Noahism, new breath for Israel

Israel seems to be at the end of its tether and needs – precisely – a new lease of life. Secular socialist Zionism which was to surreptitiously transform into religious Zionism did not result in consensual membership.

Religious Zionism has turned into either reasonable or delusional messianism (violent and unjust). Israel is fragmented between, on the one hand, those who no longer want to hear about the Torah, the universal mission and the particularity of the chosen people, and, on the other hand, those who want to expel the Palestinians and Arabs from Israel during the next war in order to settle the demographic conflict.

Moreover, the country seems to have become not a land of reconciliation between East and West but rather an annex of the United States, a country where the cost of living becomes unbearable. More and more young Israelis today choose the yerida (opposite meaning of alya) -and inevitably assimilation- because they do not perceive a healthy ideal(s) for their people and their country, which is too shaken by anxiety-provoking tensions, one of the main causes of which is the lack of unity of the Jewish people.

Where is the peace? We no longer see it appearing on the horizon. How Jews and non-Jews, date (religious) and hilonim (lay people) can live together in the same country? Where to find ways out of these impasses?

Noahism (or Noachism) is in my opinion one of the right answers. How to define it? Are there several Noahisms? What are the risks and what are the benefits of Noahism? What is the deep meaning of Noahism? How to develop it?

What is Noahism?

We could define it as an adherence to the values ​​of Judaism without being Jewish or wanting to become one. It is in a way to be associated with the people of Israel without really being part of it. It is to adhere to seven mitzvot (the Noahide laws) instead of 613.

In short, some will caricature by saying that it is a “bastard” status, a light Judaism or a way for the State of Israel to recruit allies by selling the Noahides a pseudo-conversion, a guiour cheap. On the conspiratorial networks it is suspected of being a new world religion of course guided by “the Jews”. In more reasonable circles it is assimilated to a spirituality compatible with all religions, or at least the three so-called monotheists.

On the website of the “World Noahide Center” founded by Rav Oury Cherki it is clearly stipulated that Judaism is not a religion but a nation and that therefore Noahism is an adherence to a nationality. Rav Cherki clarifies with Buddhism on condition of ridding it of its pagan elements. On the other hand, even if one can keep his Christian sensibility and orient it towards the Torah of Israel, it is not possible to be a Noahide by subscribing to the polytheistic Trinitarian dogma.

However, Noahism is not set in stone, all these subjects and many others are “under discussion”. All over the world, Noahide groups are springing up and growing; one cannot say that there is a monolithic Noahism.

Are there several Noahisms?

There are Noahide groups that give themselves a defined official identity by calling themselves Bne Noah, children of Noah. However, theoretically, it is not necessary to say Ben Noah to be: any person (believer or not) respecting even without knowing the rules noahides is noahide.

Indeed, the seven laws are more or less accepted and practiced by a great part of humanity: to establish tribunals; prohibition of blasphemy; prohibition of idolatry; prohibition of illicit unions; prohibition of murder; no flying; ban on eating the flesh torn from a living animal.

In fact, it is not essential to be a believer in order to abstain from blasphemy and, a fortiori, from practicing idolatry. According to some rabbis, Muslims and Christians are noahides.

But if we want to be clearer, we should add to the seven commandments an implicit eighth: to love Israel. And of course we are opening a debate here: what is Israel? The Jewish people? The nation of Israel? Hebrew culture? His spirituality? Etc.

What are the risks and benefits of Noahism?

The main risk of Noahism is to reproduce what happened two thousand years ago when the disciples of Jesus decided (under the influence of Saint Paul) to cut ties with Israel. This Noahism turned into a religion which then turned against its womb. Today, since John Paul II, we are in the process of repairing the damage but it is so heavy that the repair (tikkun) is far from complete.

