United World in United Nations

By Yosef Geller

The United Nations took dramatic steps towards world peace when ambassadors, NGOS, Rabbis and chaplains met to discuss the Seven Laws of Noah at a United Nations conference room on Monday, July 2.

“It is critical that the representatives of the United Nations affirm and commit publicly to the basic premise, that people respect the very core fabric of life given by the Creator, which the Seven Universal Laws of Noah represent,” said Rabbi Yaakov Dovid Cohen, founder and director of Institute of Noahide Code and the key note speaker at Monday’s event.

The Seven Laws of Noah are an obligation on all of man-kind.  They include G-d’s commandments not to kill and not to steal, laws which most people follow already.  The main reason to follow them, though, is because G-d commanded them to all the people of the world through Moses and the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.

The US House and Senate already committed to these laws in 1991 when they passed a bill stating that the ‘bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization’ is ‘known as the ‘Seven Noahide Laws.’  The bill has been signed by past US presidents including President Bush and President Reagan.

The current Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi M. M. Schneerson, has been the driving force behind spreading the Seven Laws of Noah.  He said the fulfillment of these laws will hasten the imminent redemption through our Righteous Moshiach.

The event coincided with the celebration of the release of the previous Lubavitcher’s Rebbe’s release from communist prison in 1927.

A complete lists of the Seven Laws of Noah:

  1. Belief in One G-d. Do not worship idols.
  2. Respect G-d and praise Him. Do not blasphemy His Name
  3. Respect human life.  Do not murder; included in this is the prohibition on abortions.
  4. Respect the sanctity of marriage; included in this is the prohibition on same-sex marriages.
  5. Do not steal.
  6. Respect all creatures; included in this is the prohibition of tearing a limb off a living animal.
  7. Set up a judicial system to enforce these laws.


Greetings and blessings,

It is my great privilege to hereby welcome you and our guests of the panel United World which takes place on this Monday July 2, 2012 the Hebrew date 12 of Tamuz a day we celebrate the freedom of the Chabad Rebbe Rabbi Y.Y. Schneerson in 1927.

On this day, people all over the world will be gathering on the Laws of Noah. Their observance is required, so that the vision of the United Nations– to have a settled and civilized world, in which economic justice and righteousness will prevail – can be fulfilled, with all of us working together in unison.

Especially now in these turbulent times, when so many people everywhere feel pressured and unsettled as a result of the global financial crisis, it is more important than ever to focus on the most important part of life: the spiritual integrity of human beings before G-d and the desire of the Creator to bestow all blessings on humanity through the full and complete redemption. At the same time, for the sake of children and youth around the world, it is critical that the representatives of the United Nation affirm and commit publicly to the basic premise, that people respect the very core fabric of life given by the Creator, which the Seven Universal Laws of Noah represent

Before creation, G-d had unity. G-d was all there was; there were no borders, definitions or distinctions. If unchallenged unity is what G-d wants, He had it already. He would not have created the world.

Creation was an act of making borders. From unity came multiplicity. Ours is a world of divisions: body and soul, male and female; as well as the divisions of nations, families and individuals.

Why did G-d create multiplicity? Doesn’t that go against the oneness of G-d? No, it doesn’t. Because the deepest unity is unity found within diversity. If we are all the same, then unity is no big deal. So G-d gave us all particular souls, each with its unique and diverse characteristics. When each individual as an individual, and each nation from within its own culture and perspective, recognizes the same G-d, that is real unity.

In other words, a unity that is challenged by diversity yet emerges from that very diversity is an invincible unity. That is something G-d “couldn’t” have without a world like ours.

To blur the boundaries between nations, genders and individuals is to avoid facing the challenge which lies at the very heart of G-d’s purpose in creation — to find unity in our differences.

For the unity of humankind we need one G-d; but for G-d’s unity to be complete we need human diversity.

Jews should be Jews, non-Jews should be non-Jews, men should be men and women should be women. And every individual has to be himself. Only then can we learn from each other the wisdom that we ourselves lack.

The majesty of G-d is revealed when each individual and community connects with Him from his/her/their unique vantage point. There is a contribution that only you can make to G-d’s master plan.

Monotheism means much more than one god as opposed to two; it’s not just a statement that there is no other G-d outside of G-d. It’s a statement that there is no other reality outside of G-d. Nothing at all exists outside the Divine. But if so, why do we use the Hebrew word Echad – meaning ‘One’ – to describe G-d’s Oneness? A better word would be Yachid, which means ‘Only’. ‘One’ can be a single reality, made of components coming together as one. ‘Only’ underscores the absolute lack of another reality. Why call G-d ‘One’ when we can call Him ‘Only’?

Shema’s message articulates the beauty of having a disparate world, one which seems disconnected from itself, let alone from the Divine, being brought into harmony with the Divine plan.

G-d created a world of differences. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. If there were only one element to the Divine Will in creation, then G-d could have created a single being and less complexity in nature.

G-d created a world with men and women, Jew and gentile, trees and flowers etc so that we might each – in our own vein – contribute to the Divine goal of making this world into a G-dly place.

G-d created a symphony, with many different instruments contributing to the Divine harmony. We just need to find the peculiar talent and contribution of each instrument obliterating the differences defeats the point. We have to learn from differences and use them the way G-d intended them. Each of G-d’s creations – with their differences – has a unique role in our march toward meaning.

So, yes, the Torah has a separateness doctrine. The same Torah which celebrates the profound unity between husband and wife, warns us not to forget who we each are. Blurring the lines between man and woman leads to ‘sameness’ not ‘oneness’.

As the story is told of the Rebbe in 1927 when the communist pointed a gun at him he said ” this can only scare someone who has many G-d’s and one world, however I believe in one G-d and two worlds”.

The Jewish goal is ‘G-d is One’. Recognizing the world which G-d created, with all its parameters and differences, and recognizing the beauty in those nuances of this wonderful world in which we live.

The righteous of the nations are called in Hebrew “Chassidei Umot HaOlam” and we believe UN diplomatic corps will recognized the 7 laws of Noah or Noahide laws on this auspicious day, in order to strengthen our joint commitment to “increasing in acts of goodness and kindness to get the world ready for the redemption”.

 

Notes from United World conference Monday July 2, 2012 777 United Nation Plaza NY, NY USA, by Rabbi Yakov D. Cohen www.Noahide.org