Jewish History teaches us that Jews sought out spread Judaism to Non Jews in the past so let us revive that Holy custom in the present...

Below is an audio lecture given by Dennis Prager which explains what we are doing...
 

Does the Torah assure eternal life to a person who chooses not to enter the Covenant, but who upholds the Laws of Noah?

 

The answer is no.  The Torah gives no such assurance.

 

The Laws of Noah are the bare minimum of tolerable behavior in human society.  It is not a standard that one should aspire to or that can perfect the individual or the world.  We do not teach that those who do not enter the Torah-covenant are condemned to hell or that those who are careful to keep only the Laws of Noah will not have a place in the World to Come.  Rather, we emphasize that the belief that those who keep only the Laws of Noah are assured a place in the World to Come is a Rabbinic concept that was not agreed upon by all the ancient Sages and which cannot be found in the Torah.  We do not object to the now popular Rabbinic belief that one who keeps the Laws of Noah will have a place in the World to Come, if he does so out of devotion to G-d, with a desire and intent to uphold His commandments.  This, however, is simply our opinion.  It is not a concept found in the Torah.  We caution people not to rest their eternal life on the opinions of men which do not carry the authority of Divine revelation, no matter how nice the opinion.  We wish to ask non-Jews the question, ‘Would you rather base your eternal state on the explicit promises of G-d found in the Torah, or rest the outcome of your eternity on a disputed Rabbinic opinion that is neither found in the Torah nor given by prophecy?’

 

It is our understanding that the foundations of one's religious understanding should be based on  and rooted in the Torah.  The Laws of Noah, on the other hand, are not rooted in the written Torah, but in the words of our Sages who saw the Laws of Noah indicated in the Torah.  However, the belief that upholding the Laws of Noah alone is sufficient to assure a person a place in the world to come is an opinion presented in the Talmud that is not indicated anywhere in the Torah.  Shmu'el ha-Nagid explained:

 

Everything mentioned in the Gemara [Talmud] that does not directly deal with the act of fulfilling the commandments is termed agadata [...] It is important to know that all matters which our Sages established as law, in connection with the commandment transmitted by Moshe Rabbenu [Moses our teacher] who received it from the Almighty, cannot be augmented or diminished in any way.  HOWEVER, the aggadic explanations they rendered of biblical verses were in accordance with their INDIVIDUAL VIEWS and the ideas WHICH OCCURRED to them. [...] we SHOULD NOT build upon them."

 

The words of Torah are the basis of our faith, not the speculations of men - no matter how great.

 

Want to know more about the Torah's universal relevance?

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R' Yosef Eliyah

 

We do officiate conversions.  The actual conversion is a public act of official entrance into the everlasting covenant of Torah and the community of the faith of Israel.  In order for the act to be legally binding within the framework of the laws of Torah, it a Jewish court of three must witness the act.  For males, the act of official conversion requires circumcision followed by full immersion in a pool of water.  This pool of water must fulfill certain requirements and is known as a miqwa.  If the male is already circumcised, a minute amount of blood is drawn from the area of circumcision (hatafath dam berith), followed by full immersion in a miqwa.  For women, only immersion in the miqwa is necessary.  Before immersion, both men and women must first verbalize their unconditional acceptance of the entirety of God's commandments as contained in the Torah.  They must accept the Torah as the sole basis of their beliefs and religious activities, to the exclusion of all other faiths.

 

 

The conversion itself is absolutely free. The only cost is getting here and providing accommodations for oneself.  Meals on the Shabbath are provided for free.

 

 

The most essential requirements are acceptance of our Statement of Faith, a sincere commitment to serve the One Creator alone, the God of Israel, and commit to upholding His commandments.  It is this commitment that is most essential.  Perfection is expected of no one.  Our Lord is merciful (rahum) and compassionate (hanun).

 
Looking forward to hearing from you.
 
Berakhoth!

 

 

Q.  Mishneh Torah forbids putting converts in any position of authority, including overseeing conversions.  This is found in the Laws of Kings and Wars 1:5[4].  Whoever imagines that the term “seraroth” (positions of authority) used in this law couldn’t apply to officiating over conversion must not have read the law, which reads plainly, “…even over an irrigation channel”.  Is commanding the transformation of the souls of righteous, God-fearing human beings less of a charge than an irrigation ditch?