Another risk of Noahism which is similar to the first in the sense that it is about creating a new religion, is the withdrawal into oneself, the inter-self. For example, we see that many former Christian Noahides have become violently anti-Christian. With such a radical and intolerant attitude, Noahism goes “into the wall”… It is the classic phenomenon of the neophyte who believes that by converting to the ideology he has just discovered thinks that his community is the only remedy for all the ills of humanity and that all the others should be thrown away.

Apart from these shortcomings and others that it would be useless to mention here, Noahism is a beautiful idea. It responds to the needs of a growing number of goyim lacking references (or without religion). Noahism benefits humanity and Israel because the goyim who attach themselves to the people who have received the Torah allow them to know themselves and to mend their ways. The Noahides believe in Israel more than the Jews themselves. They give meaning not only to the Zionist ideal which has become a materialist ideal without humanism or humanity, but also to Judaism: Israel thus becomes concretely “light for the nations”.

The Talmud recommends killing whoever wants to kill you before he does. Attack before being. If we transpose the meaning of “kill”, this verb can mean to convert, to “eat” the other, to absorb him into his own identity: this is the program of Christianity and Islam. Feeling in danger, Judaism in turn seems to be becoming a proselytizer too. This has become possible since Israel returned home. Nevertheless it is not exactly a process of conversion but of membership. Nuance is essential. In true Noahism we do not change our identity, we attach ourselves to the source of all spiritualities which is in Jerusalem.

Also, in my opinion, you can stay in your own culture and religion without playing at being Jewish, without aping Judaism. Thanks to the tools of Noahism (and of course of Judaism) one can study the Torah like and with the Jews, one can participate in prayers with complete legitimacy and one can apply as many mitzvot as one wishes. The Noahides have a lot to say to Israel, a lot to bring to boost their morale and make them aware of themselves, Hashem’s favorite people.

What is the deep meaning of Noahism?

In summary, Noahism is when Israel stops being selfish and finally agrees to share its light. Granted, during centuries of persecution, the Jewish people were not invited to share their treasure. But today, thanks to the existence of a country for the Jews, Israel can enlarge the space of its tent and invite all who wish to enter it.

If HaChem is indeed the God of all humanity then Noahism is the logical and natural consequence of the return of the Jews to their land of origin. This land is not California, the ideal is not a soulless consumer society. The land of Israel is destined to become the spiritual center of mankind. The Arabs, by becoming Noahides, will no longer be able to be jealous of the economic success of Israel since they will be associated with it and will be actors. This is what Noahism is all about: defeating the enemy by transforming him into a friend.

How to develop it?

The Noahide ideal is too great to be confined to a single body, a single organization, a single community. It is polymorphic and moving. To become attached to Israel it is not essential to be part of a Noahide community, one can very well study Judaism by attending the synagogue of his district instead of going to meetings of Noahides; it’s even better. A Noahide community is useful when there is no Jewish community nearby (or when it is too closed to Noahism, which happens…).

The best way to develop Noahism would, in my opinion, be to get rid of this word. It is – especially in France – badly perceived because one has the impression that it is about a Judaism at the discount, a “Judaism bis”, a Judaism for the goyim. We still need words, however, and for the moment it is this that best identifies and defines a non-Jewish identity associated with the Jewish people, a person who believes that the God of Israel is the God of all humanity without being part of Israel.

Also, I think that Noahism, to develop, needs proximity more than great means: it is for the Jews who in their majority know nothing about Noahism to become sensitive to this phenomenon. How can we welcome into Israel all these heal (foreigners) thirsty for Torah? Jews need to convert to Noahism! Thanks to this “self-conversion” the Noahides will be able more easily to spread with Israel the light of Israel which heals humanity.

Israel today seems to be asphyxiated from without and from within. Noahism, through the adherence of goyim to the Israel project, can bring new life to the entire Jewish people. Finally, Jews and goyim can find each other and work in the same direction despite the still tight border between them. One day, perhaps, this border will disappear. When the Messiah comes…

Manitou prophesied that one day the goyim will say “Listen Israel, HaShem is our God too”. The Noahides fulfill this prophecy.

Noahism, new breath for Israel