What's a Goy Better Off Doing?

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  • #603844

    Abe Cohen
    Participant

    Is a goy better off in the Olam HaEmes if he is mgayer but later discards Judaism compared to if he never converted and remained a (non ben noach) gentile? Is a ger who no longer observes the Torah better off (in the Olam HaEmes) than a Ben Noach?

    #880541

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Someone who discards Judaism is a real Apikores and doesn’t have a part in Olam Habah. If he were a righteous gentile he would have a part. And, it is a much worse feeling and realization to know that you had it and dropped it.

    #880542

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    I don’t think so (I could be wrong though)

    he’s a person that regretted doing a mitzvah therefore he gets no schar for it

    #880543

    mdd
    Member

    A Ger who went off has many more aveiros than a regular Goy, kal ve’chomer a righteous ben Noach, who has a chelek le’Olam ha’Ba.

    #880544

    pcoz
    Member

    “Is a goy better off in the Olam HaEmes if he is mgayer” – if a goy is megayer then he is Jewish and not a goy

    #880545

    Abe Cohen
    Participant

    The implicit point of my question is whether a goy is better off becoming a ger if he knows that there is a strong possibility of him dropping following the Torah sometime thereafter.

    #880546

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    I believe that R’ Moshe was asked this shaila and he said it’s better to convert (so I was told by a few of my rabbeim when we learned the sugya of ger katan). The fact that we dissuade converts doesn’t prove anything, because that could simply be for the benefit of the religion and its stability, and/or to ascertain that right now the person is genuine in his/her commitment, to insure that it is a kosher kabbalas ol mitzvos.

    #880547

    Abe Cohen
    Participant

    yit: IOW, you are saying it is better (after 120) to have been a bad Jew than a plain (non Ben Noach) goy.

    #880548

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Abe Cohen – That is what I’ve heard said beshem R’ Moshe. Though don’t be misleading – a non ben-Noach goy, on these terms, is a bad goy. I’m saying is that I’ve heard that one is worse off as a bad goy than a bad Jew. (IOW I assume when you say “discards his Judaism” you don’t mean that he becomes an immoral person, but that he becomes a normal secular person, and to that I am comparing a normal secular goy. I’m not implying that a Jewish murderer is better than an upstanding non-Jew who happens not to believe that Hashem gave the Torah to the Jewish people.)

    #880549

    far east
    Member

    i have no sources to back this up. But i would assume it depends on the person. When you say someone who is mgayer and goes off what does that mean exactly. Does he completely throw away judiasm, or does he just get lazy and not as religious, but still believes in it. If he goes on and then off comopletely he probably forfeits his reward he would have gotten. But if he just loses the motivation, but still believes in god, he probably gets schar for the time in his life he devoted to hashem.

    #880550

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Far East, the Gemara says exactly that. When someone goes sour he keeps the Schar of the Mitzvos he did as long as he doesn’t regret them.

    #880551

    pcoz
    Member

    Abe: Bemechilas kovod torasoh I still think the question dosen’t make sense. If a goy is nisgayer they are kekoton shenolad – it is not the same person, this is giyur and this is shehivdilanu min hatoim. Your question implies that the 2 tzedadim are in the same ball park.

    #880552

    Csar
    Member

    If a Ger reverts to stop practicing Judaism, it is probably a very good indication that he indeed regretted starting with Judaism.

    #880553

    bocaben
    Participant

    Someone that converts is no longer a goy, but Jewish. If he stops being observant, how is that different than a Jewish person that stops practicing??

    #880554

    JaneDoe18
    Participant

    I was taught that it would have been better had he not converted;

    because now he is a sinning Jew,

    whereas before he was a non-sinning Goy.

    That’s why Judaism makes it difficult for someone to convert.

    A potential convert has to know that there’s no turning back.

    #880556

    far east
    Member

    Halevi- thanks i thought id heard that before.

    Csar- Not true at all. There are a million reasons he could have stopped following halachah, however stopping something doesnt imply that he regrets it. You could stop from Social pressure, laziness, losing the spiritual motivation, getting bored of it… The point is, a person going off doesnt mean that person has regrets that he was once religious.

    #880557

    yytz
    Participant

    In response to the question, the standard belief is that a goy is only better off converting if he is going to be observant. Why would he convert anyway if he only plans to be observant for a little while? If that’s really the case, it’s questionable whether the conversion is valid — conversion involves a lifelong commitment.

    Then again, historically people were converted before they even knew what most of the mitzvot were. Following that logic, some LWMO rabbis today (such as Rabbi Marc Angel, and I believe Rabbi Joseph Telushkin) advocate for allowing people to convert (especially if they’re already married to a Jew) without completely accepting the mitzvot. Of course that’s controversial, for good reason!

    A couple other comments though.

