Can I Be Jewish-ish? ­ Article ­ BINA

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Can I Be Jewish-ish?

Can I Be Jewish-ish?

by Rabbi Aron Moss

Question of the Week:
I am in a bind. I left Catholicism many many years ago and would never return to it. I love the majesty and depth of Judaism. But for several reasons I can't convert and don't intend to. For one I can't commit to all the laws of Judaism. So I feel I am sort of spiritually homeless. Help!
You are not alone. You are a part of a community of searching souls who find direction and spiritual sustenance in the Torah, and yet remain outside of Judaism.
There have always been gentiles who admired and embraced the ways of Torah, from the Subbotniks of Russia, to the converts of San Nicandro Italy, the Abayudaya of Uganda and the Sabbatarians of Hungary. Some made the leap and converted to become Jews. Others remained on the outside, hovering around the edges of Judaism but never plunging in.
Those who converted were integrated into the Jewish family, and those who did not either reverted back to their original religion, or stayed somewhere in between, neither here nor there.
But there is another option. You don't need to choose between embracing Torah or dropping it. You can be a Noahide.
Noah was the father of all mankind. His story is told in the Torah, because though the Torah is G-d's message to the Jewish people, it also includes a universal message to all peoples, the children of Noah.
Being a Noahide means following the seven laws of Noah as described in the Torah, without keeping the 613 laws of Moses, which only apply to Jews. That is quite a discount. The exact same G-d at a drastically reduced price. Jewish festivals and Shabbos meals not included.
You don't need to be Jewish. But don't be Jewish-ish. Be a Noahide.

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