Your piece "Between the Church and the Synagogue" is an excellent and revealing writing!
It is also difficult for we rabbis who seek to assist sincere Noahidim such as yourself for similar reasons. I have been told by a few rabbis I deeply respect that Noahidim is only a state prior to conversion, "if they are serious they will convert," they say, AND at the same time, we maintain the belief that all Jews, past, present and future, including all converts, were personally present at Har Sinai and personally received haTorah, AND we are taught by Prophet Isaiah that 'My House shall [in the Olam Haba] be the place of worship for all people, Jew and non-Jew alike'.
We have a doctrinal problem here! Non-Jews are not supposed to convert to Judaism unless they have a strong inner conviction that they are of People Israel, that they were at Har Sinai and that they are of our extended family. So what of the rest of humankind?
Torah is clear that they are to come to the G-d of Israel! Halacha is clear that we are supposed to assist those who come. AND they are coming today like never before.
These good people, by whatever terminology one prefers, are the Noahidiim, the Righteous from Among the Other Nations. As Jews we are called the "Nation of Priests." Who are our congregants if not the Noahidim? Too often we as Jews shirk our responsibilities to the Noahide.
AND yet we must carefully protect our communities and Holy Covenant from those who use the term Noahide as yet another form of Replacement Theology. They too are growing in number! Everything is very confusing today and yet Jews and Noahidim MUST continue forward! May HaShem manifest Mercy to us all and may He send Mashiach ben David soon!
Thank you Terry for being a valued contributor to our LearnEmunah.com Noahide Newsletter (done by our wonderful Noahide friend and co-worker Veronica Port) and for all the other things you do for this community and for tikkun olam. We welcome you and all sincere Noahidim to our site and broadcasts.Rabbi Shlomo Nachman ben Ya'akov
Between The Church and The Synagogue
September 10, 2019 By Emuna Trek (reprinted here with permission)
Somewhere between the church and the synagogue is the path that Noahides walk.
This is a path that those in the church and many in the synagogue struggle with understanding it and for the most part there is a large number of Noahides that struggle with understanding it as well.
We no longer believe nor cling to the deity of Roman or any other god that sprung up from man’s imagination – we believe and have taken hold of the God of Israel but we are not Jews, nor are we suppose to be.
Many of us are out here are alone, we no longer have the arms of the church community to hold us and for some there are no synagogues and where there are, some of them do not welcome the Noahide for various reasons. And then there are a few synagogues that does welcome the Noahide but they want then to convert. This part of the Noahide life rips at the heart of a person who is not a idolater or a Jew but wants to cling on to the Creator.
The next thing I will bring up is probably the most difficult part of being a Noahide besides being alone. A few of us Noahides have in time overcome being alone on the path and find it easier to deal with than this next issue, it frustrates me to this day.
Whether it be those Noahides teachers or the Rabbis – for the average Noahide, the messages that are out there on the internet are all over the map – pointing in different directions – this is daunting for someone who has left a religion with family and friends pulling on them because they themselves do not understand the direction their loved one is going.
I was bless for going through almost 7 years of studying for Orthodox conversion. I gained a firm foundation of how Torah is taught and learned from the Jews, this has been a great help for me along the Noahide path. But for most Noahides, they do not have that kind of foundation to stand on before learning of the Noahide Laws. So many do not even know what they are missing when they turn to Torah. They just continue with all they know and are using the same mind set and learning style they bring with them from their former religion.
To be truthful, for many, the space between the church and the synagogue is foggy. It can be difficult and heart wrenching to find your way through. You see and image (message) in the fog and you start aiming toward it, and for many they have no clue if the message they are hearing is proper because they have nothing else to compare it with.
For me the path of the Noahide, the one between the church and synagogue has been one of a freedom from religion. This is another hard issue for many. In the 7 Noahide Laws, there is not religious ceremonies, rituals, sacred days. We are returning to the days of Noah and the commandments given to man at the beginning – we are on the path back to Genesis, one that has not been traveled by the masses for millennia. It is a path that has been covered with weeds and thorns, we have to cut our way through. And to be truthful, because of the treatment the caretakers of the path have been dealt with horrible blows from the rest of the world, they had to withdraw from maintaining this path to insure their path was maintained.
So today there are very few caretakers who even can grasp what the path between the church (or any other world religion) and the synagogue looks like. We are side beside cutting out way through the fog to reveal the path of Genesis.
For the Jew, returning to God is a path well marked, they only have to determine how much of it they want to walk – it is not so for the average human – the space between the church and the synagogue can be vast, scary, unmarked, foggy and full of confusion.
I hope my Jewish readers can now get a sense of what the non-Jew coming to Torah is dealing with.
And for my non-Jewish brothers and sisters that have entered into this space between the church and synagogue, know that there are those who has spent some time on this path before you. Listen to what they have learned without interjecting your thoughts and feelings that are still tainted with your former religion. We are on the same path, in that same space and we are here to help.
Terry W. Hayes, 9/2019
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