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Full Version: Exposing Misinformation about Ger, Ger-Toshav & Ger-Tzedek
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Do they have ger toshavs in Israel? Can I move to Israel?

Nika
Maimonides rules that there is no formal status of "Ger Toshav" these days (according to the scriptural definition), since the Lost Tribes of Israel have not yet been returned to their original borders within the Holy Land, and furthermore there is no proper Sanhedrin to regulate these matters. Both the ingathering of all the Jewish exiles from the Diaspora, and the establishing of an authentic Sanhedrin, will be accomplished by Moshiach (the Messiah, descended from David) when he is revealed speedily in our days.

There is, however, a status of Noahide "Hassid" (a pious individual of the nations, or "Hassidei Umot Ha'Olom"). A Noahide Hassid is one who accepts upon him/herself the obligation of fulfilling the Seven Noahide Commandments (Mitzvot) as was commanded by G-d through Moses. This qualifies a Gentile to live in Israel today according to the Torah. (This personal acceptance of the Noahide Code can optionally be formalized by making a declaration before a Jewish "court" of three Orthodox Jewish men). But if a Gentile merely accepts the seven mitzvot only because they are logical to him, then the person is not considered a Noahide Hassid.
Will you go into more detail on the Jewish Court, the procedures involved, would Chabad be reputable for this, what proof would you have once complete, and who would honor it?
In explanation of this point that was posted above by Rabbi Yitz:

> (This personal acceptance of the Noahide Code can optionally be formalized by making a declaration before a Jewish "court" of three Orthodox Jewish men).

For individuals, some formalistic procedures within Torah Law can be certified (in the context of Torah Law) simply by making a formal statement in the presence of ANY 3 Torah-observant Jewish males who are above the age of "Bar Mitvah" (a minimum of 13 years old). A group of 3 Torah-observant Jewish males who decide to meet and sit together during a weekday for this certification purpose are referred to as a (minimal) type of "Beis Din" (a Jewish "court").

For a Noahide declaration, it is preferred that this "Beis Din" of three Torah-observant Jewish males will include at least one Rabbi or layman who is knowledgeable about the Torah-based Noahide Code, and about the modern Noahide movement. Including more and/or greater Rabbis within the "Beis Din" may add honor and reputability to the individual declaration, but it does not make it any more or less certified within the context of Torah Law.

A Noahide declaration is something completely optional, and a person can fully be a Pious Gentile / Noahide Chassid, with the reward of an eternal place in the World to Come, even without making such a declaration.*

To make a Noahide declaration in the format composed and approved by Rabbi J. Emmanuel Schochet o.b.m., the observant Noahide** meets with such a group of 3 Torah-observant Jewish males, and makes a statement to them that he/she has taken upon him/herself the observance of the Torah's Noahide Code, based on the Torah Law for Noahides that was received by Moses from G-d at Mount Sinai, and transmitted through the Torah Sages and reliable Orthodox Rabbis, who are the Torah-Law authorities for the details of the Noahide Code.

As a matter of Torah Law, there is presently no status of the Biblical "Ger Toshav," ever since the time when the northern 10 Tribes of Israel were exiled by the Babylonians, before the First Holy Temple was destroyed, so no special rights within Torah Law are conferred through a Noahide Declaration in our day and age. It is simply a formality through which a faithful and observant Noahide may wish to certify that he has publicly declared his level of observance of the Noahide Code.

