Turn off the fight and turn on the Light.
This evening, something I read made me realize that our job here is not to solve the Ger/Ger Toshav puzzle. Our job here is to find Ger a heritage from the Torah. A heritage for one's family. What does my Ger Torah house smell like Friday afternoon? What was my mother’s Ger Shabbat challah like? That is what binds the generations to the Torah. It is not the Torah learning or the mitzvoth that keeps the children connected. It’s the customs and the rituals and the food — the heritage. It is the customs and the rituals and the food and the way of life that takes the Torah learning and mitzvoth into the future, short range, medium range, long range. This is what I have been calling infrastructure. And to build the infrastructure, we need tools and resources. And to know which are the right tools and resources, we need wisdom. And I quote a talmid of Elazar ben Arakh, who said, “When the halacha comes in, the Chochmah goes out.”
Halacha will not help you when help is needed. Halacha is the product of human agency. It is Din, judgment and rises only to the neck of Adam Ha-Elyon. True Wisdom, Chochmat Ha-Emet, is the Olam HaRachamim, the World of pure kindness and mercy, where there is no judgment at all. Din or Rachamim? Noahide or Ger?
What is the outcome? Seek the truth in simplicity.
Once we are good with the Seven Noahide Laws, and have turned to the G-d of Abraham and said, "You and You alone." And once you have looked in the Torah and seen “Don’t taunt the Ger," or, “Love the Ger,” and have said to yourself, “The Torah is talking about me,” then, at that moment, the Vessel is made. Now, your job is to let the Light do the job of refining the vessel. And do not settle for a flashlight. Expect a signal fire and a beacon of Light.
This Thursday, Adar 14 (March 1 this year) is Purim. Purim is probably the most Jewish of all holidays because it does not come from the Torah, but from Jews alone. The Book of Esther which is read by night ands by day in the shuls, is largely about Jews taking their revenge on their enemies. So I am not sure how the Gerim are going to feel about all the hangings and the carnage. I am not sure what part of Purim the Ger wants, but all of it is open to him, and it is truly the greatest of all the Jewish holidays. Jews hear the Megillah (Scroll of Esther), have a party, wear costumes and masks, exchange gifts of food with friends, give money to destitute people, have a huge festive meal, the Purim Seudah, on the afternoon of the 14th of Adar (this Thursday), and get blasted stinking drunk or high on grass or both, and they do it for the sake of Heaven, so they can reach the level of “ad d’lo yada,” above intellect where one cannot distinguish between blessed be Mordecai and cursed by Haman.
Purim is a time to have joyous music (simcha music) in the background and have a great time.
Because tomorrow, we start preparing for Pesach.
That is what Jews do. Now, the question is what does Ger do?
I personally think Purim night is a good time to go shul and hear the Megillah even if you do not understand a word. The mitzvah is to hear it, not necessarily to understand it. Purim is important for the spiritual growth of the Ger because none of the customs or mitzvoth of Purim come from the Torah. They are solely and strictly of rabbinic origin. So the Jews are not actually commanded in Purim, just like the Ger is not actually commanded. This is one of those times when everyone’s observances go beyond the letter of the Law. It says in the Book of Esther, “For the Jews there was light, gladness, joy, and glory.” and we add, “So may it be for us.” And now, Ger can add, “So may it be for us.”
Purim sameyach…hiccup. Cool.