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Covenant Connection



Volume 12.7
April 2018...Iyar 5778

 

Nobody Needs to Convert to Judaism

“You have made the heavens, the earth, the sea… Let all who walk the earth recognize and know that You alone are the God over all the kingdoms of the earth….”
2 Kings 19:19; Isaiah 37:20;
Atah Hu HaShem
, Siddur

Judaism teaches that the good people – the just and righteous – of every creed deserve God's blessing. Naturally, it helps to know God, the God of Abraham; worship Him; and study Godly values, but you certainly don’t have to be Jewish for that. Nobody needs to convert to Judaism. Trying to convert non-Jews to Judaism, to “save them,” is against Judaism.

 

Maimonides, the great sage, puts it this way:

 

“Whoever wishes to adopt Judaism… is constrained to accept, not the Torah and commandments, but the precepts which were promulgated for b’nei no’ach (the descendants of Noah: the whole human race).”  (Responsa, c. 1200, A. Freimann, ed., #124)

 

Isaiah, the prophet, puts it this way:

 

“Many peoples shall… say: ‘Come, let us go up, to the mountain of the Lord [HaShem], to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3)

 

Zechariah writes:

 

“Many nations shall join themselves to HaShem… and shall be My people.” (Zechariah 2:15)

 

We who love and worship God are supposed to follow the example of Abraham: to try to bring all people of every nation “under the wings of the Shechinah [the Divine Presence], even as Abraham did.” (Avot de Rabbi Nathan, 12). Yet, if they persist in their own ways, following the religions, “gods” and higher principles of their own families and traditions, the Torah reminds us: the good people – the just and righteous – of every creed deserve God's blessing.

 

 

By Michael Dallen


 


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Be blessed, our Creator, our King, and our Redeemer
- from the Siddur, morning service

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