Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I read in the Book of Isaiah (Is. 56:1-8), about the foreigner joining Hashem. I asked my Rabbi briefly about this passage. He explained that the passage is probably neither about a gerut conversion or someone becoming noachide, but something called a 'ger toshav'.

So, I'm asking if some one would like to enlighten me regarding this subject. I'm sorry I can't be more specific in my question, as this is a new concept to me.

Very grateful for any answers.

share|improve this question
2  
See this: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/13488/1569 –  b a Sep 14 '12 at 5:19
    
In light of @ba's comment (thanks, b a), I think this question should be reworded so it asks what a ger toshav is only, so people don't answer it with an explanation of Is., which is covered by the other question. Just MHO. –  msh210 Sep 14 '12 at 5:30
    
@b a 4, thanks for the link –  Millthorn Sep 14 '12 at 9:41
1  
Rabbi David Katz from Tzfat Israel has done extensive research on the subject and has presented it in these two lessons. netiv.net/ger-101-rabbi-david-katz –  Reuven Dec 6 '13 at 18:37
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In Avodah Zarah 64b, they ask: Who is a "ger toshav"? Whoever accepts upon himself, in front of three friends, not to worship idolatry — these are the words of Rabbi Me'ir. And the rabbis say: Whoever accepts upon himself the seven sins which the sons of Noach accepted upon themselves. And others (i.e. Elisha Acher) say: None of these are a "ger toshav." A "ger toshav" is whoever accepts upon himself all the commandments except not to eat neveilah.

The Rambam (Isurei Biah 14:7) rules like the rabbis. This definition of a "ger toshav" is what we are regular to call a "ben Noach." So according to the halachah, there is no difference between a ger toshav and a ben Noach, but according to the other opinions in the gemara there is. The Rambam there says that he's called a "ger toshav" (lit. resident stranger) because he's allowed to live in Israel with us.

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you. Very interesting. –  Millthorn Sep 14 '12 at 9:32
    
The difference between a ben Noach and a ger toshav would appear to be that the ger toshav accepts the designation and agrees to heed those seven commandments. –  Monica Cellio Sep 14 '12 at 12:58
    
Note that I defined a ger toshav as "what we are regular to call a 'ben Noach'" (in reality, all of mankind are bnei Noach) –  b a Sep 14 '12 at 20:19
    
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.