synagogue interior

Why Do All These Gentiles Want To Go To Synagogue?

Lately, I’ve been making a few comparisons between that group of people referred to as Messianic Gentiles or who I sometimes call Talmidei Yeshua and non-Jews called Noahides, a group that Orthodox Judaism believes to be “righteous Gentiles” based on their adherence to the Seven Laws of Noah (see Genesis 9 for the original source material).

I got an email notification recently from a blog called Cozy Kitchen Chats stating that they had “reblogged” Where Are All The Gentiles Who Are Drawn To The Torah. I always feel honored when another blogger feels my content is worthy of posting on their blogspot, so I went to take a look…

…only to find that not only did the reblog not exist, but that it pointed to a different blog altogether: The Torah Way.

Now I was really curious, but the blog’s About page and the associated profile yielded no useful information.

I did find one blog post that seemed illuminating: Leaving Christianity. My guess is that this blog author reblogged my content without having read it thoroughly and thought it was a pro-Noahide commentary. Once he/she discovered more about me, he/she deleted it and moved on.

This person’s “story” seems similar to the other formerly-Christian Noahides I’ve referenced in other blog posts. They read the Bible, compare it to traditional Christian doctrine, and find a massive disconnect between the promises Hashem made to Israel in the Tanakh (Torah, Nevi’im [Prophets], Ketuvim [Writings]) or what Christians call the “Old Testament,” and what seems to be presented in the Apostolic Scriptures (“New Testament”).

As I’ve said before, people like me attribute the disconnect to a horribly inaccurate interpretation of the Apostolic Scriptures originally crafted by the early “Church Fathers” (and later, expanded upon by other Christian movements including the Reformation) in order to totally remove anything Messianic and Jewish about Rav Yeshua (Jesus) from devotion to him, creating a completely new Gentile-driven religion called “Christianity”.

Noahides, on the other hand, believe that the disconnect is because there is absolutely no validity in any of the content of the “New Testament,” no validity to the belief that Yeshua will return as King Messiah, and that non-Jews have no access to the blessings of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 36) whatsoever (which is easy to understand since only the House of Judah and the House of Israel are named participants in the covenant).

leaving churchFrom that point of view, the only “in” for non-Jews with Hashem is through the Noahide Covenant (which is actually made with all living things, not just all human beings).

The unknown author’s blog post begins:

Leaving Christianity was extremely easy, yet most difficult at the same time. It was easy when I would weigh everything upon the Word of My Creator as I used Deuteronomy Chapter 13 as a balance in the scale of TRUTH. Difficult only in losing the community and camaraderie Christianity brings.

As I studied what is properly known as the Torah, (that which is called in vulgarity the “old” Testament). I fell in deep love and fascination with the God of Creation, the God of Sinai, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

There are a number of things here that parallel the history and attitudes of the “Judaicly-aware” folks of which I am one.

The non-Jewish Christian reads the Torah and discovers TRUTH that is not taught in the Church, and in fact, a truth that seems in direct contradiction to what is taught in the Church.

The non-Jewish Christian experiences an attitude of “vulgarity” or some other negative attribution toward the Torah expressed in the Church.

The non-Jewish Christian “falls in love” with the beauty of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings that is unique and precious.

The non-Jewish Christian feels driven to leave the Church and find a “home” elsewhere; some community of Gentiles who can live by more Torah-driven values, at least as much as portions of Torah apply to non-Jews.

However…

This is a lonely place to be, not a believer in Christianity, and not a “Jew” by any known bloodline. What does a believer, devotee and seeker of the God of Israel become? We don’t believe the Seed of Jacob will be replaced with another people, We don’t believe that God’s beautifully designed Laws and Standards are done away with, nor do we believe we are to pretend to be Jewish, yet to quote Rabbi David Katz, we long to be “Jew-ISH.”

This is very close to what New Testament scholar Mark D. Nanos refers to as Acting Jewishly But Not Jewish.

Nanos attributed this quality to the First Century C.E. non-Jewish disciples of Rav Yeshua, particularly those who were taught by Rav Shaul (the Apostle Paul).

Glasses on Open BibleIt’s funny how, no matter to what degree our individual conclusions differ from one another, when we discover this discrepancy between Christian doctrine and the actual Biblical text, we pour mind, body, and soul into study to discover the “truth,” trusting only in the Spirit of God to lead us to that “truth.”

