Due to our limited resources, instead of a written Thought to Ponder, I am sending you two podcasts, which like my earlier podcasts, were initiated by my dear friend Rabbi Ari Ze’ev Schwartz of Jerusalem.
In the first podcast, called Why would a non-Jew want to convert?, I discuss the fact that the creation of the Jewish People was a Divine emergency measure which, in human terms, was only called for after mankind in the days of Noach and the generation of the Tower of Babel failed to live by basic moral standards. It is these moral standards that allow human civilization to exist, and even to surpass itself. As a result of this unfortunate situation, a counter-offensive was needed. It was Abraham who understood this need for an attempt to turn the tide. Out of this, the Jewish people emerged.
The Jewish people is thus a rescue operation—a bridge between the world as it is and the world that God would like to see.
In the second podcast, I was asked a difficult question: “What do you consider the most difficult Mitzva in all of the Torah?” The answer will probably surprise you!
Although we have received several new gifts, for which we are most thankful, our financial situation has still not been resolved. The unfortunate “witch hunt” against some of my ideas seems to continue and has created much financial damage to our programs, projects and writings. As I have stated before, I will not cease to teach and write what I believe is honest authentic orthodox Judaism. Blackmail will not work with me, however much damage it may do.
I am reminded of what the famous British playwright, essayist, and literary critic, Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) said of his critics: “You may abuse the Tragedy, though you cannot write one, you may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table. Though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables.” So it with Judaism. You may criticize certain interpretations of Judaism, but it is not your trade to criticize, because you do not have the knowledge to do so.
Enjoy and have a great Shabbat,
Nathan Lopes Cardozo