Sunday, June 26, 2011

South Carolina's Resolution Supporting Israel Distorts The Torah

24 of the Third Month 5771

Many have been raving in hysterical adoration over the recent South Carolina House of Representatives' resolution made in support of Israel.

Has anyone bothered to read the exact text of the resolution?

The tip-off that it would be a good idea to do so came when I heard Danny Dayan, Chairman of the YeSh"A Council, mention this resolution last week. The part he quoted seemed rather odd to me (red). So, I searched for the exact text to confirm the quote.

The first part of the resolution is found below, followed by my comments.

South Carolina General Assembly
119th Session, 2011-2012

H. 4339


House Resolution
Sponsors: Reps. Clemmons, Sellers, Hardwick, D.C. Moss, Bedingfield, G.R. Smith, Hosey, Henderson, McCoy, Sottile, Norman, Delleney, Pope, Hiott, Skelton, Parker, Pinson, J.M. Neal, Willis, Pitts, Atwater, Quinn, Bingham, Allison, Crawford, Lowe, Loftis, Forrester, Chumley, Patrick, Long, Neilson, Brannon, Daning, Crosby, Anderson, G.A. Brown, Limehouse, J.R. Smith, Bales and Thayer

Introduced in the House on June 2, 2011
Adopted by the House on June 2, 2011

Summary: Israel


     Date      Body   Action Description with journal page number
6/2/2011 House Introduced and adopted
6/2/2011 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Hardwick,
D.C.Moss, Bedingfield, G.R.Smith, Hosey, Henderson,
McCoy, Sottile, Norman, Delleney, Pope, Hiott,
Skelton, Parker, Pinson, J.M.Neal, Willis, Pitts,
Atwater, Quinn, Bingham, Allison, Crawford, Lowe,
Loftis, Forrester, Chumley, Patrick, Long, Neilson,
Brannon, Daning, Crosby, Anderson, G.A.Brown,
Limehouse, J.R.Smith, Bales, Thayer




Whereas, Israel has been granted her lands under and through the oldest recorded deed as reported in the Old Testament, a tome of scripture held sacred and reverenced by Jew and Christian, alike, as the acts and words of God; and

Whereas, as the Grantor of said lands, God stated to the Jewish people in the Old Testament; in Leviticus, Chapter 20, Verse 24: "Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey"; and

Whereas, God has never rescinded his grant of said lands; and

Whereas, along with the grant of said lands to the Jewish people, God provided for the non-Jewish residents of the land in commanding that governance must be in one law for all without drawing distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens, as contained in Leviticus 24:22; and

Whereas, the Nation of Israel declared its independent control and governance of said lands on May 14, 1948, with the goal of reestablishing their God-given lands as a homeland for the Jewish people; and

Whereas, the United States of America, having been the first country to recognize Israel as an independent nation and as Israel's principal ally, has enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial relationship with Israel and her people; and...

(Read the entire resolution)

What does Leviticus 24:22 actually say?
ויקרא כד,כב מִשְׁפַּט אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לָכֶם, כַּגֵּר כָּאֶזְרָח יִהְיֶה: כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה, אֱלֹהֵיכֶם

Lev. 24:22
Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for the home-born; for I am the LORD your God.'
Sounds like the South Carolina Legislature got it right, doesn't it?

Not hardly.

First off, this verse being taken WAY out off context does not surprise me in the least. It was quoted by Christians, who lack half of the Torah, Torah sheb'al Peh (Oral Torah), and their outlook on the half they do possess is distorted by their latter texts related to the preaching of a false deity.

Jews who distort or reject outright the Torah sheb'al Peh (Oral Torah), have done the same, even Jews who cover their heads and call themselves "Orthodox." The most basic Torah tenant seems foreign to them, that one cannot fully understand the Torah shebikhtav (Written Torah) without the Torah sheb'al Peh (Oral Torah).

So what this verse really mean?

When it says "one law," it is referring to all of the laws and rulings immediately preceding this verse. It is a verse which concludes this section of laws and punishments.

Furthermore, the word גר (stranger) is more likely referring to a convert (eg. a Jew) than not, as RaSh"I explains on Deuteronomy 24:17. When this word refers to a non-Jew (גר תושב), it refers only to a non-Jew who has accepted the 7 Noahide Laws and has permission to live in Israel. This category does not include members of another religion, such as Islam or Christianity.

A בן נח (Ben No'ah) is a non-Jew following the 7 Noahide Laws who has not necessarily received permission to live in Israel. Words such as גוי (goy) and נכרי (nokhri) refer to non-Jews who do not 7 Noahide Laws, such as Muslims and Christians.