Therefore, when I would try to calibrate the teaching of Paul to this Master Being’s Commands, Decrees and Standards it was clear to see to whom my loyalty would reside and to Whom I would choose to entrust my very soul. I applied myself to deep study of the Actual Scripture, turning off Television, Cable and Facebook, unplugging from everything and asked from a sincere heart for this God, this Creator to open my eyes to His Truth, no one else’s, to not allow me to go astray, or be misled. I put my faith in Him alone and held strong to the words of Solomon, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”

But although the process of “leaving Christianity” for a Talmid Yeshua and a Noahide may have some similarities, the results are quite different.

I have to remind myself that one Jewish person taught me that Noahides, along with national Israel and we non-Jews in Messiah, may all have some status before Hashem. After all, Isaiah 56 doesn’t map out exactly how a “foreigner” is to attach himself (or herself) to the Lord (Isaiah 56:3, 6-8).

I admit, this area of thinking is more than a little fuzzy, but I learned some time ago, that the Bible operates at a large number and wide variety of levels, and some of the information encoded within is very tough to reach. I’m convinced that there is data in the Bible that, once our Rav returns and interprets it for us, we will be amazed that we missed it so completely.

But back to the musings of this anonymous Noahide:

I found Laws, Commands and Standards that seem so perfect, so regal, so wise that I envy these special children, these special People that have been chosen to follow them. Yes, I envy these standards. Saddened to think I wasn’t chosen or found special enough to be asked to live by such self-discipline and refined practices.

reading torahAnother strong parallel. A Gentile who longs to observe the mitzvot in the manner of a Jew and who realizes that the mitzvot, for the most part, don’t apply to us (though some non-Jews in the Hebrew Roots movement will strongly disagree).

But to continue quoting:

We, as a small family realized, we are not Jewish, we are not to replace the amazing Jewish People. We do believe that Their God is the ONLY GOD, We believe that His Ways are Rich, Rewarding and Righteous. Even though we as gentiles are not commanded to follow His Laws given to the Children of Jacob, we can clearly see the blessings, health and provision that almost immediately follow implementing them brings.

This is pretty much identical to the thoughts and feelings of a lot of non-Jews who, in some manner or fashion, have become associated with Messianic Judaism.

But this final quote is unique to those non-Jews who feel in order to leave normative Christianity, either for the Messianic Jewish/Hebrew Roots movements or into Noahidism, have to denigrate their former association with the Church:

We have found that seeking His Kingdom, His Will, His Truth, His Words have elevated us way beyond the falsehood Christianity (AKA Baal worship or idolatry).

Yikes. I suppose this person has disconnected not only from Christianity, but from those people in his/her former church who really did live a life of holiness, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, and paying homage to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Sometimes going through a “divorce” is painful and that pain can turn into a terrible anger.

This writer says to the blog’s audience, “…you are NOT alone. I will soon post information on resources that are available.”

I’ve taken a look at this blog and there are only two subsequent write-ups present (as of this writing), neither offering further resources for the Noahide or potential Noahide.

This blog writer is correct in saying that the journey of a non-Jew circling the peripheral boundary of Judaism is lonely. We don’t quite fit into anyone’s definition of anything. We do what we do because only the centrality of Israel in God’s overarching plan of redemption makes any sort of sense once taking a holistic view of the Bible.

This is what has resulted in me giving up the identity crisis and concentrating on the core values of what defines a person of God. I don’t have to be concerned about how to enter community, Jewish or otherwise, if my primary connection to my faith is through Hashem.

Man aloneBut as I mentioned here, even Noahides are sometimes (often?) turned away from Orthodox synagogues and Chabad Houses when they show up wanting to learn Torah.

The difficulty of non-Jews gaining access to Jewish teaching, wisdom, and knowledge goes all the way back to Shaul’s/Paul’s Gentile communities in the diaspora. No one in Judaism, regardless of the “flavor,” knows what to do with us, largely because we don’t fit into  any “Jewish-friendly” template within Jewish community.

Well, that’s not entirely true:

Carolyn is Baptist. She always will be. And she comes to my synagogue regularly.

By regularly, I mean she comes to everything. Friday night services, Saturday morning Torah study, holiday celebrations, Adult Ed. Everything. Although she brings her Bible and her faith in Jesus along with her to every synagogue function, she doesn’t come to evangelize. And she’s not interested in converting to Judaism. She’s just interested in what Judaism has to offer.

