[Avodah] Torah precheit?

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Nov 8 13:59:13 PST 2017

On Wed, Nov 08, 2017 at 07:57:26AM -0500, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
:> If we made contact with these creatures, would we
:> recognize their perception of the Torah as another
:> expression of Yahadus, or would it be too alien?

: My focus is on the word "too" in the phrase "too alien". I feel that
: while such beings would indeed be extremely alien to us, the degree of
: alien-ness is absolutely irrelevant to the question at hand: Any
: mashehu of alien-ness (I suspect) puts them outside the pale.

Actually, when I said "too alien" I was thinking not of ways their
book of Retzon haBorei different from our Torah but ways in which
their existence is so different from ours that we can't event

It's one thing to discuss what hilkhos geirus might look like if they had
a hahaflagah but they already live in a liquid. It's another to discuss
what halakhah as a whole would look like if they didn't experience time
as a linear past-present-future the way we do.

This discussion also reminds me of my Issacharism thought experiment.
Positing that sheivet Yissachar survived, and had its own development
of halakhah since the fall of Malkhus Yisrael. Its own Sanhedrin,
no Anshei Keneses haGdfolah, etc... The same beris Sinai, but an
entirely different development of 3,000 of application of kelalei
pesaq, different gezeiros and taqanos...

And to make it harder, let's say their population of shomerei Torah
uMizvos has been roughly the same as ours all these years. So there are
no grounds for saying one set of Sanhedrins is more authorivative than
the other.

: In our modern way of thinking, in which "Eretz" means not only this
: planet but the entire physical universe, and in which "Shamayim" does
: NOT include planets and stars but only the metaphysical universe, -
: Why would martians have a different status than any other foreigners?

Because it's possible that if Vulcans existed, HQBH would have provided
them with /their/ mamlekhes kohanim. Yes, I can't guess what HQBH would
do -- He could equally have wanted their spiritual development to
wait until *we* get there. Like some aboriginal people on this planet,
who never heard of us or even Ibrahimic religions relatively recently.

Possibly relevant is the Rambam's shitah that chasidei umos ha'olam
are only those who keep the 7 mitzvos because they were given at
Sinai. Perhaps this gives more reason for a Vulcan am hanivchar.
If anyone who does the right thing because it's logically the right
thing accomplished their goal in life, then perhaps not every
kind of being with bekhirah needs access to a revelation.

:                                              The issue here is that if
: they claimed to have some sort of Revelation from the One True G-d,
: then would we accept it as being another facet of the Shiv'im Panim
: LaTorah? And my answer is: What would we say if a group of earthly
: *humans* claimed to have some sort of Revelation from the One True
: G-d? Would we accept *that* as being another facet of the Shiv'im
: Panim LaTorah?

We are a segulah mikol ha'amim, beni bekhori Yisrael. We know we recieved
a unique revelation. The discussion is whether it's unique for all of
humanity, or full-stop unique universally.

: My guess is that our response would be: That's very nice, and you are
: a sincere group of righeous Bnei Noach... and then we'd pretty much
: ignore them...

I agree with the "ignore" part, though. Accept for the academics
and their journals.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Despair is the worst of ailments. No worries
micha at aishdas.org        are justified except: "Why am I so worried?"
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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