Talk:Ger toshav

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reverted "according to Marc Kellner's interpretation of Maimonides"[edit]

Hi Mzk1. I reverted this edit back to "Maimonides". The entire article was 100% WP:OR from primary sources prior to this one token academic source being added, which means that the rest of the articles is "according to some Wikipedian's interpretation of Maimonides/Rashi etc." We don't put "according to __ interpretation" unless there are 2 or more interpretations or unless a source is notably fringe. I'm assuming Marc Kellner here is Menachem Kellner, Professor of Jewish Thought at the University of Haifa, in which case not notably fringe unless proven otherwise. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:28, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

I do not have time at the moment for a full response; I will do so next week. However, the basic issue here is that anyone disagreeing with this point has no reason to state it, because it is just assuming Maimonides means what he says. So a single paper in a thousand years of Maimonidean scholarship is not particularly significant. I suspect if I re-read the entire entry in Encyclopedia Talmudit I will find nothing on this, simply because it would not have occurred to anyone that it is an issue. That's why WP:RS says, "Articles should rely on secondary sources whenever possible. For example, a review article, monograph, or textbook is better than a primary research paper.".Mzk1 (talk) 06:57, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
P.S. I would be interested in the author's broader context for such a extraordinary claim. Where did you pick up this paper?Mzk1 (talk) 06:57, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Mzk1, on the contrary, this is a secondary source - to date it is the only secondary source in the article, all the rest is OR with no sources. Or appears to be, in fact there are loose sources at the bottom.
All Kellner was being used to source was the simple lexical information that to Maimonides a Noahide (which is the same subject as this article?) was a halfway house to a full proselyte in David and Solomon's day, which didn't seem controversial. That's leaving any Messianic era considerations out of it. I have no opinion on any other views beyond this point, and no objection to you editing this whichever way you want. At least its a real source, so someone can check it. Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 11:01, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
We seem to be misunderstanding each other a lot. I asked how if there is a way I can see the article, short of going up the the university library (although I could if necessary). I was also interested in how you came across it, so perhaps I can use similar methods. I am particularly interested in seeing if Maimonides actually says this anywhere. As you know, the Mishneh Torah, for all of its underlying complexity, is written in simple Hebrew in a straightforward manner. (I will note that at this point I have no intention of changing the article as it stands now, except perhaps insofar as the title "Maimonides" is not that appropriate, since this is not all that he has to say on the subject.)
Regarding sources, you are correct in that it needs them; I am not too crazy about unsourced material myself, even if I disagree with you on the meaning of the term. I could probably source most of it (when I get a chance) from the Encyclopedia Talmudit - I assume you consider that RS?Mzk1 (talk) 20:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi Mzk1, sorry I meant to answer that, forgot. I have browsed other writings of this author in the past, but this one is partly on Google Books. The problem is with Encyclopedia Talmudit that it's a sectarian source, like a Catholic commentary on Saint Augustine. But then who else would write a commentary on Augustine, so that's inevitable with these kind of subjects, sure go ahead. But obviously a truly independent academic source would be best. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:50, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
One issue here is that the entire field of Jewish Studies, is, to some extent, a sectarian source, if one looks at its origins in the WdS (I can't remember the complete German) movement. This especially applies to something such as the JE, which has been closely tied to it. However, as you said, there aren't that many complete sources - well, there may be - there's a ridiculous amount of such work done in Hebrew - but how would one find it? I am very against picking up a partial quote from a work one has not even looked over, like one would get from Google books or in many cases from Google Scholar. Otherwise, we could get rid of the human editors and replace them with software.
Also, the RS is clear that traditional viewpoints ARE valid (question 1), among others.
Finally, this is kind of a borderline situation, between Law and History. But when we are talking about Jewish Law, per se, it makes no more sense to forsake traditional sources in favor of academic ones (with exceptions) than to forsake scientific journals in favor of sociological studies about science. Jewish Law is a discipline, with its own rules, and Judaic Studies professors do not get a seat at the table (which seems to frustrate Marc Shapiro).
But my basic question was - how did you find this? Did you look the paper over? If yes, how can I make similar searches? If not, how can you use an article you have only seen a small snippet of?Mzk1 (talk) 18:15, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Merge with Noahide?[edit]

Or alternatively disambiguate better using modern sources. If they are two things, then two articles. They may be. In ictu oculi (talk) 11:02, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

I think they are two things. One is legal, one is sociological. If there is a lot of common material, you might have a point.Mzk1 (talk) 18:18, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
You might want to merge with Seven Laws of Noah. Or split between the two articles.
Revised as discussed based on Encyclopedia Talmudit. Other editors, feel free to modify - with sources! (And please correct my phrasing when cumbersome.)Mzk1 (talk) 19:51, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi MzK1, I'm sorry but I've partially reverted deletion of Hebrew Bible paragraph, we cannot delete reference to the Hebrew Bible when the rabbinical sources then go on and cite Hebrew Bible verses as justification for the rabbinical interpretation. I still think this article looks like a puffed up paragraph of Noahide In ictu oculi (talk) 05:32, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
You misunderstood my point. I deleted it because it was unsourced and because it was POV; the Talmud and Targum Onkelus certainly think it appears in the Bible. I am for the moment not re-reverting because of the following:
I think all what I just did may be vandalism, and I need your opinion. I removed basically anything that did not appear in the ET, because it was unsourced. But now I see that there are several sources listed without use of footnotes. It is possible that some of the removed material is there. I need your advice on how to proceed.Mzk1 (talk) 08:33, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi, the the Talmud and Targum Onkelus do think it appears in the Bible, so presumably the text needs changing to make it clear whether the term appears or the idea appears? I don't think it's vandalism by any means. But we can't just delete chunks because a source (which isn't an English language source) doesn't have that content. The Heb Bible stuff is totally vanilla and serves to link to other Wikipedia articles which are sourced, that's the reason for it. This article seems to be Maimonides on Noahides which is fine, but still requires context. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:12, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually maybe some of the other stuff you removed should also be restored. Marked with [citation needed].In ictu oculi (talk) 09:14, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

First of all, I checked the links. It is not vanilla. Unsourced, it's closer to nonsense. As a matter of fact, the term "Ger Toshav" appears explicitly in Lev. 25:47. On the other hand, I don't know if "Ger Tzedek" appears anywhere; certainly not in the Torah. One link refers to the term Ger and mentions both a Ger Tzedek AND a Ger Toshav - links right back to here. The second refers to Football. The third refers to the Christian Bible, and Ger Toshav is a purely rabbinic concept. In short, it is just someone's opinion, and it needs sourcing and balancing. With no source, it needs deletion.
Secondly, something is either sourced (even poorly) or not. Do the generic references without footnotes source the article or do they not. If not, I can remove the unsourced parts if I want, as I retained most of it, I think. (I can give a counter to at least one removed statement.) If it is, I need to put it back, and I don't know if CN applies. (I don't know where you got the idea that this is all the Rambam. The ET has extensive footnotes. As far as I know, there is no Ger Toshav in historical sources. The ET is also translated; I just don't have access to that version.)Mzk1 (talk) 19:50, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Hi. I got the idea that this article is about Maimonides from the mentions of Maimonides. Well not surprising, the article is a mix of POV and OR anyway. If גֵּר וְתֹושָׁב occurs in Leviticus then this isn't even a term that has any justification appearing in Hebrew on en.wikipedia contrary to WP:EN, perhaps we can work out what the term is in English and do a page move or merge. Cheers In ictu oculi (talk) 09:13, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
I did not say Ger V'Toshav. Please look a few words further in the verse; it says Ger Toshav. And I sourced everything. I did this because you wanted it, and now you are telling me to put back OR. Disputed material must be dsourced, no?Mzk1 (talk) 20:47, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
I have added in text (and WP:RS) for Hebrew Bible, Second Temple (not much), and Christian usage --- seems that the idea of a merge with Noahide is uncalled for, but a page rename per WP:EN looks needed. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:24, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

The concepts of Ger Tzedek and Ger Toshav are discussed in the Talmud. Rambam only talks about it because he is a codifier of the Talmud. The fact that it's a rabbinic concept does not make it "just someone's opinion". That's a ridiculous statement. You might as well say that laws requiring separate utensils for meat and dairy is "just someone's opinion". - Lisa (talk - contribs) 11:26, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Ger toshav is not the same as ger v-toshav[edit]

In ictu oculi, You've added a number of edits on the assumption that the halakhic category of ger toshav has something to do with the biblical phrase ger v'toshav. So you have related it to Abraham, who uses that phrase about himself when negotiating with the Hittites for a burial place for Sarah. But this is unsubstantiated (and unsubstantiable). The concept is a rabbinic one. And while it is clearly related to the Noahide laws, it is not something that can just be merged with that article. For example, Milk and meat in Jewish law and Kashrut are separate articles.

The concept of ger toshav is about non-Jews who are permitted, according to halakha, to live in the land of Israel. One of the requirements to be in that category is adherence to the Noahide laws. But it isn't the only one, and the Noahide laws are binding, according to Jewish law, on all human beings. If you'd like to create an article on Strangers in Christianity or something of that sort, feel free to do so. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 11:38, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Lisa,
Your deletions of content and WP:RS references verge on vandalism and have been reverted.

There is no call for Strangers in the Hebrew Bible and Strangers in the Talmud to be separate articles at this point.

