Reader: Dear Rabbi,
I really enjoy your website and its wonderful articles. I just wanted clarification on a certain issue I came across in your writing. I understand your idea about how the Jew and a Gentile have the same soul. I am confused though when you write that God cares for Jew and Gentile equally. I am troubled by this because the way I see it, there is one and only one way to perfect oneself, and that is through Yediyas Hashem (Torah). Now, Hashem only gave this means of perfection to the Jewish people (so much so, that its actually forbidden for a Gentile to learn Torah- other than the parts pertaining to his 7 commandments). Furthermore, you brought a number of proofs I have trouble accepting: You cited the Gemara in Sanhedrin as saying that a Gentile who learns Torah is akin to a High Priest. I feel that this statement is taken out of context as the Gemara (in Sanhedrin, as well as in Bava Kama 38a and Avodah Zara 3a) go on to qualify the statement. They are rewarded on a lower level as they were not commanded and its only when they learn Torah pertaining to their 7 commandments (Rashi in Sanhedrin explains that they should learn the laws of the 7 commandments so that they become experts in them). I was further bothered by your other proof. You explaind that the fact that G-d sent Yonah to persuade Gentiles to convert demonstrates that G-d cares no less for Gentiles. Frankly, such a statement is illogical. While such instances demonstrate that G-d cares for Gentiles, it does not prove that he cares for Gentiles equally to how much he cares for Jews. Please, keep up the great work with the site and I hope to get a response from you.
Thank you for you kind letter. Allow me to explain...
If any Gentile wishes, he may observe all 613 commands. In which case, he will then be obligated to study Torah equally as the Jew. This new role of "convert" or "Jew" now places the Gentile on equal footing as the born Jew. Therefore, with no change to his being (as conversion only changes one's obligations) a Gentile is equal to the Jew.
My intent is to teach that God did not create the Gentile with limited capacity. Adam, Noah and Abraham were Gentiles. Yet, they reached human perfection.
Any Gentile can. All humans share the same soul.
Similarly, if a Jew does not study, and a Gentile studies his laws, the Gentile is on a higher level than the Jew. Perfection is not a birthright, but an accomplishment.