“What I Believe”

The following personal letter was submitted to the asknoah.org website by an observer of the 7 Laws of Noah, who wishes to share his insights.

by Travis

In this message I would like to share with you some of my beliefs, which are the result of events that led me to the Noahide path.

I do not believe that things happen by accident, and I can’t help but build the foundation of my beliefs based on my own experiences. As a result of my own experiences, I am very firm in what I believe.

I believe that G-d Himself passionately loves human beings, His prized creations, more than we can ever imagine while we are here physically on Earth.

I believe that the evidence for this can be seen by those who understand that G-d has designed everything in this world in such a way that every person has the opportunity to both please and serve Him as He desires, and thus merit the glorious reward of experiencing His love in the World to Come.

I believe that in the World to Come, G-d Himself will be the only event. Some will be witnessing this event from the front row of the theater, some will have their seats a little further back, going all the way back to the last rows which will stretch almost to infinity. Some of us will be working as ushers in the theater, and a very small few will unfortunately be stuck outside the theater without the ticket to get inside.

How do I think Gentiles can please G-d and get inside this theater? I honestly think the most important thing in the entire world is for us to be engaged in doing acts of kindness for others. As Gentiles, we weren’t commanded to connect with G-d through the uniquely Jewish commandments, and we also don’t exactly have the merit of righteous ancestors to see us through to the end. Yet, I believe that we too can also make a powerful and eternal connection with G-d and help to repair our broken world by keeping our Seven Laws and going beyond them by doing as many acts of love and kindness towards our fellow man (and animals) as possible before we too are standing before G-d and being asked what we did with our life and our world in order to make it a proper dwelling place for Him. If our acts of kindness lead to further acts of kindness by others, then it is credited to us in our merit by G-d. That is why I have so much appreciation for AskNoah’s web page on “Ideas for Kindness”.

Don’t take lightly that I have stressed doing deeds of kindness for others. When we are absorbed with doing a kindness for ourselves, this automatically reduces our sensitivity to others – both to other people, and to G-d. This is a great accomplishment of the Seven Laws. Someone who faithfully observes the Seven Laws learns that there are set limits to the extent to which he can follow his own desires and his own limited intellect, thus instilling a corresponding sensitivity and respect for his fellow humans, his society, and his Creator.

I believe that G-d is very loving, and forgiving for those who repent and perform righteous deeds of kindness. When He looks at our lives after we die and judges us, our acts of charity and kindness that we have done for the benefit of other people, without the expectation of reward or honor, will be there and be seen in order to testify on our behalf. I can tell you that King David revealed to us a very true and important thing to remember when he said, “The L-rd is in His Holy Sanctuary, the L-rd’s throne is in heaven, yet His eyes behold, His pupils probe the deeds of mankind. The L-rd tests the righteous, but He hates the wicked and the lover of violence. For the L-rd is righteous, He loves the man of righteous deeds; the upright will behold His countenance.”

Other than those who do not even keep the basics of one or more of the Seven Laws, the greatest darkness in our world is that so few people realize the brevity of our lives and the triviality of materialistic pursuits and honors, and that our lives should be spent doing acts of kindness towards one another. I think our acts and words of cruelty are like theft, and we can and should try to make things right with the people we’ve unfortunately hurt, and repent for allowing our evil inclination to dominate our thoughts to the extent that it would temporarily take control over our mouths and our hands.

I believe the Gentile that pleases G-d the most is one who spends his life trying to acquire true faith and knowledge of G-d beginning with and based on the Torah, who tries to be as humble as possible, and who tries to be as kind as possible without any self-serving motivations. I believe G-d desires for us to get married and have children. In His mercy He knew that only the foulest of men could not find at least one opportunity to do an act of unselfish kindness to his wife or child.

In the same way, I believe that seemingly bad things happen to some people in order to give the rest of us the opportunity to help and comfort them out of the kindness of our hearts, and to also give the stricken person the chance to seek a deeper faith and knowledge of G-d.

I believe that G-d’s Torah serves as our foundation for true morality, and as the foundation for our seeking the higher knowledge.

I believe G-d gave us free will and at the same time has allowed for many shining temptations to come into this world in order that our knowledge, obedience, and acts of kindness can have real efficacy. This is because we have the ability to choose to seek G-d, and ignore the temptation to abandon any of His Seven Commandments or to forgo the humble action of doing kindness in order to help one another without the expectation of any earthly reward. Remember, the L-rd tests the righteous.

I believe that the shining temptation known as the serpent in the Garden of Eden, who argued then against the obeying of G-d’s Law, is the same “shining one” who was assigned many other times throughout history to tempt the Jews into believing that their Torah Law was over if they would only follow any new trend and eat the fruit of the tempter.

These temptations can and should be easily overcome by anyone who has first sincerely sought true knowledge of and obedience to G-d based on His eternal and unchanging Torah, and is thus seeking the opportunity to please Him by partnering that knowledge and obedience with acts of loving kindness and repentance in the wake of temptation’s temporary successes in the world. The Gentile who makes these connections will then realize that every temptation should be welcomed as a Divine gift as it gives us the chance to truly display our obedience to the Law of our Creator while always remembering to be cognizant of the fact that our daily encounters with the rest of His creation are also a Divine gift whereby we Noahides can choose to perform literally millions and billions of acts of kindness during our quest to help our Jewish brothers perfect the world so that we may truly merit the front rows of the theater in The World To Come.