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12/18/2018 4:50 am  #1

Judaism Opposes Open Borders & Immigration

Interview with the head of Machon Shilo, Rabbi David Bar-Hayim

Also from Rabbi Bar-Hayim: The Noachide movement "was not to be found in the world over the last 2,000 years or perhaps ever at all in history. This is a new development and therefore we are beginning to see, in our days, the fulfillment, the very beginning perhaps, of this process that Zechariah describes."

"If you become the ideal type of Noachide you will be doing a greater service to humanity than by converting to Judaism. You will be a living example for others to follow." 

President Trump Made History at the U.N.

Dedicating Oneself to HaShem: Jew, Gentile, & Yeshiva Student

Last edited by 119 (12/18/2018 1:56 pm)


12/19/2018 1:10 pm  #2

Re: Judaism Opposes Open Borders & Immigration

They oppose immigration? What, like all immigration? immigration simpliciter? I like immigration.


12/19/2018 11:57 pm  #3

Re: Judaism Opposes Open Borders & Immigration

I wouldn't go so far as to pigeonhole 'Jewish teaching' - which is very far from the monolith a lot of these Jewish outreach people caricature it as - to one side in the contemporary American immigration debate. You see, while Halacha clearly sets limits on the entry of idolaters to the Land of Israel, it's worth noting that these restrictions are unique to (a) a Jewish State (b) in the Land of Israel. Simply put, neither Jewish thought nor Jewish law really care to dictate for gentile nations - with the exception of the seven laws, of course.

But even if we were to assume that the Jewish laws pertaining to God's 'Kingdom of Priests' are indeed applicable to our western nation-states, I suspect that we would find them more open to immigration than the populists who style themselves "conservatives" might like. As per Maimonides (and really the Talmud, if you want to just go back to Maimonides's source), a gentile who formally accepts to worship the One and refrain from idolatry is considered a Ger Toshav, or resident alien, and he is granted significant rights and is considered a part of the general commonwealth. 

In other words, so long as a gentile accepts God's sovereignty - which is of course the primary (the only?) constitutional principle in the Jewish commonwealth - he is granted the right of residency and significant social rights. In my opinion, at least, that exemplifies a far more expansive view of immigration than the linked speaker suggests.

But this is all assuming that God's instructions for his own commonwealth are equally relevant to the gentile nations. In reality they aren't, and as such every nation has the moral right to decide what the measure of its sovereignty is and what it takes to become a member of that nation. The Torah is only very narrowly applicable to the gentile nations, and I believe that turning it into a partisan cudgel only demeans its sanctity and debases it. It is analogous to cutting up a beautiful tapestry and using it as toilet paper.

Yes, we can look to the Torah for general moral guidance when we form our political opinions, but only insofar as it teaches us how to be men and walk in God's ways. Politics is a far more trivial subject than how to be men and walk in God's ways. God revealed himself to give men guidance on how to live in accordance with his will, and any other use of the Torah is a desecration of that gift. That's all I have to say on the matter.
For the record, I am in favor of controlled immigration, provided that the immigrants learn English, work hard, and support the guiding principles of the American Constitution. As far as I'm concerned, most of the legal immigrants we get fit that bill.

Noli turbare circulos meos.

12/22/2018 3:04 am  #4

Re: Judaism Opposes Open Borders & Immigration

Thanks for the clarification.

Etzelnik wrote:

I believe that turning it into a partisan cudgel only demeans its sanctity and debases it. It is analogous to cutting up a beautiful tapestry and using it as toilet paper.

I agree. I cite the rabbi for hopefully more modest reasons. In the course of the last few years I've been engaged in conversations where defending a rational immigration policy is branded as "fascist" and worse. The term "Nazi" pops up with the predictability of integers if even tepid support for Trump is evinced. I can cite an Orthodix rabbi to make the case that my position isn't intrinsically evil (though some of its supporters are right for the wrong reasons).

That said, tepid enthusiasm and dreams of anything rational happening have taken a worse hit than my 401k. Politics is depressing. The current spectacle is worthy of Suetonius. David Benatar, some days I feel you, man.

Dark times help one focus on the permant features of reality. This is a fascinating paper I just found: Why So Negative About Negative Theology?  "In Part One of his Warranted Christian Belief, Alvin Plantinga launches a forceful attack on apophaticism – the view that we can’t meaningfully speak about God, at least not discursively. His arguments are compelling and his rhetoric is dazzling. It really is a master-class in argumentative philosophical prose. Nevertheless, in this paper, I argue that apophaticism is far from defeated." Sam Lebens

Last edited by 119 (12/22/2018 6:28 am)

     Thread Starter

1/20/2021 5:53 am  #5

Re: Judaism Opposes Open Borders & Immigration

<font face=Verdana, Arial size=2>Originally posted by LisaA:
Let me see... how could I reword it...
Did anyone out there understand what i was trying to say, who could put it in better words, perhaps?</font>


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