If You’re Not A Jew, Who Are You?

NoahIt’s the beginning of a new Torah cycle, and even though I haven’t been diligent with my studies lately, I am not unmindful of them either.

I’m recycling some older thoughts but I think they are worth the review. I came across an article from the Ask the Rabbi column at Aish called Who is a Jew?. The answer is pretty straightforward. You’re a Jew if your mother is Jewish or if you convert to Judaism. Period, end of story.

I know not everyone agrees with this definition, but it does fit the Orthodox perspective and generally, it’s one I can agree with.

Because the upcoming Torah portion for this Shabbat is Noach (Noah), Rabbi Kalman Packouz in his Shabbat Shalom Weekly column wrote about the Noahide Laws. I know this can be a controversial subject among those who read this blog, but I’m making a point. Be patient.

According to Rabbi Packouz, and you’ve heard this before, you don’t have to be a Jew to merit a place in the world to come. His article explains that even from the beginning, Hashem always intended to create the Jewish people, give them the Torah, and have them be a light to the world as the nation of Israel.

As for the rest of us, what are we to do with that light? It’s there. It’s shining. Where does it lead those of us, that is, the vast majority of the world’s population who are not Jewish?

R. Packouz’s response is predictable; the 7 Noahide Commandments.

I’ve written at length about them many times before so I won’t repeat myself here. You can search this blog and probably find a lot more information, opinions, and comments on the topic.

However, some folks who call themselves “Messianic Gentiles” have proposed that the Noahide Laws can at least be used as a guide for the halachah which applies to non-Jewish disciples of Rav Yeshua.

I don’t know if that’s true in an absolute sense, but if you have no other path, it gives you a place to start. There are plenty of Jewish sources which are instructive to Noahides, and in fact, when you go over those laws, they aren’t particularly outrageous:

  1. Don’t murder
  2. Don’t steal
  3. Don’t worship false gods
  4. Don’t be sexually immoral
  5. Don’t eat the limb of an animal before it is killed
  6. Don’t curse God
  7. Set up a legal court system and do justice
generic white guy
Image: Cafepress.com

You can get more details by reading R. Packouz’s article or visiting sites such as Noahide.org.

Of course, these laws and the perspective of Jewish authorities found at Aish and elsewhere do not take Rav Yeshua and his teachings into consideration, and again, I’ve written a great deal about factoring in our reconciliation to Hashem through devotion to our Rav and by his merit.

According to the teachings of R. Packouz and particularly Rav Shaul (Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles), God really did presuppose that all of humanity would be reconciled to Him, but that Jews would be Jews and the people of the nations would be the people of the nations.

Why am I writing this and why should you care?

Basically to say what I’ve said before. There’s nothing wrong with not being Jewish. I mean, most of the world isn’t Jewish and we’re still created in the image of the Almighty. We’re given a place in the world to come, the blessings of the resurrection, and even the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as disciples of our Rav.

We can even call Rav Yeshua our Rav and not feel like we’re ripping off the Jewish people.

Do we have to obey the Noahide Laws? Well, we probably do if we live generally moral lives. Even if we’d never heard of the Noahide Laws, whether we call ourselves Christians, Messianic Gentiles, or anything else, chances are we don’t murder, steal, worship false gods, or practice sexual immorality. We certainly don’t eat the limbs of a living animal, hopefully don’t curse God, and live in a nation with a system of laws and courts.

In other words, we are likely observing the Noahide Laws whether we know it or not.

What else is there? What else does there have to be?

We know in general that meeting regularly with like-minded believers to build each other up is a good thing. It’s a good thing to pray. It’s a good thing to study the Bible, both in groups and as individuals. It’s a good thing to treat others, even people we don’t like, with kindness and generosity.

Coffee and BibleAll of these principles can be found in the Bible and they don’t apply just to observant Jews.

As we begin another Torah cycle and start another year, it’s good to remember that we don’t have to be Jewish in order to be close to God. However, that knowledge was brought to us in general by the Jewish people, and in specific by our Jewish Rav. After all, he specifically selected one Apostle to bring the good news of Moshiach to the goyim, that is, to the rest of us.

