A New Road Map for Peace

A New Road Map for Peace

We’ve been reading about the “road map” to peace in the Middle East for many years. Anyone can see it hasn’t taken us very far. It’s been like trying to get to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco using a map of Lower Manhattan. You can try harder, pray harder, and double your speed. But your efforts only succeed in getting you to the wrong place faster. The fundamental problem has nothing to do with traffic jams, diversions or delays; it has everything to do with using the wrong map.

For over a decade, Israel has navigated tirelessly to achieve peace using the Oslo map, which was built on this premise: Assuage the other side’s grievances–end the occupation; give the Palestinians land, armed forces, their own state–and peace will follow. Hence in 1993, Israel brought the PLO out of exile and gave it recognition, international legitimacy, governmental autonomy and authority over 98% of the Palestinian population.

Where has this map brought us? In the past decade, terrorism has increased dramatically. Eleven years ago, Yitzhak Rabin, in his historic speech on the White House lawn, spoke of a future in which mothers no longer wept for sons lost in battle. But the weeping has not ended; it reached a deafening crescendo. Terrorists have killed more Israelis in the eleven years since Oslo began in 1993 than in the 45 years of Israel’s existence before that.

Obviously we’ve been using the wrong map to move us toward peace. Is there an alternative?

Ludwig Wittgenstein once said that his aim as a philosopher was, “To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.” The fly keeps banging its head against the glass in a vain attempt to get out. The more it tries, the more it fails, until it drops from exhaustion. The one thing it forgets to do is look to the sky. Like the frustrated fly, the one thing Israel has forgotten to do is look to the sky.

If Israelis were to look up, they would see an alternative map to peace, provided by El Al, Israel’s renowned airline.

El Al is the gold standard in aviation security. There is a sense of safety and comfort on El Al planes felt by all of its passengers–Jews, Christians and Moslems alike–that one does not feel on any other aircraft. This is an astounding achievement, since El Al is the world’s most coveted terrorist target in the sky.

Now, imagine if El Al decided that because it has been despised for decades, it is time to change its policy and methods of security. First, El Al would invite people who in the past wished to hijack and blow up its planes and passengers and give them “autonomy” on one section aboard El Al aircraft. In these sections, former hijackers could move about freely without scrutiny or supervision. Next, El Al would make these “reformed militants” responsible for the security of passengers seated in their area of the aircraft. This overture of peace would certainly demonstrate to the international community that El Al is truly committed to coexistence and liberal values. It would help put an end to the animosity felt by many toward El Al.

Some would propose that El Al show more “flexibility” and relinquish control of the cockpit to the former terrorists. Some would advocate that El Al construct a wall to enclose the autonomous aisles or to unilaterally withdraw from several seats that are in close proximity to those aisles.

All of these strategies, of course, would be suicidal for El Al. All of them miss the fundamental point. Compromising on security or granting autonomy on a single seat would spell cataclysmic disaster for the entire airline. The life of every passenger, Muslim, Jew and Christian, would be placed in mortal danger. Travelers would before long bid farewell to El Al. That would spell the end of the airline.

The only way for El Al to eradicate terror from its airplanes is not through concessions or autonomy, but rather by destroying any hope the terrorists have of achieving their objectives. El Al has adopted an uncompromising stance against terrorism, and they make no apologies. The world stands in admiration of what El Al has accomplished. The El Al road map goes by the name “peace through strength.”

This is the right road map to peace in Israel.

If the last decade of the Oslo process has taught anything, it is that no responsible government can give in to terror. Such behavior does not end terror, but invites it yet more.

The Arab terror war against Israel is no more a territorial conflict than was al Qaeda’s strike against America, and it can no more be resolved by the current “road map” than anti-Americanism could be appeased by yielding New Jersey to Osama bin Laden.

Hence, Israel’s intent to withdraw from Gaza is profoundly misdirected. The Palestinian goal over the last decade has been to demoralize the Israeli people through terrorism and force a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the territories. If they succeed, the relentless war against Israel will be launched far more advantageously from their newly acquired territory.

At the end of World War II, Winston Churchill quipped, “You can always rely on America to do the right thing, once it has exhausted the alternatives.” Israel, which has far fewer alternatives than the U.S., has long ago exhausted them all. How much more innocent blood needs to be spilled before we abandon the failed maps of the past? How many more children have to be blown up by suicide bombers before we pursue the course El Al has bravely charted?

By Dov Greenberg
Rabbi Dov Greenberg is excutive director of Chabad at Stanford UniversityOriginally posted on Algemeiner.com




Helping to Die

Helping to Die

By: Rabbi Shea Hecht

 

B”H

The title of a recent news article shocked me. It said, “Dutch Docs Helping Sick Kids Die.” We are well aware of the debate over legalizing euthanasia for adults, but the topic of this article was alarming: Dutch doctors helping children die. I looked at the study more closely and saw that it covered 64 deaths of ill children within a four-month period. Of those, 42 involved medical decisions to hasten death. Just as with many other matters, the issue of euthanasia seems to have turned into “One small step for man and a giant leap for mankind.”

