RABBI GERSHON CAUDILL'S JEWISH FLEXIDOX PHILOSOPHY SUBSCRIBES TO THE BELIEF OF A SACRED GLOBAL CONSCIOUS COMMUNITY WHEREIN
FOLLOWERS OF ALL RELIGIONS AND SPIRITUAL PATHS ARE ACTUALLY A PART OF THE ONE-RAINBOW RELIGION (See Micah 4: 5), AND WHO ARE
DESTINED TO ONE DAY UNDERSTAND THAT, AND BRING ABOUT WORLD PEACE.
Rabbi Gershon believes in the concept of learning about other religious
beliefs and practices, and, from that place of knowing, teaching understanding, tolerance, and acceptance of others through
interfaith dialogue as taught by the traditional Hebrew prophets and sages for 3500 years.
Dialogue does not mean
agreement. It also does not mean argument. It does mean a willingness to try to understand where the other person is coming
from, and RESPECTING that point of view.
Remember that in the Torah (in the Book of Numbers, chapter 20), the Moabite
Prophet of YHVH, Balaam, is just as much a Prophet as is Moses.
CONVERSION TO JUDAISM IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR BEING ACCEPTED BY
GOD AS A RIGHTEOUS PERSON WHO WILL GAIN THE SAME REWARD AS A RIGHTEOUS JEW.
According to MANY passages in the Torah, being a Jew is NOT a requirement for being considered a RIGHTEOUS person, or of the
However, how you treat your neighbor is considered a requirement for being considered a righteous person.
We Jews do NOT seek converts! We do not view Judaism as the ONLY correct way of worshipping God.
We do view Judaism as the TRIBAL PATH that is the ancestral religion of the Jewish people, but the Tribal Path of other
peoples is the correct way for them to worship God, as much correct as our Path is for us.
Judaism does ACCEPT converts, after informing the prospective inquirer of all the Tribal rules and regulations that the
Tribe expects that its members will observe. It informs the prospect of the negative forces of anti-Semitism that the prospect
will encounter as a Jew. It also informs the prospect of the fact that, although the Torah asks the Jewish people to love
converts and accept them into full status as Jews, often converts are not fully accepted as Jews, especially by the various
branches of Jewish thinking and practice.
The Jews are not a perfect people! They have all the faults and problems of any other group of people. They have as much
infighting and turmoil as any group of Irish Catholics.
Yet, for all that, BEING A JEW HAS ITS POSITIVE SIDE.
A Jew is part of an ancient people who have an unbroken history and tradition of worship that winds its way back through
the pages of time to the Exodus from Egypt.
For 2100 years of that time period, the Jewish people existed as a people and nation apart from all other peoples and
nations even though the Jewish people dwelt within the other nations, yet it did not have its own country in physical space.
Eretz Israel and Jerusalem were always focal points for Jewish compass directions for prayer and national yearning.
The Jewish people have survived forced Hellenization, Roman occupation, mass genocidal war, exile, extermination, ghettoization,
segregation, forced conversions, etc.
Thus, when a person comes for conversion, we are careful to let them know what they could be getting themselves in for.
The Torah speaks of those who convert to Judaism thusly:
"When a proselyte comes to be converted, one receives him with an open hand so as to bring him under the wings of
the Divine Presence."
(Leviticus Rabbah 2:9)
"Dearer to God than all of the Israelites who stood at Mount Sinai is the convert. Had the Israelites not witnessed
the lightning, thunder, and quaking mountain, and had they not heard the sounds of the shofar, they would not have accepted
the Torah. But the convert, who did not see or hear any of these things, surrendered to God and accepted the yoke of heaven.
Can anyone be dearer to God than such a person?"
Tanhuma (ed. Buber),
Lekh Lekha 6:32
"Beloved are proselytes by God, for the Bible everywhere uses the same epithet of them as of Israel"
(Talmud, Gerim 4:3)
"Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried"
Ruth, a Moabite and the
great-grandmother of King David,
who chose to convert to Judaism.
