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Author: Rabbi Binyomin Edery

Rabbi Binyomin Edery Director of Chabad Tokyo Japan Chabad Japan established since 1999 Married to Efrat R. Edery , and have 7 children
Accepting the Torah with Renewed Vitality

Accepting the Torah with Renewed Vitality

Shavuot is a specifically Jewish holiday that commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Preparing for the giving of the Torah also relates to the seven Noahide laws that were given on Mount Sinai. The giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai is a central event in Judaism, and, as such, this one-time event holds meaning for other nations. While the Torah itself outlines the 613 commandments specifically for the Jewish people, the Matan Torah connects all mankind to the Seven Noahide Laws.

When G-d spoke the Ten Commandments at Sinai, the divine voice split into 70 languages, representing the 70 nations descended from Noah. This emphasizes that the ethical principles embodied in the Torah have a universal application. The Seven Noahide Laws were given at that transformative event to Moses and aimed at all of humanity.

Noahides are not obligated to celebrate Shavuot in the same halachic way that Jews do; actually, it is forbidden for them to do so. However, the giving of the Torah does hold significance for Noahides. The establishment of the Seven Noahide Laws as a foundation for a divine universal morality and justice is an important part of this holiday.

As the world is going through many revolutions these days, which might cause some people to lack relaxation, the only way to get relaxation and tranquility is by connecting ourselves to the divine wisdom of the Torah as explained within the 7 Noahide laws. Strengthening our trust in divine providence is very important nowadays. This will surely help to get some relief as the world approaches the verge of complete redemption.

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.

Is capital punishment by a Noahide court rectification for the individual?

Is capital punishment by a Noahide court rectification for the individual?

The answer is yes because it rectifies his soul and serves as an atonement, but as we have limited understanding and do not see the whole picture, it might be hard to see this truth. Basically, sinning is like drilling a hole in a watertight boat. Being too forgiving to sinners means being cruel to innocent people who will suffer from those sinners.  This is one of the reasons why there is capital punishment in the Noahide code and the Torah as a whole. We can never understand the depth of heaven’s judgment. But capital punishment might clean the spiritual dirt from the soul of the sinner and help his soul be rectified.

G-d is merciful, and punishment is a way of rectifying sin. Certainly not revenge. It is certain that sometimes G-d almighty sees that repentance will not happen in this specific individual, so the better choice for him might be reincarnation, meaning giving a second opportunity.  So basically, even capital punishment is not revenge, on the contrary, it is another opportunity for atonement and maybe another reincarnation.

This is why capital punishment is actually something that the sinner caused to himself. Some sins cut off spiritual vitality, and this results in punishment.  So capital punishment should serve as a warning not to sin if we want to have a good society. If society is too forgiving to sinners, it means cruelty to innocent people who will suffer because of many cases of severe crimes.  Overall, this punishment serves as a warning and to secure the lives of those who might suffer from hard crimes.

In the time of redemption, everyone will be busy knowing G-d, hence, a crime will be very rare, and mostly there will be no need for capital punishment. Most importantly, the world will be filled with the divine wisdom of Hashem.

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.

Behar-Acceptance of Ger Toshav

Behar-Acceptance of Ger Toshav

Our Torah portion brings a very special commandment that is also related to the children of Noah. The Yovel (Jubilee) is observed only at the time of the Holy Temple, and after seven cycles of Shemittah, which total 49 years (7 cycles of Shemitah x 7 years each = 49 years), the fiftieth year is called the jubilee year. This is also a year of rest for the land, but it holds additional significance. This year requires that the land not be farmed. It is another year of ecological rest and renewal, mainly, trusting that we will get divine abundance despite the rest from farming the land.

A non-Jew may also live permanently in the land of Israel as a Noahide. It is called Ger Toshav, and such a Noahide has civil rights like anyone else. With that being said, the acceptance of Ger Toshav can happen only in the jubilee year. However, any Gentile who fulfills the seven Noahide commandments anywhere else in the world is accepted in the eyes of Hashem.