Rejoice.

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24 thoughts on “If You’re Not A Jew, Who Are You?”

  1. Yes, indeed…rejoice.

    It seems simpler now that I have stopped beating at the door that says NO GENTILES. It’s not that the sign isn’t there…it is, if you want to be present at the eating of a passover lamb. However, since I regard Yeshua as my Passover Lamb, albeit metaphorically, I don’t want to eat him, and by the time there is a Temple I am willing to enter, there will also be a Messiah telling me to eat the lamb in remembrance of the the Angel of Death passing over all those the Jews in Egypt, as well as in remembrance of his own representative role as Mashiach. Or not…it’s a matter of ritual purity, and I can eat roast lamb on other days.

    Of course, I cannot enter into the inner courts of the Temple…which, since there isn’t one currently, is irrelevent, and when there is one I can still submit my sacrificial offering of thanks from the outer court. When I enter that Temple I do not expect to be offering a sacrifice for any sin, because I will be raised to immortality at that point, as will every Believer prior to the coming of Mashiach. And if the inner court is open to me at that point, I will enter and rejoice. And if not, still rejoice, because salvation is not a matter of ritual purity, but a matter of trust.

    And yes, I am not supposed to marry into a Jewish family so that they are not led astray by, and thus cursed by having to entertain me and all of my gentilish family, but 1) at my age I do not want to re-marry, and 2) were I to meet the right Messianic Jewish person, I would hope that it wouldn’t matter under the idea that there is no Jew or Gentile in Yeshua and 3) that if I was welcome to the family as Gentile, I probably would not seriously consider converting under a Messianic Rabbi’s teaching.

    I’m a Gentile. I want to be loved as I am, not as others would have me be, and G-d has not asked me to be Jewish…or more jewish than I am now, which according to others is already too much so for their comfort.

    I would like to be more observant of Torah, though, and I would like to have the halachah specified more clearly, so I did not lean so much on YHVH’s grace through Yeshua over getting the sabbath done correctly each week, and having to lean even harder on that grace every other day to try to get the training of a good Jew when I wasn’t raised to be one. What a good Gentile does is still up in the air until Yeshua comes, and I am finally content to let it be so.

    So I do rejoice…and will attempt to remember to do so heartily at every reminder that I am a Messianic Gentile that Yeshua died for me as well as all the Jews, and that it was intended to be so from the beginning. Being Gentile is not a curse, or a failing, but just a difference that makes me who I am….saved in Yeshua, and beloved of G-d.

  2. @Michele: Thank you.

    @Questor: Yes, we can point to all those things we can’t or aren’t supposed to do relative to praxis according to Messianic Judaism and the broader landscape of Judaism, but I think it’s better to focus on all we can do and all the blessings we can partake in.

    As of 2014, about 0.2% of the world’s population is Jewish. Everybody else isn’t and yet the Bible makes a provision for us as well, so although Jews are Jews and Gentiles are Gentiles, God wants us all in His Kingdom.

  3. So I do rejoice…and will attempt to remember to do so heartily at every reminder that I am a Messianic Gentile that Yeshua died for me as well as all the Jews, and that it was intended to be so from the beginning. Being Gentile is not a curse, or a failing, but just a difference that makes me who I am….saved in Yeshua, and beloved of G-d.

    Gee…I said all of that so I could say the last few lines! You are skimming your comments too fast.

