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The Rebbe got Ger (Toshav)
Lubavitcher Rebbe on the Ger Toshav
by R.David Katz
The Lubavitcher Rebbe says that we have an obligation of the highest order to help the Bnei Noach fulfill their Mitzvot through Talmud Torah. [Likkutei Sichos vol. 27 pp. 246-7; see footnotes] The Rebbe quotes the Rambam [Hilchos Melachim Ch. 11] concerning the role of Klal Yisrael that will take place in the Days of the Messiah. It is known that the Rebbe said repeatedly that Am Yisrael has entered into these exciting times, and now more than ever, the fruit of the Rebbe's [Noahide] work is clearly visible and has become a part of today's Judaism at large [in many capacities]. The non-Jews have fulfilled their destiny and are returning to our Holy Torah with the exact prescription of our Oral Torah has spoken about for thousands of years. They have accepted their place in the Oral Torah and are acting according to strict halacha.
The Torah contains a crystal clear tradition that outlines the Kosher path for a Torah non-Jew to abide by. The Rebbe highlights this path by showing its relationship to the coming of the Messiah and the Messianic age, and the nature of our obligatory cooperation with the invigorated righteous gentile who has properly rejected his religion, turned away from idols, and has accepted the Oral Torah [through his relationship with the 7 Laws] of Sinai. This is called a rejection of Shittuf, and according to the Rambam [as quoted by the Rebbe] this is the only accepted way a gentile can be regarded as a true Ben Noach. The Rebbe [Likkutei Sichos vol. 31 Parashas Mishpatim] calls this '7 Laws Ger Toshav' as they have chosen to make a shayachess to Dinei Yisrael and Dinei Torah [Dat HaEmes]. All halachic authorities [Shulchan Aruch 304; Krisos 9a] recognize this distinction and hold to further use such a Ben Noach as a 'Shabbos Goy' carries with it a prohibition weighted as a Dorisa. This Ben Noach [even of today] through his shayachess to Dinei Torah is synonymously attached to Din Ger Toshav in some matters. Though he be a Ben Noach, he also has carries a responsibility to himself and to Klal Yisrael as a partial Ger Toshav [in some matters]. A full Ger Toshav only exists in a time of Jubilee. [See Ode Yisrael Yosef Beni Chai by Rav Ahron Soloveichik where the numerous distinctions and concepts are laid out with clarity and dilligence. The Rebbe's sicha vol. 31 also lays out the exact same subject matter, with a particular interest of clarifying the Ger Toshav of today concerning Hilchos Shabbos based on Krisos 9a. The Ger Toshav is commanded to not be a Shabbos Goy while being commanded to not totally refrain from performing Melacha].
The Rebbe states that the Nations returning to our Holy Faith are accepting their role as prescribed by the Torah of Moses; this is a 'Chiddush Gadol' and he bases this off of a quote from the Rambam who refers to the Prophet Isaiah who intimates that in the Days of the Messiah and leading up to it the 'Entire World' will be filled with Knowing God. The Rebbe explains that the Rambam's words 'Entire World' should be taken quite literally as the 'Entire World' - Jew and Gentile - Ben Noach. As source material to further elucidate the words of the Rambam, the Rebbe draws from classic Torah sources in his Likkutei Sichos in order to explain and outline the obligations of the Bnei Noach in the Torah and for Jews concerning their role in fascilitating the return of Bnei Noach to Torah according to halacha and mainstream Judaism [Dinei Ger Toshav]. The Rebbe clearly states that this is a part of the process of the complete redemption and in revealing the Torah of our Righteous Messiah.
The Rebbe explains the Rambams Torah that in this process the gentiles will return to our Faith, The True Faith and to the Torah on their own. This is called 'Gerim Grurim' [Avodah Zara 24a] to which Rashi explains why these returness are called 'Ger' or 'Gerim' which is consistent with Chazal and the entire Mesora; they Megair themselves and at a time when Jews are not 'Mekablin' Gerim [not a full conversion; in halacha it is called Ktzat Geirus - Ger Toshav; see Rashba where he states all language 'Ger' and 'Giur' can be either Ger Gamur or Ktzat Geirus and only Torah context reveals the true meaning].
The only way that this can be achieved and be perceived as Kosher is that if the Nations in the their return do so in accordance of the 7 Laws Bnei Noach / 7 Laws Ger Toshav [Rambam Hilchos Melachim ch. 8:10-11]. Once they enter into the True Faith according to halacha, the halachic system of the Mesora employs a strict system that associates properly to the Torah observant gentile. Some of the Torah governed relationships are: wine, interest, kashrut, Shabbat, Holidays, middos, Tanach History, precedent, halacha, terminology, hashkafa, kabbalah, chassidus, darkei shalom, derech eretz, charity, Temple protocol, matters of impurity, understanding of text and commentary, mitzvot, nature of transgression [stumbling block before the blind], Tanach content [Tehillim], etc. All of the above require knowledge of Gentiles in Torah and/or working with Gentiles in a Torah capacity.