1. Firstly the term used in the Hebrew Bible is identical as that used in the rabbinical texts, please see the sources you deleted.
2. Secondly "The concept is a rabbinic one" is your opinion, and evidently NPOV because you are determining that only one part/period of Judaism counts. Wheras the sources you deleted made a connection.
3. Most importantly as it stands the title of the article (which is counter WP:EN) is ger toshav. Ger toshav is a foreign language term which occurs in (1) Hebrew Bible (2) Second temple texts (3) Rabbinical texts (4) Hebrew Christian texts.
Rather than deleting Hebrew Bible material and WP:RS.. you might do better to provide WP:RS that the "stranger and sojourner" passages in the Talmud are unrelated to the "stranger and sojourner" passages in Leviticus,... but I doubt such sources exist.
In ictu oculi (talk) 23:03, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Further to this I have just looked an within 2 or 3 minutes quickly found references from Guggenheimer 2005, Steinsaltz 1995, Gersh 1986 that directly state that the Talmudic "stranger and sojourner" is related to the Leviticus "stranger and sojourner". But then this is already sourced in the article Jill Havi Aizenstein, New York University. Hebrew and Judaic Studies - 2008 in one of the sources you deleted. Please do not delete sourced NPOV material again. Thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:11, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Are the sources that are actually used in the article making this connection? Or is this, it appears to be, pure synthesis? Jayjg (talk) 02:09, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Jayjg, welcome. But if you have already set your mind in attack mode that you think it is likely to be "pure synthesis (snap snap gnarl gnarl)" that the commentaries on the Talmud make the connection between a phrase in Leviticus given exegesis in the Talmud and the Talmud exposition of the passage it cites, then go to it, attack, gnarl, cut, tag and delete. I really have better things to think about. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:37, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Are the sources that are actually used in the article making this connection? Jayjg (talk) 01:47, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Jayjg, evidently they are not to the burden that satisfies you, so I will add Guggenheimer 2005, Steinsaltz 1995, Gersh 1986. Can you please try and be a little bit more collaborative and less aggressive in your approach to editing. Use cn tags if you feel they are needed. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:04, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually rather than those I can see something absolutely cast iron is needed for what's coming next. I've chosen Rashi and Rabbi Reuven Hammer for connecting ger toshav in Genesis, Leviticus and rabbinical literature. I would have thought that would be undeletable. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:26, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
a) I haven't edited this article in at least 6 weeks, so my "approach to editing" can't have been "aggressive".
b) I haven't deleted anything.
c) "Comment on content, not on the contributor" - see WP:NPA and WP:TPYES.
d) Do all the sources that are actually used in the relevant sections make this connection?Jayjg (talk) 03:33, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Jayjg
You don't think charging in with "PURE synthesis" was aggressive? You can link to on the contributor but until you moderate the way you behave to other editors, you are behaving aggressively.
Anyway, as below if you have already decided to exclude Tanakh material from this article and have already decided the sources like Rashi and Eichhorn connecting the Tanakh to the Talmud are WP:Synthesis there is little I can do to stop you. As below please go ahead and create ger v-toshav if that is what you want. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:45, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
It is ever possible for you to respond without almost exclusively discussing me, rather than article content? Could you please try responding again, this time referring only to article content, and not at all to me? Jayjg (talk) 04:56, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Jayjg, I'm afraid that if you consistently enter into Talk in personal attack mode on other editors then naturally the first response will usually be to ask you to drop the attack level. Besides, per the point, requesting you to be less aggressive does not prevent you from presenting your case as to why Rashi and Eichhorn etc. sources should be deleted or sources do not say what the content line depicts. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:54, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
So the answer to my question, then, is "no". Jayjg (talk) 00:10, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Let it be noted that I'm choosing not to interact with this.In ictu oculi (talk) 01:11, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

This is close to vandalism[edit]

I thought I could work with I/O/O, but he appears to have thrown out the entire concept of good faith. He complained that it was unsourced, so I removed the unsourced material, and he put some of it back without sourcing it. For example, the entire article on god-fearers refers to the Christian Bible, and I explicitly stated above that it is from there, yet he put it back as part of the Hebrew Bible without sourcing(!) There is an entire section (Second Temple) that is not germane to the topic, the first Biblical quote refers to a source in a completely different field - OK, I've argued with JayjG about that concept also - and he uses the King James to give a non-literal translation of the "Hebrew Bible" (Maybe the "Hebrew Bible" also says "Kiss the Son"?).

If he has better things to do, maybe he should do them. I have better things to do than clean up after him. For the moment, I won't touch it, in case Lisa wants to do a full revert.Mzk1 (talk) 21:13, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Hi Mzk1,
What is close to vandalism?
Just a moment, I'm very sorry but I thought that was what you wanted - there wasn't any intention to do bad by you, just the opposite. Please go ahead and make the edits you want to make, tag the things that need fixing. I don't have a problem.
A couple of points:
  • The phrase "Hebrew Bible" appears common NOPOV terminology on Wikipedia articles to avoid the loaded terms "Tanakh" and "Old Testament"
  • I have no brief whatsoever for the King James Version, 1611 - I simply have used it as a default because it is the most common. If you want to change to another version go ahead...
  • I'm not sure what you mean about the God-fearers article. You're saying it has no reference to the subject of proselytes to Judaism? You're saying that article needs to be edited to include rabbinical references? Go ahead ...
  • Sorry I'm not quite sure what I've done. But if you tag in the article what the issue is it will help. In ictu oculi (talk) 22:27, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for being a gentleman. The point is that "God-fearer" is a Christian Bible concept ,unrealted to the Hebrew Bible. See the article. Mzk1 (talk)
Hi Mzk1
Yes, actually you were correct about that article, since as presented that article "God-fearer" did present Sebomenoi as being only found in Hellenistic Judaism (Greek synagogue inscriptions and New Testament), however I did a bit of source checking which showed that that article had simply omitted Hebrew language sources and the Diaspora Jewish term Sebomenoi is in fact based in the Hebrew term Yir'ei Hashem. That article has now been corrected with sources incl. Jeffrey M. Cohen 500 questions and answers on Chanukah 2006 "Hence the references to them in Jewish sources such as Sebomenoi or Yir'ei Hashem (God-fearers). Many of them accepted monotheism, though held back from many other basic ritual precepts." Cheers In ictu oculi (talk) 01:07, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Which article in Jewish Encyclopedia covers this?[edit]

Is there an article in the Jewish Encyclopedia which refs the "strangers and sojourners" in the Land? In ictu oculi (talk) 22:27, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

WP:RS needed: Is Tanakh ger v-toshav different from Talmud ger-toshav?[edit]

We need to clear this up. The Tanakh part of has been deleted twice now on the basis that the Tanakh ger v-toshav גֵּר־וְתֹושָׁב (Abraham, Leviticus x2) is totally unrelated to the Talmud passages on the "stranger". The article now has in it Rashi and Rabbi Reuven Hammer 2011. Before (cur | prev) 23:24, 26 October 2011‎ Brewcrewer (talk | contribs)‎ (6,139 bytes) comes back with "SYNTH nonsense. Lisa is correct" and deletes the Tanakh section again. Can we determine this. Are there WP:RS that says the gerim v toshavim in Lev 25:35 is unrelated to the ger toshav in the Talmud. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:40, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

These are different terms; therefore it is incumbent on the person adding the material to provide reliable sources that connect the two phrases. Jayjg (talk) 03:35, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Okay Jayjg
what is the page number of that source?
Anyway, assuming you provide a page number, let us then count Rabbi David Max Eichhorn as WP:OR and WP:Synthesis in statements connecting "the "ger v'toshav," now known simply as "ger toshav," when all authoratative sources state that these are different terms and unconnected. Not helped either by WP:SYNTHESIS and OR in sources like Tractate Arachin Mesorah Publications 2008 with "That is, the law that a Jew is obligated to support and sustain a ger toshav {Leviticus 25:35) is in force only when the Yovel operates (Rashi )."
So how should we proceed, do you want to start a new article ger v-toshav and move the WP:FORK Tanakh material there.
And should the new ger v-toshav article link back to the ger toshav article, when they are different terms and Eichorn etc are non-WP:RS? In ictu oculi (talk) 04:37, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
When you say "what is the page number of that source?", to which source are you referring? Jayjg (talk) 04:57, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
The page number of the WP:RS showing Eichorn is unreliable and "these are different terms". In ictu oculi (talk) 05:03, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Who said anything about Eichorn? Regarding "different terms", it is you who is asserting that the Bibical term "ger v-toshav" is identical to the Talmudic term "ger toshav", and are attempting to insert material based on that assertion. The first sentence of WP:BURDEN is "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material". Therefore, it is you who must provide sources supporting your claims. Jayjg (talk) 11:41, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
If you weren't referring to Eichorn as an unreliable source, which source did you mean in the article which was unreliable in connecting ger v-toshav in Leviticus and commentary on ger toshav in the Talmud? And can we have the author, title, date and page number please.
Also, are you 100% certain that ger toshav never occurs in the Bible and ger v toshav never occurs in the Talmud? That's a question... I don't know the answer.
Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:26, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Please stop playing games. It is you who is asserting that the Bibical term "ger v-toshav" is identical to the Talmudic term "ger toshav", and are attempting to insert material based on that assertion. The first sentence of WP:BURDEN is "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material". Therefore, it is you who must provide sources supporting your claims. Jayjg (talk) 00:31, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