-Rabbi Rachael Bergman
“Who are the Jewcurious?”
MyJewishLearning.com

This Jewish website is very liberal and so is Rabbi Bergman. I’ve mentioned her before, and she seems incredibly open to non-Jews and even Christians associating with her synagogue, probably because more Gentiles than Jews are attending the classes she teaches:

In my small, coastal Georgia community, 90 percent of the participants in the classes I teach are non-Jewish, whether it is a class in Hebrew, Kabbalah, or Judaism 101. Last fall I taught a class on Israel and had just over 100 attendees every week for six weeks. I took a survey of the 90 or so non-Jewish participants. Each person identified with a particular Christian faith group so there were no “nones.” The majority are currently affiliated with a church which means very few “nons.” This tells me it’s not only unaffiliated seekers who are Jewcurious, it is also the church-going, faithful filling the pews.

synagogueIt seems that there are a lot of non-Jews interested and even fascinated with Judaism. These aren’t just Noahides or people like me, but Christians who have no intention of leaving their churches. Some of the Christians, such as the aforementioned “Carolyn,” attend synagogue on Shabbat and church on Sunday, and in fact, she attends every function the synagogue offers.

Other non-Jews like Carolyn come to synagogue regularly. Some are looking to be closer to Jesus, some come to enhance their understanding and connection to their own faith, and some just come to understand themselves. Something about Judaism provides an access point to spirituality and meaning. Regardless, Carolyn and her cohort take what Judaism has to offer on Friday night and Saturday morning to one of the many churches down the street on Sunday.

A lot of non-Jews are interested in Judaism and believe that in some way, Jewish teaching is meaningful to them, even though they have no intention of actually converting to Judaism.

I don’t know what it means. Maybe this has always been a trend but isn’t often noticed, or maybe (and I think I’ve said this before) God is preparing His remnant from among the nations for Moshiach’s return and the unfolding of his Kingdom here in our world. Maybe it’s important for representatives of the nations, including those who are church-attending Christians, to begin to understand that King Messiah and Israel will be ruling the nations of the earth, not the Church.

The day is coming. We must be ready…no matter who we are.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Why Do All These Gentiles Want To Go To Synagogue?”

  1. To borrow a word from a popular TV show, Bazinga!: God is preparing His remnant from among the nations for Moshiach’s return and the unfolding of his Kingdom here in our world. Maybe it’s important for representatives of the nations, including those who are church-attending Christians, to begin to understand that King Messiah and Israel will be ruling the nations of the earth, not the Church.” I told my daughter the preachers should be attending Synagogue on Saturday and then bringing what they learn to the Church on Sunday. That was the pattern of the Apostle Paul and the first century church. BTW, did you get my e-mails? Yes, I understand you are very busy, and I love the things you share. I hope, although my head is full of many sources, I was able to share sources with the intent of showing you that what is happening in Christianity is also happening in Judaism. There is a return to Torah and an anticipation of The Kingdom.

  2. Were those who were not of Israelite descent only obligated to the “Noahide” laws that dwelt in Israel? And if Israel is the be the seat of the kingdom of God, are they alone to follow the laws of that kingdom? And I would suggest that the majority of the mitzvot of Torah (not all) do apply to those who join themselves to the God of Israel. There is but one that specifically says otherwise, eating the Passover. Circumcision is required to take part in this remembrance meal. Also it must be remembered that the law (and statutes) are a national law, not a personal law, thus “when you come into the land”, meaning many of the mitzvot, even those who are of the sons of Jacob cannot practice. As Hillel said, “That which is unpleasant to you, do not to your neighbor. That is the whole law and the rest but it’s exposition.” It is Hashem’s Torah, not Israels, and it teaches the relationship man is to have with God, and man with man. It’s sad to me that Judaism teaches the very same thing as the majority of Christianity, they blot out one of the 10 words written in stone for those who are “free” from the Torah.

  3. @Cynthia: At this point in the development of both Christianity and Judaism, it might be more difficult for Pastors to assimilate what they would consider “Christ-centered” information from the synagogue. I think it takes a mindset that is willing to look at faith from multiple perspectives and in order to be a Pastor, you at least have to create the illusion that you have the right answers all the time.

    Yes, I did get your emails, but my schedule is such that I don’t always have time to watch lengthy videos. I tend to prefer text since I read fairly quickly, faster than a person can speak on a video.

    @Will and Tonya: I know where you’re going with this.