 

 

 

A.  Mishne Torah mentions nothing of Jews commanding the transformation of souls, unless one wants to force it in between the lines.  Sounds like a teaching of the "Ari."  We do not regard the "Ari" as a valid source of halakha.  Conversion is a change in the legal status of a person of non-Israelite origin in relation to how the community of Israel is to relate to that individual within the framework of Torah.  The person converting remains the same person.  This is why a convert who murdered an Israelite before conversion is liable for the death penalty even after he converts (Hil. Melakhim 10,6 [4]).  The description of a convert as being like a new-born is only a figure of speech.  This figure of speech is used because the process of conversion as understood by the Talmudic Sages was supposed to be parallel to his coming to the faith of Israel -- not several years later.  In fact, the Hebrew term "hozer" is used in reference to one who turns to the Jewish faith (ie: converts) just as it is used in reference to a native-born Israelite who repents, who is "hozer b-teshuva."  In both cases, whether a convert or a born-Jew, when an individual abandons a lifestyle contrary to G-d's Will and aligns his behavior with Torah, he is described as being born anew (Ps. 51,11-12; Ez. 36,26).

 

The prohibition of a convert being appointed to the ministerial position of overseeing irrigation channels is when he is appointed to that office with legal authority.  Does the one asking the question want to prohibit the convert from irrigating even the convert's own field?  The entire context of Hil. Melakhim 1,5[4] is that of governmental positions of authority.  Ripping this restriction out of context and applying it to just any position a convert may be in becomes absurd. Does a convert need to refuse a job promotion if he is offered a management position in a modern Israeli office full of born-Jews? Is this less than being in charge of an irrigation ditch?  Should a convert be forbidden from leading Jewish prayers, whether in "Ohel Moshe" or other minyanim? Is leading 10 or more Jews in prayer a lower position than being in charge of an irrigation ditch?  Perhaps a convert should be forbidden from marrying a born-Jewish female.  In doing so, he is put in a position of authority over a born-Jew.  The argument is ridiculous.

 

Hilkhoth Melakhim (The Laws of Kings and Wars) 1,5 [4] states:

“A king should not be appointed from among converts, not even from a convert's descendants after many generations, unless the descendant’s mother is a native-born Israelite, for Deuteronomy 17,15 states: 'You may not appoint a foreigner who is not one of your brethren.'  This restriction does not apply to the monarchy alone, but to all positions of authority within Israel: not as an army commander, not as a leader of fifty, nor as a leader of ten.  He may not even supervise the allocation of water from a stream to various fields.  Needless to say, a judge or a nasi should only be a native-born Israelite [i], as it is stated (ibid.): 'Appoint a king over you from among your brethren.' This implies that all appointments must only be 'from your brethren.'"

 

Hilkhoth Melakhim 1,5[4] prohibits the people of Israel from establishing over themselves (ie: over native born Israelites) someone of non-Israelite origin to a position of governmental / ministerial office.  This law prohibits a convert from being in such a ministerial office whether it is over 50 Israelites or even over 10. This halakha does not go lower than the number ten, other than when acting as a judge. Earlier in Mishneh Torah, in Hilkhoth Sanhedrin 2,12 [9], it is made clear that the prohibition against a convert being included in a Jewish court of three applies when that court of three adjudicates a native born Israelite.  See the video below for furthur clarification.  However, Hil. Sanhedrin 11,12 [11] states that a convert can sit in judgment of another convert, and even a non-Israelite can sit in judgment over non-Israelites (Hil. Melakhim 10,14 [11]).

 

In conclusion, Hil. Melakhim 1,5[4] only prohibits a convert from being established to a ministerial office over native born Israelites.  When a potential convert goes into the miqwa (pool of water for ritual immersion), the potential convert is not a native born Israelite!  And when he comes out of the water, he is still not a native born Israelite.  In other words, Hil. Melakhim 1,5[4] cannot reasonably be used to invalidate conversions that were overseen by individuals who themselves converted.

 

We’re in favor that only kosher born-Jews oversee conversions, not because conversions would be invalid otherwise, but rather so as to remove as much doubt in people's minds as possible.  The only reason our beth din does not currently consist entirely of born Jews is due to the fact that three born Jews have not risen up to the challenge.  If you know any born Jews who affirm our fundamentals, share our vision, and are who are willing to step up to the plate and work with us, please let us know!

 

R' Yosef Eliyah

 

 

 

[i] There are several known examples of converts who held valid positions of authority in ancient Israel, both as judges and even as nasi.  Shmaya and Avtalyon are well known examples,(גיטין נז ע"ב) as is Ribi Aqiva.  Thus, the broad restriction on converts serving as judges over Israelites seems to be a later Rabbinic injunction; otherwise, we may need to call into question the validity of all halakhoth that were influenced by Shmaya, Avtalyon, Ribi Aqiva, and others.  There's one problem -- these three converts influenced the entirety of Talmudic law.

