Being Married to the Girl with the Jewish Soul

“To get to the point, our daughter has informed us that she has fallen in love with a non-Jew, and that they intend to marry. We have tried everything to dissuade her, but our arguments, appeals, threats and tears have all been to no avail. She now refuses to discuss the matter with us at all, and has moved out of our home. Rabbi! You are our only hope! Perhaps you can reach her; perhaps you can impress upon her the gravity of the betrayal against her people, her parents and her own identity in what she intends to do!”

“Would she agree to meet with me?” I asked.

“If she knew that we had spoken to you, she’d refuse.”

“Then I’ll go speak to her on my own.”

I took her address from her parents, and rang her bell that very evening. She was visibly annoyed to learn of my mission, but too well-mannered not to invite me in. We ended up speaking for several hours. She listened politely, and promised to consider everything I said, but I came away with the feeling that I had had little effect on her decision.

For several days I pondered the matter, trying to think of what might possibly be done to prevent the loss of a Jewish soul.

-Aaron Dov Halprin
“A Jew in Brooklyn”
from “The Life and Teachings of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson”
Translated from the Hebrew by Yanki Tauber
Chabad.org

The loss of a Jewish soul.

Derek Leman recently posted a link to a discussion “between Messianic Jew David Brickner and John Piper” concerning “supersessionism.” From a supersessionist Christian point of view, the only way for a Jewish person to become reconciled to God and the Jewish Messiah is to forfeit his or her Jewish soul.

The loss of a Jewish soul.

Is that really what the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would want?

I know Christians who would answer “yes” so fast that it would make my head spin. But then you see, I have a Jewish wife. She is a Jewish soul.

I’m not going to go into the whole “is she saved or not” argument, which is probably way over my head (though I frequently wade into waters that are way over my head). Of course, it would gladden my heart if she would come to know, or at least be re-acquainted with (as she was in years past) the Jewish Messiah, but in her view of Judaism, which is not unlike that of the Chabad, a Jew does not believe the “Messiah of the goyim” is the Jewish Moshiach.

The local Rabbi consults the Rebbe and he presents a solution. The solution to the problem of the Jewish girl who intended to marry a non-Jew was to tell her that there was a Jew in Brooklyn who was deeply troubled and could not sleep at night because of her intentions. The Jew (whether this story is true or not, I have no idea) was named “Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe.” Although the girl lived in Brazil and had never met the Rebbe or even seen a picture of him, when the local Rabbi showed her a photo of the Rebbe, she exclaimed, “this man has been appearing in my dreams and imploring me not to abandon my people.”

The story ends without telling us what the girl does, but presumably, she breaks off her engagement to the non-Jewish fellow and returns to her family. Not very much like the story between me and my wife, but then we were married for many years before she became determined to enter into the Jewish community and decided that a Jew would never believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

I’ve been pondering this story for several days but only read the following tale just a few minutes ago (as I write this):

Rabbi Zalman Serebryanski, a senior chassid from Russia and dean of the Lubavitch Rabbinical College in Melbourne, Australia, once brought a girl to Rabbi Chaim Gutnick. “Please, help this girl convert,” he asked.

Rabbi Gutnick listened to the girl’s story. She lived in Balaclava, and from her youth had felt a strong attraction to Judaism. Whenever she heard stories of the Holocaust, she was deeply touched. She had been reading and studying about Judaism for a long time, and now wanted to convert.

Rabbi Gutnick was moved by her sincerity. Nevertheless, he did not want to perform the conversion. The girl was still living at home with her non-Jewish parents. Would she be able to practice Judaism in her parents’ home? Would her interest continue as she matured into adulthood? Since he could not answer these questions, he decided to let time take its course. If the girl was still interested when she was older, she could convert then.

Rabbi Gutnick’s refusal plunged the girl into deep depression, to the extent that she had to be confined to a hospital. The elder Reb Zalman, stirred by the depth of her feelings, continued to visit her from time to time.

After several weeks, he called Rabbi Gutnick, telling him of the girl’s condition and asking him whether perhaps he would change his mind because of the strength of her feelings.

-Eli and Malka Touger
“The Girl Who Had To Be Jewish”
from “The Life and Teachings of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson”
Chabad.org

This appears to be the opposite of the previous story. Here, a non-Jewish girl is pursuing Judaism to the point that she becomes severely depressed when the option is denied her. On the surface, it seemed conversion was impossible because her family was Anglican, but appearances can be deceiving. In this case, the Rebbe is once again consulted and the results are surprising.

Rabbi Gutnick did not receive an immediate reply to his letter. But at a later date, at the end of a reply to another issue, the Rebbe added: “What’s happening with the Jewish girl from Balaclava?”

