Luis Carmona, Ray Petterson's assistant at the World Conference of Noahides, is currently working on a database to identify Noahides and where they are located.
Their Noahide database manager Ednah has been working very hard on this. I highly endorse the database, because its important to create friends and support groups for Noahides wherever they are. Ednah's email is Ednah@NoahideNations.com . Write her to connect to like-minded Noahides in your area and to be part of the Noahide Nations database.
Dear Rabbi Brody, I'm not religious, but I get a kick out of your column and your broadcasts, even though I disagree with you plenty. One thing I particularly don't like is the fact that you're always hounding Jews about keeping all of the 613 commandments. So what if I'm Jewish? Why can't I just keep the seven Noahide commandments like you tell the non-Jews to? How come you're so nice to the non-Jews, and you're all over the case of the Jews. That doesn't seem fair. Please explain. Thank you, GA from Ohio
Diesel fuel is fine for a diesel engine, but it won't propel a jet engine. The spiritual profile of a Jew differs that of a non-Jew. Therefore, the spiritual diet that can keep a non-Jew healthy won't get a Jew off the ground. A non-Jew can eat shrimp and lobsters all day long, and as long as he/she observes the seven Noahide laws, he/she is considered righteous. If you eat 28 grams of shrimp, you put a gaping hole in your soul. Whenever you turn on a light bulb with a tiny flick of the finger on the Sabbath, you cut yourself off from Hashem. On the other hand, a non-Jew can do whatever he or she pleases on their Saturday.
If a Jew keeps 612 out of the Torah's 613 commandments, and willfully breaks #613, he or she is considered a transgressor. Not fair? Consider this - if a grain of sand lands on your hand, nothing happens. But, if it lands in your eye, you suffer excruciating pain. Not fair? A hand and an eye - while both being very necessary parts of the body - are built differently with different strengths and sensitivities; the same goes for a Jew and a non-Jew. While both are Hashem's beloved creations, they have different strengths and different sensitivities because of their different tasks in the world. Yet, like an eye and a hand, both are vital.
Since you're a Jew - whether you like it or not - the only way for you to guarantee yourself true happiness in this world and in the next is to keep all 613 mitzvas. There's no easy way out. We all came down to this lowly world to perform a difficult task, and not to have fun and games. Yes, I will continue to get on your cage for your own good - if that's so distasteful for you, why do keep on reading the Beams? I'll tell you why, GA - deep down, it makes your soul feel good. Think about it, GA. If you add some emuna to your life, you'll feel great. With smiles & blessings, Lazer Brody
During my visit to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, I asked Major Jimmy W., head US Army chaplain there, what started his spiritual rethinking.
“The Garden of Emuna,” he answered emphatically. “Rabbi Arush’s teachings about having your own intimate relationship with G-d brought me to reevaluate everything I’ve been taught from childhood and Divinity School on up. So I tried personal prayer; today I can’t live without it. As a result, I left Christianity and became a Noahide.”
Wow... we're talking about the chaplain that's in charge of the spiritual welfare of 25,000 US troops...
I then asked Major Jimmy about the cross on his uniform – his chaplain’s insignia.
“I put in a formal request to my superiors, asking to remove the cross. But since I’m neither a Jewish nor an Islamic chaplain, I can’t wear their emblems. Also, since the Noahide movement has not yet been recognized by the US Military, we have no symbol. At any rate, I’ll be retiring from the military in a few months, so I won’t be wearing the cross anymore anyway.”
Imagine how much courage it required for the head military chaplain of a major US Army base to request that the cross be removed from his uniform…
"Blue Otter" is a Tennessee Cherokee. Together with Chief Sitting Owl of the Central Tennessee Cherokee Nation, he travelled nearly 200 miles to meet me in person for the first time and hear me speak in Memphis this past month. A few days later, Blue Otter sent me the following email:
Osyio, Rabbi Lazer!
That night after the lecture, as I was blissfully sleeping in the Chief's "luxury suite," (as he calls it, and I did find it to be very commodious)... I dreamed that wherever you go on earth, there is a square 7' x 7' patch of what looked like "rain" that constantly follows and covers you. That was an interesting dream! I know it's true...
Shalom, Gah gey you e,
Blue Otter's dream is remarkable. The minimum size of a kosher Succa is 7 tefachim by 7 tefachim. Our sages tell us that this is the smallest area befitting for the "Clouds of Emuna" to hover (in the words of the Zohar, tzila demehaimnuta). May we all be worthy vessels of the Divine Presence, amen.
The following letter is very special, from one of our non-Jewish friends. Emuna is for everyone, for every human being has a share in The Almighty.
Dear Rabbi Lazer,
At a very difficult time in my life, a cross-roads if you will, I seem to have been led to watch Prayer for Fortitude after just finishing Garden Of Emuna...
Due to my own selfish past I managed to hurt many that I love and that love me, as well as myself. After walking away from a great career, a family, home, all my funds, I became a drug addict and eventually ended up on the streets. By the grace of G-D, and family members who would not give up on me, I got up, dusted myself off, and turned my back on that destructive life. It has been two years now. I still have little worldly possessions to show for turning towards the "Light". It is very difficult at times, but in some way, with no worldly to hide behind, I am beginning to feel a sense of knowing and inner strength. A strength I was not aware of in the past.
I was baptized a Christian, and my Dad was a minister. For so many years I turned my back on G-D and all religion. Yet for some reason, G-D did not turn his back on me. I suppose this is what is meant by Unconditional Love. I don't see myself as a religious person, but I do know, beyond a shadow of doubt that G-D is Real, and G-D is Light and G-D is Love.
In addition to Prayer Of Fortitude, I recently finished reading Garden of Emuna. They have both given me a new focus and understanding. I now understand that the "wholeness" that I seek, can only be achieved through acts of kindness to others. It is like an echo if you will. One act of kindness for another can echo to another and another and so on.... And in return, it fills us with hope, faith, healing, gratitude and wholeness.
I simply wanted to say Thank You, Lazer Rabbi. I never would have guessed that I would be led back to our Father in Heaven through a Rabbi. Funny, I suppose G-D truly works in mysterious ways. Peace be with you. Ben from the USA
In reaction to our Deadly Dominoes post from a week ago, two of our good friends - David Dome of London and Red Bear from Wyoming - called my attention to amazingly similar things that they had heard from "Red Crow."
Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman was an elder of the Dakota Sioux, a thinker, a man of spirit, and a musician. His beliefs were so close to Jewish spirituality, lending even more credibility to what many believe that the Native Americans stem from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Red Crow died in 2007 from a battle with leukemia, but before he left this earth, he recorded his legacy on film, which we are happy to share with you. Among other things, Red Crow said (italics are LB's comments):
1. There is a time for purification and a time for renewal - this concept is recurrent all through Torah.
2. A society dies when it forgets how to live on earth - the land regurgitates the morally corrupt.
3. Man's inability to live on earth in a spiritual fashion indicates his end - such is the fate of decadent societies.
4. If you're not spiritually connected, you won't survive - right out of the Torah.
5. Everything is spiritual, everything has a spirit - see Zohar, Ariza'l
6. There is One Creator - the first commandment and first tenet of emuna
7. Our time on earth is limited, then we go to the spiritual world - basic tenet of Judaism
8. The spiritual world is more real than the physical world - basic tenet of Breslever thought.
9. When the elements of the earth are corrupted, so is man - see Gemara, Midrash Raba, Breishit
10. The monkey may be your ancestor, but he's not ours - we don't believe in Darwin.