Idol Worship and the Ger Toshav — Rabbi Chaim Clorfene
Idol Worship and the Ger Toshav — Rabbi Chaim Clorfene provides a comprehensive overview on the issue of idol worship. Declaring that belief in the One God blessed be he, is a mandate for the Noahide / Ger.
IDOLATRY AND THE NOAHIDE
Shalom u’vracha – greetings and blessings.
I would like to talk today a little about idolatry.
In the beginning, mankind knew how to walk with G-d.
They had the Covenant of the Ancients to instruct them and to protect them.
But somewhere along the way they got lost.
People felt that it was too difficult to honor their Creator.
An invisible G-d Who was both in heaven and earth was beyond their comprehension.
So they thought they would honor Him by honoring His ministers – the sun and the moon and the constellations that He had put in the heavens, and the enlightened spiritual masters that He had placed on earth.
Over time, people began to worship the ministers as gods in their own right, and they forgot about the Creator completely.
Therefore, G-d chose one nation from all the others to preserve the knowledge of Him.
And He gave them the Torah to show them how to walk with G-d.
That nation was Israel.
But Israel also lost its way and became attracted to the gods of other nations.
So G-d hid Himself. It was called hester panim, the concealment of the face of G-d.
When G-d is concealed, cruelty reigns supreme and there is great human suffering.
The divine qualities of man become subsumed in the animal.
And that is how it has been for thousands of years.
But now, people from all over the world are being led back to their Source, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
They are coming one from a city and two from a family.
G-d promised Abraham that he would be a blessing to all mankind.
And He repeated the promise to Jacob, as it says in Genesis 28:14, “In you and in your children shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”
The fulfillment of this promise is Geula Shalaimah, the Final Redemption, when the families of man walk with G-d, and the knowledge of the G-d of Israel fills the world like water covers the seabed.
So how do we begin? How do we take our first steps?
We begin by scrupulously observing the Seven Laws of the Children of Noah.
These laws were given to Adam in the Garden of Eden, and were repeated to Noah after the flood.
And Moses repeated them at Mount Sinai.
The seven laws are:
1. Do not worship idols.
2. Do not curse the Name of G-d.
3. Do not murder.
4. Do not steal.
5. Do not engage in forbidden sexual acts.
6. Do not eat a limb taken from a living animal.
7. Do not fail to establish courts of law to uphold these laws.
Obedience to this simple doctrine guarantees G-d’s salvation for the individual and his family and his way of life.
Of these seven laws, the first one, the one prohibiting idol worship, is equal to all the others combined.
According to Rebbe Meir in the Talmud, a Noahide who pledges not to worship idols can be certified as a ger toshav, a foreigner who has earned the right…not just the privilege, but the right… to settle in the holy land.
And today, probably for the first time since the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, there are rabbinic courts in Israel, the United States, the Netherlands, and Australia, that are prepared to certify this status for Noahides and their families.
So what is the procedure when a non-Jew shows up at a rabbinic court to become a Ger Toshav?
One of the three judges asks him, “Do you accept upon yourself the commandment not to worship idols.”
And he answers, “Yes, I accept upon myself the commandment not to worship idols.”
Then, the judges proceed to explain some of the basic principles of idol worship.
They tell him that it is forbidden to worship any created thing, physical or spiritual.
Whether it be a man or a plant or an animal or an angel or a spirit, or a mountain, or an ocean, or a river, or anything of the four fundamentals – air, earth, fire, and water – or the soul of an ascended spiritual master – it is forbidden to worship it or to believe in it as the source of one’s salvation, as it says in Isaiah 43:11, “I, I am the L-rd, and besides Me there is no savior.”
And how do we know the identity of this L-rd and Savior?
He told us Himself on Mount Sinai.
He said, “I am the L-rd your G-d Who took you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of bondage.”
Any deity that did not take the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt is a false god and to worship it is idolatry.
Next, the judges explain some basic teachings about the nature of G-d.
G-d is without beginning and without end. He is the Eternal, the Ain Sof in Hebrew.
G-d created the universe and His Providence is over everything at all times.
He spoke and the world came into being from absolute nothingness.
He was the same before creation as after creation, and when all has ceased to be, He will be the same, as it says in Malachi 3:6: “I am the L-rd, I have not changed.”
G-d has no body and no accidents of the body can ever befall Him.
He is One and there is no second to compare to Him.