Rabbi Gutnick was surprised. The girl and Reb Zalman had both made it clear that her family was Anglican!

He and Reb Zalman went to confront the girl’s mother. At first, she continued to insist that she was Anglican, but as the sincerity of the two rabbis impressed her, she broke down and told her story. She had been raised in an Orthodox Jewish home in England. As a young girl, she had rebelled against her parents and abandoned Jewish life entirely, marrying a gentile and moving to Australia. She had not given Judaism a thought since. She loved her daughter, however, and would not oppose her if she wished to live a Jewish life.

Once the girl’s Jewishness was established, Rabbis Serebryanski and Gutnick helped her feel at home in Melbourne’s Lubavitch community. She continued to make progress in her Jewish commitment, and today is a teacher in a Lubavitch school.

But Rabbi Gutnick still had a question: How did the Rebbe know she was Jewish? At his next yechidut (audience with the Rebbe) he mustered the chutzpah to ask.

The Rebbe replied that, at Reb Zalman’s urging, the girl had also written him a letter. “Such a letter,” the Rebbe declared, “could only have been written by a Jewish girl.”

Again, I have no idea if this story is true, but it is compelling, especially to me.

My wife’s mother was Jewish and her father was a non-Jew (both of my in-laws passed away many years ago). My wife’s mother, as a young woman, rejected her family in Boston and her Judaism and walked away from both, about seventy years ago. My mother-in-law met my father-in-law on a blind date and they subsequently married and had five children. At no time did the fact that my mother-in-law was Jewish ever come up in the family.

True, my wife as a child, knew that her maternal aunt and cousin, who lived in Southern California where she grew up, were Jewish, but she never made the connection that her mother was Jewish (and thus, her children) until my wife was a young woman herself.

Of her two sisters and two brothers, only my wife was driven to self-identify as a Jew and decades later, to pursue a life as a Jewish woman.

The girl who had to be Jewish.

These two stories collide because the girl who had to be Jewish married the guy who ended up being Christian.

The thirty years of our marriage haven’t always been easy for one reason or another. I think any couple who has been married for decades will say that there have been trials in their relationship from time to time. It’s not all romance and flowers. But typically, at a foundational level, the couple is united in terms of their basic worldview. If the husband is a Christian, usually so is the wife. If the wife is an atheist, usually so is the husband. You get the idea.

Jewish/non-Jewish interfaith marriages are at an all-time high as far as I understand the statistics, and this is a crisis in the world of Judaism. Particularly Orthodox Jews see the marriage of a Jew to a non-Jew (and especially a Christian) as the loss of a Jewish soul.

There are plenty of books, guides, and advice blogs that address interfaith marriages, but usually the couples being targeted arrive at their wedding day as fully realized Jews and Christians. As far as I know, all interfaith couples at my local Reform/Conservative and Chabad synagogues are Jew/Goy (non-Christian). Some of the non-Jews who have married Jews convert to Judaism. The issues are complex and troublesome but not insurmountable.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my wife about some of the things that had happened at the First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ) Shavuot conference in Hudson, Wisconsin. One of the issues was having Christians who are already in a church or who would be willing to return to a church, be sort of “messengers” and advocates for a positive relationship with Jewish people within the Christian community.

My wife’s response was something like, “Are you thinking of going back to church?” I wish I could remember her exact words. They could have been, You aren’t thinking of going back to a church, are you?” But I’m not sure. I’m also not sure if the tone of her voice registered any distress or not. It’s hard to tell with her sometimes. She plays her cards “close to the vest,” so to speak.

If we had entered our marriage with her as a fully realized Jew and me as a fully realized Christians (we were agnostics/atheists on our wedding day and for many years afterwards) and if we agreed to still get married, we probably wouldn’t be experiencing what we are today with each other. I’ve asked her about this aspect of our relationship point-blank, but she remains elusive.

As nearly as I can understand my options, the best thing for me to do is to let her be “the girl who has to be Jewish” and for me to be a low profile Christian at home. I don’t think we have a “typical” interfaith marriage, if there is such a thing. I don’t know if she sees my faith as somehow threatening to her, but it isn’t something that she’s comfortable discussing.

PrayingBut I don’t want the world to lose another Jewish soul. Supersessionist Christianity wouldn’t care, and would walk all over her Jewish soul without feeling the slightest pang of guilt or remorse. However, that Jewish soul is my wife. She gave birth to three other Jewish souls who are my children. Like any husband and father, when confronted with a threat to the family, I become defensive and protective. I cannot let their Judaism be extinguished for the sake of someone else’s theology…not even my own.

