Know before Whom you stand*

The following personal essay was submitted to the AskNoah.org web site by a Bas Noach who wishes to share her thoughts with our visitors.

Animation by the author: “Time To Get It Together”

Part I

Citizens of the Earth,

If you have ever sought the truth about God and religion for reasons that are personal or professional, that involve gain or loss, then you might be interested in the understanding I have discovered.

My journey began in a closet in an apartment on an Air Force Base in Hawaii with a little white book. I acquired the book after being baptized there in the ocean. I remember thinking, “This is the coolest book I own” when I received it, because it had a zipper, so I put it in the closet to keep it safe. I was around nine years old. Then one day I saw the book and thought to myself, “You should read that,” so I sat down and began to read. It was the Bible. I read perhaps the most well-known phrase to man: “In the beginning G-d created the Heavens and the Earth.” I suppose I had heard the word G-d before, but I did not understand. I remember thinking, “Wow really? That’s so cool.” I actually got up out of the closet and went over to the window and looked outside and thought, “Yep, there’s an Earth out there.” That was over 35 years ago. My journey has now reached a summit. A place from which there is a much clearer view. This summit was possible because of Orthodox Jewish spiritual teachings I received from a good friend and mashpia (mentor) of mine, Dr. Michael Schulman of AskNoah.org.

What is discussed in this article may be sensitive to or disturbing for some of you. If you are seeking these truths, it may be hard to understand them if – you are even able to find them – because sometimes they are hard to recognize due to our previous internalized concepts and beliefs. This article is written to (a) disprove the validity of the book of John found in the New Testament, and (b) explain the commandments that G-d delivered to Moses at Mt. Sinai.

In order to discuss this issue it is required that I impart to you knowledge found in the sacred Jewish Kabbalistic text known as the Book of Zohar. According to the Zohar, there is the unknowable Essence of G-d. Before G-d created the Heavenly realms, the physical universe, or time and space, He emanated from His Essence an infinite, transcendent spiritual level known as the Upper Purity. This spiritual level is intimate to G-d Himself, because it is the level that is in closest spiritual proximity to His unknowable Essence. It could be thought of as the first and most transcendent of the spiritual levels that co-exist with His unknowable Essence, or (metaphorically) as the completely unlimited “Infinite Light” of G-d. Because the “Infinite Light” is reflective of G-d’s Essence, it is also referred to (metaphorically) in the Zohar as “G-d’s Name.”

Have you ever searched the internet concerning G-d’s Holy Temple and found 3-D models like the one Solomon ordered to be constructed? Then at night, have you imagined you were in a wasteland stuck outside those walls, huddled up against them, and it is cold, at night, and it is dark and rainy. There is not a single other soul around. Then somehow after many nights of sleeping this way you end up inside the walls of the Temple. Poof. There you are. It’s like a glorious garden. Then in my understanding there is a soft light shining from the Temple’s inner Holy of Holies, illuminating the darkness of the night, and peaceful slumber occurs.

Before speaking concerning this light, we were discussing the unknowable Essence of G-d and that close and intimate spiritual level known as the Upper Purity. Now, the Upper Purity has three aspects: G-d’s Essence which He unites with it, “G-d’s Name,” and His primordial thought that “I shall rule.” These are what reside in the Upper Purity.

Directly after reading the description of the Upper Purity as conveyed to me by my mashpia for the first time, I experienced something I have never experienced before. I only know how to describe it as the acquisition of immediate knowledge. That is knowledge that requires no thought and is received and understood immediately by your mind’s eye. What I did was frantically scrawl out a short email to my mashpia stating, “Chr’stianity is worshiping the Upper Purity.” This disturbed me, because for the past decade I had rarely or only infrequently thought of Chr’stian concepts concerning the person who has been their traditionally-assumed messiah. I feel a necessity to explain how abnormal such a thought was for me. It was like a spontaneous understanding.

Part II

For the remainder of this essay, I will refer to G-d as He is called in common usage by the Hebrew term “Hashem,” which literally means “The Name” (since G-d’s actual Names are holy and should be used only in holy writings or prayers).

In the previous part of the article I gave an introduction about the Upper Purity, and stated that “it is the level that is in closest spiritual proximity to His unknowable Essence.” In this part of the article, I will focus on the fact that Hashem gave the Torah at Mt. Sinai through Moses. This giving of the Torah is the Revelation of Hashem’s will and wisdom to the Jewish People, and through them, to the rest of mankind.

So what is the Torah? The Torah is commonly referred to as the first five books of the Old Testament. This is true in part. When Hashem delivered the commandments to Moses at Mt. Sinai, He also conveyed to him specifics in regards to how to observe them, for they are stated only briefly in the part that would be written down (the Torah Scroll). These instructions are commonly called the Oral Torah. I discovered this when I discovered the need for this knowledge. I do not recall the exact location in the Written Torah where I found this. I was reading along and imagining actually putting the written text into practical application, and I realized in order to accomplish this I would need more knowledge. I was thinking to myself, “Hey, wait, it’s got to be here somewhere.” So I read back and forth searching for this knowledge, but it was not in the Written Torah. I do not recall the exact location I was reading from. However, one location that my mashpia referenced to show that two levels of understanding were indeed given is in Leviticus 26:46, which states, “These are the statutes, the ordinances, and ‘the laws’ [in Hebrew: the Torahs] that the L-rd gave between Himself and the Children of Israel on Mount Sinai, by the hand of Moses.” The plural word “Torahs” refers to the fact that Hashem gave two dimensions of Torah: a Written Torah, and an Oral Torah that explains and expounds the Written Torah.

