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The need for a Rabbi and related questions
Greetings Rabbi,

I appreciate your time in responding to me. Thank you very much. I just want to clarify my position. I am devoted to God and his Truth. And I acknowledge the importance and divinity of both the Oral and Written Tradition.

You stated, "It's very understandable that until now you didn't see that it is obvious that there is a requirement for believing in HaShem that can be inferred from the Torah's prohibition of idol worship." But again, to clarify, my issue is not whether there is a "requirement" for people to acknowledge the one true God. My issue is whether there is a commandment (a divine commandment) for people to acknowledge the one true God. In my mind there is a difference between a requirement and a commandment. I see a similarity in the understanding of the terms "requirement" and "expectation" and "importance". But none of these are a commandment. For me, a commandment is a plain utterance of God that a man must do "x". So I can accept the commandment from God to the Jews "You shall have no other gods before my presence" and I can accept the statement from the Oral Tradition, from the Talmud, that there are seven commandments from God for all Gentiles against avodah zara and so on and so on. I can even appreciate that the fact I said "God commanded" implies an importance and a requirement to acknowledge the God commanding.

So I can understand there is a commandment from God to not worship idols.

Now when it comes to acknowledging God, the Divine Code and yourself seems to be saying there is a commandment.

Again, I understand that it is possible to infer a positive something from a negative, but when you said "it is a commandment," are you saying it's a divine commandment in the same way that there is commandment from God against worshipping idols? Or are you saying that it's a rabbinical "commandment"? Or that it's a rational "commandment" (as Gentiles are obligated to keep commandments that can be arrived at rationally)? I say this because I expressly remember other rabbis saying that there is no commandment upon Gentiles to believe in or acknowledge God. So if you are saying that there is a commandment to believe in God, are you saying it purely on the basis that "from a negative, one can infer the positive" as opposed to the actual command against worshipping idols which is not based on an inference.

So I'm not asking about requirements or about whether it is important for a Gentile to believe in God. I'm asking if it's a divine commandment on the same level as the prohibition against worshipping idols. Because when I read "one can infer" then that sounds to me like what is inferred is not a divine commandment to the same level as the original command, but rather it is an inference. And again, an inference may have some power, may have connection to the core prohibition (as it says "only prohibitions -sit down and don't do - are counted in the Seven Commandments"), but it doesn't come across to me like they have the same force.

I've got a level of literalness about the way I understand things, maybe also seen as a black and white view of things. Although I understand "shades" and "tantamounts" and what they can teach, it doesn't exactly show me whether something is a divine command with the same force as the core prohibitions or something else, like an inference, or rabbinical command or a rational moral obligation.

I hope you're willing to consider my ideas and proffer your insights.

Thank you.

Messages In This Thread
RE: The need for a rabbi and other questions - by excited_for_life - 01-11-2012, 11:11 PM
looking for a tutor - by AskNoah fan - 02-20-2012, 04:31 PM
RE: The need for a Rabbi and other questions - by AskNoah fan - 02-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Ger Toshav and Rambam - by amenyahu - 01-11-2013, 03:39 AM
RE: Ger Toshav and Rambam - by Director Michael - 01-13-2013, 06:26 PM
Is this an obligation? - by GentileLaw - 07-08-2015, 02:58 AM
RE: The need for a Rabbi and related questions - by GentileLaw - 07-30-2015, 02:39 AM
Rabbinical Jurisdiction - by amenyahu - 01-13-2014, 11:46 PM

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