The Rebbe finalizes his vision by quoting from the Meiri [Sanhedrin 59a] who shows that the Torah inspired Ben Noach who learns Torah is compared to the Kohen Gadol, to which the Rebbe states that this means he wears a type of Priestly Crown - in that he is to make an occupation of Mitzvas Talmud Torah in the 7 Laws [Ger Toshav]. The Rebbe points out that this is only made possible through the Jew who teaches the Bnei Noach Torah, and of whom the Rambam calls 'A Sage of Israel' when in this capacity. The two of them fulfill the Knowing of God and help usher in the Messianic Era. The Jew will then appropriately wear the higher crown, the Crown of Torah. These roles can not be reversed and are designed to work in this way, the way that the Rambam, calrified by the Rebbe explains. The Jew who properly wears the Crown of Torah will draw from the Sages of Israel and helps usher in the complete redemption and the Torah of the Messiah while being a kosher Holy Torah Light to Nations, as it says, the Nations will recognize the Jewish Nations greatness only through their Torah Wisdom [Gra in Midrash Shlomo].
The Torah carries a tradition from the Sages that the Gentile is destined to leave idolatry, even Shittuf, and will embrace the Sinai Code with enough fervor that they will embrace the True Faith and keep the 7 Laws according to Sinai along with a commitment to their study through the Torah of Moses in the prescribed way [Meiri Sanhedrin 59a]. This is the meaning of "A Nochri who learns Torah is like a Kohen Gadol." There is a girsa in Midrash Tanchuma that is the basis of this concept in halacha, and in place of 'Nochri' employs the appropriate term 'Ger' ... 'who learns Torah is like the Kohen Gadol'.
To this there are only two questions that anyone ever asks: 'A goy who learns Torah is chayav misa' [Rambam Hilchos Melachim 10:9; not to be confused with the Ben Noach who can do Mitzvot even according to their Halacha - ibid. 10:10] and therefore 'Does a Jew have any responsibilities toward Gentiles/Gentile neighbors' [See Ode Yisrael Yosef Beni Chai that details this latter point exclusively]. The Rebbe answers these questions by identifiying the 'Gerim Grurim' as the subject matter of the Rambam [Hilchos Melachim Ch. 11] and describes the process as properly teaching/learning about 7 Laws [Ger Toshav] and removes all doubt by illustrating how this is the process of the complete redemption, to which he calls it a 'Chiddush Gadol'.
In conclusion, The Rebbe has given us the clear path through the Mesora, namely the Talmud and Rishonim like the Ran, Meiri, and Rambam that Jews should walk on and highlighting the path that the Gentiles will walk on. By adhering to his words, we strengthen our Holy Torah and take part in the Messianic Era and hasten it in the days that lead up to the complete redemption.
The only lingering question that both Jew and Gentile both struggle with, is the burning question of where is there a precedent in Torah of the truly Righteous Gentile. This basic concept is usually shrouded by poor English translations that have grown accustomed to translating 'Ger' as convert, when in truth convert is only one type of 'Ger'. The Torah is filled with many non convert 'Gerim' and this is the 'Ger/Gerim' spoken about at great length throughout the entire Mesora. We have examples like Antoninus, Jethro, Rachav, Rechabites and Kenites, and Naaman to name a few. This type of Torah character is promised to happen again, it is what the Rambam is describing as the Messianic process, and we are seeing it begin in our times. The Rebbe saw it and brought it out, and we are witnessing an even stronger exodus of Gentiles leaving their fallen faith and returning to the True Faith [Likkutei Sichos vol. 23 pp. 41,179,195] and in accordance with halacha and Torat Moshe.
Even if it is one from a city and two from a family, we are witnessing and participating in a process that the Rebbe calls a 'Chiddush Gadol' and the Torah has contained this wisdom from Sinai anticipating the fateful time when the gentiles would return as Gerim Grurim, Benei Noach who wish to keep the 7 Laws Ger Toshav in order to become 'Nilveh Ger' to Israel [Is. 14:1 & 56:3].
We are in exciting times, and this is not disputed. It is a 'Chiddush Gadol' - a time to be a Light to Nations, and with that comes the Crown of Torah and the Wisdom to Know God. As the Rambam points out and the Rebbe clarifies, it is our job of the Jewish people to bring Knowledge of God to the entire world, and this will elevate Bnei Noach into the best Gerei Toshavim that they can be. They will be allowed to perform their 7 Mitzvot in a way that they can occupy themselves with the Torah study embedded into the 7 Laws of Ger Toshav. What has been kept as a Chiddush Gadol will become a Light to the Nations, and what the Rebbe has been teaching has come to fruition.
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