For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. –Romans 9:3-4 (ESV)

Paul was in anguish over his Jewish brothers and sisters who did not understand the blessings of Jesus the Messiah and who would be temporarily “cut off.” He was sincerely willing to become accursed and cut off from his own salvation for the sake of other Jews. It meant that much to him; his Jewish brothers and sisters meant that much to him.

Although I am not a Jew, how much more should my Jewish wife and children mean to me?

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13 thoughts on “Being Married to the Girl with the Jewish Soul”

  1. You are a very empathetic husband!
    “Jewish soul” is speaking of a level of the soul, an awareness. It’s not an elite club, eventually “All of Israel (the world) will be saved”.
    You’ve got a Jewish soul and you’re trying to figure out what that means!
    Blessings

  2. I’m going to have to disagree that I have a “Jewish soul” at least as some religious Jews understand the term. When a non-Jew is said to have a “Jewish soul,” it usually is an explanation for why a Gentile would want to convert to Judaism. Jews would reject the idea that I have a “Jewish soul” because I’m a Christian. The closest I’d come in their eyes would be what my wife once said of me: a “Jewish wannabe.”

    My Christianity is incompatible with my wife’s Jewishness. The more visibly Christian I am, particularly in the home or when I’m with my wife in public, the more difficult it is for her to endure, particularly in front of her Jewish friends. I don’t think she minds so much if I am “Christian” when I’m not around her, but I have to come home sometime.

    I also can’t say that Israel = the world (sorry to be so disagreeable this morning). When Paul said that “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26), my understanding is that Paul is speaking of his Jewish brothers and sisters, not those of us who are grafted in. Given the larger context of Romans 11, I can’t see any other meaning making sense.

    Returning to your point, I do have a soul and yes, I’m trying to figure out what it means. We’re all trying to do that. I just don’t know if I’m being particularly obtuse about it or if my soul is somehow a little more complicated (OK, that’s conceited).

    It’s probably just a consequence of being intermarried. I’ll talk more about it in tomorrow’s meditation.

    Thanks for commenting…really. I was rather surprised when no one said a word about this blog post. For me, it’s extremely emotionally charged, but I guess it doesn’t resonate with anyone else.

  3. ” I was rather surprised when no one said a word about this blog post. For me, it’s extremely emotionally charged, but I guess it doesn’t resonate with anyone else.”
    I too have been waiting for all the comments I suspected would come through. This is a beautifully written Meditation, one that exposes, to some degree the complexities of your personal situation and further opens the door to a genuine talk (I dislike the word ‘debate’ in this instance).
    I am a Jewish believer in Yeshua as Messiah. Still, I am not certain those words mean the same thing to me that they might do for a ‘Christian’ issuing the same statement.
    “Listen, Israel: The Lord is our G-d, the Lord is ONE.” Some times, after years of searching the Word, it feels to me that Christianity is worshipping three gods….to many ‘voices of authority have spoken (I’m thinking of Derek Leman’s recent post) but in the end I believe ‘All Israel will be saved…and a Jewish soul is very precious. Perhaps you have had a Jewish soul placed in your care for Protection from all the abuse that exists out there. In the end G-d is in control. I treasure this particular post so many blessings for writing it.

  4. Thanks, Pat. I appreciate it.

    The difficult part of all this for me is my inability to share this part of who I am with “the missus.” I love listening to her talk about the insights she has into Judaism and the Torah, but I have to craft my responses carefully. At those times when Jesus enters the conversation, she becomes conspicuously quiet. When Messianic Judaism is mentioned, she sounds a great deal like an anti-missionary.

    Nevertheless, the answer isn’t for her to be less Jewish or, Heaven forbid, not Jewish at all. The answer, as far as I can tell at this stage of the game, is for me to compress myself so that she has more room to grow.

    And it’s a good thing she doesn’t read these meditations. 😉

  5. “When Messianic Judaism is mentioned, she sounds a great deal like an anti-missionary.”

    Why am I not shocked by this? There are moments when I possibly sound like one too!
    It is more than the issue of ‘why can’t we all get along’…pertaining to People of Faith and right now, in my humble opinion, both Messianic Jews and that portion of ‘The Church’ associated with them are acting like spoiled children..one jealous of the other and both unwilling to stand back and really look at what G-d has revealed. Messianic Judaism has not convinced the larger Jewish Community (or atleast that is my understanding…may be wrong) that it is a valid form of Judaism so the winning of hearts and minds continues to be a difficult path to be on. However…don’t give up.

  6. I’ve got a lot, because I’ve wrestled with it a lot. 🙂 Enjoy!

    When Kaballah (Tanya) is speaking of Jewish Souls, what is it referring to? I recently heard someone speaking & saying that Adam ha Rishon got a Jewish Soul. This is so confusing to me, as it seems to imply BLOOD-related souls, and to imply that Gentiles have a soul made up of different substance….