This is getting ridiculous. First, have a look at Shabbat and Biblical Sabbath. At the top of the first is a note that reads: This article is about the rest day in Judaism. For Sabbath in the Bible, see Biblical Sabbath. The fact that the title of the article is in Hebrew, as IIO has pointed out, indicates that this is about the category of ger toshav in Judaism. If he wants another article, he's free to create one, but right now, he's doing nothing but vandalizing this article. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 15:52, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Dear Lisa, (1) the definition of WP:vandalism would include deleting sourced content, not adding it. (2) WP:EN requires articles to be titled in English where WP:RS use English. (2) secondly this isn't [insert-name-of-religious-sect/school]pedia, but if you want this to be an article about "halakhic" literature I am afraid Halakha includes the Hebrew Bible.
(4) I'm not sure if the existence of Shabbat and Biblical Sabbath is a content fork (which is okay) or POVfork (which isn't). Thanks for the link I'll go and look. As above I already said I'd agree to Jayjg's apparent wish to have separate ger toshav and ger v toshav articles. Or perhaps in WP:EN stranger-sojourner (Talmud) and stranger and sojourner

Let me add that the term halakhic ger toshav is linked to some uses of the phrase ger v'toshav in the Torah. Not, however, to all of them. And the linkage does not mean that they are 100% the same thing. And unless IIO has a reliable source that says otherwise, he should stop adding irrelevant material to this article. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 15:55, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Btw Lisa, I see you've again been deleting very large and sourced chunks of the article to exclude the Tanakh and WP:RS based on no other evidence than your own convictions. Sorry but reverted. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:26, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

While I see some (very small) justification for IIO's additions, being that they are cited and supported, and relate to the same phrase, the information still seems too tangential and disorganized to merit inclusion in this article. In C., the term "stranger and sojourner" seems at best to be a secondary, ancillary phrase that a pastor might pick up on to build a sermon, but not something deserving an article in its own right. In contrast, halacha treats ger toshav as an entire area of law in its own right, and in such discussions, the term is invariably borrowed from Hebrew and used as is, even in English. Therefore, I propose that other religions' perspectives on this term should only be included if they relate directly to the technical meaning of ger toshav. Other meanings (such as the general feeling of "statelessness" and "wandering") belong in other articles. (And if I was wrong about the significance of "stranger and sojourner" in that meaning, I encourage IIO to make such an article, as he seems more knowledgeable and expert about that usage than I.)

On that note, IIO's citation of Rashi caught my attention. It looked interesting since it linked the term to the phrase in the Torah, but the significance, nature and use of that link was left unexplained, and the entire citation unfortunately disappeared as a casualty of the edit war. Both Rashi and the Talmud are very terse, precise and efficient in language, so the mere fact that Rashi cited Leviticus indicates that he was explaining some point of logic with it. I'd like to look into it myself, and I thank IIO for bringing in that very relevant point. Musashiaharon (talk) 08:13, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Re "stop playing games" please see version before half of article deleted[edit]

>Please stop playing games. It is you who is asserting that the Bibical term "ger v-toshav" is identical to the Talmudic term "ger toshav", and are attempting to insert material based on that assertion<

Jayjg,
Perhaps you're looking at the article after it has again been vandalized by Lisa?
Please go back to the version with WP:RS before Lisa again deleted content and sources and tell me [1] was there in the half of the content and sources which justifies the edit?
If you had been following things you would have seen that it was Mzk1 who first noted that the Tanakh does have ger toshav, and I added in content and sources to reflect that. So far none of those sources have been challenged, none of the content has been tagged. The WP:Burden is to provide alternative sources to contradict rabbi Eichhorn's statement that ger v-toshav in Leviticus and ger toshav in halakhic commentary on Leviticus are related.
Incidentally - unless your position here moderates a little with regret I am going to count you and Lisa as working together on this, since you clearly object to me Eichhorn's content and have no objection when Lisa keeps coming back and deleting half the article content and 2/3 of the WP:RS in the footnotes.
Cheers In ictu oculi (talk) 02:21, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
In ictu oculi:
  1. Please review WP:VANDAL - nothing Lisa has done meets Wikipedia's definition of vandalism.
  2. I am not Lisa, and I have said nothing about Eichhorn. Please stop playing these games.
  3. It is you who is asserting that the Bibical term "ger v-toshav" is identical to the Talmudic term "ger toshav", and are attempting to insert material based on that assertion. The first sentence of WP:BURDEN is "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material". Note the word restores there. Therefore, it is you who must provide sources supporting your claims.
Jayjg (talk) 02:38, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Jayjg
  1. I just put that in for a bias check. I'm familiar with WP:VANDAL and do not require you to educate me. I used the term because Lisa used it, and I just wanted to see if you could apply any objectiveness here. Evidently not.
  2. Yes I know you are not Lisa, but you evidently have the same underlying issue. And yes I know you have said nothing about Eichhorn, you have said nothing about any source in the article. I can only presume that you are on auto-pilot, being aggressive for the sake of it, again.
  3. >It is you who is asserting that the Bibical term "ger v-toshav" is identical to the Talmudic term "ger toshav"< Am I? You can read minds now? How do you know that? Eichhorn does not say the terms are "identical" In ictu oculi (talk) 05:14, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
You've added material about the Biblical term "ger ve'toshav" to the article about the Talmudic concept "ger toshav". Can you explain why you have tied these two together? Jayjg (talk) 19:59, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Please see sources in article. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:00, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I do, but it's not clear where they make this connection. For example, where do Michael Walzer Law, Politics, and morality in Judaism, p. 60; David Novak, The election of Israel: the idea of the chosen people, p. 134; and Arthur A. Cohen, Paul Mendes-Flohr, 20th Century Jewish Religious Thought, p. 918 make the connection between the the Bibical term "ger v-toshav" and the topic of this article, the Talmudic term "ger toshav"? The quotations provided say nothing on the topic. Jayjg (talk) 23:51, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Jayjg, sorry but why would you expect to find in the section on the Tanakh a ref to the abbreviated form of the hendiadys ger v-toshav without the waw conjunctive when the Tanakh doesn't use it? Please look in the relevant section - the refs to Rashi and rabbi Eichhorn. And note also that the final ref in the Islam section supports them. I have added in a second Rashi ref to show he equates ger toshav also to ger. Do you still want ger v-toshav to be FORKed out as a separate article? In ictu oculi (talk) 02:07, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
So the sources you used and I listed above don't actually connect the Talmudic concept of "ger toshav" with the Biblical term "ger v-toshav"? Jayjg (talk) 18:18, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I looked up the Rashi on 25:35 and 47. In 25:35, ger v'toshav is two people, as Rashi explains: גר ותושב: אף אם הוא גר או תושב, ואיזהו תושב, כל שקבל עליו שלא לעבוד עבודה זרה, ואוכל נבלות (= "ger v'toshav": Whether a ger [convert to Judaism] or a toshav. What is a toshav? Any who accepts on himself not to serve idolatry, and [nevertheless may] eat carrion). But in v.47, Rashi explains ger v'toshav as one person:
מז. וְכִי תַשִּׂיג יַד גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב עִמָּךְ וּמָךְ אָחִיךָ עִמּוֹ וְנִמְכַּר לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב עִמָּךְ אוֹ לְעֵקֶר מִשְׁפַּחַת גֵּר (= And if the ger v'toshav with you be enriched, and your brother become indebted to him and sold to the ger toshav with you, or to the idol of the family of the ger.)
רש"י: יד גר ותושב: גר והוא תושב, כתרגומו ערל תותב, וסופו מוכיח ונמכר לגר תושב (= Rashi: "the ger become enriched": a stranger who is a resident, like its [Aramaic] translation [by Onkelos]: "uncircumcised resident." And the end of the verse shows this, [where it states] "and sold to the ger toshav" [without the conjunctive vav]
IMHO, "ger toshav" was traditionally preferred for our technical term, because 1) it actually does occur in the Chumash with that technical meaning discussed in Talmud, and 2) this way the ambiguity about ger v'toshav (one or two persons?) does not exist. Musashiaharon (talk) 08:51, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)[edit]

FWIW Google Scholar has 416 hits for Talmud + "resident alien" and only 118 for Talmud + toshav. Brings us back to the question of where this material is covered in the Jewish Encyclopedia and other English-language tertiary reference sources. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:13, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Bible section; beginning of Rabbinic section[edit]

One introductory note: To say "the Bible is a source of Jewish law", at least a direct source, is quite questionable.

I really do apologize, but this is a bit of a mess. I am concerned that i.i.o, with all good faith, is working in an area he is not familiar with. To give a personal example, I showed my Dad the article on electromigration, a field he has done quite a bit of work in, and he informed me that the article does not cover the sort he worked in. If I were to go to Google books and scholar and create a section based on the results, I think the other editors, who actually understand Chemistry, would be quite upset at me.

I also have a question about methodology. Are you (i.i.o), just typing in phrases in Google books and Scholar and putting in the result, whithout looking a context, reviewing the entire work, seeing if the work / author is significant, differentiating between Biblical interpretation and Jewish Law (quite differnt fields), traditional and counter-traditional sources, academic publishers and otherwise? Or am I misjudging based on the spped with which you find these?