Holland is so far away from us, we can read the article, pretend there is no world community and that this news article doesn’t affect us. The question of euthanasia is not so far away from us though. It is coming up in the USA this fall – in Oregon – so perhaps we should look at this story with greater interest.

Euthanasia began as means for doctors to help terminally ill, elderly, consenting adults escape the pain and misery of a long, drawn out death. There has been raging controversy over the matter, and the Dutch were the first to legalize euthanasia in 2002. I just wonder how assisting consenting adults to terminate their lives turned into this monster of doctors ending children’s lives?

I was anxious to verify the ‘age of consent’ in the Netherlands. Maybe children are treated like adults in Holland justifying such actions. Through research I discovered that the legal age to drive in Holland is 18. Children can’t legally sit in the front seat of a moving vehicle if they are below the age of 12. The legal drinking age in Holland is 16; the legal voting age is 18.

If the Dutch government considers children mature enough to make life altering decisions from birth this move would be slightly easier to understand, but the Dutch government feels they must monitor each challenge in a child’s life and legalize it as the child matures. How then do they explain that children are not mature enough to experience many things adults can, yet they are subjected to an immoral and heinous act that was legalized for adults?

Perhaps the Dutch authorities feel that the question of euthanasia is not a child’s decision, but falls under the guidelines of ‘parental consent’. However, if something as serious as a child’s life is considered a parental decision why aren’t Dutch parents allowed to decide the proper age their children can drink or drive or vote? It seems ironic that parents can’t decide these issues for their children, but they have the power to terminate their child’s life.

Historically, justifying the death of any group of people, has lead to the justification of death for another group.

In Holland, euthanasia seems to be taking the historic route. I found no direct connection between Holland’s euthanasia of consenting adults and a parent’s choice to end their child’s life. Allowing the former seems to have lead to accepting the latter. These things seem to ‘just happen’ and if no one questions them, they become the accepted norm.

Euthanasia is wrong and legalizing it would be a grave mistake. I trust the USA Supreme Court will understand the ramifications of passing such a law and think long and hard before doing so. Additionally, the dangerous path this law can lead us down in the future is starkly apparent in Holland. The doctor-assisted childhood deaths there should be warning enough.




Jews & non-Jews: Dual Roles…

Jews & non-Jews: Dual Roles in Preparing the World for Moshiach

In this age of egalitarian and liberal thinking, how can Jews still promote what is to many intellectuals a shameful and vainglorious sentiment of being the chosen nation? How can Jews preach to the world that they are better than everyone else?

Understanding the concept of chosen nation as arrogant behavior on the part of the Jews is a gross misrepresentation. On the contrary: it is a humbling motif. The Jews were not merely chosen as G-d’s special people, as if the Almighty was playing favorites. They were chosen for a mission. And that mission was to spread the knowledge of the creator and His expectations of man to all nations. Thus, G-d’s choosing the Jewish people was a calling that would forever remind them that alone they are insufficient. If the Jews wanted to believe for even a moment that so long as they served G-d justly and lovingly, G-d would be satisfied, He made the purpose of their being on this earth to tell the other nations that they are important, too. G-d is not satisfied with the contribution of the Jews alone, but desires the service and participation of all nations.

This is what being chosen means and the responsibility it entails. Can anyone think of a greater humbling device than a nation whose whole existence is dedicated to teaching the other nations that G-d loves and needs them, too?

It is for this reason that Judaism discourages Gentile converts. It is not because Jews feel they are part of an elite club and no outsiders are allowed. Quite the contrary! Judaism does not invite converts because it is a fallacy to believe that one need be a Jew in order to enjoy closeness to G-d or lead a fulfilled life. The way G-d created each and every one of us is the way in which He wanted us to serve Him. For a Gentile to believe that he must be Jewish in order to “upgrade” his existence is not only erroneous, but it can be extremely damaging. By becoming a Jew, he might neglect to make the contributions to society in the way in which he was meant to do! The world needs him the way he is, which is why G-d created him that way. What G-d does expect, however, is that he develop his inner potential for what he is within the divine scheme of things, to his greatest potential. In this way, Jews and Gentiles alike can benefit from what he makes of himself within the parameters of G-d’s will.

What is it about the human mind that it cannot accept differences as a blessing, but a curse? Why is it that even when one speaks of “tolerating” differences, the tolerance is spoken of as a necessary evil?