    Answers:
    The reason why people get upset is because they misunderstand the terms and how they are used. They want the terms to mean what they want them to mean, instead of learning what they actually are intended to mean. It’s like in England a cigarette is called a “fag,” in the USA that word is offensive. It is not any different, shunning something because one does not understand is not advantageous to anyone. Taking the time to learn, most certainly is.

    The Jewish Soul is just a root/branch word or code that designates the Divine Soul in Man, or Woman. Every human being has a Jewish Soul, but if it is not activated, then they are not at the level of Jew. The level of Jew is “yehudi” which comes from the root word “yihud” (union). This is achievable by all humanbeings, regardless of their physical descendancy.

    It has nothing to do with blood or race, but since Nature operates in a continuous flow that we can observe, we can analyze Nature in a way that teaches us about how things work. In this case… the descendants do carry on middot and qualit…

    People need to realize that the term “Jew,” has nothing to do with race, because the Torah – Tenakh tells us that the nation of Israel was founded on conversion, even the born Israelites had to convert. Not only that, but there are accounts of mass conversions in the Tenakh, which proves those people were not descendants of any of the Israelite tribal fathers. People of all races and ethnic backgrounds became Israel. That right there, destroys the false notion that Jewishness is racial or even tribal for that matter.

    The reason why Jewishness is transferred by the mother to the child, is because the soul of child develops within the mother not the father; the child is literally connected to the mother, so the middot, qualities, etc will be transferred…

    Halachically it is assumed that the child will grow up with a good environment, people, books, teachers, etc… a Kasher upbringing of Yiddishkeit. But, being that this is not always the case, even still… the born Jew still needs to get a brit milah and immerse in a mikvah, the same exact procedure a Geir or a Ba’al Teshuvah needs to do to enter into the covenant. Everyone still has to enter the covenant regardless. This demonstrates that even though the child is Halachically Jewish, the assumption is not left to chance, action still is required.

    Now for a Geir, according to our Sages… a Geir has awakened the Jewish Soul within them… meaning, they have reactivated the sparks from the gilgulim of souls that stood at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and so the soul of the Geir actually did stand at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. On this notion, the Geir was already a Jew by birth, which further demonstrates that Halachah was designed to address every circumstance and condition, and be designed in a manner that is applicable to each. It does not matter if one is born Jewish, or has to Convert, the processes are exactly the same, and the result is exactly the same.

    Tanya is the text of the Chabad movement, and Rambam is a primary Sage that Chabad adheres to, please read the following quotes…

    Rabbi Abraham Yehudah Khein (of Chabad)
    “Spiritually elevated Gentiles essentially do in fact have Jewish souls, they merely lack the formal conversion to Judaism, and that spiritually lacking Jews are simply Jewish merely by their birth documents.”

    Rambam; Mishneh Torah & Gutnik Chumash
    “The Jewish people, the whole world, will observe the Torah. From this the distinction between Levites and other Jews will then fade away, because all Jews, which is the entire world, will be devoted to the knowledge of G-d and they will thus be free from worldly matters.”

    Hope Lightner
    Here is what bothers me:

    Quoting from the Tanya teaching: A Jewish soul can not be acquired like an attitude or belief or religion. You can not change your parents, it’s the same with Jewishness, it’s an essence. If a Jewish father & Gentile mother have a baby that is the end of the Jewish line, there goes 3,800 years. The child is 100% not Jewish if the mother is Gentile.

    If someone would Halakkicly convert, they become organically & biologically infused with a Jewish soul. That is why conservative & reform have it all wrong…

    * This seems to be blatantly saying some people DO NOT have Jewish souls, but we have to convert Orthodox in order to obain one.

    Answer:
    When the Tanya or Rabbis says things like that, it means that the Gentile has not attained this level of Jewishness yet, so it is as though they were not given it. But what it means is, that part of their soul is not activated. The Halachic conversion represents the actualization of the spiritual attainment. Let me find a great quote that explains this…

    “I must state, that although these things occur behind the curtains in the spiritual worlds and in our souls… down here in this world, there is Halachah that must be adhered to. And for good reason. G-d appointed the Sages as per the Torah for this purpose… to institute and implement a system of order so that the proper actions can be carried out in this world to reflect what is going in the upper worlds and in our souls.

    In Kabbalah we learn the internality of Torah and Mitzvot. “Brit Milah Ba’Ha’Lev” (circumcision or conversion of the heart) is the true conversion, because the person has committed himself or herself to HaShem in their heart, has elevated to the spiritual state of being of “Nochri – Akum” (Cultivator of Egoism – Egoist) to “Goy” (Sojourner) to “Ivri” (crossing over the Machsom), to “Yisrael” (Yashar kEl – straight to G-d) and then to “Yehudi” (Yihud – union with HaShem). No physical act can accomplish this if it is not done in one’s heart (the Torah’s first and last letters spell the word “lev” which means “heart.”)

