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Shlach: The  Power of Positivity

Shlach: The  Power of Positivity

In this Torah portion, Shlach, we can see the power of speech and the evil tongue, especially regarding the land of Israel.  Moses instructed the twelve leaders, one from each tribe, to explore the land and assess its quality, inhabitants, and fortifications. The spies found the land fertile and abundant with milk and honey. They brought back large clusters of grapes as evidence of their richness. 
However, most of the spies also reported big challenges. They mentioned that the inhabitants were strong and lived in fortified cities. They even exaggerated the difficulties, saying that the land “consumes its inhabitants” (Numbers 13:21-33 meaning it was dangerous). Caleb and Joshua disagreed with the negative assessment. They believed that with G-d’s help, the Israelites could conquer the land. They urged the people to trust in G-d’s promise and the leadership of Moses.
Unfortunately, the majority of the spies spread fear and demoralization among the Israelites. Their negative report caused panic, and the people wept, expressing regret about leaving Egypt.  The result of this rebellion against Moses was that ten spies who spread the negative report died from a plague, while Caleb and Joshua were spared. 
This should serve as a valuable lesson about faith in Moses, the greatest prophet, trust, and the consequences of spreading negativity amongst people. It serves as a cautionary tale about the impact of negative speech and the need to focus on G-d’s guidance and true prophets, rather than fear.
Caleb and Joshua were strong in their faith, and trust in G-d and His prophet Moses. Their positive outlook played a crucial role in the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land. This is also the lesson for our generation, to be strong in the prophecy that was given to our generation, along with the statement that we are the generation of redemption. This will hasten the settlement of all the people of Israel within their land along with overwhelming victory over their enemies.

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

The Presence of Bnei Noah During the Temple Period

The Presence of Bnei Noah During the Temple Period

Some sources reveal the presence of non-Jews who observed the Seven Laws of Noah, during the Temple period in Jerusalem. These individuals, called Ger Toshav, lived peacefully alongside the Jewish community and upheld these 7 universal principles.

The term Ger Toshav is established by the story of King David purchasing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem from Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24). Further confirmation comes from the Babylonian Talmud (Avoda Zara 24b), where Rav Nachman identifies Araunah as a Ger Toshav. This signifies Araunah’s adherence to the Seven Laws of Noah while residing in the Land of Israel during King David’s reign.

Another example comes from Sanhedrin 96a, where the Talmud designates Naaman, the commander of the Aramean army, as a Ger Toshav. The Talmud underlines his observance of the Seven Laws of Noah. Naaman’s high position demonstrates the acceptance and practice of these universal ethical principles by prominent non-Jewish figures during the Temple period.

While we do not know the number of Bnei Noah at that time, the presence of such respected high-ranking Noahides as Naaman and Araunah suggests that others likely followed their path. These references from both the Bible and the Talmud testify to the existence of Bnei Noah, particularly Ger Toshav, living in the Land of Israel and adhering to the Seven Laws of Noah during the Temple period.

As our generation is promised to be the generation of redemption, soon many nations will likely come to see the third Holy Temple in Jerusalem, as mentioned in Isaiah 56:7, “For my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

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

Naso-Oaths and Vows

Naso-Oaths and Vows

The Torah portion of Naso deals with the laws concerning oaths and vows. The underlying principle of truthfulness in oaths connects to the broader Noahide prohibition against blasphemy.
The prohibition of swearing falsely is discussed in this portion, (Numbers 5:5–10), describing the laws of a person who swears falsely or acts deceitfully. The Noahide prohibition against blasphemy is connected to respecting the name of G-d (Maimonides Kings 9:1) and personal truthfulness.

This is rooted in the teachings of the Seven Laws of Noah, which are universal commandments given by G-d for all humanity. Both swearing falsely and breaking one’s word undermine social trust and justice, which are core aspects of the Noahide laws. The Torah emphasizes the seriousness of making false oaths. Upholding one’s commitments and promises is a fundamental aspect of integrity. For Noahides, as well as Jews, this principle aligns with the Torah values of honesty and justice.

A Noahide is committed to not swearing falsely and to keeping their word. This commitment is directly connected to the universal ethical principles derived from the Seven Laws of Noah and the teachings found in the Torah portion of Naso. Both emphasize the importance of honesty, and justice, reinforcing the moral framework that guides Noahides and aligning with the broader values of the Torah.

As we are in a special era and approaching the redemption by Moshiach, it is seen how important it is to apply the moral guidance of the 7 Noahide laws which can enhance moral conduct and the coming of the Messianic era.

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

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.