There are countless other sources which contradict the South Carolina Legislature's gross misinterpretation of the Holy Torah. The Talmud speaks very clearly of the differences between Jews and non-Jews, and their respective statuses both in and outside of the Land (eg. Ramba"m, Hil. Melakhim u'Milhamothehem).

Enemies who want to kill us are not welcome. Non-Jews who worship The Almighty in ways deemed forbidden under Jewish Law are not welcome. This is the case, whether such non-Jews wish to come to Israel to convince Jews to worship as they do, or not.

Non-Jews who follow the 7 Noahide Laws (Gen. 9), which includes the acceptance of Torah as truth, and the rejection of other religions (Mahara"tz), are allowed to settle in Israel under limited circumstances. Most authorities agree that such individuals would have to complete a process under the auspices of a high rabbinical court not currently in existence. Others argue as well, that such a process could not even take place until Yovel (Jubilee) comes back into effect.

And, if and when such non-Jews would be allowed to enter the Land to live, they would be subject to service and special taxes (all authorities), and have several other limitations imposes upon them, such as living outside of Jerusalem, outside of additional cities, and living in groups of families of three or less.

They definitely not have share the same rule of law. Furthermore, under the 7 Noahide Laws, they would be required to set up their own courts, courts which would have no authority over Jews, yet the Sanhedrin would always have the authority to overrule them.

For several reasons, the South Carolina House of Representatives incorrectly stated that "governance must be in one law for all without drawing distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens, as contained in Leviticus 24:22."

This statement is simply not true.

The South Carolina House of Representatives is right about one thing. The Almighty makes the decisions as to who possesses which lands, not human beings.

The Almighty took Eretz Yisrael away from the practitioners of forbidden worship, the Canaanites, and gave it to Am Yisrael...

...but not to the Yishma'elim (Arabs), and not to other practitioners of forbidden worship (eg. Christians).

Thanks, South Carolina, for your support. But, please leave the interpretation of Torah according to Jewish Law, and well as our Homeland, to us.


Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

Ya'aqov, this is the same comment as I made on Facebook, so don't bother rereading it:

Ya'aqov, I certainly do not disagree with your post there. Kudos. I guess I simply considered it tangential to the point that SC was making, and so I didn't bother to comment on it. But yasher koah.

Also, I have made the argument that I do not believe we ought to insist on the laws of gentiles worshiping foreign religious, because we Jews are not ourselves following Judaism. It would be awfully hypocritical and outlandish to advocate that a bunch of secular and non-observant Jews in the Knesset ban Christians and Muslims from Israel on account of their false religions, when these Jews themselves are just as false (if not even more so!) in their own religion. In other words, it is hypocritical for a "kingdom of priests and a holy nation" to preach to the gentiles that they ought to do something when we ourselves are not doing it either. Let us get ourselves to worship God, and once we succeed in that, we'll have a legitimate basis to insist that gentiles in Israel do so too.

Esser Agaroth said...

I provide halakhic sources, and read the words for non-Jews in standard halakhic fashion.

Where are your sources?

Your statements have no halakhic relevance.

Michael, when you do post comments with halakhic relevance, you pick and choose.

There is not much disagree among Rishonim here, not much at all.

In conclusion, we have misswoth to destroy places of avodah zarah. If you say that you're afraid, or that we are currently unable to carry these misswoth out, that's one thing. But, to suggest that we are currently exempt from certain misswoth, such as preventing A"Z to occur on our Holy Soil, simply because according to your Western (ie. non-Jewish) it would appear to be hypocritical IS outlandish.

What on earth does the K'nesseth have to do with our obligations to perform misswoth anyway?

Besides, MK's have repeatedly disregarded this importance time and time again.

All of the misswoth are separate. Even a Jew who does keep Shabbath may perform other misswoth. The Em HaBanim Smeicha reminds us that even the non-religious Jews who built up the Land will receive credit for having done so.

Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

I guess I'm arguing based on qidush and hillul hashem. It seems to me that it would be a hillul hashem if we Jews expected more out of gentiles than we Jews ourselves were performing.

Now, obviously, we know that we religious Jews are right and the secular Jews are wrong. But the world won't know the difference; a Jew is a Jew is a Jew. So what will they think when they see a bunch of Jews punishing gentiles for being idolatrous, while meanwhile other Jews are themselves not being properly religious, and are just as bad as the gentiles? The world will conclude that we're a bunch of hypocrites, and the result will a hillul hashem. If our purpose is to advertise Godliness to the world, then appearing hypocritical won't help.

Esser Agaroth said...

(sigh) No.

It is irrelevant what the goyim in or outside of Israel think.

Please review the Ramba"m's Hil. A"Z, particularly chap. 10. (Lo Tehonem)

We may not do anything which makes it easy for them to remain in the Land.

Stop thinking like a Westerner, and start thinking like a Jew!

They're NOT the same.

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