    When one understands “let all manners of righteousness be fulfilled” in Yehadut, they will realize that Halachah must then be performed in corporeality, thus finalizing the spirituality of the matter (like how Abraham physically circumcised himself at the age of 99 even though he already reached the level of Jew long before). In other words revealing the inner Jew. The physical action of performing a Mitzvah or Halachah is an actualization within corporeality of one’s internality/spirituality. This is available to every human being if they desire it. That is the only requirement, a genuine and sincere desire.

    In Chasidut we learn that one studies and performs Torah and Mitzvot to make a “home” for G-d here in this world, this means bringing Kedushah (holiness) from the upper worlds into this world. The Mitzvot and the Halachot are designed to establish and keep order. Without it, there is chaos and imbalance within Nature. With it, there is harmony and balance within Nature. This is Torah.” – Shemayah Yardin

    Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag, excerpts from Ba’al HaSulam
”The word “Goy” means “nation” in Hebrew, referring to a Non-Jew. This word represents the uncorrected animalistic level of the person’s soul. In the Torah, “Goy” refers to the carnal ego that rules them. The word “Nochri,” which means “pagan,” represents the cultivation [farming] of that carnal ego, the beast. The word “Hebrew” comes from the word “Ever,” which means “to crossover,” so a “Hebrew” is a person who has crossed over the spiritual barrier, “machsom.” The word “Yisrael” is a person who has the intention of “Yashar-[k]El,” which means “straight to G-d.” “Yehudi” comes from the word “Ihud,” meaning “union” with HaShem. Every person goes through all these levels; from Nochri, to Goy, to Ivri, to Yisraeli, to Yehudi. We all start out as Goyim. When we choose the goal and begin the tikkunim (corrections), we become Ivri because we have crossed over, then we become Yisrael as we have aimed straight to G-d, once we work at devekut (adhesion) to be unified with G-d, then we become Yehudi. These terms “Jews” and “Gentiles” are different levels of perception and the soul, and are available to and are embarked upon by every humanbeing, and this occurs whether they are aware of it or not.”

    okay… When the Kabbalists write about the Non-Jewish Soul versus the Jewish Soul, it is referring to the following:

The internal spiritual states that every human being reaches or falls to, namely the Animal Soul and the Divine Soul which consists of the following labelled levels: Nochri/Akum, Goy, Ivri, Yisrael, Yehudi corresponding to the 5 levels of the soul (Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah, Chayah, Yechidah).

What the Kabbalists are dealing with in their writings are where (what internal spiritual state) the soul is, and where it needs to go (ascend) in order to achieve Tikkun (correction) and Devekut (adhesion with G-d).

The Kabbalists are not referring to anything but the spiritual realm, to the level of the soul. This is because Kabbalah is the soul of the Torah, therefore we need to learn the language in which they wrote, in order to understand what they are talking about.

The Bible was written in “the language of branches and roots,” this is a Kabbalistic term for the nature of the texts. Since there are no words for the spiritual worlds and things in them, the authors of these holy texts, Abraham, Moses, and the like, used things of this world to describe those things in the spiritual world. It is a borrowing of words from our world to depict and identify things of the spiritual world. So the branches (words of this world) refer to the roots (spiritual). It is impossible to explain the spiritual worlds any other way.

A good explanation of this ancient wisdom and practice is explained in the “Talmud Esser HaSefirot” where Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag (Ba’al Hasulam) states in Part 1: Looking Inwards :

”…the Kabbalists chose a special language that can be referred to as the “language of branches [and roots].” Nothing takes place in this world that is not drawn from its “roots” in the spiritual world. On the contrary, everything in this world originates in the spiritual world and then descends into this world. The Kabbalists accordingly found a ready language by which they could easily convey their achievements to one another orally and in writing for future generations. They took the names of branches from the material world; each name is self-explanatory and indicates its upper root in the higher world system.”

Since the language of branches and roots is represented by a tree with roots and branches, so too the texts emulate a tree with branches and roots as such. For example: a text that is to be interpreted and taken as literal is a branch that is far away from the trunk, therefore far away from the roots. A text that is entirely mystical would be a branch closest to the trunk, or perhaps the trunk itself, therefore closer to the root. This is just a brief example, you can see that there would be a lot of inbetweens here.

    Why is the Neshamah Yehudi considered Divine? Because it corresponds to the Divine spark of HaShem within the Soul. Yechidah, Chayah and Neshamah.

