Join Rabbi Haber's mailing list:
Home What's New Blogs Store Dedications Weekly Parshah About TorahLab Contact Us Links

Blogs

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Recent comments to "Lo Sichaneim – Do Not Grant Them Favor"

WOW, I am stunned that you are advocating not following the Rama, the father of ashkenazic psak.

By marc on 2011 01 12

About your quote of “keeping the peace.” I have heard from Rabbi Hanan Balk (shirr from yutorah.org) in the name of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, that one can be medayek in the Rambam in Hilchot Melachim that darkei shalom in the context of cheesed is not only to “keep the peace,” but rather it is an outright fulfillment of the mitzvah והלכת בדרכיו. The diyuk is from the fact that Rambam adds that this darkei shalom is based on the psukim דרכיה דרכי נועם and ...טוב ה’ לכל (as opposed to just משום איבה)

By Eliyahu on 2013 01 09

* I meant R Aharon Soleveitchik

By Eliyahu on 2013 01 09

About your point that a get toshav must be accepted in brit din: Look at a yeshiva of Maharetz Chayut (i forgot the source) who calls Christians a get toshav. I believe (and I saw a contemporary Rabbi say the same thing) that even if a goy is not technically a get toshav, but since רחמנא לבא בעי, a God fearing Christian, Muslim, or whatever, who tries his best to keep the 7 Miotzvot, is a ger toshav, because he would become a noahide if he understood what the Torah really wants from him. He may even have negative views on Jews because of the chillul Hashem going on today, but he is a tinok shenishba and Hashem sees the heart. (Furthermore, many devout goyim nowadays may be from the lost tribes and are actually Jewish!).

By Eliyahu on 2013 01 09

Eliyahu,
Thank you for your insightful comments.
That’s an interesting diyuk in the Rambam, and I will try to listen to the shiur. It is very much not the common understanding, and there would be many Gemaras that one can question that from.
There are minority opinions that a Ger Toshav is automatic. That’s why I wrote generally understood. However the general consensus is that it requires Basi Din. You wouldn’t say רחמנא ליבא בעי for a full fledged modern day convert, would you?

By Tzvi Haber on 2013 01 09

True a non-Jew is not a full fledged ger toshav halachikly according to the majority opinion, but I find it hard to believe that when Hashem says to love people and bring them close to Torah (Avot chapter 1), it would be forbidden to do chesed for them or praise them, if not for “keeping the peace.” I understand if he is an idolator who doesn’t keep 7 Mitzvot; but as regards to a monotheist, and even possibly an idolator who is moral (like many people from Asia) and just follows his idolatrous religion because “minhag avoteihem biyadayhem,” I find it very hard to believe that Hashem doesn’t want us to be good to them for the sake of chesed and out of love. Therefore my heart pulls me to whatever opinion agrees with this; whether it is a diyuk in Rambam, a minority Meiri, or whatever; my spiritually attuned heart cannot accept the conventional understanding of this misunderstood and crucial sugya.

I may agree with the “keeping the piece” shita, because practically it almost always allows us to do chesed in todays connected and public world; but I would make sure to go about my chesed with love in my heart towards them. Unfortunately, I know people who follow this shita, and mistakenly forget how Hashem is good to all and that He enjoins us to love all people whether or not we are supposed to actively extend chesed to them.

I just thought of a chiddush: One way to explain the majority shita may be to compare goyim to a wife who is a nidda; we can feel the love for them but there must be a certain separation in order to keep us Tahor. I believe that all good people are part of one body. The only problematic idea for me is the Ramchal’s statement that there will be a difference between us and goyim in the next world; but I have a hunch that in a later stage in time all of us will be one.

(Rabbi Balk has a whole series concerning this topic on YUTORAH.org. I forgot which shiur quotes what I brought in an earlier note).

By Eliyahu on 2013 01 10

Further support for why one should proactively extend chesed to goyim (e.g. like chabad and other kiruv efforts around the world), even according to the majority shitot, is 1- Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai made sure to be the first to greet people (by saying שלום), even non-Jews, in the marketplace (Brachot 17a); 2- It is a mitzvah to return an aveida to a goy when a kiddush Hashem will result (Shulchan Aruch in Chosen Mishpat somewhere). I say that whenever Jews are kind to people it is a tremendous kiddush Hashem, especially because Jews/Israel, unfortunately, have an undeserved bad reputation in the public eye. Therefore no Jew should hesitate before being kind to non-Jews.

By Eliyahu on 2013 01 11

Rabbi Elias in his footnotes to the 19 letters makes the same diyuk as R Ahron Solovetchik regarding the Rambam. He understands that Rav Hirsch espoused the same thing.

Rav Chaim Vital states that it is an obligation to love all of a creation even nonJews

By Crazy Kanoiy on 2013 10 20

I’d love to see the footnote, do you have the page number?
Loving, being kind and pleasant and greeting is different than praising or gifting, I don’t see any contradiction.

By Tzvi Haber on 2013 10 20

To #8: Rav Hirsch in Collected Letters 7 writes to the Russian Czar in defense of the Talmud that non-Jews today are treated unlike idolators of the past (like Meiri).
Also, I understand R Chaim Viotal in Sharei Kedusha that it is not an obligation to love them, but rather it is a good midda (middos are the foundation of the entire Torah as he says in the beginning of the sefer)

By Eliyahu on 2013 10 21

To #8: Rav Hirsch in Collected Letters 7 writes to the Russian Czar in defense of the Talmud that non-Jews today are treated unlike idolators of the past (like Meiri).
Also, I understand R Chaim Vital in Sharei Kedusha that it is not an obligation to love them, but rather it is a good midda (middos are the foundation of the entire Torah as he says in the beginning of the sefer)

By Eliyahu on 2013 10 21

To #9. Letter 15 Footnote 11. (See Also Horeb 503 and Letter 15 Footnote 23 regarding the status of contemporary non-Jews.)

By Crazy Kanoiy on 2013 10 21

#10 You could be right regarding Rav Chaim Vital. However it should be noted that the Sefer Habris states that the obligation of Vahavta l’reiacha Kamocha applies to Non Jews.

The Tanna Dbei Eliyahu and Rabbeinu Bachya both understand “reiacha” to include non Jews in some instances even though the norm is reiaha b’mitzvos.

By Crazy Kanoiy on 2013 10 21

Actually, the prohibition of praising them is referring to idol worshippers. Thus, there would be a questin regarding Notzrim according to Rabbenu Tam that it is permitted to gentiles while still being idolatry for us, especially today when they are merely following customs, and even more so secular gentiles.

By Avi Keslinger on 2013 11 10

Actually, the prohibition of praising them only refers to idol worshippers. It would seem that according to Rabbenu Tam that Natzrut is permitted to gentiles there would be a question and even more so would there be a heter regarding a secular gentile.

By Avi on 2013 11 10

Avi,
I actually dealt with this in the beginning of the article - according to most poskim, including the Shulchan Aruch, the prohibition applies to all non Jews, wvwn confirmed non-idolators. I recommend you take a second look.
Bkavod
TH

By Tzvi Haber on 2013 11 11

Post a comment on this entry

Name: (required)

Email: (required)

Location:

URL:

Comment: (required)

 Notify me of follow-up comments?

For security reasons, please type in the letters you see below: