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Who was the first Jew?
07-12-2007, 05:14 AM (This post was last modified: 07-12-2007 02:07 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #1
Who was the first Jew?
Shalom Rabbis and Director Michael-
I know that the Patriarchs have very special roles, but was Avrahom (Abraham) the first Jew, or Yitzchok (Isaac) or Ya'acov (Jacob), or Ya'acov's son's or their children? Is it just a question of semantics? I heard this question on the internet and don't know the answer. Thank you!
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07-12-2007, 02:18 PM (This post was last modified: 07-12-2007 03:09 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #2
RE: Who was the first Jew?
Avrahom, Sarah, Rivka (Rebecca), Rachel and Leah, and Bilha and Zilpa (who were half-sisters of Rachel and Leah), all belonged to the same extended family, and they were all spiritually Jewish as a result of the souls they were individually granted by G-d. But since the Covenant at Mount Sinai had not yet taken place, there was not yet a Jewish People, and they were still bound by Noahide Law.

These six women had the power to pass on their spiritual Jewishness to their children, through gestation in the womb, but Avrahom as the father did not, so Ishmael was not spiritually Jewish. Thus Sarah's only child, Yitzchak, was spiritually Jewish, as were Rivka's two children Ya'akov (Israel) and Esav (Esau).

All of Ya'akov's children (the Israelite family) from Rachel, Leah, Bilha and Zilpa were spiritually Jewish. Esav married out of this special group, and did not have any spiritually Jewish children.

All of these persons mentioned were granted souls of great spiritual, and thus historical, significance.

At Mount Sinai, the approximately 3 million assembled Israelites entered into a Divine Covenant with G-d and became the Jewish People, and they received the Torah Law from G-d through Moses. From that point on, anyone born to a Jewish mother is a Jew, and is obligated in the Jewish commandments of the Torah. Likewise anyone born to a Gentile mother is a Gentile (one of the Children of Noah), and is obligated in the Noahide commandments of the Torah.
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03-02-2008, 10:28 PM (This post was last modified: 03-03-2008 08:01 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #3
RE: Who was the first Jew?
Director Michael Wrote:All of these persons mentioned were granted souls of great spiritual, and thus historical, significance.

Can a non Jew have a soul like that too?

Also since Sarah was Jewish before the flood, and Noah's family were the only surviving doesn't that make him Jewish and all the people descended from his family Jewish as well? Or did the Jewish spirituality stop and restart again?
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03-03-2008, 08:13 PM
Post: #4
RE: Who was the first Jew?
Director Michael Wrote:All of these persons mentioned were granted souls of great spiritual, and thus historical, significance.

Nika Wrote:Can a non-Jew have a soul like that too?

The Talmud cites the lofty souls of "seven shepherds" who were spiritual leaders of their generations, and who continue to channel blessings to this world from their abode in the heavenly realm:

Adam, Seth, Methuselah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and David.

The first three predate Abraham. Noah also had a very lofty soul.

Nika Wrote:Also since Sarah was Jewish before the flood, and Noah's family were the only surviving doesn't that make him Jewish and all the people descended from his family Jewish as well? Or did the Jewish spirituality stop and restart again?

You're confused about this. Abraham and Sarah were in the 10th generation descended FROM Noah and his wife Na'amah.
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09-25-2009, 09:17 AM
Post: #5
RE: Who was the first Jew?
Director Michael Wrote:At Mount Sinai, the approximately 3 million assembled Israelites entered into a Divine Covenant with G-d and became the Jewish People, and they received the Torah Law from G-d through Moses. From that point on, anyone born to a Jewish mother is a Jew, and is obligated in the Jewish commandments of the Torah. Likewise anyone born to a Gentile mother is a Gentile (one of the Children of Noah), and is obligated in the Noahide commandments of the Torah.

Sh'lom and happy 5770!
Does it say anywhere in the written Torah or the Oral Torah sources that one's biological mother determines whether one is Jewish or a Gentile? I know it's true, but I thought it might be good to know the sources where it says this to prove to others who might question this fact.
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04-25-2010, 02:36 PM (This post was last modified: 08-29-2011 12:42 AM by Bill.)
Post: #6
RE: Who was the first Jew?
Please see our Forum thread on "Marriage/forbidden partners":

http://www.asknoah.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=16
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