Coercive tactics that attempt to shut down choice are antithetical to a country founded in religious tolerance. We believe that this decision continues the erosion of religious freedom now taking place in our country. Seeking counseling is a very private and personal decision people make and should not be interfered with by government or anyone.
Plans Going Forward
We have been working on our vision to form a new institute that will be rooted in Biblical values and express a Biblical world view. We look to put together a coalition of those who follow the Abrahamic religions (Jews, Christians, and Muslims, which constitute more than 50% of the world’s population). This coalition will advocate Divinely ordained moral imperatives and universal ethics known as the Seven Noahide Laws. We will continue to fight for core American values, including the freedom of traditional believers to live as free and equal citizens in this great country.
The new organization will focus on the Seven Noahide Laws given to Noah by G-d following The Flood. It will seek to inspire all descendants of Noah, the biblical survivor of the flood recounted in the Bible to follow these Noahide laws and to recognize the existence of a higher Power, one to whom we are responsible for our actions.
The Seven Universal Laws, known as the Noahide laws, prohibit:
2. Blasphemy and cursing the name of G-d
4. Robbery and theft
5. Immorality and forbidden sexual relations
6. Removing and eating a limb from a live animal
7. The establishment of a justice system and courts of law to enforce the other six laws
These seven principles, if followed, permit us to establish a harmonious world in which diverse peoples can live together in a just society.
On December 29, 2015, we filed the articles of incorporation for our new organization, the Jewish Institute for Global Awareness (JIFGA).
Its purpose is to educate the public on the Noahide laws. We intend to explain how following these laws can be shown to benefit the individual and society. The educational activities will be carried out via discussions, lectures, forums, radio and television, publications and social media.
We are looking for volunteers from different geographic areas in the USA and other countries to make suggestions and offer their ideas as we build JIFGA. Please let us know if you are interested in working with us on this effort. You may email us at info@JIFGA.org .
Reprinted from the newsletter of Rabbi Mendy Herson, Chabad of Greater Somerset County,www.Chabadcentral.org
This month Rabbi Herson gives a beautiful rendition of the story of Joseph and his brothers. Rabbi calls it, “You Are Joseph”.
One can only imagine how Joseph felt.
Teenaged Joseph (of Bibilcal fame) had been abducted by his jealous brothers and sold into slavery. Persevering through a painful trail of difficulties, Joseph had managed to achieve huge success. This former slave had saved the Egyptian empire from economic catastrophe, ultimately catapulting Joseph to a position second to only Pharaoh himself.
Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food. They didn’t recognize him, since he had grown a beard and physically matured. He, on the other hand, knew their identities; but he still wanted to explore their humanity. He wanted to forgive, but he needed to know where they stood. Years ago, the brothers had had shown ugliness. But were those jealous brothers of yesteryear the same people now standing before him? Had they grown?
Joseph needed to know. He needed to know if they regretted what they’d done to him. He needed to know if they’d evolved and learned the lessons of their harmful behavior.
So he tested them. He maneuvered events so that he could probe their sense of regret for what had occurred, and their present sense of loyalty to the clan’s youngest son, their half-brother.
Once he saw that his brothers indeed regretted their past actions, and had indeed refined their behavior, he revealed his identity to them: “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.”
His next words are the part of this captivating narrative that always grabs me the most: “G-d has sent me here to be a provider for you and to insure your survival.”
Joseph first points out the obvious truth that they had consciously made the horrifying decision to sell him into slavery in Egypt; then he proceeds to call it G-d’s will.
Why the switch?
Once Joseph had achieved the closure that came with his victimizer’s contrition, after he saw how they were emotionally tortured by the pain they had caused him, he was able to unshackle himself of their deeds and move on with his life’s work.
Stepping forward into the next chapter of his life, Joseph’s pressing focus wasn’t on his past victimhood, it was on the question: How does G-d want me to use my present situation to better the world?
When the moment was right, Joseph turned himself from a victim into a victor.
There’s surviving. Then there’s thriving.
Joseph thrived, and we are Joseph.