    First, I’ve heard people say that goyim only have a share in Olam Haba if they are ben Noach. But does anyone know the source of that? I’d be surprised if that’s the only view. If “all nations have a share in the world to come” and G-d is kind and merciful and everything, how could He let the vast majority of the world (those who aren’t bnei noach in the strict sense) just die with no afterlife? It doesn’t make any sense.

    Second, all this talk about whether someone merits olam haba or not is not the only way to look at things. Belief in gilgulim is not just for chassidim and mekubalim — even the Gra wrote a sefer (about Yona HaNavi) full of stuff about reincarnation. Also, we don’t believe in eternal hell, right? Basically everybody will either get purgatory (for a year or less), olam haba right away, or get another gilgul — right? In truth, though, it can be more complicated, since the Arizal said we actually have more than one soul, and parts of various other people’s souls, so it’s a little complicated to talk about what happens to each individual after death.

    #880558

    Csar
    Member

    Then again, historically people were converted before they even knew what most of the mitzvot were.

    That may be, but they always had to have the full intention of accepting the yoke of following all 613 post-conversion, as they became familiarized with them. They could not decide pre-conversion that even one of the 613 was too hard and would not maintain it; otherwise the conversion would never have been effective (even with their going into the mikva and verbalizing any statements that they never intended to follow in practice.)

    And a gentile is obligated to fully maintain all 7 noachide laws (at penalty of death.) Failure to keep even one of them (i.e. immorality, petty theft, idolatry, etc.) constitutes them forfeiting an afterlife.

    An interesting question is whether a Gentile who routinely violated a Noachide Law, or even mistakenly violated such a law on one occasion, can repent from that sin and how he would have to go about repenting.

    #880559

    yytz
    Participant

    Csar, I’m in full agreement with your first paragraph — thanks for the clarification.

    “Failure to keep even one of them (i.e. immorality, petty theft, idolatry, etc.) constitutes them forfeiting an afterlife.”

    But what’s the source for this? What about gilgulim, teshuvah, G-d’s mercy, etc.? What’s even the source for the idea that large numbers of people can just “forfeit the afterlife”? I thought extinguishing someone’s eternal existence after death was an extreme punishment.

    There are also a few sources in the Gemara and elsewhere that say, if you do X, your sins will be forgiven. For example, Hashem is merciful to those who are merciful to others, and Hashem forgives those who forgives others.

    About teshuvah, I don’t have any sources, but it seems obvious that goyim (whether bnei Noach or not) can do teshuvah. Feel bad about the aveira, ask G-d’s forgiveness, and resolve not to do it again — this isn’t just Rambam, such ideas are very common around the world. The Zohar says there’s one sin for which repentence is not possible (spilling seed) but Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said that can’t be taken literally — repentence is always possible. I don’t see why it would be any different for goyim.

    #880560

    Sam2
    Participant

    Csar: The Gemara tells us that any Goy who is Over on a Mitzvah Shelahem is Chayav Misah. But why do you assume that that forfeits they Olam Habah?

    #880561

    Csar
    Member

    Sam: Why would you assume such a gentile receives olam habah?

    #880562

    mdd
    Member

    Yytz, we do believe in eternal Gehenom(Madur 7) for some ba’alei aveira.God is merciful, but He is a judge.Mercy means the punishments are softened and postponed. It does not mean everybody can do whatever he wants and get away with it. Only the deserving get Olom Ha’Ba.

    #880563

    mdd
    Member

    Yytz, pashtus they can do teshuva, but they have to do it.

    #880564

    pcoz
    Member

    mdd: eternal Gehenom – not according to the Ramchal

    #880565

    mdd
    Member

    Pcoz, but according to the Gemora and the Rambam.

    #880566

    mdd
    Member

    Pcoz, add the Zohar to the list. Where is the Ramchal?

    #880567

    pcoz
    Member
    #880568

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    They can surely do Teshuva, at least enough to spare themselves from punishment on this world. This is seen from Ninvei and the fact that Paroh’s choice for Teshuva was taken taken away.

    However, it says in Pirkei D’rebbi Eliezer (IIRC) that after somee time Ninvei went back to their bad ways, since they aren’t really able to repent.

    As to Olam Haba, it says, Kol Yisroel Yesh Lahem, not Kol Haumos. Afterlife is not Olam Haba. They do have an afterlife. If they do Mitzvos L’sheim Shamayim they get Olam Haba, too. This is what I’ve heard B’shem the Rambam.

    #880569

    Abe Cohen
    Participant

    An afterlife could entail gehenim.

    #880570

    phrum
    Member

    B’olam ha ze a ger who stops doing a single mitzvah is hayiv misa. Kol hakavod to one willing to take on that!

    #880571

    mdd
    Member

    Phrum, there is no such thing!

    #880572

    Csar
    Member

    A get is chayiv misa for any aveira?? Where’d you get that from, phrum? You must’ve meant a gentile is chayiv misa for any aveira (from the 7 he is obligated to.)

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