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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A quick lesson in Judaism for Robert Stacy McCain

Fellow blogger and righteous gentile Robert Stacy McCain attended his first Pesach seder on Monday night. He promptly pronounced himself a ger toshav. Not quite....

While Maimonides referred to a ger toshav as a righteous gentile, it does not follow that a righteous gentile is a ger toshav. A ger toshav is a gentile who lives in Israel (we're still waiting for you to visit Stacy) under certain conditions.

This video will explain what a ger toshav is. You'll see that it's much more than what we commonly refer to as a righteous gentile.

Let's go to the videotape.

As noted toward the end of the video, Maimonides rules that we do not accept the status of ger toshav today. So even if you fulfilled all of the requirements, since most Jews today do not live in Israel, you can't be a ger toshav. (It should be noted that we're actually getting close to the point where most Jews live in Israel, and in a few years, many Jewish law questions may arise from that fact).

There is another kind of ger, which is the more commonly known type of ger today. That ger is known as a ger tzedek - a full convert to Judaism.

The term generally used today for a righteous gentile is chassid umoth ha'olam, which literally translates as... a pious gentile. Stacy, you definitely are one. And when you come to Israel, I'd love to show you around.

(Hoping he'll finally follow me on Twitter and put me on his blogroll - it's harder to get this guy's attention than Alyssa Milano's).


At 8:07 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - if you looked like Alyssa Milano, I think you'd get Stacy McCain's attention!

But what can you do?



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