"You shall love the convert"
"You must understand the feelings of the convert."
GOD IS NOT "FOR JEWS ONLY".
GOD IS UNIVERSAL.
Rabbi Gershon Winkler puts it this way: "For me, personally, the bottom line works something like this: God is not
Jewish. Judaism is but one of many paths, of many varieties of ways of doing life, of doing spirituality, of God-Shuttling.
It's not the only one. And not the best one for everyone. So since God isn't Jewish, and does not discriminate between peoples
and traditions, who am I to turn down someone who requests of me a ceremonial that would enhance their life situation just
because that ceremonial will include also stuff from other traditions? Were I to turn them away with the explanation that
I'm a rabbi and I only do Jewish stuff, then it would mean that my primary focus of worship and obeissance is not to the Universal
Creator but to this thing called Judaism. To me, that would be a lot more like idolatry than doing a Hindu chant at a Bar-Mitzvah."
WHAT ABOUT THOSE JEWS WHO CONVERT TO ANOTHER RELIGIOUS PATH?
For most of the past 2000 years of Jewish history, conversion TO Judaism was forbidden by Church Law, on penalty of death
to both the convert and the person performing the conversion, while conversion FROM Judaism was greatly desired and promoted.
Yet, even when vast numbers of Jews did convert to Christianity, either due to force by the secular arm of the State,
or due to the missionizing efforts of the various Church orders, as in Spain during the period from 1391 to 1492, when 200,000
Jews converted to Catholicism, these conversions were not accepted as completely nor totally valid by the very Church who
instigated them in the first place.
The Church's Office of the Inquisition suspected these first "Jews for Jesus" as being secretly still Jewish
in their hearts, practicing the ancient rituals of their heritage in secret, and often the Church was correct about this.
Therefore, the Church imposed the penalties of the INQUISITION upon these suspected secret Jews and persecuted them ruthlessly
for 400 years, often subjecting them to terrible tortures and the auto-de-fe (being burnt at the stake publicly).
During the Age of Reason, the power of the Church was stripped from it, this in the mid-18th to late 19th century. The
Church could no longer conduct itself towards those it considered as "HERITICS" in this shameful manner. With the
rise of Protestantism, and its world-wide missionary programs towards those IT considered as not being Christian, thus pagan,
and fair game for the Protestant Churches, many more Jews began to again find reason to convert out of Judaism.
For a long time these outward bound converts were viewed as traitors to the Jewish Tribe and its practices of religion.
The Jews who remained faithful to their various Tribal practices of their particular "Clan" of Judaism drew themselves
into a more closer knit group.
Some Rabbis of these groups even instigated death rites, such as sitting shiva, to any person who converted out of Judaism,
linking the apostacy of the Jew to the death of his or her linage within Judaism.
However, more recently, some of the Rabbis of Judaism saw that this conversion out of Judaism in the early period was
a method that God used to fulfill the promise made to Abraham, that "all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves
through your offspring" Genesis 22: 17-18).
The fact remains that a Jew is a person born of a Jewish mother or a person who has made conversion to Judaism. No if,
ands, or buts. You CANNOT opt out of being a Jew even if you opt out of the religion of the Tribe.
If a person converts to another religion, they do not cease to be Jewish, instead they become HYPHENATED Jews; i. e.,
Christian-Jews, Buddhist-Jews, Mormon-Jews, Hindu-Jews, etc., but still they are Jews.
Even the very religions that they convert to do not let them forget their ancient Jewish Tribal heritage. They are set
apart as "our Jewish convert brother or sister."
Often, a grandchild will learn of the Jewish ancestral tradition in the family past history, and will then seek to return
to that ancient Tribal connection. Then, the circle of the ancestral Tribal Hoop is repaired and that family is returned to
its rightful place in the flock.