  

"I have a disability that prevents me from pursuing conversion to Judaism.  What will happen if I never succeed to formally convert?"

 

First let us remember that our Lord is gracious, merciful, and compassionate. In essence, all He desires from us is that we "love YHWH your God with all your inner being, with all your life-force, and with all your abilities;" Deut. 6,4. He does not request more than this. He does not request that we love Him with more than our abilities; rather, only to the extent that we are able. "With all your abilities / resources," -- not more than your abilities or more than your resources.

This passage, and many others, incline us to believe that the Almighty accepts a person who serves God to the best of his ability, even if that person was not able to officially convert, for whatever reason beyond his control.

However, the question of whether keeping the Laws of Noah assures a person a place in the world to come is a question that the Torah is silent on. It is obvious that the Torah gives examples of non-Israelite people who the Torah itself describes as "righteous." We do not deny this. Yet the Torah also shows us that all the non-Israelite people described as righteous in the Torah, whether Noah, Abraham, or any other, were people who went BEYOND the Laws of Noah. The Laws of Noah contain a prohibition against blasphemy, but none of the early Talmudic sources list devotion to God, prayer, giving charity, or similar things as being part of the Laws of Noah. We DO NOT deny that later non-Talmudic sources DO include such concepts in the Laws of Noah, but the Talmudic literature -- the original and only authoritative source on the Laws of Noah -- does not speak of such things as being part of the Laws of Noah. I could write a book today that teaches going to synagogue every Sabbath is a sub-category of the Laws of Noah, but this would not make it so, unless it can be proven from the Talmudic literature, in which case the idea would not be original to myself.

Back to the basic question of a non-Israelite having a place in the world to come. We do not see evidence in the Torah that a person is assured a place in the world to come simply for keeping the Laws of Noah. There were Talmudic Sages who had this belief, on the assumption that they kept these laws out of obedience to the G-d of Israel and Moses, but there were also Talmudic Sages who did not accept this opinion, who held that keeping the Laws of Noah does not assure a person eternal life. We emphasize that the question of whether a non-Jew who piously keeps the Laws of Noah is assured a place in the world to come is not a question the Beit Din haGadol (Great Sanhedrin) or the Talmudic Sages formally voted on. The Beit Din haGadol only voted in areas of practical halacha, on questions concerning how exactly one DOES the commandments of the Torah. They did not vote on metaphysical issues such as whether someone who keeps the Laws of Noah will have eternal life. This is an area of reality and truth which they can not affect, nor is it an area that HaShem commanded us to believe them concerning.  If someone thinks God has commanded us to believe the opinions of men outside the context of the legal rulings of the Great Sanhedrin, we kindly ask that they back up their claim with a source from the Torah.  The Torah commandment that serves as the basis for our heeding the ancient Sages is the command that "you shall DO according to all they instruct you;" Deut. 17,8-10. This command concerns how we DO the commandments of Torah, not what opinion we have concerning non-legal matters of dispute in the Talmud.

Again, we do not claim authority to say that those who faithfully keep the Laws of Noah out of obedience to God will not have a place in the world to come.  We simply point out that this belief can not be proven from the Torah - the only everlasting Guidance given by God. We do believe, however, that a person who strives to do God's will to the best of his ability will also desire to keep all God's commands to the extent that he is able.  Thus, once convinced of the Torah, such a person will desire to enter the Covenant of Torah.  And IF for some reason beyond his control he is not able to officially / legally enter the Covenant of Torah, we believe the Torah gives indication that God still cherishes this individual and will reward him.  Similarly, if someone was just about to immerse himself in water for the sake of formally entering into the Covenant, and then he suddenly dies (God forbid), we find it unthinkable that God would not have compassion on his soul.

If, for whatever reason, a person is unable to formally enter the Covenant in the foreseeable future, or his official entrance into the Covenant is delayed even for a short time, we believe that so long as this person embraces the singular God of creation, serves Him alone without partners, and accepts God's Torah unconditionally, the Torah is already this person's inheritance and he is already, in essence, a member of the Covenant.  Our view is that the formal conversion process done under the supervision of three qualified witnesses is the legal act of conversion that affects our interaction with this person within the context of the Torah based human legal system, but the deepest aspect of entering the Covenant occurred beforehand, at the moment this person chose life, by choosing the God of Israel and His Guidance (Torah).

I hope this has added some clarity and comfort to your heart.

Sincerely,
R' Yosef