    The Neshamah (Binah) connects to Zeir Anpin (the 6 lower Sefirot)), this is Yisrael, consisting of all 12 Tribes. These are the attributes of within the Soul, in the level of Ruach.
    Yesod, the lowest Sefirah of Zeir Anpin, is the bridge to Malachut, and Malchut to Yesod, this constitutes Ivri.
    Therefore, Yisrael is included in Yehudi, and Yehudi is included in Yisrael, and Ivri is included in the other two.
    Goy is the state of Egoism, the level of Nefesh and Ruach in an Animalistic downward flux, thus causing the Neshamah connected to Zeir Anpin to draw from the Sitra Achra
    Nochri/Akum is the state of a complete fallen state, pure Egoism, the Nefesh and Ruach, and the Neshamah are completely immersed in the Sitra Achra
    If we look at the Torah, Yisrael is referred to as a Goy Kodesh, what is a Goy Kodesh? A Yehudi. This means, the Goy (Non-Jewish Soul or Animal Soul) has elevated to the levels of Ivri, Yisrael and finally Yehudi.
    We also find the Torah referring to Yisrael as Geirim (converts), this is because all people must enter the Brit (covenant), regardless if they were born Halachically Jewish or Non-Jewish. It does not matter, because everyone must convert. This is referring to the Brit Ba’Ha’Lev (conversion of the heart)

    Here is what my friend said:
    The message of Torah was always meant for all mankind, because all mankind is the Jewish Soul, this was also Mosheh’s intention as well. Even HaShem brought the Torah to all the Nations.
    Here are his quotes:

    Rambam; Mishneh Torah & Gutnik Chumash
    “The Jewish people, which is the whole world, will observe the Torah. From this the distinction between Levites and other Jews will then fade away, because all Jews, which is the entire world, will be devoted to the knowledge of G-d and they will thus be free from worldly matters.”

    Rabbi Abraham Yehudah Khein (of Chabad)
    “Spiritually elevated Gentiles essentially do in fact have Jewish souls, they merely lack the formal conversion to Judaism, and that spiritually lacking Jews are simply Jewish merely by their birth documents.” 

    Talmud Bavli; Pesachim 87b
    “Rabbi Yochanan and Rabbi Eleazar ben Pedat asserted: Why did G-d exile the Jewish people? To make converts of the world.” 

    Bereshit Rabbah 84:4
    “Ya’acov proselytized and made converts.” 

    Rabbi Noson Sternhartz; Likutei Halachos, Prika Ute’ina, 4:3
    “Through converts and penitents, the Oneness of G-d is revealed through the very multiplicity of creation. Since they, too, come forth in order to become incorporated into His absolute Oneness, this is most precious to G-d. Therefore, the Torah stresses that one should love and encourage the proselyte. Similarly, our Sages greatly praised the spiritual levels attained by penitents and converts, who, after having distanced themselves, strive to return to G-d.” 

    Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag, excerpts from Ba’al HaSulam
    “The word “Goy” means “nation” in Hebrew, referring to a Non-Jew. This word represents the uncorrected animalistic level of the person’s soul. In the Torah, “Goy” refers to the carnal ego that rules them. The word “Nochri,” which means “pagan,” represents the cultivation [farming] of that carnal ego, the beast. The word “Hebrew” comes from the word “Ever,” which means “to crossover,” so a “Hebrew” is a person who has crossed over the spiritual barrier, “machsom.” The word “Yisrael” is a person who has the intention of “Yashar-[k]El,” which means “straight to G-d.” “Yehudi” comes from the word “Ihud,” meaning “union” with HaShem. Every person goes through all these levels; from Nochri, to Goy, to Ivri, to Yisraeli, to Yehudi. We all start out as Goyim. When we choose the goal and begin the tikkunim (corrections), we become Ivri because we have crossed over, then we become Yisrael as we have aimed straight to G-d, once we work at devekut (adhesion) to be unified with G-d, then we become Yehudi. These terms “Jews” and “Gentiles” are different levels of perception and the soul, and are available to and are embarked upon by every humanbeing, and this occurs whether they are aware of it or not..”

    Shemayah Yardin, commentary on Rebbe Nachman’s Anatomy of the Soul
    “Abraham, called the first Jew, was a Gentile. How could this be when he never made formal geirut? And even more puzzling… how could he, being a Gentile, have kept the entire Torah before the Sinai event even took place like the Chazal assert? The Torah preceded Creation, and is the the blue print of Creation. Nature is designed by the Torah, therefore the internality and externality of man is formed by the design of Nature. Hence, the Hebrew term “HaTeivah” (Nature) has the same gematria as Elokim (86), which reveals how Abraham became a Jew and kept all of the Torah and Mitzvot before Sinai. Abraham’s devotion to G-d within his heart, accomplished this which is a testimony to all mankind who must reveal the Jew within themselves, for the Torah is their very substance. The Torah is the blue print design of the Gentile just as the Jew. All mankind was created with 248 organs and 365 sinews, to even glimmer a thought that G-d did not create the Gentile with the same 613 parts like the born Jew is entertaining heresy and foolishness.” 

