- Gentile Souls
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Reader: I recently wrote you a question and i appreciate that
you took the time to reply. in response to my question you referred me
to the articles on olam habah, soul and afterlife. the articles were
interesting and enlightening, however they make absolutely no
reference to the question of a non-jew. i often hear people throwing
out quotes from jewish sources that a goy has no neshama, there is no
issur to steal from a goy and only jews merit olam habah. rationally
it is difficult for me to accept that the torah does not give the
majority of the people in the world the status of being human. and if
thats our view why should we kvetch when a goy feels the same way
about a jew. there is a famous story of a priest who refused to
intervene on behalf of a trainload of jewish children on his sabbath,
sending them to their death. how would a rabbi handle the situation if
it were reversed? the point is, the torah's evaluation of the non-jew
is one of the critical underpinnings of this religion. if you could
clarify it for me i would be very appreciative.
- Mesora: A Gentile has a soul,
just as Adam and Eve had, and as Abraham and Noach. God hasn't changed
the way He creates mankind. The view that there are different laws
regarding our interaction with Gentiles does not discount their having
a soul just like ours.
- Someone suggested foolishly, "When a Gentile, who has no Jewish
soul converts to Judaism, he is given a Jewish soul". My rebuttal
is that God had no problem talking with Adam, Eve, Abraham, and Noach
who were all non Jews. Yet they were perfected, and reached the levels
that God intended. God does not have the distinction of Jewish and non
Jewish souls. Rather, man has a soul, regardless of who his parents
are. The entire category of "Jewish" is really man's
fabrication. In reality, we are simply "Bnei Yisrael",
"Children of (the man) Israel", who was Jacob.
- Our role in existence is actually to bring the ideas of the Torah to
the other nations, we are in fact serving the needs of the Gentile.
God desires the following response from the Gentile:
- (Deut. 4:6-8): "And you shall watch them and keep them as
they (the commands) are your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of
the nations, who will hear all these statutes and declare 'what a
wise and understanding people is this great nation. Because what
great nation has God close to them like God, whenever (they) call to
Him? And what great nation has statutes and laws as righteous as
this entire Torah'......."
- When Abraham changed his ways from idolatry to monotheism over a 40
year period of intellectual probing, he had no conversion or no new
soul blown into him. He simply elevated the level of function of his
one soul given to him at birth, and God then related to him directly.
It is foolish when the Torah itself bears no support for such
theories. It is even more foolish to hypothesize in areas one does not
even understand the basics (metaphysics, how the soul is created).
- We have shown clearly that all men and women have a soul, not that
"types" of men have types of souls.