    Referring back to the original mixed multitude who left Egypt with the Children of Israel and who were at Sinai when the Torah was given, the assumption is that all non-Israelites would forever remain non-Israelites (at least by blood) and yet be obligated to the full set of Torah mitzvot just as the born Israelites.

    This isn’t true. Those non-Jews were to be fully assimilated into the Children of Israel through intermarriage by the third generation (Deuteronomy 23:7-8) and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren (and so on) would be members of the various tribes, their non-Jewish lineage totally abandoned. Modern Jews consider that a form of conversion.

    But believing that the non-Israelites were to remain unassimilated and obligated to Torah is the only way to believe that a non-Jew who comes to faith in Rav Yeshua today is somehow also obligated to perform the 613 commandments (or as many as possible outside the Land of Israel and without the current existence of the Temple, the Levitical Priesthood, and the Sanhedrin court system).

    I refer you to my blog post Whatever Happened to the Mixed Multitude for more details on this perspective.

    There’s a fair amount of overlap as far as a Jew’s obligation to Torah and how Torah is applied to the non-Jewish disciple of our Rav, but not so much that the only distinction has to do with Pesach (Passover) or eating the Pascal Lamb.

    Exodus 31:13 is very specific that Hashem’s Sabbaths (plural) are a sign of the Sinai covenant between Hashem and the Children of Israel.

    So not only is the weekly Shabbat specific to the Jewish people and the nation of Israel, but all of the moadim as well, meaning that we non-Jews can’t claim a sign to a covenant to which we are not named participants.

    This isn’t to say that non-Jews can’t take on board additional mitzvot including the Shabbat and the moadim, but it’s totally voluntary on our part and we can’t be said to be “fulfilling” a mitzvah we are not obligated to by covenant relationship with Hashem.

    While the Torah is pretty much the “constitution” of national Israel, there’s no separating the Jewish people from their nation. When King Messiah returns and takes up his throne in Jerusalem, he will rule Israel as well as rule the countries of the rest of the world as vassal nations. In other words, the body of non-Jewish believers are not Israel. Our nations will be ruled by Israel and her King.

    I realize we are going to disagree, and that’s fine. I have no desire to spend a lot of time and energy trying to convince people to change their minds. If folks find value in something I’ve written here on this blogspot, I am gratified, but I don’t have be to “right” in everyone’s eyes all the time.

    I’ve been writing this small, informal series comparing various groups of non-Jews who are attracted, for whatever reasons, to Jewish teachings. Seems there are quite a variety to choose from. You represent one of those groups, and at least tangentially, I represent another. All of these little “islands” or communities of non-Jews are going to progress forward in history toward the inevitable return of King Messiah, and we probably won’t all come together until he teaches us where we got things correctly, and where we missed the target completely.

    I’m looking forward to it. Blessings.

  4. If one looks at the Scriptures as giving a pattern, an example of what G-d wishes of those who serve Him, and what anyone can do to please Him, it makes little difference what one is called, or whom one is associated with, but rather more what one does.

    And whatever might be done to please G-d, it does not have to be done according to any religion, unless one is an Israelite. Israelites can look within the Scriptures and find a multitude of instruction on what to do, and then turn to the Israelite sages for more judgements on how one is to do it all.

    It is a good thing for non-Israelites to read and understand all that is written, by G-d through men, or even by the Israelite Sages, and one can find a promise or two of what G-d has said will be available to non-Israelites that love Him, and strive to do what He values. G-d values justice, mercy, humility, obedience, and loving kindness.

    My forebears did not know nor want to know what love meant…it was uncomfortable and not done, so I still struggle with the matter of how love feels, but how to do love is plainly written in the Bible, and one need not go anywhere to learn what to love, nor what loving means on a day to day basis.

    Presumably, if we love G-d we will strive to be obedient to Him, to be just and merciful and kind to one another, and to walk in humility, not presuming we know more than G-d does. If we love G-d, we will attempt to do what He wants us to do within the strength He gives us to do it, rather than what we want to do for ourselves in our own strength in this life He has given us.

    We gentiles know precious little of how to love one another, so we must go to those that have some claim to actually loving one another over a historically provable basis, and thus learn what we should have been taught at our mother’s breast, and find out what it looks and feels like in order to copy it.

    People go to the synagogues to learn how to do justice, and how to do mercy, how to pray, and how to think as the Israelites think because they assume that how one does mercy or justice or how one speaks to G-d matters. They think that if they watch the patterns of an observant Jew, or even follow the patterns of an observant Jew they will be closer to following the commandments of G-d, and thus more likely to please G-d.