Some specific notes on references:

  • Rabbi Kaplan's book only show a few lines at a tiem of Google Books, and I cannot pull up your quote? Could you supply it? Do you have access to the actual book?
  • What is Sattelite Books? Is it an academic publisher? (I don't mean only these can be used, but the use is different.)
  • Who is the publisher of the ext reference? Is it academic or peer-reviewed?

Here are some issues:

1. The first verse contains get v'toshav although this is not so clear. Then there is a bit about that some translations use two words, when this is what the literal Hebrew does anyway. Then there is a quote giving a verse where both ger toshav AND ger v'toshav appears, but you would not know this from the quote. If you are going to get into this, you will need to either give a literal Hebrew translation, or transliterate the terms and explain the difference (what a vav is). A vav is certainly not always ignored. I'm not sure any of this is necessary.

2. Then, instead of giving the Talmud references first, there is a whole jumble of quotations. I'm not sure what the point of the first part is - the rabbinic term is ger toshav, but the referenced verses in Jewish law have ger toshav, ger v'toshav, and even just ger. On the other hand, the verse by Abraham may or may not be related, but he certainly is not a ger toshav, since the hittites are presumably not versed in Jewish law. I'm not sure we need the whole first part, and I would put the last part under modern views. (I'm not sure what to do with the last bit, or if it is necessary; I would need to know the publisher and the ufull quote first. Is this Reform halacha? It should be labeled as such.)

3. If you want to do a full list of verses used for Ger Toshav in Jewish law, then do it, but in some more orderly manner, preferably from one source. For example, the quote from Aryeh Kaplan (ad. loc. what?) seems to refer to an undisputed reference to ger Toshav as if it is disputed (which I cannot imagine him doing), but I have no context.

4. Please note the Jewish law and traditional Biblical interpretation are not the same thing. The Talmud does not derive on the literal level (p'shat), but the legal (d'rash) level. Even Rashi, who generally quotes a midrash, will used a opinion that is not followed when he is explaining a verse. Ibn Ezra and Ramban (Nachmanides), though completely traditional, go much further. And then traditional interpretation and non-traditional should be separated, if only because the former is relevant to various political and economic issues in modern-day Israel, while the latter is not.Mzk1 (talk) 22:01, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi Mzk1,
Thanks, FWIW my approach is starting from what I understand NPOV to mean - that a foreign language term "foreign-stranger" in Hebrew, should represent all the sources which use that term and related terms. Yes evidently I do not have time to read through the full context of every source, we're all pressed for time. And of course the rabbinical texts I do not understand as well, just as I wouldn't understand the fine points of Greek Orthodox liturgy or Hindu exegesis. But I do understand some things - based perhaps on a more academic approach.
and btw, I'm going to have to go away for a week. It will be difficult to add sources.
1. if we get into waw-conjunctive then that will require a section on grammar. It evidently is necessary because we have had an editor who has attempted to delete half the article and force creation of ger v-toshav.
2. Abraham was a ger v-toshav to the Hethites. Of course he was, he says so. When the land isn't yours you are a ger v-toshav in it. Part of NPOV has to be recognising that the boot can be on the other foot as when God says to the Israelites in Lev25 that they are still foreigners and strangers even after he has given them the promised land, since it is His land.
3. Depends I guess. Approximately in the Talmud how many ger v-toshav and how many ger-toshav references are there? 10 each? 200 each?
4. I'm aware of that. Please feel free to reflect it in the rabbinical section.
As I say I'm away for a bit. I think you may have been a little bit hasty in deleting the Second Temple / Hellenistic Judaism section. The fact that it isn't in line with rabbinical literature is normal. In any article on a Bible-Talmud subject there will always be mid section with Second Temple material and it invariably is in a different direction. The fact is that there were sourced WP:RS references in that section to "foreigner" ger in Second Temple texts. Obviously Mishnaic-Talmudic Judaism largely rejects and excludes Hellenistic Judaism, but this isn't halakhapedia, we shouldn't exclude Hellenistic Judaism any more than the article shouldn't have a section about reform and liberal Judaism at the end (which it doesn't have at the moment) or indeed the ger toshav in Islam.
I still wonder whether this article should be titled in English. The Jewish Encyclopedia doesn't have an article entitled in Hebrew ger toshav, just a note ger in the article Proselyte, since proselyte and ger are the same word. This article seems a bit of a POV fork. But then again, if the article includes the use of Abraham as a ger v toshav and the Tanakh uses maybe it isn't. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:52, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
This article should not be titled in English. Perhaps the article you're attempting to change it into might have an English title, but this article is about the concept of ger toshav in Rabbinic Judaism. Biblical antecendents may be of secondary relevance, but this article is not about those. Do you want me to start another article for you? Would you like to do so yourself? Because if you can't stop vandalizing this article, we're going to go into third party dispute resolution. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 15:37, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Lisa,
I'm sorry but your 4th or 5th attempt to delete content related to the origin of the Talmudic term in the Tanakh has been reverted. Please consider that when you delete 2/3 of the article that doesn't conform to your view that you want this article to be about stranger-foreigner in rabbinic Judaism you are also deleting WP:RS sources that say that the Aramaic term ger toshav in Talmudic commentary on Hebrew term ger v toshav in the Tanakh. Would you please here address those sources which relate the terms in Talmud and Tanakh before deleting the Tanakh again? i.e. please provide a WP:RS source that states e.g. "the Aramaic term ger toshav in Talmudic commentary is not related to the Hebrew term ger v toshav in the Tanakh" or some other point to support your opinion. I'm afraid that you cannot delete 2/3 of the article because "Lisa thinks that...", since Lisa is not a WP:RS source. Please provide a WP:RS source to justify deleting 2/3 of the article before you do it again. In ictu oculi (talk) 14:54, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
It's unnecessary. Whether the terms are related isn't the issue. As I said, Biblical antecendents may be of secondary relevance, but this article is not about those. It's about a halakhic category. The article on Chesed isn't about the use of the term in the Bible, it's about the concept in Judaism and Jewish law. It's clear that you don't understand how Judaism and Jewish law works, or you wouldn't be making the mistake of thinking that just because there is a related biblical term, the biblical term is of primary importance. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 16:25, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Lisa
I'm sorry but you must provide WP:RS sources. Your opinion is not a source.
In ictu oculi (talk) 18:41, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Page protection?[edit]