  4. Peace be to all and a good health.
    Marleen, we know that thou will really only doubt us and can even accused us gnostic but the truth even those gnostic people do not know these teaching and they have no understanding of these kind of expose knowledge-we are informing the world, for God really only uses these very basic simple knowledge of the scientific anatomy, morphology and physiology being applied as a foundation formula in the creation of the earth and even to the creation of the first man! And to prove this, that it was used in the creation of the earth, check this term “the tree of life,” in the diagram picture of the “brain of a human being,” which in latin word it is now “arbor vitae!” And the water that came out of this tree of life, which watered the whole garden or the earth, which also were in the human body composition. So, the truth purpose of the making of the New Covenant Plan of God is to create a “new man creation” unlike to the former 1st created man. And this were sample to Yeshua Messiah (the prophet) and his Messianic Kingdom of Priesthood, that were only the recipients of these Given and Rewarded Wisdom Knowledge of Knowing the anatomy, morphology and the physiology knowledge is also in the Body of Yeshua Messiah, which the world really do not know! Thats why, when Yeshua told them “eat my flesh and thou will have eternal life,” is this not a good message in the form of the physiological composition of the body of Yeshua Messiah? 

    And here is another abominable teaching made in the gospel regarding the literal crucifixion of understanding the literal writing of the gospel. Not knowing the warning advice of A. Paul in the proper reading of the scriptures in 2Cor. 3:6, must be in spiritual. Because the literal writing of the crucifixion is only a fictionize story, just to narrate the prophetical humilation in the life of every disciples of Christ, they will all experienced encounter to the hands of all the unbelievers. Which the Evangelist analogically only sample the Roman punishment in human of crucifixion, just to prove the lesson to God that their allegiance by every believer of Christ, will experienced even unto their death that they can not separate them to Yeshua! And this is the truth essence of the crucifixion: that only teaches the readers of the NT book that “they too must nailed the Christ in their head or golgotta” or ” TO MEMORIZE IT ONLY THE WORD OF GOD!” So, they may also acquire the redemption of God. So, there is NO IDOLATRY in their faith and this is the fact why only the 144,000 Chosen Israelites were only redeem saved by Yeshua Messiah alone, read Rev. 14:4, they were not defiled with women (or world religion teachings and literal teachings of man) for they were all “virgin” (Chosen by God).

    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE:New Jeruzalem-Holy City

  5. Q: One thought comes to mind. We have to depend on Hashem and our allegence to Rav Yeshua. While some Jewish people in Messianic Judaism are accepting of non-Jews as disciples others are not. There’s this tendency among some “Messianic Gentiles” to worship Messianic Judaism. That’s not the focus. Rav Yeshua is the focus because it is only through his merit that we can stand before Hashem. Messianic Jewish leaders and publishers don’t do that for us. Only Rav Yeshua does that for us.

    Israel as a whole has centrality in the redemptive plan of God, but we can’t always say that each and every Messianic Jew is automatically our gateway to Hashem simply by virtue of them being Jews. At the end of the day, an individual Jewish person is a flawed human being, just the same as an individual Gentile person. It is Rav Yeshua that opens the door.

  6. Mark, I see you have a colorful perception of physiology and so forth. Certainly, as God created male and female in the beginning, God creates new man. However, at bare minimum, truth acknowledges that Yeshua was nailed to a cross [or whatever configuration was used].

    His followers see suffering — not just as a matter of feeling persecuted because people don’t agree with what is being said on a philosophical or anatomical or theological or whatever level aside from occurrences manifesting in the world among which we reside.

    Nevertheless, simply acknowledging that — in false punishment — Yeshua bled (usually acknowledged in order to be part of a world religion, but also even if not to be part of one), a doctrinal statement does not salvation make. (It can or might be a start.)

  7. God puts things in front of us right when we need them.

    I have made no secret of my struggle with anger. I may have a long fuse, but, when it gets to the end, watch out. Boom. Lately the Holy Spirit has been impressing onto my heart that “do not murder” begins with words – even the words I say in my mind. Following this commandment is so much more than refusing to take a physical life. Your words today are a testament to this reality.

    Anyway, more and more I am drawn to the writings of the Prophets. A lot of people I know avoid them because they’re “too hard” or “not applicable.” But there’s such richness! Makes me appreciate the Jewishness of my faith while simultaneously appreciating my unique place in the Kingdom as a non-Jew.

  8. Peace be to you and a good health.
    Marleen, we are not insisting to anybody about the New Covenant Plan of God, for it is very simple to think that why God make or impose his New Covenant Plan if there is no improvement to his purpose of his love to his people, thats why he make a Plan as a guidelines for them!