According to the Hope of the Israelite Prophet Micah, in his book, chapter 4, and I paraphrase; "In the Day of the
Messianic Age, every person will call upon God by their own understanding of the God Name acceptable to that person, and the
Israelite peoples will call upon God by the Tribal God Name, YHVH" (verse 5).
Each and every person has to find the Path to God that gives to that person solice, direction, stability, and hope. If
that means that a non-Jew will seek to become a Jew, fine. If that means that a Jew will become of another religion, also
However, it is VERY OFFENSIVE for ANY religion to single out another religious Path for conversion. It shows the intolerence
and bigotry of the missionizing religion. It shows that they are still going through their own adolescent, questioning who
they are, phase.
IT IS TIME FOR AN HONEST INTERFAITH DIALOGUE
THE "CHOSEN PEOPLE"
Judaism REJECTS all caste and race ideologies. Being a JEW is NOT being a member of a particular race as ALL races are represented
among the Jewish peoplehood and Tribe. Hierarchy of ethnicity is not a "Jewish" concept. Judaism denies all notions
of racial superiority or ethnicity that is better than all others. The Prophet Amos made it unmistakenly clear when he wrote,
in the 8th century BCE; "Are you not just like the Ethiopians to Me, O people of Israel (God is not just speaking to
the Jews)? says YHVH. It was I who brought the people of Israel up out of Egypt, also, it was I who brought the Philistines
from Caftor and the Syrians from Kir" (Amos 9: 7).
One must realize that both the peoples, the Philistinians and the Syrians, were traditional enemies of Israel, and Ethiopians
were thought of as only a slave people. But the Hebrew Prophet tells Israel that his Yahweh-God is also the God of those people,
and that this God guides the destinies of those peoples as well, and most important, that they are all alike in the sight
of the Hebrew God.
In the Messianic Age, the Age of Shekhinah Consciousness, the Aquarian Age, so the Hebrew Prophet Isaiah (7th century
BCE) tells us; "Israel will be in a three part partnership with Egypt and Assyria as a blessing in the midst of the earth,
with the blessing of YHVH Tzvaot that 'Blessed be Egypt MY PEOPLE, and Assyria THE WORK OF MY HANDS, and Israel MY HERITAGE"'
(Isaiah 19: 24-25).
The ancient Sages tell us that the Torah begins with the story of Adam and Eve to remind us (Israel) that all people descend
from the same two parents. The tradition also says that God took earth from the four corners of the earth to make the first
Adam. Red from the North, Yellow from the East, Black from the West, and White from the South, so that the first Adam was
of all races.
Just as with all other people's stories of CHOSENNESS, the chosenness of Israel was dependent upon Israel serving its
God as a HOLY people, a LIGHT UNTO THE NATIONS, as an EXAMPLE, not as a missionary religion. "And you shall be holy unto
Me" (Exodus 22: 30). The first century rabbi, Rabbi Ishmael said: "IF you are holy then you are Mine."
Holiness is not a self-glorification but a hard discipline of self-purification. It was never assumed that Israel would
be perfect, beyond sin or transgression. God does not ask the Israelite people to be PERFECT. THERE ARE NO PERFECT PEOPLE
Israel was only "chosen" to show that all people can progress to a better understanding of God and the relationship
between God and humankind, and the requirement of STEWARDSHIP towards the environment. If God can cause Israel to become a
better, more compassionate, caring people , then all people can do it. That is the goal! It is up to us who have accepted
the mission to rise to the challenge! IF YOU CHOOSE TO RISE TO THE CHALLENGE - THEN YOU ARE CALLED - ISRAEL!
TIKUPAT DELI (The Age of Aquarius)
With the dawning of the Modern Age, the Age of Aquarius, as it is often called, the religious superiority complex has been
called into question.
Those religions who have traditionally been the source of the most missionary actions have had to re-evaluate they way
they connect to the indigenous peoples of the world.
