The Gemara rejects this suggestion, because it is Rav himself who said that establishing an omen is only prohibited when it is done as we find with Eliezer, the servant of Avraham. When Eliezer went to find a wife for Yitzchak, he announced that the woman who would offer him and his camels water would be the one who would be the wife for Yitzchak.
Tosafos answers that according to one opinion, Eliezer was a Noachide, who was not commanded to avoid this type of conduct. And, according to the view that he was commanded to abide by it, we must say that he actually asked Rivka about her
family before making any decisions.
Daf Yomi Digest
“Relying on omens and signs which portend the future”
The non-Jewish cook is called a “kefeilah.” Rashi explains that he is a baker, while the Aruch translates this word to refer to a cook. Toras Chaim explains that according to Rashi, the reason we trust the non-Jew is that we present the question to him innocently, in a general conversation, without his realizing that we are going to be relying on his word for halachic purposes. In this case, we do not think that the non-Jew will intentionally lie, as he is not aware that we are listening to his statement for any practical purpose.
Daf Yomi Digest
“Asking a non-Jew to taste the questionable food”
(Continuing from yesterday’s Part 2 of the series: The Ger Toshav at Worship)
I read these two Dafs last week while pondering the Ger Toshav question and the relationship between Jews and Gentiles and was struck by the contrasting examples of trusted and non-trusted Gentiles from the Jewish perspective. On the one hand, we have the example of Eliezer’s relationship with Abraham. While we cannot say that Abraham was a “Jew” in the modern sense nor an “Israelite” since Jacob was not yet born and had not fathered the 12 patriarchs, he is considered the Father of Judaism and the first ethical monotheist in the line of the Jewish people.
Eliezer, though not a member of Abraham’s family, was a servant who was so trusted, that Abraham sent him back to Haran, the land of Abraham’s ancestors, to find and bring a wife back for Abraham’s son Isaac (see Genesis 24).
On the other hand, as we see in the Daf for Chullin 97, a Jew may trust a Gentile to advise him on an important manner, in this case the taste of a food item that may or may not be forbidden to the Jew, only as long as the non-Jew does not know that he is helping to decide an issue of halachah. The implication is that if the non-Jew knew how important his opinion was to the Jew, he might deliberately lie to him in order to induce him (and other Jews) to eat something forbidden.
Given the long history of enmity between Jews and Gentiles, I guess I can’t blame the Rabbis for this ruling, but it still stings a little. I would like to think there is a way to bridge the gap between Christians and Jews (Messianic and otherwise), but I can see that a rather long and bloody history is standing in my way. Could this also be the problem between Jews and Gentiles in the Messianic Jewish (MJ) community or more specifically, between the One Law (OL) faction of MJ, which is largely Gentile/Christian directed, and the Bilateral Ecclesiology (BE) faction, which is largely directed by a Jewish leadership? Is it a matter of trust, at least in part?
That could very well be. I’ve previously said that OL’s efforts to establish Gentile equality with Jews relative to being obligated to the 613 commandments is interpreted by BE as an incursion into Jewish identity and an attempt (even unintentionally) to obliterate the identity distinctions between Gentile and Jew, effectively rendering Judaism non-existent.
That could be a trust issue (I say that as an understatement).
Frankly, my investigation isn’t taking an encouraging direction. I recently discovered that it is not possible to be a Noahide and a Christian from a traditionally Jewish point of view. I’ve exchanged private communications with a Jewish gentleman (and since they are private, I won’t publish any identifying details) who is well versed about Noahides and he assures me that for many reasons, including the “polytheistic” nature of Christianity and the Jewish belief that Jesus (or at least Paul) was a “false prophet”, anyone self-identifying as a Christian could not be considered as a “righteous Gentile”.
It seems my investigation is stalled. How can I take and adapt any elements or cues regarding the relationship between Gentiles and Jews in the Messianic world from the Noahide/Jew relationship in traditional Judaism when any status of “righteousness” as a Christian is cancelled by my Christianity? That means, from a traditional Jewish point of view, I am viewed as a pagan, polytheistic, idol worshiper. I was rather hoping for more.
If the BE contingent in MJ is drawing its identity largely from mainstream Judaism, then how much of that sentiment is carried over into Jewish/Gentile relationships? It can’t quite be the same because both Jews and Gentiles in MJ confess Jesus (Yeshua, within this context) as the Jewish Messiah and that salvation comes through the “living Word.” The question of monotheism is still a thorny one, but I won’t address it as part of this series. Since “righteousness” of all members of the Messianic world must come from the Messiah, then its Gentile members cannot be faulted for having the same faith in Jesus as the Jewish members.
Extending that into the world in which I live, those Jewish members of MJ/BE must also, at least at a very basic level, accept my faith since we both recognize Jesus as the Jewish Messiah and we both are brought before the throne of God through the sacrifice of Christ.
But saying that, I’m no closer to an answer to this puzzling set of queries now than I was when I first conceived this series. I’m also at a loss as to how to proceed and must admit that the series, barring any further developments, is closed.
With the days of teshuvah almost elapsed and the approach of Yom Kippur coming rapidly upon us, I can only throw myself before the mercy of God and let Him deal with His creations. How disappointed in us He must be.
I wonder when I’ll learn that the barriers are firmly in place, humanity in its different groups, including Jew and Gentile, are established as we are, and divided we will be until God unites us all again at the end of all things.
It’s not all bad. At least I learned that BS”D is the Aramaic phrase “B’Sayata Di’shamaya,” which means “With the help of Heaven.”