham; a true depiction of heaven and earth – the Jew- Ger pipeline.

[*The Mechilta points out, that the most effective way of securing Israel’s borders, ending idolatry, and even erasing Amalek’s memory, is best accomplished through the Noahide Laws. Jewish history would end up going down this road as its correction against the spies, an acknowledgement of Caleb and Joshua. Only as the Edomite exile intensified has this tradition become lost, amidst Israel’s Second Temple crisis [that Edom destroyed]. We can be sure that as Gerim are returning, Edom’s run is nearing its end, and this time the Jewish People are poised to return to their [Caleb /Joshua – Joseph Judah; ancestors to Messiah’s ben David and ben Joseph who complete the task] roots and bring the World to the Ger Toshav [Shem/Abraham inspired vision] position is was created to exist as.]

This concludes an introduction to a Jewish View of the World coming out of the Land of Israel, from the focal point of first contact, i.e. the spies.

Once Gerim would become common place in the Land [or even as Ger Toshav throughout the World], the Parsha states that they have rights in performing Offerings to God. It is at this junction where the Ger and the Jew truly stand side by side. [If the previous perspective was as a mother - daughter relationship (in nurturing and education), this no doubt would be the sister-sister progression; for wisdom is called “my sister”] The Ger [who wishes to be a Ger and/or operate within Torah precincts] is encouraged to make an Olah Offering, should it be for Thanksgiving or in order to be a proper Ger for example [which today can be achieved through a Ger – Shabbat]. The Jewish – Ger shared experience would be in the learning/physical process of delivering God’s aroma.

The Ger is considered like a High Priest when he learns Torah, and it is the Olah that opens the door to his World of revelation and light. Under the catalyst of his Olah, he may now learn [with sky as the limit when done with the Wisdom of Torah; who again, is called Wisdom] to perform, invest in an expansive nature should he desire to, and he even now has cause to exist in tandem with Israel through his inheritance, the Torah. For a Ger Toshav [within or throughout Israel and the World], this would constitute his independence in the Land, and now would be able to operate with quite ease under the Seventh Noahide Law – to establish the necessary statute of  Beis Din. The Ger would be fully operative in the Land, and the Torah goes on to state, in the areas of interest, there shall be one Torah for the Jew and the Ger alike. 

Today Jewish cooperation and assistance is frail, coupling with Ger hesitation of delivering an Olah, as per the knowledge to identify the appropriate Offering [as one must know with intent the nature of the Olah, i.e. for Thanksgiving or for finalizing one’s soul as a Ger]; the Torah seeks to mend the distance and to improve both sides’ education levels for the sake of the other, through the partnership in the Olah. Should the Ger Toshav of today realize the gift of God that he possesses, the Olah, and were to take full privilege, the Offering [which literally means to draw close] would in fact have the power to draw each other close, into full eternal embrace. The Holy Temple built [and such that it was built by the inertia of Caleb and Joshua as opposed to the spies] which functions as the Divine locale of such Service to God, will forever express this union before God.

This now shows two of three perspectives: Jewish view of the Land and Ger – Jewish view together. The third and final view is the Ger who gazes upon Israel – in the name of Tzitzit.
Tzitzit come under the merit of Shem and Abraham [white and blue strings respectively] and are the article of clothing that a Jew can be seen in the Land. This obviously points to the Ger in the Land [who now is as a “Mother” in Torah, as Torah can be said in his name; having gone through the three stages of Torah – daughter, sister, and mother. The Ger is now the fourth branch of the mystical letter Shin, having expanded like the Land of Israel – into a fourth branch. The Land of Israel is said to expand like the skin of a deer, with the addition of Gerei Toshavim.] who with his gaze upon the Tzitzit, reminds the inhabitants of the Land [and throughout the World if need be] of God’s Holy Domain above and below, and in the name of the Fear of Heaven in performance of His Commandments. The Jew would then find the proper drive to reach this pre-requisite Awe through the gaze of the Ger, and Ger would benefit from a World filled with Torah [that in the relative sense always did begin with the Ger].

This constitutes a rectified society in the Land of Israel, from the starting point of the bravery of Caleb and Joshua, developing into a people of worship [not in the mold of religion or idolatry], and culminates with a proper people who are a part of the fabric within the Land’s borders as a society of God. If the Land was ever to bear fruit [and multiply] both the Jewish People and the Gerim would be delivered to full Mother [Torah expertise] status in result of the Unity that can, should, and will exist between the sons of Shem, encapsulated within the Torah command through Tzitzit, in the merit of Shem and Abraham.

As the final war of Gog V’ Magog is quite literally [after an extremely Jacob’s ladder-esque long process] an attack against Torah, through the agency of Japheth in opposition of Shem. Thus the World is, was, and will be a saga of sons of Noah. For all that Parashas Shelach stands for as an eternal reminder of Tisha’ b’ Av, B’’H, it also stands as the eternal rectification as such. The Parsha preserves and delivers the Messianic message that is contained in the sons of Shem, a path of unity, one of which is treaded upon by none other than those who inherit Shem.

The Gerim and Yehudim – who serve as the white fire agent in the Parsha, or the Tzitzit of Shem [white fire with blue flame?], contain the intensity and purification to bring Japheth back to his Noahide prophecy – of dwelling in the Tents of Shem, roots and tradition that the other spies were all too quick to forget.

In a Land that is inhabited by God’s Gerim, the Path to Moshiach is best walked in the shoes of Caleb and Joshua, the two spies who in face of military might, chose to pay visage to the Gerim who walked the same Land before them, and who are destined to walk again…for the key to unlocking David and Joseph’s door, lies within the Fourth Craftsmen [the others being sons of David and Joseph along with Elijah], he who is dressed in white – the Righteous Priest, Shem son of Noah –who in conjoined merit with Abraham, will forever remind us, as they did Caleb: You are Gerim in the Land of God.

Parashas Shelach will always then stand to remind the soul destined for Tisha B’ Av – of the soft bubbling river that pours out of the Temple in the End of Days, one that stands to reverse the destruction of the spies, and can begin to build as sons of Shem, a project that laid its foundations with Shem and Abraham. As witnessed by Caleb, the Kol Hator [the voice of the spy] will be heard in the Land, signaling a return to the voice of Caleb, echoing the Torah in its original and authentic voice as God always intended it to be, a true insight to God’s reality.

Don't Forget Class Time: 11 P.M. Motzie Shabbos [Tzfat]


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