    Certainly doing it all on your own is no guarantee of right behavior in God’s eyes, but that is why I try to hear the Ruach ha Kodesh as I study the Scriptures, and particularly what Yeshua said in the Brit Chadashah, even though what he was said was said to Jews, and was meant to turn those Jews back to G-d. All of us need to turn back to G-d every day, in everything we do, and do teshuvah, and do justice, mercy, humility, obedience, and loving kindness whether in a synagogue, or not.

  5. Questor said:

    And whatever might be done to please G-d, it does not have to be done according to any religion, unless one is an Israelite. Israelites can look within the Scriptures and find a multitude of instruction on what to do, and then turn to the Israelite sages for more judgements on how one is to do it all.

    In modern terms, we call what observant Jews do as “religion,” but in truth, it’s a complete lifestyle, not just part of a life. The Torah outlines just about everything the ancient Israelites were to do in their day-to-day lives, not just in worship.

    I agree that there are far more instructions for the Jewish people than for the people of the nations (the rest of us), but I also believe that we too are supposed to live a lifestyle where everything we do is done with Hashem in mind. That doesn’t mean wearing a kippah or donning tzitzit, but it does mean that we must (to the best of our ability) be continually aware of the One who is above our heads, so to speak, and to act out of kindness, mercy, and justice.

  6. James,

    You misunderstand me. The Torah, that pertaining to the 10 words written on stone, not the statues, precepts and sacrificial system are my focus. Now, as I said of Hillel, the rest is commentary. Just as Yeshua said of the fulfillment of Torah, it is to love God and your neighbor (condensed version). The focus of Torah is love and fear (a sense of awe) for and of Yah.

    I understand the idea of “sabbaths”, plural, but I think it is unfair to equate what was established as the crown of creation as a remembrance in the same sense as the holy days which certainly do specifically apply to Israel as a nation (which interestingly, Jews themselves cannot keep (though they do remember) due to the command of sacrifices and pilgrimage to the tabernacle/temple being so central to those days/weeks.) Prior to the statement of it being a covenant, it is written “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy”, thus it is far more encompassing than to the “light to the nations”.

    And speaking of the “mixed multitude”, that was not what I consider as evidence of what I stated. The Torah specifically says “if”, referring to strangers in the future tense. So, I’m not sure about you, but I believe we, even as Gentiles, will be citizens in the Kingdom of God. So surely we should not forsake those laws we know have been established in it (the Kingdom of God will be restored, it is not something that did not exist prior to Yeshua).

    So, ultimately, our study of Tanakh has very little to do with our own relationship to its standard of holiness and being righteous in deed, if what you have said is true. We are to be less holy and righteous than those who are native (natural or converted) of Israel. And if I were to read the words written by David in Psalm 119, I must remember, what he is praising and glorifying pertains only to the Israelites. My only requirement (and as I have read many in Judaism teach, I cannot keep the Sabbath, kosher etc., religiously, unless I convert) is to keep the “Noahide laws”.

    Though the Jewish people may be the firstborn of Yah’s sons, they are not the only sons. Though they may have a special place as the heir of the kingdom because of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, we as His sons are not to be any less holy or righteous than they. I don’t see any where in the Tanakh that places me, as a Gentile, to be on a lower level of holiness. Just as Yah is holy, so too are His people to be.

    And to end with. I do not consider myself to be part of any group or camp. There is but one thing that divides me from others that have similar understandings that we do (meaning it isn’t legalism to keep Torah, i.e. we haven’t fallen from grace) and those who do not, the teaching that Yeshua is Yah himself. Many blessing to you as well my friend.

