Kenneth Cohen

Pledge of Allegiance

There are Halachot from the Torah, as to who is allowed to own land in Israel. There are three categories of people, who are given this privilege.

The first group are those who are born Jewish. The second group are called, גר צדק, that are righteous converts, who accept upon themselves the observance of all 613 Mitzvot. The third group are known as גר תושב, translated as resident strangers. They are technically not Jewish, but accept upon themselves the Seven Noachide Laws.

They pledge their allegiance to the Jewish people, and abandon idolatry, or the observance of any other religion. They are loyal citizens, and are given the right to own land.

I once asked the former chief rabbi of Israel, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, זצ״ל, if I was allowed to sell a property to a Gentile woman, who claimed to be a Noachide. He said that if it could be verified, that she did observe these laws, she was entitled to own property in Israel.

These laws made me think that perhaps something could be done to ease the trauma, Israel is going through. There is an uneasiness in terms of our interaction with our Arab inhabitants. Some have asked that Arab workers be put on leave, until things quiet down.

Perhaps some kind of initiative should be done, where all non-Jews living here, pledge their allegiance to Israel, and condemn the terrible atrocities that has taken place. They would be given recognition for making it clear where they stood, and we would be more at ease when we interact with them.

This may sound outrageous to some, but it is based on the Torah requirements. And if it could create a certain calmness, it may be worthwhile to be considered.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at