    So, what for is the purpose of many other believers to make their own formula of their faith and insist it to God? Is this not an act of opposing the God Plan? What for is the prohibition of ordering all the believers to Yeshua Messiah that there is no mediator between God and Man, except only Yeshua Messiah? And so with the order to put all your trust to Yeshua Messiah? And there were many other prohibition in the NT book, which the people do not only read the NT book, for they just only depend their faith believe to what their pastor, priest, minister, imam, rabbi and others have told them.

    Can you see the big contradiction of this very simple act of many believer?

    LOVE : New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  9. Peace be to you and a good health.
    Marleen, about the crucifixion you said is okay but in the Plan of God, it is still a contradiction to the prohibition and transgression to the commandments of God, Exo. 20:1-5.

    Haven’t you read Gal. 3:1-7? Its very clear here that A. Paul was prohibiting to idolize crucifixion, which the Galatians make a statue out of it. See, how the Original Messianic were perfectly observing the New Covenant Plan of God.

    You said, “a doctrinal statement does not salvation make. (It can or might be a start.)” – that is only in your understanding but to God, its very clear the many prohibition and commandments that God mandatorily imposed that every believers must observe and follow, and to your attitude is like rejecting the Plan of God. Is it not very clear that Yeshua told his disciple believer “to eat his flesh and will have eternal life,” do you think his disciples can be called his disciples if they did not follow the order? And this is the meaning of a true believer to Yeshua Messiah. Is it not very simple, for God have plan it and Yeshua even obey it and order it to his disciple believers? So, the Plan is very clear fulfilled without any comment or reasoning!

    By the way, kindly read Rom. 10:11-16, this is how the true meaning of a believer in the New Covenant Plan of God. See how complete the guidelines and the advices in becoming a true believer to what God have it Plan.

    LOVE: New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  10. Mark, I regret that either your thinking itself is very jumbled or your English is not up to a level where we can communicate — whether it is because of reading ability or comprehension or writing, or the thinking in between processing the words. There is nothing idolatrous about recognising a true story. If people hated Yeshua and killed him, that’s a fact. Making up system where it’s all a figment is pointless.

  11. … truth acknowledges that Yeshua was nailed to a cross [or whatever configuration was used].

    His followers see suffering — not just as a matter of feeling persecuted because people don’t agree with what is being said on a philosophical or anatomical or theological or whatever level aside from occurrences manifesting in the world among which we reside.

    Nevertheless, simply acknowledging that — in false punishment — Yeshua bled (usually acknowledged in order to be part of a world religion, but also even if not to be part of one), a doctrinal statement does not salvation make.

  12. Sorry, James; please post the following (with beginning “i” included).

    … truth acknowledges that Yeshua was nailed to a cross [or whatever configuration was used].

    His followers see suffering — not just as a matter of feeling persecuted because people don’t agree with what is being said on a philosophical or anatomical or theological or whatever level aside from occurrences manifesting in the world among which we reside.

    Nevertheless, simply acknowledging that — in false punishment — Yeshua bled (usually acknowledged in order to be part of a world religion, but also even if not to be part of one), a doctrinal statement does not salvation make.

  13. Let’s try it this way, Mark Santos.

    Nevertheless… a doctrinal statement does not salvation make, simply by stating it (which is often accepted by world religions). But acknowledging that — in false punishment — Yeshua bled, that could be a start. Rejecting reality is not a start.

  14. Peace be to you and a good health.
    Marleen, if thats the way you understand it-its okay. But believe it or not the story of the gospel is only of fictionize story, that begins from the virgin birth unto his crucifixion! Because there is no literal record of his mother and father and even himself (JC the prophet), then prove to us that there is a complete literal record to support your understanding as a true story?

    About the gospel writings although was written in parable fictionize story from the virgin birth unto the crucifixion of the demigod prophet, thou must separate the spiritual and the literal essence of the story and the true result to get is in the spiritual meaning from the still parable fictionize story of the gospel.