  7. @James — I have been looking at a number of your recent references to the mixed multitude, including your link to the 29Jan2013 essay, and I have not seen you suggest that there were actually several options for what happened to them. Yes, any who actually had survived the forty-year desert trek while remaining with the tribes of Israel would have to have assimilated over the course of generations via intermarriage into one tribe or another. However, a significant number of them were responsible for the murmuring to go back to Egypt and against the authority of Moshe and Aharon. Recall how many folks died when the earth opened up and when various plagues decimated the ranks of those at fault. That would certainly have reduced the numbers among that “mixed multitude”. Further, that phrase in Hebrew is rather like the English phrase “motley crew”, so that it did not refer solely or even primarily to a non-Jewish rabble. It would have included a lot of Jewish rabble as well, who were perhaps not sure about their specific ancestral tribal affiliation due to conditions of Egyptian slavery that would have separated children from their families of origin. Finally, non-Jews who used the Jewish departure from Egypt as an excuse to get out along with them did not necessarily remain among the Jews as they headed out into the desert. One would have to expect that they might have attached themselves to the next passing caravan as long as it was not headed toward Egypt, and thus set off for parts unknown to make a new life for themselves, or even tried to return to some remembered ancestral homeland in Midian, Moab, Syria, Chaldea, Babylon, Sumer, or elsewhere. Of course there is no specific hint in the Exodus account regarding this last possibility; and there is no reason to expect to see one because it would be meaningless to the primary story line of the trek toward Midian where Moshe had been following sheep and encountering a burning bush on Mount Sinai, whence HaShem had commanded him to return with the people.

    All in all, upon close examination, there is very little in the notion of that ancient mixed multitude for modern non-Jews to identify with or use as an excuse to justify their desire to affiliate with modern Jews. They’re much better off identifying with the Is.56 foreigner or the ten Zech.8:23 gentiles who are envisioned by example as grasping a single Jew’s tzitzit to request permission to come along because HaShem is with the Jewish people. Note that grasping a Jew’s tzitzit is not any sort of authorization or encouragement for non-Jews to wear them or anything like them; and that there is a subtle distinction between how the Is.56 foreigners honor the Shabbat by not profaning it and how Jews were commanded actually to sanctify it.

    @”willandtonya” — If I understood your comment correctly, I recommend that you look closely at Phil.2:5-11 for Rav Shaul’s unequivocal differentiation between Rav Yeshua’s neshamah and the entity he called “Father”. There can be no doubt that Rav Shaul did not view Rav Yeshua as being HaShem (or “Yah” himself), because Rav Yeshua is described as a separate entity empowered to sit at the Father’s right hand. A similar scene is described in Yohanan’s vision, in Rev.5:13 & 7:10, where “G-d” and the “Lamb” are distinct entities. So it is clear that Rav Shaul and Yohanan are in agreement that Rav Yeshua is not “Yah” himself. I hope that realization doesn’t distress you. Further, the “Mishpatim” that follow the “Aseret haDibrot” (“ten statements”) are just as much part of the Torah as the ten; and the Acts 15:28-29 halakhah for gentile disciples of Rav Yeshua is not derived from either of them, though the recommendation of v.21 would encourage them to learn both and much more.

  8. @PL: I recall you making such an analysis in the past, but I probably couldn’t find it again in the large number of comments you’ve made on this blog. I probably should just copy and paste your comment here into my next “meditation” so I don’t lose track of it again, and so others can benefit from this information.

  9. @James — Yeah, I thought I remembered that as well, but didn’t make the effort to search for it. Today, after performing a more thorough search, I found more references in which you did note the additional options that may have begun with a similar comment of mine which you noted in an essay about Passover 25Mar2013, though I didn’t actually find where I first offered that comment.

  10. If you don’t mind, I’d like to quote your original statement in a brief blog post tomorrow morning (my time) just so we have a place we can find all this stuff next time it comes up.

  11. Oh? Did you locate my actual original comment, and was it formulated any better than this most recent one? One way or another, it does seem worthwhile to keep in mind that the mixed multitude was an ephemeral or temporary phenomenon, and not necessarily or not solely a non-Jewish one. I liked one aspect of the form of it that you cited previously in a Passover context, which was its point of view as a set of choices that a non-Jewish member of that motley crew might consider along the way — e.g., do I stay or do I go?; do I do this or that?; do I side with the existing power structure or do I join the malcontents? And if I stay, what must I do to fit in or to really join myself to this people and their really-impressive G-d?

    Of course, none of the non-Israelite folks who left Egypt would ever have been able to envision striking out independently but somehow taking along the Israelite G-d or creating their own religion or their own Torah. At that point, even the Israelites didn’t know what the Torah would be. Even if one were very inventive and imaginative, such a notion was inconceivable — and the Israelite G-d just might not cooperate, either. Why, one might end up bringing Egyptian-style plagues upon oneself!. Nowadays, three-and-a-half millennia later, it seems the expectations have rather changed. [:)]

  12. Actually, I meant your original content from yesterday. It’s this morning’s “meditation.” Feel free to add anything there in another comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s