Friday, September 19, 2014

The Lone Star Ger.

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Two reasons the Ger Toshav exists today.
By Chaim Clorfene

Every shlomazel that you meet today who wants to talk about new directions in the Noahide movement, will shoot out at you as if with a paintball gun: “The Rambam says there is no Ger Toshav today and that we cannot accept them until the Jubilee Year is reactivated.” Lacking the patience to discuss the matter with these mean-spirited umpa-lumpas, I just tell them wait a couple of months, because a book is coming out that explains it all. It is called The World of the Ger. But I realize that two months is a long time to wait, so I thought I would try to explain it succinctly and simply now to relieve tension in some circles.

This is strictly lishma. We will probably lose a few book sales because of this, but I do not give a fadoodle. So what do I do when someone tells me that the Rambam says there is no Ger Toshav today? I turn to the guy standing next to me and tell him, “Fred, the Rambam says you do not exist. Go hide under a carpet or something.”

Reason Number One for the Ger Toshav existing today:

The head of the baby has emerged from the womb; it is forbidden to cut it off. There are Noahides everywhere who consider themselves Gerim and call themselves Ger. It is a fait accompli. The final hammer blow has been struck. These people call themselves Ger the way a Lubavitcher calls himself Lubavitch or Chabad. The Lubavitcher (as with other Chasidim) has traded his individual identity for his place in the collective Lubavitcher identity. His world is the world of Chabad. He learns what they learn. He is comfortable with his fellow Chabadniks to the exclusion of others. He builds their kind of sukkah and conducts their kind of Pesach Seder, and holds to party line opinions concerning every aspect of Jewish life. So it is with the Ger. He sees himself as Ger, rather than a Ger because he has attached himself to the Torah as a Chasid. His is a Ger world. This is why the Rambam calls B’nai Noah who follow the Seven Laws of Noah Chasidei Umot HaOlam, literally Chasidim from the nations of the world.

Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum refers to them as tinokei sh’nishba – abducted infants. If these fledgling Gerim are liberated and empowered as is the shitta of Rabbi David Katz (the spiritual archaeologist who dug deeply enough to find the Ger), then the Gerim will accomplish great things for G-d, the Torah, and the Jewish people. We can say without reservation that in the Ger, Israel has a friend among the nations, a friend whose constancy can be relied upon. There are some rabbis who want to limit this potential for accomplishment. Instead of placing their finger on the pulse of the Ger, they place their finger on the pulse of someone who has not had a pulse for 850 years. Today is not the today of the Rambam! Duh.

There are great authorities of today and yesterday who hold that the Ger Toshav exists even without the Jubilee Year. Now, to learn who these great authorities are, I am afraid you will just have to wait until The World of the Ger is available for purchase online. I have a right to make a living.

 Reason Number Two for the Ger Toshav existing today:

It says Ger Toshav nowhere in the Torah. Ger Toshav is a rabbinic term. By the same token, it says Ger Tzedek nowhere in the Torah. But the Torah names the Ger sixty times and with respect to most of these times, the Noahide Ger sees this and says, “This is me. I am in the Torah. G-d is telling me through His Torah that I exist. The Torah itself is my accreditation, my teudah.” The Torah does not say that the Ger Toshav exists. The Torah does not say that the Ger Tzedek exists. And the Torah does not really say that the Noahide exists, because of the few times that the Torah mentions B’nai Noah, it refers to the three sons of Noah, Shem, Japheth, and Ham, and not mankind. But the Torah mentions the Ger all over the place – love the Ger, do not taunt the Ger, remember that you were Gerim in Egypt – and the Ger (Toshav) of today says, “Anyone who wants to take that away from me, who wants to pretend that the Torah is not speaking about me when I know that it is – well, I’m from Texas and that man better come loaded for bear.”

 L’Shana tova. May you all be written and sealed for a good year.


Anonymous said...

clapping clapping - thank you Rabbi Katz - ToT

Wandering ger said...

Thank you Rabbi Katz. This discussion is long overdue and cannot be ignored. One thing history teaches is that the majority is often wrong. There are times when Hashem conceals His original truth until His appointed time. Perhaps now is the time for the gerim and Jew to re-unite.

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