Why isn't the First Covenant Better Known?
The Torah was given a long time ago but its meaning is elucidated only over time.
Even when God entrusted His Holy Torah to His beloved servant Israel, He gave it, in a sense, as raw material: as wheat to make flour and as flax to make cloth, through the Torah's own appointed methods of logical interpretation. - Midrash (ancient rabbinic commentary)
Israel has known about the First Covenant, the covenant between mankind's legendary common ancestors, Adam and Eve and, ten generations later, with Noah and his family, since Israel became a nation. That is not to say, though, that Israel has known all there is to know about it. For many years, the people of Israel were a little embarrassed by it. Because of flawed understanding, this aspect of God's Torah - the Torah, all of whose "ways are ways of pleasantness" - seemed rigid, harsh, and even cruel.
It took many generations - in fact, the return of the People of Israel to the Land of Israel, in modern times - to get to this true understanding of the Universal Law:
Every nation is obligated to determine the details of its own laws for itself. Among the nations, a person may elect to follow any religion; so long as that religion is not steeped in immorality and crime, he or she can be a righteous person. The Torah is tolerance: all its ways are ways of pleasantness (Proverbs 3:17). Nevertheless, the religion of Israel, belief in the Torah, the Bible, and in the One God of Israel is no mere matter of faith. It is much more than that - and we can prove it!
The religion from Sinai, the mission of Israel, is really everybody's. Noahism and Torah aren't the harsh, medieval nonsense that some people believe, or teachings that pertain mainly to 'End Times' - Messianic times. In fact, these liberating holy teachings remain, now and forever, the key to the survival and success of humankind on earth.
Only when Noachide centers being part of Jewish Communities becomes a norm will the Universalism of Judaism become reality and the purpose of Jewish existence fully justified. Although it is true that, although subject to the dominating power of Christianity and Islam, some Jewish ideas have prevailed and the Torah truth has been revealed (partially), a good teacher can’t be considered to have fulfilled his duty by merely handing over a textbook.
Michael E. Dallen opens the Introduction of his book The Rainbow Covenant so appropriately, with a quote from R. Elijah Benamozegh:
“Mankind cannot rise to the essential principles on which society must rest unless it meets with Israel. And Israel cannot fathom the depths of its own national and religious tradition unless it meets with mankind.”
This book – The Rainbow Covenant - has touched my heart. So much so that the thought echoes perpetually in my mind: if only a book like this had been available and known centuries ago...
I am not a historian and certainly not a Torah scholar. Indeed my above analysis might be an oversimplified derivation from the complex human historical play, not to mention the incomprehensible dynamics of the Jewish internal affairs. But if you could bear with my perfunctory assumption, let me say one more thing.
This is the third opportunity. Now. Right now.