Those who choose the Path of Abraham in any generation are revolutionaries, who break away from crazy “gods” and oppressive customs to serve and fear and love the God of freedom. By striving for respectful, rational, highly conscious service to HaShem – which is the highest freedom and the world’s most liberating consciousness - they become active members in good standing of a radical liberation movement.
This is, of course, the world-historical ancient world-wide movement, cleverly crafted to save the world - by making humankind more worthy of being saved - called the Hebrew Revolution.
Calling this “Jewish” demeans it: in fact, it’s a defamation - a blasphemy - against God. Clearly, the path of Abraham ha’Ivri – Abraham “from the other side,” Genesis 14:13 – is for everyone.
As the Prophets teach, all humanity will eventually fulfill this part of our race’s destiny to become HaShem’s conscious servants. (E.g., Zephaniah 3:9, Isaiah 66:23, Zechariah 14:16.)
“The Earth shall be full of the knowledge of HaShem as the waters cover the seas” – Isaiah 11:9
Dimitar Kosev, a European friend, is one such Hebrew revolutionary: an Ivri, in this case a Noahide, or non-Jewish person, who consciously strives to humbly - that is, respectfully - serve HaShem.
Mr Kosev writes:
Ivri who aren’t born Jewish or who don’t convert to Judaism have no sacred religious traditions to keep. So, many of us imitate Israel and Hebrew Tradition.
I believe that everyone must be unique and personal in approaching the Creator. Each Ivri lives in his own world – a world designed, by God’s Providence, specifically, personally for him or her – and must fight, daily, to keep one’s mind clear and sane. Israel’s holy Teachings help with that enormously. So, I believe, we must learn from Israel.
What I want to do here is to briefly specify, based on my personal judgment, several Hebrew practices that I believe Ivri should do.
[Speaking of prayer, for current and future reference, we recommend this book: the Artscroll transliterated linear siddur, or prayerbook. The one we’re citing here, with page numbers, is for weekdays. We use it ourselves. You can pick it up online but we suggest going to a proper Jewish bookstore. We sometimes buy ourselves from Rabbi Michael Katz’s Holy Land Judaica store. In general, it’s good to support community booksellers.]
Modeh Ani (“I gratefully thank You,” prayer upon waking up, p. 54). Excellent way to start the day. Every Ivri should daily thank Hashem for everything, and re-confirm one’s determination to live another Divinely granted day adequately, by keeping His Ways. Modeh Ani is an important contract, a vow, by which an Ivri takes up certain obligations before God. Not for God, nor for himself, particularly, but for the survival and sanity of his own personality.
Birkat Hamazon (Blessings after food, p. 310). Required self-reminder of the eternal Source of everything, and gratitude to Him. Every time an Ivri says "Baruch Hashem", for any reason, it’s good and useful for him or her.
Shabbat. Ivri must remember it: the Divine gift of dominion over the earth deserves commemoration, at least, and gracious thanks. IMHO, any Ivri should, if possible, abstain from any work for profit on the Sabbath. Not because someone said so, but simply because the Sabbath makes it possible to overcome daily cares, and then to focus on God and higher things - with study, thinking, and spiritual conversations. Ivri can celebrate it as a family holiday with special food and a festive table.
Bar/bat mitzva. Jewish children enter into the community of Bnei Israel. Where do non-Jewish Ivri children enter, and how? I think they should learn to remember this day as very special and personal, with a celebration organized by one’s parents in one’s honor. Not so much for school friends and neighbor children: it is not a birthday party. Parents’ attitudes to their children should inform them that the time of childhood irresponsibility is gone and that of duty and responsibility begins. This is the solemn day of the child’s formal initiation into the world-wide community of Ivri, the servants of Hashem.
Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succot, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, Tisha b'Av. Books could be written about their universal meaning. Ivri should commemorate every one of them, individually, in their own way, proper to their own family, culture, and country. Our father Abraham never celebrated any of them but now it's 5778 and we have the Tanakh, and Israel, and these holy days have come to be. They’ve happened, for the benefit of all of us.
For Ivri, these commemorations of special days and rituals express recogntition and appreciation of God’s awesome faithfulness (His emuna) and His infinite trustworthiness (His bitachon).
Concerning the above, we’ve seen some odd Gentile adaptations of Hebrew practices – their clergy flaunting kipot (ritual headcoverings) and tallisim (prayer-shawls) in worship services that delimit and blaspheme HaShem; painting a cross on a mezuzah case, filling it with a passage from Gentile scripture about the Christians’ “Redeemer,” and posting it on a doorpost, and kindred usurpations.... They contradict the very clear Torah Teaching that people are NOT to take Torah practices and make them anti-Torah. People are NOT to usurp the Way of the Ivri to make a new religion.
Rabbi Michael Katz recalls eager Noahides asking him to calculate the date that Noah (No’ach) left the Ark, so they could celebrate it as a new “universal” holiday. He refused – they were trying to make a new religion.
Ivri strive not to do such things. They worship HaShem, and only HaShem, directly. They incorporate Ivri ways – traditional Torah ways - and practices into their lives only as respectful, conscious servants of HaShem. They don’t do things guaranteed to dismay their Jewish friends and rabbis and make their skin crawl. Their service isn’t appalling to the People of Israel but a cause of joy.
“Let all who walk the earth recognize and know that You alone are the God over all the kingdoms of the earth.”
from Ata Hu in the Siddur, morning prayer.
“Sing unto God, all you kingdoms of the earth; Oh, sing praises unto HaShem.”
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