December 6, 2011 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #601018
How can I explain to a frei yid certain “racist” statements in the Torah, Talmud, etc. – e.g., the extermination of the 7 nations of Canaan, halachos distinguishing between yidden and goyim, etc?December 6, 2011 8:22 pm at 8:22 pm #833554
Don’t get into discussions with them.December 6, 2011 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #833555
It all started by har sinai everyone had a chance. It is like someone got offered a job and he took it became rich now he passed it on to his kids and their kids to theirs kids. If they would have accepted the job they also would be part of the firm and the riches.( this is how I understand it)December 6, 2011 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #833556
ha ha ha haMember
There is no need to explain certain things to goyim…. they will find fault in everything you say!!! don’t even waste your breath!!!December 6, 2011 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #833557
However you explain them to yourself.December 6, 2011 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #833559
How do you explain them to yourself?December 6, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm #833560
Sincere converts are accepted w/o regard to race in Judaism. Beyond that I would focus on the idea that Hashem made this world for a reason, He chose the children of Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov because they were the only family, tribe then nation to show themselves willing and worthy to fulfill His mission through His Torah which they have faithfully carried out through history despite all difficulties, and we made it to today.December 6, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #833561
My best advice is not to try to explain these very complicated issues on your own. There are many experts in kiruv out there who would be better off doing it. See if you can get this person to some kind of Arachim/Discovery program where there is trained staff who can handle these issues.December 7, 2011 1:13 am at 1:13 am #833562
Notice I said frei yidden (in this case, my parents) in my original post. However, if a goy asks you questions at work or wherever, of course you should try to answer in a general way.December 7, 2011 1:15 am at 1:15 am #833563
My parents are deeply ashamed that their forefathers exterminated the 7 nations of Canaan. They are ashamed that they belong to the nation that H’ chose from among all the nations and raised above all tongues, etc, etc. BTW, the Gemara says that shame is one of the attributes of klal Yisrael.December 7, 2011 1:27 am at 1:27 am #833564
What bothers many people is the issue of Amalek. There are two things to keep in mind. First of all, if their maker tells us to kill them there shouldd be nothing at all wrong with that. Morality dictates the value of life. Life is sanctified by the One who embued it. He tells us to kill them so it is perfectly moral to do so.
It becomes confusing when you are asked, well everybody kills in the name of G-d. The answer is simple: they are all liars. I know that I won’t convince you that we are saying the truth and the others are making it up, but you can agree that if you would know that G-d said to do it, it would be a moral thing to do.
The reason we all want freedom of religion to exist is because no religion is obvious, and history shows that anyone can do whatever he wants in the name of religion. However, in times of open Nissim and Nevua and in the days of Moshiach, when it will be a matter of fact that Hashem rules the world, freedom of religion would make no more sense than freedom of your neighbor’s posessions. Until then, rest assured, we aren’t killing any Amaleikim. Therefore, we will never be violating morality.
The second thing to keep in mind is that in early times a war wasn’t a hired or drafted army fighting its leader’s politics. Everybody, young and old, men and women alike, fought however they can. We see this somewhat in the Palistinian Arabs. The Sefer Hayashar describes how the women of the 7 nations would stand on the roofs and throw things down.
This is besides the fact that one side of the city would be left open for those who wish to escape.
In summary, these things were never carried out when it was not moral to do so.December 7, 2011 4:40 am at 4:40 am #833565
The 7 nations. Yerushalmi and Medrash says that Yehoshua sent 3 messages to the Kenanim. The first one — whoever wants to do teshuva and keep the 7 mitsvos should do so, and the Jews won’t harm them. The second one — whoever does not want to do teshuva is given a grace period to leave Eretz Yisroel. The third one — the remaining reshoim (steeped in immorality and avoda zora) are about to be attacked.December 7, 2011 4:57 am at 4:57 am #833566
As for being chosen, that is one great misconception. Anyone who believes he found the true path to eternity will therefore come to the conclusion that everyone else is wrong. That is why other religions always try to force or convince the world to join.
We never did that, for the simple reason that we look at it very differently. We were chosen to be Hashem’s servants. Technically, anyone who feels that it is a good thing can join. If not, how can they be insulted for not being included in something they don’t want. It’s like Esav complaining about the Bechora being taken, although he didn’t want it.December 7, 2011 7:25 am at 7:25 am #833568
mik5 -“How can I explain to a frei yid certain “racist” statements in the Torah, Talmud, etc.”
Why are we on the defensive? We haven’t even wiped out Amalek yet, let alone the 7 nations! And Germany wiped out from us 6 million; besides that throughout the generations we have been subjected to racism time and again. I’ve found libs to be the biggest racists. They protect every sort of person from discrimination in the workplace except Shomer Shabbos workers.
Yea, it’s on the books, but the lib Supreme Court dismembered it.
I’m not aware of any case where this law was upheld in Federal court in the 2nd or 3rd districts where most Jews live! I personally saw the racism in the Courts when I tried to Sue for Shabbos discrimination. We don’t have to be on the defensive – they do. People who live by the Torah aren’t barbaric – they are. As much as they pretend to be human -they are nothing but Savages. This is why Michael Weiner calls his show the Savage Nation. He isn’t against the conservatives in this country, just the libs. He realizes this reality and he doesn’t even know much Torah. They are the real savages, in spite of their phoney smiles and their tolerance for everything. (Only for everything that is wrong & immoral in this world. They have no tolerance for religion or tradition.)
