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Significant Noahides and/or the strangers in the history of Judaism?


I’ve posted on here a few times regarding my journey to understand myself in connection with my father and grandfathers Judaism, which, in the context of ww2, was either concealed or outright denied. I found it quite painful to discover that, not having a Jewish mother, my experience would not count as part of the community with which that experience was bound up. I confess even to having feelings of resentment for the ease with which Jews are able to own their historical experience in ways I’ve felt barred from.

At some point, however, I figured that that resentment is a product of the way I’ve been looking at the issue. The law of matrilineal identity, like any other in Judaism, is one given by Hashem, not by Jews themselves. To be a Jew is to obey Hashem’s laws. There is no question of their being altered to allow for extenuating circumstances, as that would amount to a transgression. In short then, I think that on a certain level I had felt excluded by Jews, when in fact it is the exclusion itself that forms the divine basis of being a Jew in the first place. It is up to me what I do with that law, not any other individual, Jewish or not.

Please correct me if I’m wrong in any of this but, suddenly that made me feel quite a lot better about it all. Suddenly, being a Noahide seems to have its own dignity, where it had seemed lacking before. A paradoxical point of communion in observing the same law, albeit from a different position. I.e. the choice to observe comes from yourself irrespective of which position you are in.

I understand a little of the way in which the stranger is treated in Judaism, and the ethical basis of that. But can anyone tell me stories of significant Noahides or strangers in the history of Judaism? Those whose understanding of their position in relation to the law was what enabled them to contribute to its fulfilment? It would help me as I continue on my journey, and be much appreciated.

submitted by /u/jafreako-la-herm
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Source: Reditt

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