    Shemayah Yardin, commentary on The Ari’s Gilgulim HaNeshamot
    “The Arizal, Rabbi Isaac Luria, in his Gilgulim HaNeshamot (Incarnations of Souls), states that a Jewish soul can incarnate into a Gentile body, which explains the yetzer hara being so heavy in their midot and desires, and vice versa… the Arizal goes on to explain that Noah reincarnated as Moses thus showing a transmigration of Gentile soul to Jewish body. One should then realize that Noah was not a Gentile, he was Jewish. A person can undergo gilgulim haneshemot in one lifetime, where a Gentile converts HaBrit Milah Ba’HaLev (circumcision of the heart); ascends all the levels, he acquires the reshimot that was lost and is attributed acknowledgment that his soul actually stood at Mount Sinai at the Matan Torah. This is further evidence that the multitude of Nations are filled with Jews with Jewish souls who have yet to come to this realization. This is proof that Gentiles do in fact have a Neshamah, but as Ba’al HaTanya explains that a Gentile does not possess a Neshamah, only they have the beastly soul. This simply means that a Gentile is only at the level of Gentile, and has yet to discover the Jewish sparks within them that fell from Adam HaRishon. Once it is realized, the Gentile can elevate from there and acquire the Neshamah.” 

    Midrash Tanchuma; Hamfo’ar v. 2
    “G-d gave Torah to Israel in order that they should bring it to the Nations.” 

    Shemayah Yardin
    “The Midrash states that G-d gave the Torah to all the Nations before He gave it to Israel. This is to represent the fact that the Torah was intended for all mankind. How much more so is this true in that the Midrash also tells us that G-d revealed the Torah in all 70 languages of the Nations of the world? To deny this is doing a disservice to one’s self, to Israel, to Torah, and to G-d; but worse, to teach otherwise is denying the Non-Jewish world the over abundance of glorious blessings that are contained within the Torah and the wondrous infinite wisdom that G-d bestowed upon the chosen stewards of His Torah for the purpose of sharing it with and bestowing this upon the rest of the world.” 

    Talmud Bavli; Masachet Brachos 57b
    “On seeing a place from which idolatry has been uprooted one says: ‘Blessed be He who has uprooted idolatry from our land; just as it has been uprooted from this place so may it be uprooted from all places of Israel and may you turn the hearts of the idolaters to your worship’. This last clause ‘may you turn the hearts of the idolaters to your worship’ need not be recited outside the land of Israel because there a majority of the population is gentile. Rabbi Shim‘on bar Yochai says also outside the land one must say it because they are all going to convert as it says in Zephaniah 3:9, ‘Then will I convert the nations, with pure lips so that all may invoke Hashem’s name and serve Him with one accord.'” 

    Melakhim 10:9; Rambam
    ” This is the general rule. The Gentiles must not be allowed to invent a religion or their own man-made mitzvot. Their only choice is to become a righteous proselyte or else to stick with their own Noahide Torah. They shall neither add nor subtract’.” 

    Bereshit Rabbah 90:6 and 91:5; Rabbi Samuel ben Nachman
    “Joseph would not distribute food to the Egyptians unless they became circumcised.” 

    Midrash HaGadol
    “Moses expounded the Torah in seventy languages, according to one Midrash, because the Torah was meant to be heard and embraced by all mankind.”

      ‎”…anyone who repudiates idolatry is called a ‘Jew.’”

    – Talmud Bavli; Masechet – Megilah 13A

    Rebbe Nachman of Breslov; Likutei Moharan 1:215
    “And Jethro the Priest of Midian, father-in-law of Moses, heard of all that G-d had done for Moses and for Israel, His people…” (Exodus 18:1). Because he was the father-in-law of Moses, he heard and converted. For everything Moses worked to accomplish, during his life and now, after his death, was only to make converts and bring all humanity back to G-d and His Torah.”

    Talmud Bavli; Masachet Brachos 57b
    “On seeing a place from which idolatry has been uprooted one says: ‘Blessed be He who has uprooted idolatry from our land; just as it has been uprooted from this place so may it be uprooted from all places of Israel and may you turn the hearts of the idolaters to your worship’. This last clause ‘may you turn the hearts of the idolaters to your worship’ need not be recited outside the land of Israel because there a majority of the population is gentile. Rabbi Shim‘on bar Yochai says also outside the land one must say it because they are all going to convert as it says in Zephaniah 3:9, ‘Then will I convert the nations, with pure lips so that all may invoke Hashem’s name and serve Him with one accord.'” 