*See "The Divine Code," Vol. I, 2nd Ed., by Rabbi Moshe Weiner (p. 50, footnote 11). http://asknoah.org/books/the-divine-code

**The declaration is valid for a male Noahide (Ben Noach) who is 13 full years or older, and for a female Noahide (Bat Noach) who is 12 full years or older, since those are the respective ages of religious majority. See "The Divine Code," Vol. I, 2nd Ed., by Rabbi Moshe Weiner (p. 78).
Hi, how does one become an official Noahide? I'm sure it involves studying The Divine Code. What happens afterwards? Does the person go in the Mikvah? Does a Rabbi do a ceremony announcing that Person A has official become a Noahide? Thanks.
Please see the answers in the above posts. To ascend to the level of a Pious Gentile (a Noahide Hassid), one needs to take upon oneself to observe the details of the Torah-based Noahide Code, with the conviction that G-d commanded this through Moses at Mount Sinai. For this, there is no Torah-law requirement for any declaration to a Jewish Court ("beis din"), nor ritual immersion in a mikva pool, nor vows upon a Torah scroll, nor a ceremony officiated by a Rabbi.

For more information, contact the Director of Ask Noah International by email, or through the web page http://asknoah.org/contactus
Hi AskNoah,

1. Please could you tell me what exactly a ger tzedek is.

2. This is something that was said to me on Facebook (since a lot more than two people know of it, it shouldn't be lashon hara to repeat, right?) in response to an article I did on my blog where I quoted the Mishneh Torah that mentions ger tzedek in Laws of Kings and Wars, Chapter 10, Halachah 9 as meaning a gentile who had become a Jew (which is my understanding). The person on Facebook said this [sic.]:

"Basically, if a man wants to stay in idolatry, he shouldn't make up his own commandments. If he wants to leave idolatry and do the commandments, he should become a Ger Tzedek and he may take on the Jewish commandments. Rambam says while we do not recognize the status of a ger toshav as legal outside of the Jubilee year, we do recognize the ger tzedek. Again, a ger tzedek means both the convert and the non convert. The Ger Tzedek is the Noahide that wants to sit in his sukkah, or fast and pray on Yom Kippur, or go beyond his seven. He is not required to convert, though he may if he feels he should."

As you can see, this person believes that a ger tzedek can be both "a convert and a non-convert", "the Noahide who wants to sit in his sukkah, etc". It is a teaching promoted by a rabbi with others and I'm not sure how I should see it. I've consulted the Artscroll Chumash, Hertz Pentateuch, Abraham Cohen's Everyman's Talmud, Rabbi Hirsch's commentary on the Torah, and each says that a ger tzedek is a fully fledged convert, meaning he/she becomes 100% a Jew. I've checked multiple places on the internet: Soncino version of the Babylonian Talmud, Jastrow's dictionary of the Talmud, on and on. And I'm getting the same thing: a ger tzedek is a fully fledged Jew, a true proselyte/convert.

I'm just not sure how I should view such people who believe that noahides can be ger tzedek, if I'm understand what a ger tzedek is. Because if these guys are serious, then surely their teaching some incorrect stuff to multiple people on certain popular Noahide groups on Facebook. Not only do they teach this on facebook, but also at least two websites, one a popular Noahide website.

Could I have your clarification on the term ger tzedek, even if it's to agree with what I've found so far? If you can point me to some evidence I can use that would be great, unless you think I have enough already. Also could I have your guidance on how I should treat such teachings and teachers and students of such teachers?

Thank you.
1. Just as you found out through your research of Torah-Law sources, there is only one correct Torah-Law (halachic) definition of "Ger Tzedek", and that is a person who was born as a Non-Jew, and he/she went through the process of authentic conversion according to Torah Law, and thereby became a Jew.

2. Those who claim that there is a Non-Jewish type of "Ger Tzedek" are woefully confused or misinformed or in denial as to the correct and firmly established Torah Law (halacha) about this matter, and it is a pity that such wrong information is being disseminated over the Internet. What's worse, it puts many well-meaning but naive people who accept that false claim at risk of transgressing against some important principles of the Noahide Code (for example, by taking upon themselves to observe ritual commandments from the Torah that are only permitted for Jews).