Any Gentile who is settled in the land of Israel and around the world should accept the Noahide laws. This, too, is for the benefit of this individual and all human beings around the world. The Torah says explicitly that the land of Israel was given entirely to the Jewish people, and no other nation has even the slightest amount of ownership over this land.

Everyone has human prejudice and human attitudes he accumulated during his life. At some point, he will have to challenge those attitudes with the divine truth. And then to choose life for the benefit of the soul. It might be hard to grasp because most people were educated differently. Still, the divine will and truth were created for our good. If the soul wants to be in good standing, it just chooses to play its real role in this world.

The year of Jubilee serves as a reminder that the land ultimately belongs to God and that He is the absolute owner of the world and He gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people. We should always strive to discover and understand more and more of the divine wisdom, as this is the ultimate good and the key to a unified world aimed at serving G-d.

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.

The 7 Universal Commandments and Free Choice

The 7 Universal Commandments and Free Choice

G-d created everything that exists, so He is therefore beyond all categories of existence and any description. Even terms such as “infinite,” and “eternal” cannot help us define Him truly. He created all the categories and logical rules, so He is beyond the limitations of these rules or being “infinite” or “eternal.” Despite His infinite oneness, He desired to have a dwelling place in the lower worlds where created human beings are not always aware of His presence.

In order to create a world antagonistic to Divinity so that human beings will have a real free choice and will outstand the test, G-d had to remove His “presence,” the awareness of Him, from a realm of reality specifically designated to be an “empty” place. This produced a realm devoid of divine consciousness, especially in the physical world of action.

This concealment or removal of His presence is only temporary, He created it this way for the purpose of free choice and to complete His will of having a dwelling place where the finite and infinite merge. If the G-dly light was obvious in our world, there was no place for free choice, but the intention was that there would be a choice so those human beings who observe the commandments would get their enormous reward. This concealment is only a step towards the complete state of creation.

At the messianic era and especially at the resurrection of the dead, this concealment will be canceled, and the vision of perfect creation will be intact. Fulfilling the seven Noahide commandments surely could hasten this vision of a rectified and refined world.

Our generation has the merit of removing the screen that hides the truth and reveals within himself and within others the divine truth of fulfilling the 7 Noahide commandments as a crucial step towards redemption.

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.

Emor-The Prohibition of Blasphemy

Emor-The Prohibition of Blasphemy

Our Torah portion brings a story that is related to one of the essential Noahide commandments. The son of an Israelite woman, who was also the son of an Egyptian man, found himself in a conflict with an Israelite man within the camp. As a result, he got very angry and blasphemed the Divine Name. The Lord then gave Moses specific instructions: the one who had cursed was to be taken outside the camp. Finally, he was stoned to death. Moses warns that anyone who curses G-d will face the penalty of death. (Leviticus 24:10-17).

Blasphemy refers to the act of insulting, showing contempt, or lacking reverence towards judges in Noahide courts as well. Anger and arrogance can potentially lead to actions or words that might be considered blasphemous. For example, in a fit of anger, someone might utter words that are disrespectful to G-d. Arrogance might lead an individual to make claims or statements that could also be dishonoring. The Bible teaches us against behaviors like anger and slander, which could be associated with blasphemy. Guarding your speech is very crucial: Proverbs 13:3 advises: “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life.”

The sin of blasphemy carries the possibility of capital punishment by speech alone, even without action, as it is considered a criminal act by uttering alone. Gentiles are commanded to fear and honor God.
The primary reason for the prohibition of blasphemy is the obligation to honor and fear God.

There are also some anti-religious ideologies, like atheism or communism, that express forms of blasphemy. They might criticize or mock belief in the creator of all. Some philosophies are considered as such as well.
The completeness of the Holy Name of G-d will appear at redemption when Amalek will be eradicated and the divine presence will be fully revealed.

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.