There's an evident problem when one user (in this case Lisa) continually deletes WP:RS references which disagree with her own conviction. Among the sources deleted here are several relating rabbinical commentary on Leviticus 25 to Leviticus 25. At the same time as deleting WP:RS which clearly state that "stranger and foreigner" in Leviticus 25 and "stranger and foreigner" in rabbinical commentaries on Leviticus 25 are related Lisa is also refusing to cite sources that rabbinical commentary on Leviticus 25 and Leviticus 25 are separate subjects. What's the appropriate response here? Should the deleted 2/3 of the article be reverted until Lisa provides a source to justify the deletions? In ictu oculi (talk) 18:50, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm not arguing that they're unrelated. I'm arguing that the relation isn't the one IIO thinks it is. And that IIO's original research about the implications is inappropriate on Wikipedia. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 21:37, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Lisa,
What I think the relation is is what the sources you have deleted say, that's all. And I hate to point this out but you are still not providing any sources to support that your opinion is correct and that of the following sources are incorrect:
  • ...in some rabbinical literature the obligations to a "a stranger-sojourner" (Hebrew ger toshav) are based upon Leviticus 25:35 "a stranger and sojourner", such as when Rashi connects the "stranger-sojourner" of the Talmud with the "stranger and sojourner" of the Tanakh.SOURCE = Tractate Arachin Mesorah Publications 2008 p29a "That is, the law that a Jew is obligated to support and sustain a ger toshav {Leviticus 25:35) is in force only when the Yovel operates (Rashi )." ::* Rashi also equates the "stranger" of Deuteronomy 14:21 with the "stranger-sojourner" of Avodah Zarah 20a. SOURCE Aryeh Kaplan, Abraham Sutton The handbook of Jewish thought Vol.2 1992 "It is for this reason that a Toshav is considered a "resident alien"; Rashi, Sifethey Chakhamim, ad loc. See, however, Avodah Zarah 20a sv LaGer, where Rashi equates Ger (in Deuteronomy 14:21) with Ger Toshav. "
  • Rabbi Reuven Hammer (2011) makes equation of the "stranger and sojourner" in Leviticus to Genesis where Abraham is a "stranger and sojourner." SOURCE = Rabbi Reuven Hammer The Torah Revolution: Fourteen Truths That Changed the World 2011 p164 "The Holiness Code in Leviticus equates the stranger to the native: “When a stranger resides with you in your land, ... site among you,” says Abraham (Gen. 23:4). As a resident alien, a ger v'toshav, he has no right to purchase land."
  • Rabbi David Max Eichhorn (1974) considers that there was a transition of treatment of the ger v-toshav, now know simply as the ger toshav in the more hostile atmosphere of post-exilic Israel.SOURCE Rabbi David Max Eichhorn Jewish intermarriages: fact and fiction 1974 p17 "It was because of this hostile atmosphere that the "ger v'toshav," now known simply as "ger toshav," was no longer allowed to become a Jew simply by coming to live within the Jewish community. He now had to become a "ger tsedek"
  • Sifra Behar pereq. 9:2-3 interprets Leviticus on the ger v-toshav who has prospered to conclude that to steal from a ger toshav is less severe than to steal from a fellow Israelite, though this contradicts the teaching of Tosefta Baba Qamma 10:15. SOURCE Steven D. Fraade in Navigating the Anomalous: Non-Jews at the Intersection of Early Rabbinic Law and Narrativ (essay also printed in The Other in Jewish Thought and History) 1994 "In striking contrast to this exclusionary exegesis, let us now consider the following inclusionary interpretation of another verse from Leviticus: 2. Sifra Behar pereq 9: 2-3: [" If a resident alien among you has prospered, and your brother, being in straits, comes under his ... "
Two questions:
(1) Do these sources not directly connect ger toshav without the waw conjunctive in some rabbinical texts to ger v toshav with the waw conjunctive in Leviticus 25 in the source Tanakh texts? Yes/No please
(2) Please state the WP Policy under which you are deleting Tractate Arachin, Rashi, Rabbi Reuven Hammer, Rabbi David Max Eichhorn, Steven D. Fraade?
Thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:45, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
I would strongly object to page protection, as I think Lisa has a point. Jewish law is a discipline, in which Biblical interpretation plays a minor role, and direct use of such would tend to be POV/OR, both from a point of view of Wikipedia and halacha itself.
Perhaps it would make some sense to make this page part of Seven Laws of Noah, unless someone thinks it should be expanded. (The Encyclopedia Talmudit has three of four pages, full of references. But taking too much from there would be copyright violation.)Mzk1 (talk) 22:35, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Hi Mzk1, thanks again for your continually informative answers.
You were correct (1) to remove Lisa's restore of "ger toshav does not occur in the Tanakh," but (2) I've gone further than that and restored all the WP:RS sourced matertial related to the Tanakh deleted by Lisa. I've also (3) added in the Masoretic Text of Lev25:47 under the English - and I should have done so when you mentioned the first time.
In addition to (1) your restore, and (2) my restore and (3) addition of Hebrew MT, I've also added (4) a new line under Lev25:47 sourced from Jeffrey Stackert Rewriting the Torah: literary revision in Deuteronomy and the Holiness Legislation Mohr Siebeck (9783161492983) 2007 Page 89/90 footnote discussing the hendiadys and dropping of waw-conjunctive between ger v toshav and ger toshav.
As regards your point about Jewish law being a discipline removed from the Tanakh, just as Muslim hadith is from the Quran and Christian theology from the "Old Testament" (or in practice from both "Old Testament" and NT) that is undeniably true. However per WP:naming conventions if an article relates to a foreign language term, my understanding is that the article should include all uses of the foreign language term. I understand the preference to exclude the Tanakh, as indeed many Christian editors on Wikipedia seek to exclude the Tanakh from "Christian" articles, but from the point of view of a general encyclopedia (by general I mean Jewish Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Judaica, not אנציקלופדיה תלמודית which by definition is not general) readers expect to see the full chronology of the foreign language term. Unless of course the article is defined stranger-sojourner in halakhic perspective or something similar. And if the article was to be forked to have a separate halakhic-only perspective, that would be fine, but as it stands the article content and title correspond, WP:EN notwithstanding. What is your opinion, do you think the Tanakh ger toshav and Talmud ger toshav should be forked? In ictu oculi (talk) 06:14, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Waw-conjunctive[edit]

(Copied from my user page, as I think it might be of use here. My main point is that discussing Vav's misses the point.)


Hi Mzk1, can I pick your brain on the grammatical question of hendiadys between ger v toshav in Leviticus, and ger toshav in Talmud and Rashi. Is it the case that Talmud consistently drops the waw in referring to Leviticus ger v toshav or does in the whole scheme of Chazal do ger v toshav and ger toshav with and without the waw conjunctive interplay? And is dropping of the waw more or less common in Aramaic texts than Hebrew texts? Any source on this. Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:58, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, I did not complete the entire Talmud, but my 21-year-old nephew did, and he thinks it unlikely that ger v'Toshav is ever used. I would note that in Pesachim 21B, second half of the page, interpreting Deut.14:21 and using Lev.25:35 (brought in Rashi) the term Ger, which usually means convert, is there interpeted as a Ger Toshav (see Rashi), and the Talmud and Rashi sticks to the "Ger" used by the text and never actually states Ger Toshav. (Rashi in 14:21 actually says Ger Toshav, and the verse is clearly not referring either to a Jew or a pagan.)
As I said, I don't see the issue. The same verse (Lev.25:47) has both "Ger v'Toshav" and "Ger Toshav". The Talmud picked the phrase that makes the issue clearer (See Rashi Lev 25:47 who says that Ger Toshav is clearer.) Also, Lev. 25:35, Ger v'Toshav, according to Rashi only the Toshav refers to Ger Toshav; he follows the verse here and uses "Toshav" instead of "Ger v'Toshav", but the classic description he uses is the same as the one he uses in Deut 14:21.
Interestingly, I cannot tell you from Rashi that the "Ger Toshav" in Lev.25:47 IS a legal Ger Tashav, although he appears to be - which is why I tend to shy away from using Biblical verses for Halachic issues. Best to start from the Talmud.Mzk1 (talk) 22:17, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Deletion of Second Temple section[edit]

I deleted this section because it did not refer to people in the middle positions. It refers to "us" people (Essenes in this context) and complete foreigners (Nochrim in Biblical terminology), so there is no relevance to this article, which, even broadly defined, does not refer to either group. I was not trying to delete sectarian Judaism.Mzk1 (talk) 23:08, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Deletion of In Ictu Oculi's good faith but mistaken edits[edit]

First, just as a clarification, my inadvertant restoration of "The term is not used in the Hebrew Bible. However the Hebrew Bible does contain material on conditions for proselytes, converts, God-fearers, Noahide Laws, and regulations for foreigners living in the Land of Israel." was, as Mzk1 suggested, an accident.

User:In ictu oculi (IIO) has been engaging in a series of edits, in which he adds material that is not pertinent to the halakhic concept of ger toshav. Since ger toshav is purely a halakhic concept, which does not exist outside the bounds of halakhic literature, this is a mistake.

IIO has asked (demanded, really) that detailed explanations be given for the deletion of his edits. I'll do so here, piece by piece

Maimonides[citation needed] uses the term "a stranger-sojourner" in commentary on the term "a stranger-and-sojourner" in Leviticus without the copulative vav (Hebrew וְ "and"). The Hebrew term "a stranger-and-sojourner" (Hebrew: גר ותושבSeptuagint πάροικος καὶ παρεπίδημος), is also a concept found in the Hebrew Bible where it refers to Abraham, Israel and foreigners in Israel, and the concept also occurs in the New Testament and Christian literature, where Abraham's example is applied to life in pagan society.

Since Maimonides doesn't have a commentary on Leviticus, it might be nice to see where the first sentence here comes from. The claim that ger v'toshav in the case of Abraham is related to the concept of a ger toshav is one without basis. IIO seems to be laboring under the misapprehension that every use of that phrase in the Bible is related to every other use of the phrase. This is an interesting view, but it isn't one that IIO has even attempted to establish. He has, rather, made the claim over and over.

The term "stranger and sojourner" (Hebrew ger v-toshav) is first used in the Hebrew Bible attributed to Abraham when purchasing the cave in Mamre used for Sarah's grave. It then occurs in Leviticus 25:23 and 47 where the first of these uses refers to the Israelites themselves as "resident aliens" in God's promised land:[2][3][4]

The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is mine, and you are resident aliens with me (Hebrew כִּֽי־גֵרִים וְתֹושָׁבִים אַתֶּם עִמָּדִֽי )"

— Leviticus 25:23 KJV 1611

In the Septuagint and some later translations such as King James Version the term "resident alien" is translated with two nouns, "sojourners and strangers" (in Greek : προσήλυτοι καὶ πάροικοι "you are proselytes and aliens before me")[5]

It's hard to know where to start here. Rabbinic Judaism does not connect the phrase ger v'toshav -- as used in Genesis regarding Abraham -- with the legal category of ger toshav. It does connect the phrase ger v'toshav as used in Leviticus with that legal category, but IIO is making a logical jump without justification. It isn't sufficient for him to find extra-Judaic sources which make a link between the phrase as used in Genesis and the phrase as used in Leviticus. It must be a source within rabbinic literature. Otherwise, he is comparing apples and oranges.

In fact, the two uses of the term in Leviticus 25 aren't even related the way IIO thinks they are. Rabbinic Judaism sees Leviticus 25:47 as referring to a non-Jew living in the Land of Israel. But no source exists in Rabbinic Judaism which sees Leviticus 25:23 as implying that the Children of Israel are living in a land not their own. That verse states quite explicitly that since God owns everything, his ownership of the land trumps Israelite ownership. There is no legal consequence of this, while there is a legal consequence of Leviticus 25:47 where a non-Jew is living in the Land of Israel.

IIO claims that the phrase ger v'toshav is being used in Leviticus as a hendiadys, which means a redundant phrase used for emphasis. But rabbinic Judaism doesn't recognize such a concept. It sees all apparent "redundancies" as conveying additional information. And since the legal concept of ger toshav, which is the subject of this article, only exists in rabbinic Jewish literature, IIO is again mistaken.