As part of these instructions, Hashem gave Moses a task to deliver to the Gentile nations the 7 commandments that were commanded previously through Noah. It was not Hashem’s original desire for each one of these instructions to be written down explicitly in the Written Torah. However, due to the persecution of the Jews by the Romans, the Jewish Sages documented some of it so it would not be lost. The closest thing to a bullet list of “7 Commandments to the Gentiles” in this documentation is in the Talmud’s tractate of Sanhedrin, where the ancient Sages discussed the matter. A more concise “bullet list” of these 7 commandments is found in Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, ch. 9.

The Jews, specifically the Orthodox, have been very careful over generation after generation, since the revelation of Hashem’s Torah included a commandment to accurately write every Written Torah scroll by copying exactly from a pre-existing Torah scroll. This is the extremely painstaking process which accomplishes an unbroken chain back to the original Torah scroll that was dictated to Moses by Hashem. They are so unimaginably careful with this documentation that it stands to reason that they have been just as careful to pass down the Oral Torah as well.

I will now make an attempt to define worship. Worship basically is how you adhere to your deity in your community. In ancient times there were literal, physical Idols. One of these was named Peor. It was the custom among the followers of this idol to defecate in front of it. This was their form of worship. I learned of Peor from Maimonides’ Book of Knowledge, which I read over 10 years ago and highly recommend. What I remember is that the idolaters were doing something disgusting. Chr’stianity’s form of worship these days is to sing songs to their idol. I have wondered, and still do, if the Orthodox Jewish community’s process of refining their observance of their commandments could be considered a form of worship? The point is, worship varies from group to group.

There are seven commandments for all Gentiles:
1. A commandment requiring nations to set up Courts to enforce all of these Seven Laws that were given by Hashem.
2. A commandment that prohibits Idolatry. This is the worship of anything other than Hashem.
3. A commandment against Murder. This is causing another human to die by any means.
4. A commandment against Sexual Immorality. I am not going to attempt to define this in full. I will list bestiality, incest, homosexuality, and adultery among them. These are listed in the order that I find most offensive.
5. A commandment against Theft. Theft is the acquiring of another person’s property for yourself or another through any means other than by the owner of the property giving, selling, or trading it to you through their unforced consent.
6. A commandment against Blasphemy, which means cursing Hashem (blessed be He).
7. A commandment against eating the meat of a living animal. This isn’t a common activity, so therefore I did not study it well enough to give a definition that I would consider to be complete. But one of the main things it teaches is that people must not be cruel to animals.

My mashpia authored a pamphlet a few years back which I then graphically designed, which goes into more detail concerning these commandments. It can be found on his organization’s website at the URL http://asknoah.org/wp-content/uploads/7-Laws-Outreach-Booklet-AskNoah.pdf

This is the end of Part II.

Now I will present a further discussion of Part I.

What has Chr’stianity done? The authors of their new bible attempted to create a new beginning. In order to disprove the validity of their book of John, note that it includes a type of play on words that took me some time to discover. I had to stare at the computer screen for about three hours until I saw it clearly. It all boils down to the understanding that its words were patterned after the Upper Purity. The equation involves the verses 1, 2 and 14 of the Book of John. Contrary to that, there is a verse in the Torah that shows there was only One G-d in Heaven making everything (Deuteronomy 4:35): “You have been shown in order to know that the L-rd, He is G-d; there is none else besides Him.”

There was a great Rabbi called Rashi, whose given name was Rabbi Solomon bar Isaac, who lived from 1040 to 1105. He is called “the father of commentators.” His explanation of this verse, based on the Midrash, underscores that G-d is One, including in the Upper Purity: see Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:35 –

“You have been shown, in order to know that the L-rd He is G-d; there is none else besides Him.”

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9968#showrashi=true

“You have been shown”: When the Holy One, blessed is He, gave the Torah [i.e., when He spoke the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai], He opened for Israel the seven Heavens, and just as He tore open the upper [spiritual] regions, so did He tear open the lower regions, and they saw that [in all the Heavens,] He is One. Accordingly, it is stated, “You have been shown, in order to know [that the L-rd, He is G-d; there is none else besides Him].”

Mysterious Scribblings:

In our search for G-d and keeping our commandments, should we pull a Star Trek? (This means, should we say that we have to steal something to get there?) Should we wait until a High Priest accidentally forgets to wash his hands and feet in the Third Temple and see what happens, or should we take the ‘god particle’ and hang it on key chains and around necks? (This is saying that perhaps this unknowable Essence would cause him to die, and not some “god particle” that they will never find.) Furthermore, when’s the last time a Ford Pinto and a SUV collided to form a Tesla? (This is talking about the theorists of a Big Bang with Evolution, who ignore the Law of Entropy. I personally do not believe something as beautiful as the Earth, which was put here for the enjoyment of human beings, could have resulted from a crash. Do beautiful things normally result from crashes?)

Author: Brandyn Ashing

Editor, Teacher, and Technical Advisor: Michael Schulman

*”Know before Whom you stand” (referring to the One True G-d) is a quote from the Talmud. In many Orthodox synagogues, where an “emissary of the congregation” stands in the front and leads the prayer services at a lectern, the phrase “Know before Whom you stand” is engraved on the lectern which he is facing. Noahide congregations may follow this practice as well.

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