    LOVE: New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  15. There are many people I can’t show their birth certificate, but believing they were born isn’t idolatry. There is no “proof” Adam or Moses existed or that Sha’ul (the A. Paul you’ve referred to) wrote what he did write (or we say he wrote — which, some he didn’t).

  16. Marleen,
    We do not insist the fictionize story or your true story. The problem in the gospel is the prohibition of taking the truth of the messages, of what it teaches as a guidelines to be observe as God want us to obey.

    Like for example of A. Paul of giving an advice to every readers the correct understanding of the gospel, 2Cor. 3:6. So in just mere reading, a reader can already been condemn in the wrong choice of understanding. And this is also you want us to believe to your understanding of the literal or true to life story!

    About the writings of the gospel or NT book, the Evangelist DEVELOP a 3 in 1 FORMULA which resulted to a TITLE of a “Holy Family,” which the Evangelist ADAPTED IT from the God Formula of 2 in 1, it means the man and woman is in the BODY of the CREATED MAN of God as ADAM. Now, don’t you see the MAKING of the gospel as a fiction story here because the Evangelist only uses the physiological composition part of the man. And the MAN was name joseph and the WOMAN was name mary and bethroted them and without sexual intercourse (according to A. John “which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh) and beggotten a child or son. This is why there is no literal record of the parent and so with the child. For they were a fictitious name given by the Evangelist.
    LOVE: New Jeruzalem-Holy City

  17. Mark, why are you referring to yourself in the third person?

    Anyway, it’s clear you and Marleen disagree on a few things which is fine. The world of religion is full of disagreements and differences in how the scriptures are to be interpreted. It’s expected and frankly, nothing to get wound up over.

  18. James
    Yes, we put ourselves in to the third person because we want the Holy Spirit must be first to be recognize rather than us (this is no to the trinity format). We are not talking of a simple thing here but what we are talking/informing here is all spiritual.

    Well, its true what you have said to those religions because they really do not know only the Whole New Covenant Plan of God! But the problem of all the operator ( or founder) of the religion do not really used the true spiritual teaching of the scriptures, which thou could simply check it in the scripture itself and there are many prohibitions and commandments that must be obseve by every believers and how much more to the “Title of the scriptures itself” as a Testament and Covenant book of God. And what the world also do not know about this Whole New Covenant Plan of God is already an executed Universal Final Judgment for all the people of the world, first to the Israelite people in the 1st Division of the Messianic Covenant or Christianity to Yeshua Messiah in the Plan, Mt. 25:31-41 (NOTE the EXCLUSIVITY of this Covenant). And the Transistion of the 2nd Division Covenant to the Parousia Period or the 2nd Advent which is now our present period.

    And from this simple format Plan of God, you can really now compare what you are said is really true, for they are not all in conformity to the Will Plan of God. Thats why we are informing them to update, for the time is really very short now! Because the Parousia Period was set only in One hour in God count and in our time conversion it is 41.5 years, which begun the counting last 1994. So, you can now compute the remaining years left to this given set time for the Parousia! That why we are informing in hurrying to comply to the Will Plan of God, for no format plan of any religion were not in conformity to the Will Plan of God.

    LOVE: New Jeruzalem – Holy City

     

     

  19. Hi James,

    Good article. It’s amazing how the Spirit speaks to more than one of us on the same topic.

    I did find a rabbi who is teaching that the Gentiles should keep Shabbat, but as you know, I am in the Land (sans my computer) so cannot reference his name or the book he wrote, which I have yet to order and read.

    As I mentioned in my reply to your comment on JTM, you really have to make the trip to Israel, James. Your love for the Jewish people and your desire to protect them will grow even more.

  20. Perhaps someday. I recall you inviting me on the trip you’re on now, but the timing wouldn’t have been right. My wife is in Europe on a food/cooking tour now. She comes on Saturday. At some point, there would have been a gap when no one was here to take care of the grandchildren, so I suppose it was good that I stayed.

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