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Accepting Temple Sacrifices from Gentile Idolators
12-23-2012, 10:13 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-24-2012, 02:44 PM by Director Michael.)
#1
Accepting Temple Sacrifices from Gentile Idolators
Hi asknoah,

1) Someone told me that the Talmud says in Tractate Hullin that there were no idolators outside of the Land of Israel, and that this still applies today.

2) Some take this to say that worshiping a sheetuf (intermediary) is OK for Gentiles as part of the definition of sheetuf that is not forbidden to Gentiles to practice, and I emphasize the word "practice" as opposed to believe. Now I know that final sentence contradicts the footnote in "The Divine Code" - footnote 9, page 138.

3) But does the earlier statement and mention of Hullin agree with what is said in Part 1, Chapter 4, topic 2 of "The Divine Code" which seems to imply that since a Gentile lived in a community that didn't know/teach the seven commandments, he is not liable for worshipping idols if he does, since he wasn't taught?
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12-24-2012, 03:59 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-24-2012, 04:04 PM by Director Michael.)
#2
RE: Accepting Temple Sacrifices from Gentile Idolators
1) When you use the decisive expression "the Talmud says that [such-and-such]", the implication is that you mean: "the [back-and-forth] discussion in the Talmud comes to the conclusion that [such-and-such]."
With that in mind, we can clearly state that the Talmud in Tactate Hullin does not come to the conclusion that there were no idolators outside of the Land of Israel, nor does it imply a conclusion that there are no idolators outside of the Land of Israel today.
Rather, that section of the Talmud concludes that the majority of idolatrous Gentiles in that time were not practicing the category of apostasy that would disqualify them from bringing animals to be sacrificed on their behalf by the Jewish priests in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

2) The whole premise of basing such an opinion (that it would be "OK" for a Gentile to worship a sheetuf) on what it says in Tractate Hullin is incorrect. All you could logically ask is whether the conclusion in Tractate Hullin would make today's sheetuf worshipers permitted to bring animals to be sacrificed on their behalf by the Jewish priests in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem (if it were built and functioning). And you could make an argument that the answer to that is No, if you hold that the entire world today is like the Land of Israel in Talmudic times, in regard to the easy availability of knowledge that there is only One True G-d, the G-d of Israel (through the Internet, widely published books of Torah knowledge, lessening of paganism, etc.). But that is a mute point, because when we do have the Holy Temple again in the Messianic Era (may it come immediately!), everyone will be worshiping only G-d Himself, and the false beliefs in idols and sheetufs will promptly disappear.

3) The Talmud in Tractate Hullin is not discussing Gentile idolatry as it relates to liability within the Torah Laws of the Noahide Commandments. Rather, that discussion in Tractate Hullin is discussing primarily the Torah Law that the Jewish priests in the Holy Temple may not sacrifice an animal that was brought as an offering from an apostate Jew, and how does that apply, if at all, to various categories of Gentile idolators. The Torah-Law is obvious in regard to what disqualifies a Jew as an "apostate" in this context - for example, any Jew who worships any idol or sheetuf. The Torah-Law is not so clear as to what disqualifies a Gentile as an "apostate" in the context of bringing animals for sacrifice by the priests in the Temple. The discussion in the Talmud there concludes that the *majority* of Gentiles at that time who were committing idolatry were not in the category of the type of apostasy that disqualifies a person from bringing animals for sacrifice by the priests in the Temple. So by the general Torah rule that the Torah-Law follows the majority situation, Gentile idolators were permitted to bring animals for sacrifice by the Jewish priests in the days of the Second Temple.
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