COMING JEWISH 'UTOPIA' RULED BY NOAHIDE LAWS
By Rev. Ted Pike and Harmony Grant
The Encyclopedia Judaica says hope in the coming Jewish messiah is intense, especially among Orthodox Jews in Israel: "Orthodoxy retains unimpaired the traditional doctrine…Among Orthodox rabbis, there is no lack of speculation on the meaning of contemporary events in light of the messianic hope." ("Messiah," p. 1416)
In this ideal Jewish world, what happens to the rest of us? What is the status of Gentiles, especially Christians? The Babylonian Talmud, the highest ethical and religious guide for observant Jews, says Gentiles can join Judaism as proselytes today or in the future messianic kingdom, as long as they sincerely follow seven commandments. These “Noahide laws,” says the Talmud, form the basic moral code God gave Adam; they prohibit idolatry, blasphemy, murder, theft, “illicit relations,” eating meat with blood, and “failing to establish courts of justice.”
Medieval Jewish authority Maimonides, whose work remains highly influential, wrote in his 12th century work the Mishneh Torah that Gentiles should be compelled by Jews to practice Noahide law. In a recent article for the Jewish Press, America’s largest independent Jewish weekly, Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim says Gentiles can be improved just like Jews, but only through conversion.
“The Noachide laws,” writes the rabbi, “are the bare essentials that entitle a human being to retain his right to life.” Remember he is speaking of Gentiles as well as Jews and, yes, he said right to life. Ben-Chaim cites Isaiah’s prophecy that someday Gentiles will flock to Jerusalem to “learn Torah.” Jews must encourage this mass conversion, he says, by refusing to voice acceptance for other religions. “No, that deludes gentiles into believing we view their religions on par with Torah,” the rabbi writes. “Judaism views all other religions as imposters, since no other religion was God-given… Again, God said, “One Torah…for yourselves, and the convert.” This means no other laws are acceptable, for any people.”
In this rabbi’s words we find contemporary mainstream affirmation, in one of American Jewry’s biggest publications, that deviance from Noahide law cannot be morally tolerated by observant Jews. Ultimately, if things were as they should be, Gentiles should be forced to comply.
See rest below: