19 Iyar 5779 / Friday, May 24, 2019 | Torah Reading: Bechukotai
 
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Path of the Righteous Gentile    

Path of the Righteous Gentile



There are many Torah-believing non-Jews who are starved for community and yearn for a chance to learn with people who simply share the same belief system…

 



If you are a Ben or Bat Noach who becomes really enthusiastic about learning Torah, someone who wants more, more, more - you have probably figured out that the path of the Righteous Gentile is an unpaved road that contains many potholes, at times takes you way the heck out into the wilderness, and doesn’t contain many fellow travelers. It gets so hard you might find yourself weighing how difficult it would be to have what might feel like too much guidance and direction (the life of a Jew) versus what feels like too little (the life of a Righteous Gentile). I thought Judaism was all about the middle road. Where’s the middle Hashem? These worlds feel too far apart for the Gentile who wants more and more Torah. 

Fortunately there are moments of relief. Last night I participated in a virtual yet very real class through the “Virtual Yeshiva” with a terrific rabbi and his wife and about ten other Bnei Noach.  I’ve never participated in such an event. The technology was all so simple to use- it was a space age moment for me. I think it is really important that we appreciate how astounding it is that we can sit in our homes and engage in a class with people from around the world, just like that. Click a few buttons, fiddle with a few settings in the computer and we are all in the same cyber space learning Torah together. For the vast majority of human history people separated by great distances have had no way to be in contact with one another, zilch. Your world would have been painfully small. Now, we take a few minutes to download a program and type really quickly while watching people in Oklahoma and California on our screen. Baruch Hashem. (http://www.virtualyeshiva.com/)
 
I highly encourage you- the Ben or Bat Noach reading this- to take participate in such an event. If you are shy, no worries. You don’t need to do anything beyond log in and watch, listen, and learn. (http://www.okbns.org/index.html) Every Tuesday there is a free class organized in cooperation with the Oklahoma Bnei Noach Society. These are wonderful community building, Torah loving people who do things like organize a Succot gathering for people from around the world. They also spent years working with Jews and Gentiles from all over the globe to create a prayer and informational text for Bnei Noach called Service From the Heart
 
If you are a Jewish person reading this, consider learning with a Righteous Gentile in your community. If you are concerned about what’s allowed and what isn’t, study something simple like the weekly Torah portion or Psalms. You will feel like a rock star after doing this because there are many Torah-believing Gentiles who are starved for community who will show up early to shul, as it were, for a chance to learn with people who simply share the same belief system. You don’t need to be a rabbi or rebbetzin. You just need to be a person who enjoys learning some Torah. That’s it!  
 
We should not underestimate the power of moments where we come together to learn Torah, to sanctify Hashem’s name. To learn Torah in the midst of the chaos of this world, with so many forces pulling us all away from one another and from Hashem, it’s a small act that has a powerful ripple effect on the universe. We shout down the Yetzer Hora with a simple and lovely discussion. We connect with our Creator, help someone else to do the same, buoy someone’s spirits, and keep one another focused on the Truth. 
 
There are so many unanswered questions for Bnei Noach, at times so little that is easy to cling to in this world. That is the great challenge for us. But we must focus on this moment and what we can do in this moment. That is what faith is all about. Moving forward even when it seems futile, when we can’t see the forest for the trees no matter how hard we try. Last night I was reading Garden of Emunaby Rabbi Arush. On page 205 he quotes Rebbe Nathan of Breslev. 
 
“I heard that the Rebbe was once encouraging a man who was greatly confused about emuna. The Rebbe told him, ‘It is written that all creation came into being only because of people like you. G-d saw that there would be people who would cling to our Holy faith, suffering greatly because of the confusion and doubts that constantly plague them. He perceived that they would overcome these doubts and remain strong in their beliefs. It was because of this that G-d brought forth all creation.’ ” 
 
Hashem has provided the means for us to come together, now we just need to take the leap of faith and do it.




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