To our great misfortune, we live in an age which not only does not appreciate differences, but actively seeks to obliterate them. On the contrary, equality in today’s society seems to mean that there must be an indistinguishable, homogenous mass where all things are equal by virtue of their being similar. Pluralism and multiculturalism are difficult to achieve. While most decent societies promote the concept, those who have to live being different still feel like outcasts. This is due to two factors.

This first is a weakness of identity on the part of the minority groups. At the end of the day if an individual is not strong about what he is, what he represents, and why it is important that he continue, then even in the most tolerant of societies he will want to acculturate and he like everyone else.

The other reason for the failure of true multiculturalism is that modern society does not like differences. In Judaism the word holy actually means “distinct” or “removed.” Something is holy by virtue of it being dissimilar to something else. Thus, a human being becomes holy when he acts differently than animals. Instead of eating whenever, however, and whatever he likes, a Jew eats kosher food, and not by sticking his head into a bowl. When a person does eat without human etiquette, we say that he behaves like an animal. Human beings are holy by virtue of their being different.

Similarly, G-d is holy because He is not like man. He has no body, limitations, or other corporal description. Shabbat is holy because it is different than the other days of the week. To treat it like any other day of the week is to deny its holiness. Judaism teaches man to be sensitive and appreciative of differences.

But in modern society, man is increasingly obliterating all differences. New-age thought teaches that all men are Gods. Stores are open seven days a week so that there is no day of rest. Men and women are encouraged to believe that aside from physiological variations, there are no real differences. And science today has taught man that for all practical purposes he is no different than other animals.

It can be appreciated that with this kind of thinking rampant, the differences between nations and peoples are also being obliterated. The Jewish people are gradually disintegrating through intermarriage, and many young people even feel repulsed by parents who try to encourage them to marry within the faith. They do not believe that they are different and are frightened of the very thought.

One of the reasons people are reluctant to accept or admit to existing differences is because many nations have been downtrodden and abused because they were different, by other nations who felt themselves to be superior. But if one can encourage a world-view that acknowledges every nation’s, indeed every person’s, ability to benefit from diversity and multiformity, that cannot happen. It is only arrogance that allows us to believe that we are sufficient on our own.

The belief that from everything in this world something positive can be extracted, even those things that appear negative at first, has always been a cornerstone of Judaism. One of the greatest examples of the implementation of this outlook on life was Maimonides. In his celebrated philosophical treatise, Guide to the Perplexed, Maimonides writes that what people usually refer to as “the evil inclination” is not essentially evil. Rather, it is an impulse, an undirected impulse. He saw the evil inclination as an intensity of energy so potent that it could overtake man’s sense of forward direction and goodness, and lead him astray. But energy is precisely what man requires to rise to the challenge of worthy achievement. So, instead of viewing man’s propensity for evil as negative and distancing oneself from it, one should look to manipulate and cultivate it-put a harness on it and thrive on its immense energy.

Hasidism developed this concept further by describing man’s evil inclination as “the animalistic soul,” in contradistinction to the good and “G-dly soul.” While the good soul may be G-dly, it is not as energetic or as driven as the animal soul, which, like its name implies, possesses the raw power of a beast. Using the analogy of an ox, which the Talmud says “can churn out and plough much wheat” so long as it is harnessed, man must use his intellectual faculties to saddle his animal soul. If he is successful, it will be the animal soul dragging the G-dly soul to the service of G-d, and not the reverse.

Maimonides saw a divine purpose in Christianity and Islam. He wrote how both of these religions had brought the knowledge of G-d and the Messiah to distant isles so that there is now a universal familiarity with the concept of the messianic era. Where before in the history of religious debate has any theologian of universal renown written of the divine purpose played by other religions? Maimonides saw in every historical occurrence a way forward toward a better time that would be shared and enjoyed by all peoples.

It was also Maimonides who wrote in his celebrated Laws of Repentance that every individual should always picture the world as if on a scale, teetering between guilty and virtuous. If the individual should do one positive act, he saves the entire world; one wrong move, and the world has had it. One should never underestimate the power of a single good deed, and never overlook every individual’s ability to bring salvation to mankind, Jew and Gentile alike.

Of course, all of the ideas laid out thus far can only work within a sound, moral framework. Otherwise, who is to say that the thief, the bigot, or the Nazi don’t make a positive contribution to their environments. Ultimately, it is the Al¬mighty alone Who can determine which contributions lead to the enhancement of society and which to its collapse. It was He who created all nations ethnically different, and it is He alone Who knows what serves the public good.

The world cannot be run at human whim. It needs an ultimate plan and a regulator who can determine whether it is progressing or regressing. This is the role of the Torah, the divine law, which puts each of one’s contributions into perspective. It teaches that while contributions of compassion and justice by all peoples lead to the betterment of civilization, murder and bigotry lead to its destruction.