In many halakhic writings the term "stranger-sojourner" (Hebrew ger-toshav without the waw-conjunctive) is used rather than "a stranger and sojourner" (Hebrew ger v-toshav, with the waw-conjunctive). Also in some rabbinical literature the obligations to a "a stranger-sojourner" (Hebrew ger toshav) are based upon Leviticus 25:35 "a stranger and sojourner", such as when Rashi connects the "stranger-sojourner" of the Talmud with the "stranger and sojourner" of the Tanakh.[6] Rashi also equates the "stranger" of Deuteronomy 14:21 with the "stranger-sojourner" of Avodah Zarah 20a.[7] Hammer (2011) makes equation of the "stranger and sojourner" in Leviticus to Genesis where Abraham is a "stranger and sojourner."[8] Rabbi David Max Eichhorn (1974) considers that there was a transition of treatment of the ger v-toshav, now know simply as the ger toshav in the more hostile atmosphere of post-exilic Israel.[9] Sifra Behar pereq. 9:2-3 interprets Leviticus on the ger v-toshav who has prospered to conclude that to steal from a ger toshav is less severe than to steal from a fellow Israelite, though this contradicts the teaching of Tosefta Baba Qamma 10:15.[10]

Okay, so let's look again. There are Jewish sources which link the phrase ger v'toshav in Leviticus 25:35 with the halakhic concept ger toshav. Also, there are Jewish sources which link the word ger in Deuteronomy 14:21 with ger toshav. Someone familiar with rabbinic Judaism would be aware that the term ger in the Torah sometimes refers to a ger toshav and sometimes refers to a ger tzedek: a convert to Judaism.

Rabbi David Max Eichhorn was a Reform rabbi. Since the Reform Movement didn't exist until the past couple of centuries, and since it formally rejects the mass of rabbinic scholarship which existed before it came into being, his view is of relevance in determining what modern-day Reform Jews may think of the concept of ger toshav. I have no objection to Eichhorn's position being included in the article, so long as it is placed in a "Modern era interpretations" section.

Since the entire section on Christianity relates Christian concepts to the story of Abraham, which IIO has not managed to link to any of this, it is purely WP:OR. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 20:12, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Lisa
Your argument for deleting 2/3 of the article seems to boil down to one thing: "Since ger toshav is purely a halakhic concept, which does not exist outside the bounds of halakhic literature, this is a mistake."
What is your WP:RS source for this opinion? In ictu oculi (talk) 03:54, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
In ictu oculi, your phrasing "Your argument for deleting 2/3 of the article..." is really quite unfair, as if the content you're discussing has had long-standing consensus for inclusion, when it has not. All of the content you are discussing, the '2/3 of the article', is all your stuff you started adding just 3 weeks ago on 23 October, and which was reverted almost immediately by Lisa that very same day. It is more correct to say we're discussing whether the tripling of the article's size, caused by your additions, should stand. As has already been pointed out to you before, the burden of support of new content is on the editor who adds it. I'm not saying you have or have not made a good case for keeping the content you added--I'm still undecided on that one. But please don't de-legitimize yourself or cause distractions by making that sort of incorrect characterization of what we're discussing. Zad68 (talk) 04:31, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Hi Zad68, the only purpose of underlining that it is 2/3 of the article, 2/3 of WP:RS, is not to justify myself or claim that the broader material I have added, related primarily to ger toshav in the Tanakh but also including Maimonides and Jewish Reform usage, is more important than the 1/3 which was already there on ger toshav in Avodah Zarah 64b. The problem was (is), that this article was (is) a narrowly focussed POV-stub, with very little information in it. The purpose of stating "2/3 of the article" is simply that, volume of text, volume of WP:RS sources, that it is 2/3 of the article... that's all.
Anyway, moving beyond that.
What do you think should be done here? What is the WP policy supporting deleting ger toshav in the Tanakh in an article titled ger toshav? In ictu oculi (talk) 06:06, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
In ictu oculi, you bring up the claim that the new content you added is supported by WP:RS. I never argued against that, that wasn't my point. The point is whether the new content you added is on-topic or not. I could add pages of well-written, reliably-sourced information about broccoli on the page Jelly beans, and it would get reverted, and properly so.
Your question "What is the WP policy supporting deleting ger toshav in the Tanakh in an article titled ger toshav?" is pure game-playing. Wikipedia policy 100% supports deleting content about 'Springfield' in the article 'Springfield' if the first article is about Springfield, New Jersey and the second one is about Springfield, Connecticut.
I am not sure why you insist that the page is a "narrowly-focused POV-stub." What is "POV" or otherwise incorrect about having an article's content limited to the one topic it is intended to present? To me that sounds like good, encyclopedic editing.
What do I think should be done here? There are two topics being discussed here: 1) the halachic topic of non-Jews who are permitted, according to halacha, to live in the land of Israel (the original subject of the article before your additions), and 2) the Biblical phrase ger v-toshav. Although the topics are related, they are not identical, and I am of the mind now that they should be two separate articles, and your newly-added content should go into the second one. Apparently 1) was long ago determined to pass the WP:GNG and stand as an article. If 1) passed WP:GNG, I don't see why 2) should not. There would of course be "see also" cross-links and wikilinks between the articles.
Please stop playing games and violating WP:NPA, and do start using WP:AGF. Zad68 (talk) 14:02, 14 November 2011 (UTC)


Hello Zad68
Thanks for your answers. I'll do my best to answer the points you've raised:
[1] The difference between Springfield, New Jersey and Springfield, Massachusetts is that the are totally unrelated, correct. Wheras ger toshav in the Tanakh and ger toshav in commentary on the Tanakh are not totally unrelated. It is possible that some may see this as WP:Gaming the system, but I would have thought it is simply a question of Wikipedia:Content forking:

A content fork is the creation of multiple separate articles all treating the same subject. Content forks that are created unintentionally result in redundant or conflicting articles and are to be avoided. On the other hand, as an article grows, editors often create Summary style spin-offs or new, linked article for related material. This is acceptable, and often encouraged, as a way of making articles clearer and easier to manage.

[2] Re WP:NPA I couldn't agree more.
[3] Does ger toshav in the Tanakh fail WP:Notability and ger toshav in commentary on the Tanakh pass WP:Notability? I don't know. But the fact that approx 2/3 of the sources deleted refer to ger toshav in the Tanakh would tend to pass WP:Notability under normal circumstances.
[4] No, there is nothing "POV" or otherwise incorrect about having an article's content limited to one topic if the topic is indicated in the article title.
[5] I asked early several times what the relevant JE or EJ article for this subject was. Can you you yourself help with this one please?
I hope the above answers are acceptable. Best wishes. In ictu oculi (talk) 14:47, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree, Zad68. It's still not clear why this material on the Biblical phrase "ger ve-toshav" has been inserted into this article on the Talmudic/halachic concept of "ger toshav"; see my many comments asking this question in previous sections. Jayjg (talk) 01:56, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I think I see part of IIO's problem. From what he wrote above, it seems that he considers the Talmud to be a "commentary on the Tanakh". It is not.

It is this mistaken notion, I think, which has IIO thinking that ger v'toshav as used in relation to Abraham in Genesis must mean the same thing that ger v'toshav in Leviticus means. He even posted a WP:RS showing that a modern, non-traditional author claims that the two are related. But while that may be a WP:RS for a claim that the two are related being something that has been proposed by a modern writer, it isn't a WP:RS for the two being related.

Ger v'toshav in Genesis and ger v'toshav in Leviticus are, according to all halakhic sources, as different as Springfield, Missouri and Springfield, Illinois. This is not unusual. As I pointed out earlier, the word ger is viewed in rabbinic thought as sometimes denoting a ger toshav and sometimes denoting a ger tzedek.

I'm tempted to create a Biblical views of the "stranger" article just to give IIO a place to put his edits. That article could include Abraham, the later uses of ger and ger v'toshav and the NT material IIO tried putting in this article.

Again, this entire dispute is all a matter of one editor -- User:In ictu oculi -- trying to turn an article on a Jewish technical concept into something else. Check out the articles on Chesed and Gevurah, just to use two examples. The terms chesed and gevurah are used a lot in the Bible. But those articles aren't about the words. They're about the concepts. Look at the articles Shabbat and Biblical Sabbath. The former is an article about a Jewish concept. The latter is not. Imagine going into the article on Shabbat and adding all sorts of non-Jewish ideas. The article notes at the top:

This article is about the rest day in Judaism. For Sabbath in the Bible, see Biblical Sabbath. For the Talmudic tractate, see Shabbat (Talmud). For other uses, see seventh-day Sabbath and first-day Sabbath.

