Questions for Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef


From the Israeli news media:

Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef said that non-Jews should not live in the Land of Israel if they do not abide by a set of seven laws mandated by Judaism.

 “According to Jewish law, gentiles should not live in the Land of Israel,” Yosef said Saturday in a sermon. “If a gentile does not agree to take on the seven Noahide Laws, we should send him to Saudi Arabia. When the true and complete redemption arrives, that is what we will do.”

The only reason non-Jews were still allowed to live in the Jewish state was the fact that the Messiah had yet to arrive, he said. “If our hand were firm, if we had the power to rule, that’s what we should do. But the thing is, our hand is not firm, and we are waiting for the Messiah,” he added.

I personally do not think that the Torah, which is believed containing all God’s guidance on creating a better world for everybody, can direct us the Jews to be isolated from the others since God created everybody, Jews and non-Jews, in His own image and likeness as equals – of course, with a special mission for the Jews as the Chosen. However, I am not asking the Rabbi to clarify this my thought – I am trying to clarify for myself his thinking on the Torah-guided role of the Jews in the contemporary world.

It looks like the Rabbi believes the Jews have to be isolated from the non-Jews since only strict isolation prevents assimilation and provides ideal conditions for following the Torah and serving God. It looks like the Rabbi believes that everyday collaboration and encounter with the non-Jews is detrimental to the spiritual health of the Jews.

My own Torah-guided definition of being Jewish conflicts with all that and I am asking the Rabbi to address my concerns.

  • (1) If the Rabbi believes, our Jewish spiritual health requires the total separation from the non-Jews, does the Rabbi reward the non-Jews with the right to preserve their Gentile spiritual health by separating themselves from the Jews – in other words, does the Rabbi provide a very spiritual justification for the anti-Semitism?
  • (2) If the Rabbi believes, we the Jews have to separate spiritually themselves from the non-Jews, does the Rabbi rewards the non-Jews with the right to build a God’s better world (politically, socially, economically, spiritually) without Torah guidance provided by Jewish intellectuals?
  • (3) If the Rabbi believes, the Jews have to be separated from the non-Jews, does the Rabbi reduces the Torah-guided mission of the Chosen mostly to prayers and family/synagogue life preventing the Chosen from fulfilling their God-given mission of the Chosen – the mission of assisting everybody in building a Torah-guided better world for everybody?

Many Jews and non-Jews are eager to see/listen to the answers.

 

About Vladimir Minkov

Vladimir Minkov Ph.D. is a nuclear scientist, published author and writer. He is the co-author of "Nuclear Shadow Boxing", a scientific history of the nuclear confrontation between the Soviet Union and USA during the cold war and is the author of "The Jews and Their Role in Our World", which explores his personal journey to discovering Jewish identity. Having lost much of his family in the Holocaust and finding his search for spiritual development stifled in the Soviet Union, Vladimir migrated to the United States in the late 1970s.

Posted on March 29, 2016, in English-language posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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