His Oneness is simple perfection with a simplicity that is beyond human comprehension, as it says in the Tikkunei Zohar, “Ain machshava tefissa bei klal – no thought can grasp You at all.”
Human intellect could no more understand the Ain Sof than a person could hold wisdom in a cup.
But despite His being incomprehensible, G-d has given mankind the gift of prophecy to connect with Him.
And through prophecy, every man can walk with G-d, as it says in the Book of Joel 3:1: “And it will happen after this that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your elders will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.”
This G-d is our Father and our King.
And every day we ask that He build the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and restore the throne of King David.
Now, back to the courtroom.
The judges ask the Noahide a second time, “Do you accept upon yourself the commandment not to worship idols?”
And the Noahide says, “Yes, I accept upon myself the commandment not to worship idols.”
The court then certifies him as a Ger Toshav with the right to settle in the holy land and to dwell within the gates of Israel.
He receives a teudah, a certificate signed by the judges testifying to his status as a Ger Toshav.
There, in the land, he will live side by side with the Jew.
And with G-d’s help, Jew and Ger will succeed wherever they turn, for the Talmud teaches that Satan has no power over two peoples who work together.
This is the view of Rebbe Meir.
Afterwards, the judges will warn the new Ger Toshav about minim.
Who are the minim?
Rabbi Yaakov Emden defines a min as a member of a sect that believes in two powers.
This form of idolatry exists in many Christian sects, from the Baptists, to the Presbyterians, to the Pope.
They worship more than one power.
They worship a trinity and assert that the three are one. The Torah considers this idolatry.
But it is not the belief in a trinity alone that makes Christians minim.
They believe in another deity altogether.
They have deified Satan.
Christians believe that Satan is a worthy adversary of G-d. He has a separate kingdom and is at war with the Creator.
That is idolatry.
To give Satan an independent will is to make him a god.
In the first chapter of the Book of Job, Satan comes before the L-rd and asks permission to test Job.
And G-d says to Satan: “Behold, all that he has is in your hands, only do not stretch forth your hand upon him. And Satan left the presence of the L-rd.”
From here we see that G-d is the Master of Satan just as He is the Master of the universe.
There is only one power, not two.
Christianity is semi-monotheism.
G-d is not three in one. G-d is one.
* * * *
Which brings us to Messianic Judaism, a remake of the old Hebrew-Christian movement.
Messianic Jews are minim.
It is Christianity, not Judaism.
They do not worship the G-d of Jesus. They worship Jesus the god.
Their god ate food, went to the toilet, and had nightmares as a kid.
Messianic congregations may have Jews among them and they might do Jewish things and their leaders might be called rabbis. But it means nothing.
They have no share in the G-d of Israel.
Because their G-d is not the G-d of the Torah.
You may recall that the Jewish people are no strangers to idol worship.
We are the ones who worshipped the golden calf at Mount Sinai.
And a thousand years later, our elders were bowing to the sun with their backs to the Holy of Holies.
As a Levite, I am testifying that every Messianic sect, Jewish or Christian, is a sacona nefashos, a danger to one’s soul, because it is idolatry.
The Zohar says, “Not in any man do I trust, nor on any angel do I rely – only on the G-d of heaven Who is the G-d of truth, Whose Torah is truth and Whose prophets are true and Who acts generously with kindness and truth.”
Messianic Judaism can rectify itself. All they have to do is tear off the back half of their Bible and realize that there is no mercy in Christianity.
Threats of damnation are the weapons of the false prophet. We are not to fear them. Rather, we are to trust the G-d of Israel, as King David wrote (Psalms 27:1), “The L-rd is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?”
Only the G-d of Israel is truly merciful.
He is the Savior. And, Baruch Hashem, no one can take you out of His hand.
* * * *
There remains one more sect of minim – the worst one of all, the most spiritually defiled of all.
This sect is so sunken into the schmutz that its members have been known to leave snail tracks when they walk.
These are the liberal left-wing American Jews, devout Democrats, who worship any power at all, so long as it hates them and their people.
These self-righteous Hellenists with foreskins for brains consider Mount Sinai a myth, but believe that the Klingons are real.
If there were such a thing as gach, they would run to eat it.
May Hashem open their eyes and shut their mouths.
And may we all remember the words of that great Jewish philosopher Irving J. Rabinowitz, “When you are in a hypnotic trance, you can believe anything, even that Islam is a religion of peace.”
Wake up Yidden. Wake up America.
G-d will fight for you if you ask Him.
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