It also teaches that different people have different roles. Jews have the commandments of the Torah to observe. Non Jews have the seven Noachide laws to observe, among which are the prohibitions of theft, murder, adultery, cruelty to animals, blasphemy, and the precept to establish courts of justice. The same Torah teaches that the failure of the non Jew to keep his commandments is equally as detrimental as the failure of the Jew to keep his. Both are indispensable. Both need not assume the other’s role to be deemed worthy. Through the contributions of both the world maintains a healthy balance and equanimity.

This idea of dual roles in creation is exclusive to Judaism. No other group is so adamant of the inexclusive right of one group to the truth. The only one with a copyright on truth is the Almighty, and He spelled out different routes for different groups to attain it. He even set out different avenues for men and women to realize their full potential and made it clear that it is harmful for women to choose men for their role model. He went as far as giving women specific commandments that would serve to enhance their precious gifts of femininity.

For the entire world to be just male, or just female, would be insufferable. The same would apply if the entire world had been only Jews or Gentiles, or if all people looked the same or had only the same ideas. By using each other as role models of what we should be in place of learning from each other’s virtue, we deny the world the perfection it could attain through diversity.

What the world needs in order to achieve a higher degree of perfection is Jewish Jews and non-Jewish non Jews, meaning that each group should adhere to the disparate codes of conduct designated for them by the Almighty.

This is the beginning of a messianic world, a world in which contention, jealousy, and war can never play a part for each nation. Each individual would see G-d’s wisdom in creation and, by extension, the perfection that exists in the whole of creation. A messianic world is one where all the people of the earth, while retaining their intrinsic identities, come together to create a better world. This is radically different from the homogeny usually found within the doctrines of secularist utopian states. Marx and Stalin had visions of the workers of the world uniting to create a fairer, more just world. Hitler tried to achieve the same utopia through other means. But both argued for a single race, a single class. It seems that perfecting the world always seems to necessitate everyone becoming the same. The result of those doctrines, though, was a far cry from utopia. They ended with Auschwitz and the Gulag Archipelago.

The reason is simple. The epoch of the Messiah is a time when the unity of G-d will be seen in our world. The world that G-d created will once again be reclaimed as His. But in Judaism, unity never means homogeneity. Rather, unity means taking different parts and demonstrating how they all comprise a greater whole. Unity in marriage is not when a husband puts on his wife’s dress, or when a wife tries to please her husband by joining him in a night out with the boys. Rather, unity in marriage means that people who are essentially different, as different as male and female, come together and through loving one another prove that essentially they are one. Thus, when they have a child together, their unity is demonstrated in the form of a single, indivisible, entity, which makes for an incredible equation of unity: 1 + 1 = 1.

This is the equation that sums up the messianic era. Many different l’s, in the form of nations, people, and ideas focusing together to serve and reunify the ultimate 1-G-d Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, whose infinite power and essence is reflected in the great diversity in creation, which all emanates from Him. The manifestation of that unity is the goal of the messianic era.




Article on Diversity

Article on Diversity

WHAT:      COME JOIN US TO CELEBRATE THIS DIVERSITY, AT EVENT SPONSORED BY THE ORGANIZATION www. NOAHIDE.ORG.

 

 

WHERE:     Feb 17, 2013 2 PM  – St George Landmark Hotel 6 Amr Ibn Al Aás st. Jerusalem

 

SPEAKER:    Rabbi Yakov Cohen of New York, Founder and Director of Noahide.org

 

 

WHY:        Because 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.

 

HOW:   The 7 Laws of Noah are a means to bring peace and harmony for all people in the Divine Will in creation.

 

 

Free choice

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.

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.

Article on Diversity

The Institute of Noahide event on Diversity is an opportunity to unite the world by re-echoing the belief of God as the creator of all human beings and the belief that we are all equal which is the true meaning of harnessing diversity amongst different cultures. This is a foundation for our organizations goal which to work alongside the United Nations (UN) and other partner organizations with hopes of promoting human rights development and protecting freedom of religion. We are also seeking to focus on the 7 universal Laws of Noah to promote ethical standards provide and the opportunity for all mankind to gain parity and value peace.

The event on Diversity takes place in Jerusalem and the host Rabbi Cohen of the Noahide Institute is experienced in developing an international presence on the issue of world peace and freedom of religion. During this event, the audience will be drawn in to learn about diversity based on a pious approach Chabad Chasidus philosophy  and the key notes is based on the belief that G-d almighty has created all of mankind differently and we as believers are to unite as means to uphold diversity and peace.

The foundation for this presentation is based on giving hope to our communities and to encourage youth survival. Noahide Institute is an active organization that mobilizes youth through encouraging dialogue and the organization’s mission is to educate and share values through the One people-One World subdivision and to promote the 7 Laws of Noah for the sake of world peace and diversity.




United World in United Nations

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




The Seven Colors of the Rainbow

The Seven Colors of the Rainbow

THE SEVEN NOAHIDE LAWS.