As proof of the correct definition of "Ger Tzedek", see for example Rambam (Maimonides), Mishneh Torah, Laws of Gifts to the Poor 1:9, which states (translating directly from the original Hebrew):

"All [occurrences of the term] 'Ger' [in the Five Books of Moses] which are said regarding [the commanded agricultural] gifts to the poor - are nothing other than a 'Ger Tzedek'. This is as it says regarding the [commanded] tithe for the poor (Deut. 14:29): 'And the Levite and the 'Ger' will come." Just as the Levite is a member of the [Jewish] covenant, so too this 'Ger' is a member of the [Jewish] covenant..."

The point to notice here is that Rambam is clearly teaching that the term "Ger Tzedek" refers to nothing other than a member of G-d's covenant with the Jewish people, which a Non-Jew acquires through authentic Torah-Law conversion to become a Jew.

It should also be pointed out that this paragraph in Mishneh Torah continues: "...Nevertheless, we do not hold back poor Gentiles from these [agricultural gifts]; rather, they [may] come together with poor Israelites [Jews] and take them, for the sake of the ways of peace."
b'h

I am wondering about something I read in the Torah regarding "ger" or strangers and fulfilling certain Mitzvot...like celebrating Pesach. I understand there are different "levels" of Ger so I am wondering are the statutes about the strangers amongst the Jewish people also celebrating Pesach etc...only applicable to a resident alien (ger toshav - my understanding of the term) living in Eretz Yisrael?

thanks
Chad AKA RocNoahide
B"H
There has been serious misunderstanding and misrepresentation about this issue, so thanks for your question! The Hebrew word "ger" is used in the Five Books of Moses with 3 distinctly different meanings, and in every case, the correct meaning has to be understood from the context and within the basis of Torah Law.

(1) As a general word, outside of Torah-Law context, it can simply mean any person who is a "stranger" or a "sojourner". For example, Moses named his oldest son "Gershom", in commenoration of his statement in Exodus 2: 22, "I have been a "ger"/stranger in a foreign land." Likewise, King David wrote about himself in Psalm 119:19, "I am a "ger"/stranger in the land; do not hide Your commandments from me."

(2) As a shortened form of the title "Ger Tzekek" (meaning a Righteous Convert), which means someone who was born a Non-Jew, but then converted in accordance with Torah Law to become a Jew, and is therefore obligated to observe the Jewish Commandments. Please see Post #8 above in this thread.

(3) As shortened form of the title "Ger Toshav" (meaning a Righteous-Gentile resident of the Holy Land), in accordance with Torah Laws that applied for the Jewish nation in the Holy Land when all of the Jewish tribes were settled there, before the exile of the Ten Lost Tribes (which happened before the destruction of the First Holy Temple). The Ger Toshav observed the 7 Noahide Commandments in the Holy Land, similarly to a faithful and observant Noahide who observed the 7 Noahide Commandments anywhere in the world today. Please see Post #2 above in this thread.

You are probably asking specifically about Numbers 9:14, which speaks about a "ger" participating in the Passover sacrifice in the Holy Temple. The refers ONLY to a Jewish "Ger Tzedek", who was originally Non-Jew but then became a Jewish proselyte through conversion in accordance with Torah-Law. So "ger" in this verse only means "proselyte", as clarified in the proper translation of this verse, and Rashi's explanation:

9:14. If a "ger"/proselyte dwells with you [Jews], and he makes a Passover sacrifice to the L-rd, according to the statutes of the Passover sacrifice and its ordinances he shall make it. One statute shall apply to you [Jews], to the "ger"/proselyte and to the native-born citizen.

Rashi explains: "If a "ger"/proselyte dwells with you [Jews], and he makes a Passover sacrifice": I might think that ANYONE WHO CONVERTS should immediately make a Passover sacrifice. Therefore, Scripture teaches us, “One statute [shall apply to you {Jews}, to the "ger"/proselyte and to the native-born citizen].” And this is its meaning: If a "ger"/proselyte dwells with you [Jews], and he comes to make a Passover sacrifice with his fellow Jews, “according to the statutes of the Passover sacrifice and its ordinances he shall make it.” - [see Sifrei Beha’alothecha 1:30].
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