It isn't a difficult concept. I'm at a loss to explain or understand IIO's insistence on changing this article into something it isn't. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 15:16, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Content forking[edit]

After having read the above WP policy, and given that the WP:RS deleted from the article, rabbis Eichhorn, Hammer, etc., clearly link these:

Question - what are the WP:RS sources which say these are "unrelated" "not related" "unconnected" and require separate articles? In ictu oculi (talk) 23:51, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

First bring reliable and relevant sources that say all uses of ger v'toshav in Tanakh mean the same thing and signify the same concept. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 03:07, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Lisa
That's a rather unusual request. You want to know do all uses of 'stranger and sojourner' in the Hebrew Bible mean the same thing? and do they signify the same concept? You'd probably best be advised to consult a Hebrew Bible dictionary such as Brown Driver Brigg's. http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/nas/ (The answer is yes by the way).
But what has that got to do with Wikipedia:Content forking and whether ger toshav in the Tanakh and ger toshav in commentary on the Tanakh, (i.e. ger toshav in commentary on the Tanakh, whether that commentary occurs in Talmud, Rashi, Maimonides, Reform Judaism, etc.) should be forked when Eichhorn, Hammer etc. connect them?
Given that your view is opposition to sources in article Eichhorn, Hammer etc, what sources support your view that ger toshav in Talmud, Rashi, Maimonides, Reform Judaism commentary on Leviticus 25, is unrelated to ger toshav in Leviticus 25:47 and must be content-forked? In ictu oculi (talk) 03:36, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't think there's enough material to justify making a ger toshav in Tanakh article. Maybe one on ger in general that includes ger v'toshav. But none of that matters. This article isn't about anything in the Tanakh. And phrasing it as ger toshav in commentary on the Tanakh is a rhetorical trick that's getting old. Tanakh is not the source of Jewish law. This article is about a concept called ger toshav, which denotes a status of a non-Jew living in the Land of Israel. That's what the phrase means. It's jargon. A terminus technicus, if you like.
I'm tired of playing with you. I've assumed good faith. That assumption is wearing thin. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 16:07, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Hi Lisa
You say "This article isn't about anything in the Tanakh." But with all respect you are not a WP:RS.
On the contrary WP:RS in the article, rabbis Eichhorn, Hammer, etc, say that it is.
Therefore you need a WP:RS source to support your view that ger toshav in the Tanakh is not related to ger toshav in order to delete ger toshav in the Tanakh from the article ger toshav. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:20, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
They say nothing of the sort. That's your conclusion, and it's WP:OR. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 02:18, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Lisa, have you actually looked at the sources you deleted?

Aryeh Kaplan, Abraham Sutton The handbook of Jewish thought Vol.2 1992 "It is for this reason that a Toshav is considered a "resident alien"; Rashi, Sifethey Chakhamim, ad loc. See, however, Avodah Zarah 20a sv LaGer, where Rashi equates Ger (in Deuteronomy 14:21) with Ger Toshav. "

Tractate Arachin Mesorah Publications 2008 p29a "That is, the law that a Jew is obligated to support and sustain a ger toshav {Leviticus 25:35) is in force only when the Yovel operates (Rashi )."

Rabbi David Max Eichhorn Jewish intermarriages: fact and fiction 1974 p17 "It was because of this hostile atmosphere that the "ger v'toshav," now known simply as "ger toshav," was no longer allowed to become a Jew simply by coming to live within the Jewish community. He now had to become a "ger tsedek"

Steven D. Fraade in Navigating the Anomalous: Non-Jews at the Intersection of Early Rabbinic Law and Narrative (essay also printed in The Other in Jewish Thought and History) 1994 "In striking contrast to this exclusionary exegesis, let us now consider the following inclusionary interpretation of another verse from Leviticus: 2. Sifra Behar pereq 9: 2-3: [" If a resident alien among you has prospered, and your brother, being in straits, comes under his ... "

These sources (and others) connect ger toshav in Leviticus with ger toshav in rabbinical commentary on Leviticus. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

or e.g.:

"As Yehezkel Kaufmann has so lucidly argued,' the concept of giur — the process of becoming a ger toshav — grew ... in the Midrash ha-Gadol to Leviticus 19:34: "The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; ..." 20th Century Jewish Religious Thought Arthur A. Cohen, Paul Mendes-Flohr 2009 Page 919

We are not always able to grasp the psychological and emotional nuances of certain Hebrew words, but that in the expression ger toshav there lay no slightest disparagement is proven by the passage in Leviticus (25:23): "And the land ... Hayim Greenberg The inner eye: selected essays Volume 1 1953

"... to liquidating his movable goods, as it is stated (Leviticus 25, 14): "And if thou sell aught unto thy neighbour". ... and not only to a righteous stranger' (ie a proselyte who accepts the whole of Judaism) but also to a ger toshav ..." Studies in Vayikra (Leviticus) Nehama Leibowitz, Aryeh Newman, Nehama Leibowitz - 1980

For example, it is a duty to extend financial aid and support to a ger toshav, as it is written, "and [if] his means fail with you, then you shall uphold him, as a stranger [ger] and settler [toshav] shall he live with you" (Leviticus ..." Alouph Hareven Every sixth Israeli: relations between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority in Israel (The Van Leer Jerusalem Foundation series) 1983

For example, Cohen cites the controversy between Akiba and Ben Azai over whether Leviticus 19:18 (v'ahavta I'rey'acha ... (reya') by virtue of the latter term's connoting in addition the impoverished 'stranger-sojourner' (ger toshav), . Daniel H. Frank Autonomy and Judaism: the individual and the community in Jewish Philosophical Thought - Academy for Jewish Philosophy (U.S.). Meeting - 1992 Page 146

Indeed, Nachmanides, basing himself on Leviticus 25:35, rules that "We are commanded to saleguard the lile of a ger toshav, to save him from evil such that il he is drowning or has been buried under a heap or is sick, we are obliged to .. Shubert Spero Morality, halakha, and the Jewish tradition 1983 Page 131

All these sources connect ger toshav in Leviticus with ger toshav in rabbinic commentary on Leviticus In ictu oculi (talk) 02:47, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Okay, now you're being intentionally obtuse. They are connected in the same way that most mentions of Shabbat in the Tanakh are connected to the laws of Tanakh. In the Talmud, Jewish laws are "hung" on this or that verse. But you're putting the cart before the horse. The law isn't based on the Tanakh.
The next time you pretend that I'm saying there's no connection between Leviticus and the laws of ger toshav, do us all a favor and delete your comment before submitting it. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 18:05, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


I'm not arguing that they aren't connected. I'm arguing that neither of them is connected to the use of the phrase ger v'toshav in Genesis regarding Abraham.

Lisa,
Please, there's no need to be personal; "intentionally" goes against WP:AGF and "obtuse" against WP:NPA.
Are you now saying that you don't object to Leviticus uses of ger toshav being included in the ger toshav article, you just object to inclusion of the use of ger v-toshav in Genesis related to Abraham?
btw, your understanding of hendiadys above is incorrect. Please click the article.In ictu oculi (talk) 00:22, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
If I may interject here, I don't think anyone is claiming that there is a difference between the two phrases. What the objection is to the inclusion of the non-legal uses (one in Gen. and one in Lev.), which do not contextually refer to Jewish-Gentile relations, with the legal ones, which do. Also, to mixing speculative Biblical interpretation with Jewish legal concepts, which are not particularly speculative in their own context. It is not POV to claim Jewish law exists and to discuss what the major authorities claim; any connection to the Bible is POV, and, if the sources are not Jewish Legal authorities, not particularly relevant. Connections between the two are nice for sermons, but not much more.Mzk1 (talk) 07:31, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Mzk1, I'm sorry but what is POV is to state that academically sourced Tanakh interpretation, and academically sourced linkage of Leviticus with rabbinical commentary on Leviticus is "speculative", while Jewish legal concepts are not "speculative" - they are evidently, as the sources demonstrate, the same thing. Of course there are many concepts in the Talmud, and rabbinical writing, which have no basis in the Tanakh, but this clearly isn't one of them as Maimonides and Rashi's citations of Leviticus 25 show. Evidently believing religionists prefer the Talmud to the Tanakh, and Maimonides for sermons, just as Christian religionists prefer the teachings of their church fathers to the "Old Testament", and the same for muslims, but WP isn't a religious blog, it's an encyclopedia, and encyclopaedic content starts chronologically with the earliest use of the article title subject. Compare the JE article on Aliens to see how the JE includes Tanakh references. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:30, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

I/I/O Please address these two issues[edit]

Hello. There are two issues you seem to be avoiding. I have corresponded with you enough to assume good faith, and I think it is an issue of perspective.

1. You keep on proving that Ger v'Toshav and Ger Toshav are the same thing. Nobody is arguing that point in regards to legal issues. The question is whether there is any strong non-homiletic link between the use in legal sections, and the use in Genesis and (to a lesser extent) in the explanation of the Sabbatical Year. More to the point, that they are particularly relevant to this legal concept.

2. You seem to be ignoring the existence of Jewish Law as a notable subject, quite apart from Biblical interpretation. The laws of Ger Toshav relate in particular to the relations between Jews and non-Jews in the land of Israel. This effects economic and political issues here, going quite beyond the religious community. The entire controversy of allowing produce of the sabbatical year by selling to a Gentile, which affects several aspects of public life in Israel and goes back to the very beginning of Jewish re-settlement in Israel, impinges on this. (http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/720988/Rabbi_Hershel_Schachter/Heter_Mechira; lecturer is perhaps the top Modern Orthodox authority on Jewish law in the US; see his article; location in lecture upon request.) Similarly, the issue is important to Noahides. Biblical interpretation is not particularly important here.