Rabbi Yirmeyahu Bindman.

It is well known that the Jewish faith does not seek to make converts, and so it is generally supposed that since the Jewish people do not want to make other people into Jews, they are happy just to be left alone. The world is often very surprised to discover that the Jewish faith includes a complete provision for all non-Jews, regardless of race, social class or national origin, perfectly attuned to their needs, and deriving from the same source in Divine revelation through the prophecy of Moses, without any intermediary whatsoever. Only the true universal faith of the Jews regularly offers something to those who are not its members, and this is its sign of authenticity.

This provision is known as the Noachide Laws. Though the first man and his wife, Adam and Eve, were commanded to observe them, they emerged fully only after Noah had survived the flood that wiped away violent sinners whose wrongdoings had engulfed the world in his time. The ancestors of the Jewish people were also commanded in them until they were given the whole Torah at Mount Sinai, and they were then reaffirmed through Moses for all the other nations.

The laws are all prohibitions, unlike those of the Jewish people who have affirmative commandments, but they are not intended to make life dull or restricted. They point out what the good and true path should be, and with this path all moral necessities for the non-Jews are established, without need for any other philosophy, scientific discovery or change in government. All relationships between Jews and non-Jews are likewise explained, both in Israel and in other countries.

Sexual transgression.

All people originate from sexual relations, and so the laws that govern them are our most basic ‘constitution’, testifying to the Divine origin of humankind. Non-Jews are not commanded to marry, but they are encouraged to do so, and they are forbidden to have relations with the wife of another man. Male homosexuality, incest and bestial relations are also forbidden under the same heading, even though the desires for them are very different. Jews and non-Jews are forbidden to each other, because of the different origin of their respective commandments. When these laws are observed, then human relations of all kinds are enhanced by the Divine sanction, and love increases throughout the world.

Murder.

Though the reasons for sexual prohibitions may be mysterious, most people if asked what laws they would make to govern the world would immediately say that on no account must illegal bloodshed be allowed to go unpunished. Human life is a sacred trust, and can only be taken with legal sanction. The murderer is executed by decapitation, at the sentence of the duly authorized sovereign court only. Protection is extended to the unborn, and the details of any abortion case must be closely studied according to the law. War action is subject to strict security standards, at the order of a lawful regime. It is rare for any person to take life in truly wanton circumstances, because of instinctive recognition of its value, and this recognition must be taken up to the level of reckoning that the spiritual law requires.

Theft.

The first man and woman transgressed the Noachide prohibition of theft by eating the fruit which had been forbidden to them, and this is still a Divine provision for non-Jews regarding all property in the hands of others. Property ownership is underwritten by Divine law for all humanity, and is not just a matter for an aggrieved individual to settle for himself. Respect for property rights is the basis for generosity with possessions, and for business dealings that lead the world through its use and traffic of goods to its final destiny. This brings moral satisfaction in the workplace, and the fostering of ethics in this area is a prime need for our society.

Idolatry.

If the worship of entities other than the Creator had not been forbidden by His express command, then people would be free to choose what to worship, just as they choose their own personal friends. However the whole area of relations between humanity and its Creator has been placed under specific requirements, namely that only His truth and unity should be the subject of belief, worship and philosophy. His revelation has two levels, the one in nature for ordinary reckoning, and the other through prophecy on Mount Sinai for the moral law. All non-Jews derive their true religious fulfillment from this latter source, and any reference to an intermediary causes error and loss of morality. There is no need for non-Jews to form associations for Noachide observance and prayer, but they may do so if they wish.

Cursing the Name.

The power of speech distinguishes humanity from all other species, and this distinction leads to the specific human prohibition not to use speech for cursing the Creator, because it shows ingratitude for his kindness. This commandment pairs with the previous one, showing that the Divine rulership and the Divine love go together at all times and places, no matter how great the difficulties may seem. Jews and non-Jews are commanded in the same verse in this respect, showing how in the Messianic times all of humankind will join together in voicing praise for the Creator. All other misuses of speech, such as gossip, obscenity and lies, are indicated in this commandment as something to avoid, just as prayer and words of Torah are desirable so that speech will become truly Divine.

Eating the limb of a living animal.

Though it may seem far-fetched to think of eating meat from a living creature, the intent behind this prohibition is to safeguard the human sexual integrity. The connection between eating and sexuality is well known, and it is the sexual drive for consumption of the ‘heat of life’ that leads to the kind of greed that damages reproduction. The Noachide Law teaches us that this is rectified by being careful to eat only meat from an animal that is fully dead, and this is by no means always the case in our factory society where slaughterhouses handle meat animals quickly and carelessly, sometimes only stunning them before cutting them up for sale. Care in this observance fosters all requirements for the love of nature and the preservation of the environment, and safeguards the passage of souls as manifested in the life and consumption of food animals until the ultimate destiny of the world.