That’s your mistake, even thinking we have to answer them. They have to answer to us. Some people say that Germany is Amalek -Do we have to defend ourselves for promising to kill out every Nazi after they killed out 6 million of us? The Torah knew from beginning what type of people they are (Amalek & company) and called for their total destruction. Why do we keep lions and tigers locked in the zoo and when they escaped (which happened recently) they were shot and killed, if they couldn’t be caught? Why do we discriminate against them? Maybe there isn’t Nazi Germany anymore, but many nations nowadays have the same philosophy as the Nazis did, eg. many Arab nations. Clearly you are not thinking straight if you feel that we have to answer to them!!!!December 7, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm #833569
I would start with the following question:
Suppose G-d came to you and revealed Himself without a shadow of a doubt that He was the Creator of everything. He then told you that a certain person had sunk to such an immoral level that their very existence ran contrary to the purpose of the world and that as the Creator of the world (and that person) He was commanding you to kill that person; would you not do it? Would you stand up to the Creator of morality and take the moral high ground?
Now, you may not believe that G-d commanded us to wipe out the seven nations, but that is the narrative that the Torah tells us and the Torah is the single historical source that the Jewish people wiped out the seven nations. Therefore, if you believe the story in its entirety, there is nothing about which you should be ashamed; we were merely advancing the purpose of the word as defined by the Creator of the world. If you don’t believe the story, then of what are you ashamed; nothing happened. If you choose to believe only certain details which seem shameful out of context, then you are clearly looking to find fault and nothing can stop you from doing so.
As far as halachos that differentiate between Jews and non-Jews:
Don’t most people have a different standard for family? We are commanded to treat everyone properly and fairly. Beyond that, we have special privileges for family. A family, as pointed out by someone else, that everyone is free to join. It is not racist to treat your family as special. This is not just a cliche. Look around at Jewish society; we operate as a family. When there is a family celebration, we all rejoice. When there is a tragedy, we all take it personally (events from this past summer can attest to that).
In short- a racist looks down at certain groups. The Jewish people consider one another as family. Big difference.December 7, 2011 1:47 pm at 1:47 pm #833570
Oh please. Not Sacking the city and selling the children into slavery (after taking Yefas Toars and killing all the men) is a mordern concept. Everyone knows Chadash is Assur Min Hatorah!
Seriously, many of the laws are to encourage interaction between Jews, and discourage close interaction with Aino Yehudim. As far as exterminating the 7 nations & Amalek, sof davar answered well. We offered the 7 the opportunity to leave (which some took), which is better than they offered those before them at the time of Avraham.
Amalek has been discussed here many times, I will not beat a dead horse.December 7, 2011 2:20 pm at 2:20 pm #833571
Health brings up another great point: Judge people on their actions, not their books. When we complain of anti-Semetism it is about killings, beatings and discrimination, not about liturature. We don’t complain about Islam because of what is written. We talk about what they do.
We don’t kill people, and haven’t done so for thousands of years. Before discussing our liturature (which we already did, above) look at actions. Which European nation didn’t engage in mass murder in the last millenia, or even century?
If someone is ashamed of our heritage, who are they trying to measure it against, the Cossaks of the east or the many Crusaders of the west? How did the early colonists react when they met the Native Americans? (The first Spanish settlers — in their prime cultural moment — wrote back to their king that the Indians are so nice that it would be very easy to take them as slaves.) How did the Brits treat the Irish or all of their colonies, besides for pillaging national treasures and displaying them at home as a sign of western culture? The list goes on.December 7, 2011 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #833573
Sof Davar, your answer rang especially true to me. Well said.
But IF you must argue with your parents about this subject, you may want to ask a shaila of your LOR, as you need to tread carefully when argueing with your parents, so that You do not mis-step.
I have similar issues with my own parents, and my wife and I simply do not discuss any Torah topics deeper than the superficial with them. And we NEVER EVER engage in comparative religion discussions with them (i.e., when they say their Conservative “rabbi” says…) And if they come to us with questions like the 7 nations, we simply say, “That’s an excellent excellent question, and I’m so glad you asked it. I’d be happy to arrange some time for you to speak with my Rav about it, if it’s troubling you. He knows so much, and you should be talking to an expert. I’m SURE he could answer your questions.”
Here’s some advice that could change your relationship with your parents (as I detect some strain): Always punt when it comes to tough Torah questions with your frei parents. Steer them to a Rav, and let the tough answers come from him – not you!December 7, 2011 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #833574
Thank you. I put some time into writing it so I’m glad that it was worth it.December 7, 2011 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm #833575
You are not going to get an answer from a paragrapn or two in the CR. You should listem to shiurim on the topic. Ohr Somayach’s Ohr Lagola program probably has dozens of shiurim on this and similar topics from top leacturers, (including former ministers and the like). Try looking on torahanytime or possibly kol haloshon.December 7, 2011 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #833576
Sof Davar, many peole believe the history in the Torah and dismiss any reference to Hashem and Nevua. You’d have to fight that issue first. The common attitude is to lump everything into one pot: Amalek, Islam killings, Crusades and Inquisition. To us, the main difference is between truth and falseness, but to those who don’t believe it has to be explained.
It is important to make the distinction clear. Amalek was always our enemy, and a barbaric on at that. Take a look at what Shmuel told Agag.
We are not merely saying that anything immoral becomes moral if Hashem tells you to do it. On the contrary, Hit can’t be that Hashem will command something immoral. We are saying that in the justified war against Amalek, who was always our bitter enemy, we were told by the One who knows them best not to leave anyone alive.
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