And, the indigenous peoples of the world are rethinking how they view their ancestral religious heritage. Often they can
find more in their own tribal heritage and history that is meaningful to them than they can find in the religions that were
imposed upon them, especially those imposed by the threat of the sword.
IT IS TIME THAT ALL RELIGIONS ABANDON THE MISSIONARY SELLING OF THEIR RELIGIOUS VIEWS.
It is TIME for honest, and honorable, dialogue, WITHOUT THREAT OF COERSION, between peoples of differing religious views.
We can learn much from seeing religious, ethical, moral, and traditional perspectives from the place around the table
of TRUTH where the other person views these things from.
However, we must be open to a completely honest and open forum of dialogue wherein all religions respect the other religions
as also being Paths to that which each religion holds as the Supreme Power.
No ONE RELIGION holds God captive! God is the Giver of all religious traditions to the peoples of the World (see the Tanakh,
Book of Amos, chapter 9, verse 7). IT IS ALL ONE GOD!
THE JEWISH CONCEPT OF THE MESSIANIC AGE
The Jewish concept of the Age of Messiah( Tikupat Deli), which is part of the Aquarian Age, is based upon the scenario
of Isaiah 2: 2-5; Isaiah 11 and Micah 4: 1-5, wherein ALL religions, of ALL peoples, are able to live together in interrelationship,
respect, harmony and peace, without fear or prejudice or coercion, in a DEMOCRATIC One World government of peoples, races,
religions and ethnicities, when the FEMININE MESSIAH SHEKHINA PRESENCE of God covers the world as the waters cover the sea
(Isaiah 11: 9).
However, one can understand the missionary religions if one desires to do so. The "missionary" faiths are still
in a state of religious adolescence and uncertainity. As they grow up and become more sure of their own position in the world
of religions, they will become less convinced that it is ONLY THEY that have the sole ownership of THE TRUTH. Then they will
have seen the LIGHT!
Missionary religions are like purvayors of soap or used cars, but they serve a purpose in the Divine Plan too, as they
also help to gathering people together that relate to the unique message of that particular missionary religion, which in
turn, puts them in a place where EVENTUALLY they can be taught to be more accepting and tolerent of others who differ from
In this way, God is sorting out from all of the mixed peoples of the earth those who carry an Israelite soul. This, in
order to fulfill a promise made between God and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their seed, as an EVERLASTING Covenant, a Covenant
of Tradition, Torah and Land.
But, this does not mean that only the Israelite seed is CHOSEN by God. ALL PEOPLES ARE CHOSEN BY GOD.
Each people's Sacred Writings or Stories teach that it is THEY who their concept of God has called to a special mission
in the world. It is like a father who has several children, each of whom he tells that he loves that child the best (see Amos
Some of the many Hebrew bible scriptures that can be viewed as references to the Days of the Messiah (or messianic-age)
Psalms 72: 1-4; 17-20; Isaiah 11: 1-10; Isaiah 49: 6; 52: 13-15; 53: 1-6; Jeremiah 23: 1`-4; 30: 3-11; Ezekiel 34: 23-31;
תורת יהוה תמימה
The Torah of ADONAI (the LORD) is PERFECT, reviving the spirit.
נאמנה מחכימת פתי
The eternal testimonies
of ADONAI are SURE, enlightening the foolish simpletons.
ישרים משמחי לב
of ADONAI are JUST, gladdening the heart.
מצות יהוה ברה
The directions of ADONAI are CLEAR, opening the
יראת יהוה טהורה עומדת
The awe of ADONAI is PURE, enduring forever.
אמת צדקו יחדו
The laws of ADONAI are TRUE, and altogether
- PSALM 19 - תהילים
BEYT TIKKUN SYNAGOGUE (Rabbi Michael Lerner) click here
CHOCHMAT HALEV INTERFAITH JEWISH BASED COMMUNITY (link) click here