System of justice.

The non-Jewish nations of the world are commanded to avoid the state of anarchy by assuming and exercising the sovereign jurisdiction, to maintain courts that punish offenders by due process of law, and that provide civil redress in society. The Noachide Laws themselves form the basis of the criminal code, but each nation may make civil laws as it sees fit within the general guidelines. This provision does not apply within the Land of Israel, where the sovereign power is in the hands of the Jewish people, and they judge non-Jews of any nationality living or visiting there under these same Noachide Laws.

Corporations are held in being by the sovereign power through the enactment of corporate law, which is empowered by this commandment. The sovereign power is responsible for regulating these corporations in the public interest, and ensuring their conformity with all aspects of the law. Thus Communism and Fascism are in breach of the spiritual law because of their lack of this regulation. Non-Jews are obligated to seek reconciliation rather than take their disputes straight to court, and this in turn obligates them to give charitable donations to the needy so as to foster reconciliation in general.

The Rabbis of the Talmud say, ‘War comes to the world through the delay of justice, the perversion of justice, and the teaching of Torah out of accordance with its legal meaning.’ When all processes of law are rectified in this way, with good government applied to sustain them, functioning in Divine integrity, then grievances are properly handled and true peace emerges into the light of day. This is among the recognitions of the United States Congress in its Declaration endorsing the Noachide Laws (H.J. Res. 104, Public Law 102-14, March 1990 and subsequently), based on long historic understanding of the Jewish people and the Torah.

Book explanation by Rabbi Bindman:

‘The Seven Colors of the Rainbow’




New Shluchim To The UN?

New Shluchim To The United Nations?

Shalom Abramowitz
5 Cheshvan 5772 (02.11.2011)

As the world watches in horror the happennings at the United Nations, where light and darkness switched places, ruthless terrorists receive recognition as statesmen and honorable leaders receive treatment as terrorists, something different happened in those halls.

Two Chabad-run Noahide organizations 7for70 directed by Rabbi Boaz Kali from Israel and www.noahide.org directed by Rabbi Yaakov Cohen have received official recognition from the United Nations, and are authorized to work in the UN. This was the conclusion of a five-year process undertaken by Rabbi Cohen to push the organizations thru.

Their first official visit to the UN included participation in selecting the new judges for the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Rabbi Cohen asked the judges if the plan on judging with the fear of heaven, thus fulfilling one of the Seven Noahide laws.

The organizations are in the process of finding a permanent Shliach to the UN who will represent their organizations.




UN NGO Reps Pledge…

UN NGO Reps Pledge to Follow Noahide Laws

By David Yisraeli, Chabad Info
24 Tevet 5771 (31.12.2010)

A conference advocating for the acceptance and adherence to the Noahide Laws was held on December 22, 2010.

The event’s title was “Unity, Youth and World Peace”. Presenters included Mr. Joop Theunissen from the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and Rabbi Yakov D. Cohen of the Institute of Noahide Code, who opened and moderated the conference.

More than 90 people attended this important event, many of whom expressed an interest in continuing this work.

Mr Joop Theunissen Deputy Chief of the NGO branch of ECOSOC signed a proclamation pledging to keep 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.”

Noahide Code Rabbi Yakov Cohen said, “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 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.

Rabbi Cohen told a story of world leaders who spent weeks trying to put together a map of the world with no success, when, finally a young boy snaps the map together in minutes. Curious, they ask how he was able to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat. He replied, ‘I simply put the eyes together then the nose and so on.’ Noticing their confused looks, he went on to explain, ‘…You see, on the other side of the world map is a single face of a human being.'”

The NGO Branch services the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, a subsidiary body of the ECOSOC composed of 19 Member States. It also provides relevant advice and information concerning NGOs to representatives of the United Nations system, member States and civil society.

Following the conference the participants enjoyed Kosher food and wines from around the world, and agreed to support these ideas of “Unity and Youth” to help bring world peace with the Laws of Noah.




Rachel’s tomb

Superfragilistic Amniotic Inter…

byStephen F. Kaufman

Title hardly makes any sense, right? Wrong!

Attempting to decipher the rhyme or reason for things of potential global impact goes against the pall of rational thought that is of value to the human race. Kind of like calling an otter a threat to walruses.

Let’s take for example the obscene presumption of UNESCO in their recent acknowledgment of the Palestinian Authority renaming one of Judaism’s most profound and sacred sites in an attempt to change the world’s perception of the humanitarianism that Israel represents, and that is very obvious to anyone who would take the time to examine the record. The subtle implications of UNESCO’s idiocy ranks along with the stupidity that intimates the holocaust never having happened.

