A Very Frustrated Man
From the KtB inbox, courtesy of Jim Long of Arkansas:
Gordan Haber [sic] is a very frustrated man. That frustration came through loud and clear when he heard my own responses to questions about why I embraced the Torah and observed the Seven Laws of Noah. He seemed unimpressed how, through Torah study, I’d gotten answers to existential questions I’d had for years—that the Torah had changed my life.
He states in his piece, Kinda Like the Jews [Editor’s Note: Haber’s piece is titled “Kind of Like Jews”], that he never got a satisfying answer from Noahides regarding their beliefs.
What was he expecting, swooning glassy-eyed disciples?
Maybe this is what Haber really wants from a belief system…maybe it exposes his own personal void. In his desire to elicit some kind of overwrought emotionalism from Noahides, he missed one vital point—we were drawn to Torah because it represents the voice of Reason. And, we rather enjoy being able—make that, expected—to ask questions about its teachings.
The simplicity and satisfaction one finds in observing seven commandments is simply what Haber refuses to see.
Though it exposes his own bitterness and doubt, it does not negate the genuine intellectual and spiritual gains experienced by Noahides. No one held a gun to our head and told us to leave our previous beliefs—we fled willingly.
I would have had more respect of Haber’s take on the whole subject but he seems to have the barest grasp of basic Torah concepts. Was he being glib when he referenced the fact that Noah wasn’t a Hebrew? Being Hebrew was not the criteria for entrance into the nation of Israel at Sinai: It was the acceptance those present of a body of holy laws known as the Torah. That still holds true today, you can be any ethnicity and become a Jew.
Haber saved his unkindest most disingenuous cut for the paragraph as charged that we Noahides, “…remain unaware (often willfully so) just how recent and cooked-up is this idea of Noahidism.”
You mean the very same Jewish sages and Talmudic masters from centuries ago, such as Maimonides, that Haber referenced in his article? These are sources for concepts that are “recent and cooked up”?
Haber is either unaware or does not care that two of the 18th Century’s greatest minds, John Selden (a brilliant jurist who impacted international law) and Sir Isaac Newton both expounded on the wisdom of the Torah and the Seven Laws of Noah. The founding fathers of America were conversant in Torah principles and the Seven Laws (the State of Pennsylvania wrote them into their original charter).
In Post World War II England, Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld, the son-in-law of Rabbi Hertz (who gave us the Hertz Chumash), published his Universal Torah which summarized the Seven Laws distilled from the written Torah. He did so, hoping that the masses, weary of dictators who brought Europe to ruin, would yearn for the clarity of seven basic, ethical rules for behavior and the purity of belief in One God.
No, just a simple, recipe that the whole world can understand.