20 April 2016

A Very Important Message – Stumbling Into Avoda Zora

This is from Dov Bar Lieb and his Days of Awe blog. This should be taken by all as awareness of involuntary stumbling into avoda zarah.

From the Sefer, "The Path of the Righteous Gentile" by Clorfene and Rogalsky from the Chapter on Idolatry:

According to many authorities, the Noachide is NOT warned about the concept of (Shituf or "Partnership with G-d") (Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chaim, chapter 156) This would mean that there is no earthly penalty by the Jewish courts for a gentile in Eretz Yisrael who believes in the Trinity or the triune god with HaQodesh Baruch as the senior partner. If you have a non-Jewish friend who believes in this, KINDLY explain to them why it is wrong. If a non-Jew and even worse a Jew bows down to crosses with the body of Yoshke actually on the cross, he does incur the death penalty. Therefore the idolatry in the Catholic and Orthodox churches is far more severe than the idolatry in the Protestant churches where the crosses are bare. The idolatry of shituf is far less severe than actually bowing down before figurines..

Continued: The concept of partnership is the acknowledgement of the existence of the G-d of Israel in combination with the belief in the possibility and the existence of a deity (independent will) other than G-d. So long as the ascribing power to a deity other than the Creator remains conceptual, it is permissible to the Noachides according to many authorities. BUT worship of this independent being is clearly idolatry. The danger of the concept of shituf is that it frees people to act in accord with teh non-existent gods and opne a doorway to actual idolatry. Most recent authorities agree that the Noachides, even if they are not warned or punished for it, are forbidden to believe in Shituf (partnership) (Nodah b'Yehudah, volume 2, Yoreh Deah, number 148). Have a talk with those who pray to Yoshke with words as long as they are not praying toward a physical form of Yoshke which is far more severe. Tell them that they are praying toward Hevel veRiek (Vanity and Emptiness). If you can convince them not to do this, then they may result in saying something like "Father G-d in Yoshke's name" which of course is also very problematic, but even according to those who say that Partnership is idolatry, the Bnai Noach ARE permitted to swear by the name of this avodah zarah in combination with praying to G-d..

Very concise halakhot here. Most Fundamentalist Xtians are good people. They don't bow down before figures of Yoshke on the cross as the Catholics and Greek and Russian Orthodox do. If they have crosses in their churches, the crosses are usually bare. Talk to them with respect, and you might actually get listened to along with respect in return. Tell them that their Deeds are not dirty rags before the Creator of the Universe. He takes into acct. our extenuating circumstances when He judges us. So He expects us to make the right choice given our extenuating circumstances. He does not condemn us to Hell just because we don't have the choice of pure driven snow to choose from. That choice may not be available to us, and He does not hold it against us if it is not. So they don't need their "Friend" as an intermediary after all. Remember they tend to fear G-d more than someone who does not believes in a deity who sits in judgement of him. Those people are far more dangerous, and you don't want one as your President.

Quick points to what I wrote yesterday about the ameliorating circumstances of American fundamentalist Xtians who live in America (not here in Israel). When using the word Noachide, I was referring to the book's definition that Noachides were the Children of Noach. The book's convention is to call those Noahides who are righteous: Righteous Gentiles or Righteous Noachides.

Nothing I wrote has anything to do with Xtians being allowed according to halakhah to become Ger Toshav (halakhic residents) here in Israel or G-d forbid to missionize here, G-d forbid. A believer in the Trinity still has the p'gam of being an idolater even if it is a lesser offense than bowing down to figures.

When referring to the fact that those who believe in the Trinity, but don't bow down to statues, are not punished BY THE EARTHLY COURTS, one can assume that if they don't correct their beliefs before they die, they will have to deal with the consequences of their belief in the Trinity in the Heavenly Court, but not in any halakhic court down here.


1. The laws of judging gentiles in Jewish courts only apply in the Land of Israel because during Yemot HaMashiach, the gentiles will set up their own courts in their own countries. 2. Therefore there is another problem that arises. Are gentiles who even have a p'gam of idolatry, such as believing in the Trinity and praying to one of the partners with G-d, allowed to live in Eretz Yisrael even if there is no warning as there would be for more explicit idolatry where there are real figurines on the crosses? This brings up the third possibility of Banishment from the Land of Israel for those who are not chayav Mitah, but who are "guilty" of believing in or praying to G-d's "partners". I don't have the answer to this. I would have to do more research on this matter for which I have no time right now.

Then there might be specific laws against such Xtians engaging in missionary activity IN the Land of Israel.

Since what I wrote on my blog in that Comment was meant to be applied with relationships outside of Eretz Israel, such as whom one should vote for President, I did not discuss these matters in that comment.

Dov Bar Lieb and Days of Awe


Dov Bar-Leib said...

In short there might be a halakhic distinction between non-Jews who are righteous gentiles in Chu"l and non-Jews who want to have the status of Ger Toshav here in Eretz Yisrael when dealing with the issues surrounding Shituf. Again there would be no death penalty, but they MIGHT not be allowed to live here. This needs to be researched.

Dov Bar-Leib said...

A Pesach Sameach veKosher to everyone.