In Israel there is a special site considered to be the third holiest place in the Jewish world: Rachel’s Tomb. It is near Bethlehem, which was ceded to the PA in an earlier attempt to assuage the ‘unassuageable.’ (Something like the Oslo Accords where Arafat was given a great number of ‘assuagements’ that he resolutely, and with his profoundly canaille mentality, rejected). The first is the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The second is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem known as the Wailing Wall.

Refer to http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/news.aspx/140345,  On October 29, 2010, UNESCO overwhelmingly sided with the PA to rename the site of Rachel’s Tomb as a mosque claiming that Abraham was also the patriarch of the Arab worlds.

The apparent weakness of Israeli leadership is a substantial reason for the world’s obvious attitudes in misunderstanding what reality can and should be. In an attempt to constantly placate the world, Israel consistently cedes its own importance to the world at large. Perhaps the Israeli – US subterfuge connection is a valid reason for this overt display of deception. Sun Tzu, the world renown author of    The Art of War, the Chinese classic of strategy, would no doubt agree with the tactics that Israel essentially uses to keep the world off-balance if—IF—they are conscious of their ploys. Clever, those Jews! Incidentally, Sun Tzu’s Art of War is explained in depth for anyone to understand if they would examine the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament.

Let’s go further and clarify what Zionism and Judaism is.

Zionism is a concept that calls for the return of the Jewish people to Israel and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in their own land. It is a political idea that has roots in ancient history and modern nationalism. Accordingly, Israel and Jerusalem was given to the Jewish people by God Almighty Himself. This is acknowledged by just about every religious group on the face of the planet. Even the Muslims know this. Therefore, it cannot be given back to anyone because it never belonged to anyone. The Jews didn’t conquer the land. They were given it from God, if you will. As well, Zionism should not to be confused with the Christian desire to see all Jews back in Israel (as reported by many of the so-called erudite press) so they can experience the “rapture,” a Christian tenet about Jesus returning to Earth once all the Jews are ”in their place.” As a matter of fact, an organization called nefesh b’nefesh is allegedly funded by Christian groups to expedite “aliyah,” the Hebrew word for return.

Judaism, aside from being a “religion” is essentially a way of life and a way of moral thinking that can elevate universal harmony and consciousness for the entire world. Jews are the self-proclaimed conscience of the world based on the giving of the Torah. Probably another reason for the unending extreme antisemitism rampaging throughout the world. Orthodox Judaic opinions suggest that antisemitism is a natural law and must be present at all times and in all places. Anytime anyone tells you to behave yourself, it is natural to resent them and eventually hate them. It is curious indeed that if 5,345,585 Bombablingians starve to death or die from typhoid in Babalubia, or are Stalinized, the world protests for about two minutes. On the other hand, if a Jew builds one house on the West Bank, the whole world goes ballistic and accuses them of occupying someone else’s land in one form or another. So, in this writer’s estimation, hatred of Jews and Israel is a real thing. But, of course, it is not just Jews in Israel. It is Jews anywhere and everywhere.

Egyptian dominance in the world came and went as did the civilizations of the Greeks and Romans. The putrefaction of the Nazis and Communists also came and went. So did Mai’s massacres. But the Jews still remain (go figure) irrespective of the horrors perpetrated on them as a people throughout all time. For Israel to return the land that is not theirs, but is the domain of God is an absurdity. Jerusalem, the true holy city, is the center of the spiritual world, and if this was not so, then why does every major religion associate with it as their own? If in fact the Jews are the “chosen” people, it should be easy to see why they are the mark of all nations’ angst, jealousy, and fear.

The Old Testament of the Bible is always referred to as the basis for the crux of humanity. The New Testament refers to its authority as does the Koran. The influence of the Old Testament is universal. The “Lost Tribes” of Israel are now being discovered as major influences throughout the world with irrevocable impact everywhere they went and in the development of philosophical approaches of most religions and societies. Curiously, recent discoveries suggest that one of the tribes visited and settled in ancient Japan and made a remarkable influence on the Shinto religion. Keep in mind that Judaism has been around for 3800 years making it the oldest “religion” in the world that focuses on a one God principle.

It is time for the Jews and for Israel to put their foot down and not permit any more insults to prevail. It is not enough to simply laugh off the matter at hand and expect everyone to ignore the absurdity. This mentality is one of the reasons that the holocaust happened while calling for the lawyers, who are all mouth and no fist, to put a stop to it. It is time for Israel to become more assertive by educating the misguided in the UN and teach them where it’s really at.




Laws of Noah & Anti-Semitism

By Rabbi Yakov D Cohen

The cause of Anti-Semitism is some 3322 years old dating back when the Torah was given for when it was given on Mt. Sinai the name Sinai means “Hate” for it bought out the hatred of the nations. The laws of Noah date back some 1200 years before the Jewish people stood at Mt. Sinai and accepted the Torah.

