Sunday, February 24, 2008

Guildines for the Noachide Perplexed

Alice Jonsson at Breslov World: Guidlines for the Noachide Perplexed

Bnei Noach are thinkers. We are curious people who felt that something wasn’t quite right and we weren’t going to stop looking until we figured out where we went astray, what was missing...

-Dixie Yid

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Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to be a stick in the mud but I cannot help but feel that the guideline about learning as much Torah as possible is misleading. Even were one to take the maximalist approach to the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach, which I frankly have some reservations about, there are still very real halachic problems for a Ben Noach to learn much of Torah.

As I understand it the Divrei Yatziv says that the issur of "lifnei iver" applies to leading a Ben Noach into transgression.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


You can be a stick in the mud as much as you want. Don't worry. You'r the best stick there is. :-)

As to your point, certainly everything you say is true. I guess I just filter what she's saying through what I know and what I'm sure she knows, and what I assume any Ben Noach looking at Breslov World knows, which is that they can/should learn as much Torah *that relates to Bnei Noach* as possible. I'm pretty sure that's what she means. But hopefully, she'll comment here as well.

As to lifnei Iver, the gemara's primary example in the sugya of lifnei iver, is actually with a Ben Noach. It talks about handing a glass of wine to a Nazir or a piece of "ever min hachai" to a ben noach!

-Dixie Yid

Alice said...

Thanks for your important and intelligent comments. Clearly, I’m not a rabbi. I’m sharing what has worked for me (and it has worked phenomenally well) and what I have done under the supervision of Orthodox rabbis. It is always the case that what a rabbi suggests for one individual is not necessarily what they would suggest for another, so when in doubt ask a rabbi who knows something about Bnei Noach issues. Not all do, by the way. And, as with any issue pertaining to Torah, you will find a broad range of opinions.

I started learning Torah very carefully with an Orthodox rabbi. I take three different classes with Orthodox rabbis who know I’m a Bat Noach so they clearly know what I’m learning and why I’m learning it- which is also important. So I would say, when in doubt, again, ask a rabbi and clearly Bnei Noach are NOT Jews and vice versa. There is a world of difference between learning something to understand how Hashem created the world and learning something to see how I should behave in a given situation. Perhaps one could compare this to advice given for a man versus a woman, or a child versus an adult- but maybe that’s a different discussion altogether.

I will also add that one could spend one’s entire life learning Chumash and commentary on Chumash and never run out of material. So depth versus breadth is an issue. The major point I’m making is that keeping my head in Torah has kept me plugged in and has made the world of difference. I think it’s crucial.