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Volume 9 Issue 11   August 2015Elul 5775

Solving the Arab-Israeli Conflict

We were just talking with an Arab Palestinian gentleman about solving the Arab-Israeli conflict with the Seven Laws of Noah.


1st Cov: There's a SOLUTION. The great Arab Nation relaxes its death grip on Jewish Israel and, finally, gives the Jews some breathing room. Instead on insisting on crowding into the little Land of Israel that they used to disdain, which they regarded as being literally haunted and horribly defiled, they get their people the hell OUT and plant them somewhere where they can't lash out at the Jews that they - a lot of them - hate so much that they dream of killing us. THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.


Him: “I’m sorry but yours is no solution.”


1st Cov: The Torah - you'd care to know what it says on these points? – instructs that those aliens in the Land who are enemies may decide to 1) stop being enemies; 2) adopt the basic laws of decency applying to all humanity; 3) grant Israel's right of sovereignty in the Land of Israel, and remain as honored persons in the Land, entitled to all rights (except those involving sovereignty, like, e.g., the power to vote the Jews off the land). But, in your eyes, that's no solution?


Him: “Is Israel ruled by the Torah?”


1st Cov: We’d all do well to attend to the Torah’s instructions in this matter.


Him: “I don’t disagree but I don’t see how you can apply segments of the Torah to a completely secular state and how to justify it.”


1st Cov: No state is completely secular – completely divorced from the religions of the majority of its citizenry – and certainly not Israel. If you say there’s no solution – you do – and the Torah provides a brilliant skill set of solutions….


Him: “I am a Palestinian myself and I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.”


1 st Cov: No, it’s easy – IF you can bring yourself to recognize that it’s Jewish folks who are supposed to be sovereign in this (one little) land.


Him: “I totally recognize that. All of Judea and Samaria is Jewish land.”


1 st Cov: [In that case… ] Full protection of the laws for you, land ownership, due process – the works. But – obviously – no celebrating crimes. The Seven Laws [7M] all flow logically from the Golden Rule and the revelation that the individual human being is sacred. Everybody should want to keep them. For sure, you can do that…. It’s really a hell of a system. Also, by the way, it gives you profound insight into the Torah – into the laws of kashrut [kosher foods], first of all.


Him: “We’re all equal citizens?”


1 st Cov: Like, say, a Jew in Canada. Exposed to some aspects of the majority culture that might not resonate personally – for the Jews, an ostentatiously Christian queen or king, Christian crosses, occasionally dubious invocations – but, basically, equal.


Him: “Yes… I suppose that should be very easy… And unfortunately still hard to follow by the majority [of people].”


1 st Cov. It should be. It requires accepting the holiness of free will and the spiritual principle that life and the world are real – that the pain of animals, for example, matters.




The 7M’s “Spiritual Side”


We’ve been getting offers from several different online “Noahide groups” offering “Noahide yeshivas” - schools modeled on Jewish Talmudic academies - to teach, supposedly, not “just the basic Noahide laws” but “special” spiritual wisdom “beyond them.” One site even had a short video of a former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Israel Meir Lau, shlita [may he live for many good days, amen], praising those who “teach the Noahide Laws,” stressing, “don’t forget their spiritual side.”


The Seven Universal Laws that everybody, everywhere, ought to know enough not to violate – prohibitions on the seven kinds of savage acts that are so heedless, cruel, oppressive and unjust that they make a mockery of human sanctity – are all rational, sensible, social laws, that make civilization possible.


Their basis, of course, is that human beings know or should know that the individual human being is sacred and infinite –   we are all “made in the image of God,” or however one likes to put the thought that we are all brothers, basically, inviolable, and reflective, in a sense, of Deity.


This is a spiritual principle. Another important principle is that life and the Earth are real. And then we have the concept that the individual human being has free choice – the power and the privilege, subject to circumstances, to determine for oneself what is right and good and preferable.


You could call these things the spiritual infrastructure of the 7M. We would do well to remember that these ideas are NOT universally recognized or cherished. The two great totalitarian systems of the 20 th Century, Nazism and Communism, both reject the idea that the individual is inviolable. Islam denies human free will, pretty much, and many religions, including Buddhism and Islam too, to some extent, insist that life is, basically, a dream.


Then we have Christianity, which accepts all those concepts that these other sects deny but which posits that human beings are, fundamentally, totally depraved, or utterly corrupted, due to “original sin.” Only by the atoning sacrifice of the [Jewish] “Son of God” can humans expect to live a decent life, and then only if they “believe in Him [sic].”


We have discovered, over many years of “teaching” the 7M, that Christian faith is not strengthened but, rather, weakened, by exposure to the Torah, and particularly by exposure to the 7M. Would the God Who created us, Whose very Name is Justice, and gives us the 7M, make the world a place where individuals are damned and helpless if they don’t “believe in” another human being - whom God Himself had murdered?


Some few obstacles exist, on the “spiritual side,” to everybody taking up the 7M.



We call on God for help. As the prayer that Israel says every morning just before reciting the Hebrew statement of faith known as the shema asks (please understand that this is much richer in Hebrew than in English): Our Father, the merciful Father, Who acts mercifully, have mercy on us, instill in our hearts to understand and elucidate, to listen, learn, teach, safeguard, perform and fulfill all the words of Your Torah's teachings with love. Enlighten our eyes in Your Torah, attach our hearts to Your commandments, and unify our hearts to love and fear Your Name. Amen.

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