    “I must state, that although these things occur behind the curtains in the spiritual worlds and in our souls… down here in this world, there is Halachah that must be adhered to. And for good reason. G-d appointed the Sages as per the Torah for this purpose… to institute and implement a system of order so that the proper actions can be carried out in this world to reflect what is going in the upper worlds and in our souls.

    In Kabbalah we learn the internality of Torah and Mitzvot. “Brit Milah Ba’Ha’Lev” (circumcision or conversion of the heart) is the true conversion, because the person has committed himself or herself to HaShem in their heart, has elevated to the spiritual state of being of “Nochri – Akum” (Cultivator of Egoism – Egoist) to “Goy” (Sojourner) to “Ivri” (crossing over the Machsom), to “Yisrael” (Yashar kEl – straight to G-d) and then to “Yehudi” (Yihud – union with HaShem). No physical act can accomplish this if it is not done in one’s heart (the Torah’s first and last letters spell the word “lev” which means “heart.”)

    When one understands “let all manners of righteousness be fulfilled” in Yehadut, they will realize that Halachah must then be performed in corporeality, thus finalizing the spirituality of the matter (like how Abraham physically circumcised himself at the age of 99 even though he already reached the level of Jew long before). In other words revealing the inner Jew. The physical action of performing a Mitzvah or Halachah is an actualization within corporeality of one’s internality/spirituality. This is available to every human being if they desire it. That is the only requirement, a genuine and sincere desire.

    In Chasidut we learn that one studies and performs Torah and Mitzvot to make a “home” for G-d here in this world, this means bringing Kedushah (holiness) from the upper worlds into this world. The Mitzvot and the Halachot are designed to establish and keep order. Without it, there is chaos and imbalance within Nature. With it, there is harmony and balance within Nature. This is Torah.”

    http://www.laitman.com/2009/02/everyone-is-jewish/

  7. First impressions, Hope. Everything is based on midrash and mysticism, so I know that virtually all Christians and more than a few Jews (Messianic and otherwise) aren’t going to agree with the Chabad/Kabbalah interpretation of “Jewish soul.” I also know some non-Jewish people in the One Law world would jump on a few bits and pieces of the above and say, “Ah ha! I’m a spiritual Jew!”

    All that said, among other things, I do find myself drawn to Jewish mysticism, but it’s a land that must be carefully tread. It’s full of tripwires and trapdoors, especially for those of us who haven’t spent years and years in intense study. I’m not trying to be discouraging and I deeply appreciate all of the work that you put into posting the information above. It is certainly worth attention and provides many valuable insights.

    Of course, it call goes back to the classic question of “who is a Jew?” I just read an article about the latest battle on this issue being waged in Israel. I’m going to stop far short of declaring any part of me to be Jewish for the sake of those it would deeply offend. That said, my heart is turned toward that world. May all of our hearts be turned to God.

    1. This is why I always stress: “I must state, that although these things occur behind the curtains in the spiritual worlds and in our souls… down here in this world, there is Halachah that must be adhered to. And for good reason. G-d appointed the Sages as per the Torah for this purpose… to institute and implement a system of order so that the proper actions can be carried out in this world to reflect what is going in the upper worlds and in our souls. If someone wants to be considered a Jew, they go through proper conversion, or are born of a Jewish mother.”

      If the Jews can’t decide about having a Jewish soul- who can? Not Christians!

      I agree this could be used to support all kinds of crazyness like supersessionism. But, what CAN”T be taken out of context?

      How are we to bring Tikkun Olam without sticking our necks out?

      Furthermore, how is anyone to understand the “NT” without having a proper foundation of Torah, Talmud, and Jewish mysticism? IT’s About Time.

  8. We perform Tikkun Olam with every act of kindness and compassion. Even picking up one piece of trash and putting in a proper receptacle in some way repairs the world. At some point, beyond our identity and how we conceive of it is just a human being and God. There are days, many of them, when I long to strip away the complexities of our religious traditions and just do good to someone, then have them do good to someone else, and so on.

    Is not all of Torah contained in loving God with all of our resources and loving our neighbors, all of them, as we love ourselves? As Hillel said to one of the three converts, “the rest is commentary.”

    We all have to start somewhere. When things get to be too complicated (as they seem to me in recent days), that might not be a bad place from which to “restart.”

    I’m glad you brought up repairing the world. At it’s heart, it’s very simple and yet indispensable.

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