- Family and Society
- Attitude Towards Other Nations
Shalom dear Rabbi, from my understanding, according to the Torah a nonjew can only be a Get Toshav if he accepts/adheres to the 7 Noahide laws. My question is what the Halacha would be concerning a nonjewish person who only stays in Eretz Yisrael for a short time (for business/professional interest or for private reasons, sometimes also with an interest to learn from the Jewish people) In practice, Jews living in the land of Israel are doing business with nonjews in Chutz la’Aretz and there may arise a (perceived) need for face-to-face meething, meaning that either the Jewish person would have to go to Chutz la Aretz or the nonjewish person would come to Israel. From what I’ve seen, many people who fly to Israel are nonjewish business travelers. Some Jewish people also have nonjewish friends, and those nonjewish friends also want to visit Israel sometimes. In all cases the durations of the visits are usually less than a year, in many cases even less than a month. In many cases there are no concrete plans for a next meeting in the future (though possible a wish to come again in the future) Specific examples might be -an Israeli scientist who would like to invite a nonjewish colleage from Europe to his laboratory to exchange information,learn from each other professionally or work together on a common research project -an Israeli company that is engaged in business with a company in America and there is a wish to meet in person with a representative from the other company and to invite him to Israel for business meetings. -an Israeli who is friends with a nonjew from Europe and the Israeli would like to invite his nonjewish friend to meet with him, and enable him to enjoy being in the Land of Israel. -a nonjew who would like to come out of his own initiative, with the objective to learn from the Jewish people -a nonjew who would like to come out of his own initiative, with no other objective other than sightseeing, not having any spiritual interest -a nonjew who would be classified as an idol worshipper who would like to come with the idea that this would strengthen his connection to idolatry he practices. In many cases the attitudes and ideas of the nonjewish person who would be coming to visit are not completely known or clear. On the one hand, many nonjews know about ideas of not stealing, and other Noahide laws, but many do not know the entirety of them and they are not sure in how far those would actually apply to them, or they apply them in a wrong way (for example erroneously thinking that while it’s forbidden to steal, taking from the rich by force and giving to the poor would supercede the concept of not stealing) Another point might be the idea of worshipping only Hashem as God (some are atheists, some worship additional ’deities’) Furthermore, it seems that the idea that the reason for observing the 7 Noahide laws should be because they are commandments from Hashem that apply to every single person, rather than observing them because they might be good ideas, does not seem to be widely known. A question would also be (I may be wrong here) if a person can be considered to observe the 7 Laws if he only does so out of common sense, and not in recognition that they are commendments from Hashem. There may be (depending on the individual nonjewish person) also an element of learning about Jews,Judaism,holiness, and Hashem, when nonjewish people come to Israel. (I know of one nonjewish person who likes to come to Israel and one of the major reasons is to be in the presence of righteous people and learn from the Jewish people) Perhaps there is this element in many visits of nonjews to Israel, however there is no certainty about every case, and the understanding of the person may be severely distorted. The main issue that I would be struggeling with is that nonjewish people who would according to the standards of "Ger Toshav" not be allowed to live in the Land of Israel - some of whom are even idolaters - come to the Land of Israel for limited periods of time and "reside" in it (though not permanently) Is there a problem with inviting a nonjewish professional colleage to Israel, or a personal friend who is not Jewish, if there is great doubt that the person in question knows that there is a code of the 7 Noahide laws, or even if there is suspicion that the person would actively violate one or several of those laws while in Israel ? Thank you in advance for throwing light on the matter!
ב"ה The subject has been discussed extensively former Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yitzchak Herzog zt"l ( תחחומין ב') by Rav Shaul Yisraeli zt"l (עמוד הימיני),and others ( תחחומין ב,ד'). I will give a very brief summary and the conclusions of Rav Yisraeli zt"l, and the current Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Rav Aryeh Stern shlit"a. The Rambam (רמב"ם הלכות עבודה זרה פרק י הלכה ו) is the most stringent on this subject and states that any idol worshipping person may not even pass through Eretz Yisrael temporarily, unless he has taken upon himself the seven Noahide laws and attains the status of a "Ger Toshav". Furthermore, the Rambam states that the status of a "Ger Toshav" can only be attained when the Yovel is observed, which is not the case in our time. The Ra'avad disagrees with Rambam and states that the prohibition of not dwelling in Eretz Yisrael applied only to the seven nations mentioned in the Torah. However, Rav Yisraeli explains that according to the Rambam the law prohibiting idol worshippers from entering Eretz Yisrael only applies when there is a majority of Jews in Eretz Yisrael, and that is not the case on our time. Rav Stern similarly writes (ניצני ארץ יב) writes similarly. All the best