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Machievelli on Ger


“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear that the opponents have the law on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience with them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack, they do it like partisans, while the others defend lukewarmly.”

The above was an excerpt from The Prince by Niccolo Machievelli (1469-1527).

Now, although Ger is not truly an innovation, it is so in contrast to the current stream of thought in Orthodox Judaism which does not deal with Ger, but exclusively with Ger Toshav, a rabbinic construct, a legal fiction not found in the Torah that has the primary purpose of keeping non-Jews away from the Torah unless they have come to convert.

Ger is not Ger Toshav. Ger is Ger in the gate. And even though Ger in the gate is found in the Torah (See Ex. 20:11, Deut. 14:21, Deut. 31:12), in this generation it is an innovation. And consistent with the words of Niccolo Machievelli, its detractors come to attack with a vengeance, while most of its supporters take a ‘let’s wait and see who wins’ attitude.

It is for this reason that my view of Ger is to think long range, and look to the future. Our grandchildren will prove the truth of Ger and like an old soldier, the Ger Toshav will just fade away.

How can I be certain of this? Because the advocates of Ger Toshav, for the most part, deny the Righteous Gentile the right to observe Shabbat. That view guarantees that the Righteous Gentile will have little spiritual growth and will leave nothing of the Torah to his or her children. For without Shabbat, there is no family involvement, and without family involvement, there is no continuity in the coming generations.  Even today, Ger, a six-year old fledgling, exists throughout the world - in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Singapore, England, Ireland, Norway, Germany, Italy, Romania, South Africa, India, the Philippines, and Japan. And it has only just begun. The future is all Ger, Baruch Hashem.

Chaim Clorfene