27 Kislev 5782 / Wednesday, December 01, 2021 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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The Noahide Struggle    

The Noahide Struggle

The struggle of Noahide Spirituality is real and it comes from leaving a religion to a non-religion. Most people are used to all the rites and can't break free…


When one journeys out of the world’s religions to the Seven Noahide Commandments - the 7 Universal Instructions the Creator put forth for the general population of humanity - there are several struggles that one has to overcome. One of the areas of struggle that many have is the confusion between religion and spirituality.


So many times you hear someone comment that the Seven Universal Instructions are not enough. The struggle of Noahide Spirituality is real and it comes from leaving a religion to a non-religion. Most people are so used to all the rites, ceremonies and religious holidays of their religion, that transforming to a walk that has no religious worship or holidays can be very daunting.


Rabbi Michael Shlomo Bar-Ron in his book, Guide for the Noahide mentions it in the section asking the question, “Where is the spirituality?”


“The lack of organized religion is difficult for some. For those who grew up in rich, idolatrous backgrounds with song and ceremony, the six Prohibitions and a single Positive Commandment do not satisfy their spiritual thirst for more. For such people it is important to stress that the Seven Laws are a beginning - not an end.”


Looking back is part of the problem


The Torah gives us several examples of what looking back can do to harm us.


We all are familiar with Lot’s wife but the journey of Israel out of Egypt can teach us a lot as well.


After their exodus from Egypt, the Jews experienced something similar to what Noahides experience today. A large part of the Jews complained to Moses and God that they had it better in Egypt. They looked back, thinking that the houses, food, water and many other things they had in Egypt were better than what they were getting under Moses and God’s leadership. This happened time and time again, no matter what God did for them. They continued to look back to Egypt.


Some Noahides are doing the exact same thing, not remembering the spiritual slavery they were under; now free, they are desiring what they had back in church or any other religion they came from.


My friend, Pesach, who runs Torah for the Nations in Tzfat, Israel told me one day as we were discussing this subject, “People leaving religion do not lose anything, they gain their humanity.”


I began to regain my humanity as I shed the cloak of religion. There is a lot of spirituality in living the 7 Universal Instructions. I hope to go more into this point in part 2 of this article.


As Rabbi Bar-Ron said, the 7 Laws are just a beginning, not an end. As we regain our humanity, our personal and world view begins to change. We begin to grasp that the people outside our window are our community and congregation. When we look deep into the 7 Laws we find that they bind us as humans instead of separating us.


There is an old saying that there is a reason the windshield on a car is larger than the rearview mirror. The front windshield is there to provide a view for going forward while the rearview mirror is there only for a short glance - we are meant to be moving forward and not backward.


The struggle of moving from religion to the spirituality of the 7 Universal Instructions is real. I have talked with several that feel the need to add to the observance of the 7 Instructions - their need for religious observance is real.


The Chain of Religion


A couple of weeks ago, on my way to work, one of the lines of a song I was listening to caught my ear. I have listened to many of the Eagles songs over the years but I do not remember paying close attention to the words of this song. Below is the one line in the lyrics to ‘Already Gone’ that got me thinking even more about Noahide spirituality.


“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains

And we never even know we have the key“


In the midst of pondering and writing on the subject of Noahide Spirituality, these lyrics jump out of the radio at me, as if they were telling me to hear their words. After pondering these words for about a week, I came to the conclusion that the majority of humanity does not even know they are chained, especially to religion.


It seems to be that some Noahides who have begun the process of freeing themselves from the many chains that bound them, find that the religious chain has a tough lock to unlock.


I too was chained to religion for a long time. It was not until I had begun a deeper dive into the Noahide Laws that I really began to see what they pointed to. A non-religious walk with the Creator and with man.


A proper study and application of the Noahide Laws without adding anything to them will produce the key to unlock the need for religious add-ons.  


Religion separates man from man, it can even turn them against one another.


There is a Noahide spirituality that many overlook and, God willing, I hope to delve into that in the next part.

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  2 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  Spiritual rituals.
Erik9/12/2020 2:59:49 PM
  Jewish rituals
Noaismo.info6/26/2019 1:04:17 AM

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