There are two mysteries that have defied explanation for as long as anyone can remember. The first mystery is anti-Semitism, which is a mystery because there are few things in history that have been as consistent, as universal, and as predictable as anti-Semitism. From one country to another, from one culture to another, from one religion to another — although lifestyles, philosophies, and so forth are extremely different, there is one thing all of the peoples of the world had in common: They all, at one point or another, included individuals, and even large segments of their populations, why does the world hate Jews?

What did these people know about Jews? Sometimes a lot, sometimes very little, sometimes nothing at all. And yet all of them have a discomfort with Jews. Some of the things anti-Semites come up with concerning Jews and Judaism, make us wonder, “What did we do? What could we possibly have done to cause them to suspect such a thing?”

For example, there’s the accusation that Jews are plotting to take over the world. We have our faults, we’re vulnerable to some legitimate criticism sometimes, but, plotting to take over the world? Where did that come from? In order to examine the mystery of anti-Semitism, one needs to have an understanding of its target, which is the Jewish people.

But that’s not so simple, and brings us to the second mystery: What exactly is a Jew? What is Judaism? A religion, a culture, a family, a nation? What? What is it about Jews that everyone hates?

Jews have always been called the “chosen people,” because that’s how we are described in the Bible. Chosen for what? How did we get to be chosen? Why did G-d have to choose a people?

On Being Chosen

In the story of Creation, we see that G-d doesn’t “choose” anything. He decides beforehand what He wants to create and He creates it. What does it mean, then, that He chose the Jewish people? If He wants a Jewish people, He creates a Jewish people. To “choose” a Jewish people implies that all people were originally alike, but then G-d decided that He wanted one nation to do a special job, or whatever He chose us for, and so He went around and checked out the candidates and decided that He would choose us, and so we are the chosen people — we’re the Jews.

What that implies is that it could have been anybody — it was a choice and G-d chose us, but He could have chosen somebody else and then they would have been Jewish. But this doesn’t make any sense. If G-d wants a chosen people, then He creates one. And, if one is created chosen, then what’s the choice? If there is really a difference, a uniqueness that makes the Jew Jewish, then what is there to choose?

Living in America and being enamored with the idea of egalitarianism we’re very uncomfortable with the idea of a chosen people and we try to minimize it, to neutralize it. We try to say that being chosen doesn’t mean that we’re different, it’s just that, well, your grandfather could have been chosen but, uh, he wasn’t educated, but our grandfather was already reading Hebrew, was already wise, so he was chosen.

A Light Unto Nations

The Torah is compared to light, a way to live by and to bring light into the world and to make this world a dwelling place to G-d the Creator of all. We Jews have the responsibility to be a light onto nations with and the Laws of Noah and to bring about world peace.

But nature being nature, it was designed and is preserved by the Creator, not men. He decided to create a “Chosen Nation,” and likewise arranges matters to keep us on the headlines–for good or for bad.

It is not uncommon for a lighthouse whose light is negligently out, that the very ship it was designed to aid crashes into the lighthouse itself, thus damaging both parties… Why?

Because of our essential nature and function. The only reason for bothering to select a particular people–and a small and rebellious one at that–is if they have a purpose to fulfill and a task to accomplish. The Jewish people were tasked with being a lighthouse for the treacherous waters that humanity constantly flounders in. The nations are meant to persistently gaze in our direction. That’s natural.

However, a lighthouse is only useful if the keepers actually maintain the building and keep a steady beacon burning. To that end, G-d gave us the light–His light. We are mere keepers, and dare not claim the light is ours alone.

So, what does the reaction to the Danish anti-Islamic cartoons have to do with Jews?

On the one hand, it is pure and evil anti-Semitism–may G-d return their hatred on their own heads! But at the same time, it is only natural that nations turn to us, whether when creating a religion or when looking for a scapegoat. When the Creator wove the fabric of nature, He designed it so that all eyes face us, regardless of their awareness of this inner reason.

The rest of it is up to us: to guide our neighbors on this planet with the illumination that G-d gave us, to give to them: the seven laws of Noah, as transmitted through the Torah. And it is in the interest of us all–ships and lighthouse alike–that our light should burn steady and sure. It is not uncommon for a lighthouse whose light is negligently out, that the very ship it was designed to aid crashes into the lighthouse itself, thus damaging both parties…

At times, we are like keepers who have forgotten about the beacon atop their tower, and are instead chasing fireflies outside. At such times, we must rediscover the stairwell leading to the top of our lighthouse and the lighthouse master’s instructions on how to kindle its light.

Every step in this direction, no matter how seemingly small, prepares our world for the era when no nation will provoke another, for the divine light will shine brightly for all to navigate a calm sea of life with comfort and ease.

Today we face greater a challenge than anti-Semitism in America, with the idea of equality and politely correctness. We should not forget our task and everyone task to light up the world with the Laws of Noah

9 21. 2010 from a speech to Hadassah NYC