I am not that concerned with the extra stuff you stuck in, but rather that you are drowning the notable stuff with the not-so-notable or non-notable stuff. Also your cites are not filtered; I'm not sure you know the difference between major and obscure authorities - but at the very least you should not bring a source where you can get only a few lines, with an "ibid" that refers to something unknown, and not enough material to get the page number. And. mind you, this is a source I greatly respect, and have quoted in much of my editing - but in this case I have the entire book, not two paragraphs.Mzk1 (talk) 07:18, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi Mzk1
I am evidently not avoiding this, I welcome any explanation of why the bulk of academic sources in this article are being deleted.
(1) Question - is there any strong non-homiletic link between the use in legal sections, and the use in Leviticus, that they are particularly relevant to this legal concept. YES. Of course there is. This is well documented in the academic sources which Lisa has deleted. How can anyone think that rabbinical commentary on Leviticus 25 is not related to Leviticus 25?
As to Genesis, Michael Alan Signer Memory and history in Christianity and Judaism 2001 connects Abraham and ger toshab; "Does he not describe himself as a ger toshab, a sojourner (Gn 23:4)? Would this title separate himself and his tribe from the Canaanites?" --- why is this source, or various others, not sufficient to allow Abraham as ger toshab into the ger toshab article?
(2) >You seem to be ignoring the existence of Jewish Law as a notable subject, quite apart from Biblical interpretation.< How is this the case? I have not deleted any source, let alone from halakhic sources, in fact rabbis Eichhorn, Hammer etc which I added, and Lisa has deleted, count as "Jewish Law" do they not?
>Biblical interpretation is not particularly important here.< I'm sorry, but says who? WP:NPOV requires that all notable content and notable viewpoints are represented. As long as the article is entitled ger toshab not ger toshab in rabbinical interpretation then academic sources concerning ger toshab in the Tanakh should not be deleted because of the POV of some editors. As for Rabbi Hershel Schachter's blog, does he say that ger toshab in the Tanakh must be excluded from discussion of ger toshab? Otherwise what is the relevance of citing his blog to justify Lisa's deletion of academic sources?
>I am not that concerned with the extra stuff you stuck in, but rather that you are drowning the notable stuff with the not-so-notable or non-notable stuff.<
Can I understand from this then that you do not support Lisa's deletion of material related to the Tanakh? In ictu oculi (talk) 02:20, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
The Talmud is not "rabbinical commentary", so your (1) is based on a mistaken premise.
Michael Alan Signer, to the best of my knowledge, is not a reliable source for Jewish legal categories such as ger toshav, so no, it isn't sufficient to allow Abraham into the article, because Abraham was not a ger toshav in the legal sense, and this article is about the Jewish legal concept of ger toshav. It was created for that purpose and exists for that purpose. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 02:26, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Lisa,
>this article is about the Jewish legal concept of ''ger toshav''. It was created for that purpose and exists for that purpose<
Sorry, but again, says who? - this is counter WP:NPOV
As far as commentary in the Talmud or by Maimonides and Rashi on Leviticus not being commentary on Leviticus, that again is your unsourced personal view, which is against WP:RS sources you deleted clearly show that they are commenting on the Leviticus text.
Likewise your opinion of Michael Alan Signer is not a factor in whether Michael Alan Signer can be used as a source in the article. He evidently meets the WP:RS criteria as much as any of the rabbinical, academic and secular sources you have deleted. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:36, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
You only half-addressed my objections, but I will respond to the specifics:
A. Just because Singer (who is he?) uses the same word, doesn't mean he is referring to the same thing.
B. Jewish Law is not a POV, no more than chemistry is a POV. It is a field. There is no proof outside of tradition that a Ger Toshav ever existed, since (in the opinion generally followed) there has not been a Jubilee since the Exile of the Ten Tribes. Forgive me, but you continuallly sidestep this issue.Mzk1 (talk) 21:49, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

JE Aliens and Proselyte[edit]

I asked earlier where this article topic was in the Jewish Encyclopedia. I see now that it is included in two articles ALIEN and mentioned also in PROSELYTE - www.jewishencyclopedia.com/.../12391-proselyte - ".... phrase "yir'e Adonai" denotes either proselytes in general or a certain class ("ger toshab"; see below)." Given that proselyte and ger are the same word, should this article be merged with the main article proselyte or should two articles be preserved separately as the JE? And what would the modern English title of this article be? Aliens in Judaism probably not given modern association of aliens. Resident foreigners in Judaism? It must be possible to express an idea in line with WP:EN when the majority of sources use English. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:20, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

A ger and a ger toshav are two entirely different things. The name of this article is ger toshav. It's about a concept in Jewish law. That's all. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 02:24, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Hello Lisa
(1) In point of fact ger toshab is simply a Hebrew term leading a POV-heavy article contrary to Wikipedia:naming conventions (use English). Not all wikipedia readers will start with your particular view that to you it only exists as a halakhic term. Likewise not all WP:RS sources share your view that ger toshab can only be used of ger toshab in Jewish law, if they did, you wouldn't have needed to delete academic sources which disagree with your view and use ger toshab of Leviticus and Genesis.
(2) Evidently ALIENS and [Proselyte] articles in the JE are separate. In your view, which JE article is ger and which is ger toshab? In ictu oculi (talk) 02:40, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Unbelievable. The article is about the Jewish legal concept. You are attempting to make this article be about something other than what it's about. Then, once you've changed its focus, you want to retitle it. This is just ridiculous. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 12:49, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
No, Lisa, not unbelievable, just a question. In your view, which JE article is ger and which is ger toshab?
While considering that question, please note also the way in which JE anticipates Wikipedia policies of WP:NPOV WP:EN and WP:RS.
Thanks In ictu oculi (talk) 03:47, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
In typical Jewish usage (both halachic and biblical; ex. Lev. 25:35,47 and Rashi there, Rambam Hilchot Melachim UMilchemoteichem regarding the laws of the yefat to'ar), ger refers to a convert to Judaism, i.e. a proselyte. Very occasionally, ger might be used as shorthand for the ger toshav (alien), but only where it is clear that the ger toshav is under discussion. Musashiaharon (talk) 09:21, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Hi Musashiaharon, thanks. So in terms of the JE articles, JE "Proselyte" = ger, JE "Alien" = ger toshab?? In ictu oculi (talk) 09:46, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Why do you assume there's a one-to-one mapping? The JE isn't an authoritative source on Jewish concepts. It's quite often wrong (as defined by reliable sources that contradict it). Furthermore, English and Hebrew don't have a one-to-one correspondance, either. The JE article on aliens is about non-Jews in general. The JE article on proselytes is primarily about converts. Neither one is about ger toshav, even if they may mention it in passing. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 14:47, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Lisa,
> The JE isn't an authoritative source on Jewish concepts.<
Which is exactly why it's more relevant to Wikipedia than the religious convictions of individual editors.
>Neither one is about ger toshav, even if they may mention it in passing.<
Which or both of the two do you think mentions ger toshav? In ictu oculi (talk) 03:02, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
I originally guessed (before reading the articles in JE) that ger would be under "Proselyte" (guessed correctly) and ger toshav under "Aliens" (kind of correct). It appears that several terms that could loosely be translated as "alien" were mixed together in that article, such as ger (by itself), sachir and nachri, aside from ger-toshav. (Note: in retrospect, sachir can't really be translated - even loosely - as an alien. It means "employee" or "hireling," which he translates correctly. Why he saw fit to mention it under "Aliens" is a mystery to me.) It appears that the writer of that article was not familiar with the technical differences among them, and so sometimes he did not clarify which facts apply to which term. Other times he mixes the contexts of ger and ger toshav; in a multiple instances, he made guesses based on very loose logic (at least two of these incorrect according to the Rambam and Sefer Sheva Mitzvot Hashem) on their treatment by Jewish Law. Furthermore, I note that he only quotes Scripture and never any of the halachic codes or even the Talmud containing the traditional interpretation of these terms, which he purports to explain. Therefore, I'd take what's written in JE with a big grain of salt.
"Proselytes" is better researched, and does cite the Talmud and the Rambam. As you noticed, it does the ger toshav in passing, although the primary topic is about converts to Judaism. On a quick scan, I found a critical omission in that section, regarding a ger toshav who continues 12 months without circumcision and is then considered like other Gentiles. The original text there specifies that this is a ger toshav who agrees to circumcision and allows 12 months to pass; the agreement to circumcise is not a requirement to being a ger toshav at all, but rather an optional, additional step. There may be other such errors in the article, but it feels more authoritative and expertly-written than "Aliens." (Another note: a ger toshav is not just a stepping-stone to becoming a Jew; it is a status in its own right. See my addition to the article proper, regarding the four levels of Gentiles and citation there.)
At first, I thought that a translation of the Hebrew term might possibly be sufficient for a Wikipedia, if less familiar. But now that I see how the terms can get so incredibly muddled up (as in JE's "Aliens"), I feel very strongly that we should keep the article titles like this in Hebrew. It is much more exact this way. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew) may be of practical reference.Musashiaharon (talk) 20:50, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Hi Musashiaharon
>Furthermore, I note that he only quotes Scripture and never any of the halachic codes or even the Talmud containing the traditional interpretation of these terms, which he purports to explain< ....why is that a problem? Wouldn't this indicate then that an Encyclopedia considers the Hebrew Bible worth mentioning, and not to be excluded as contrasts with, apparently, the majority of editors on this talk page who are opposed to the Hebrew Bible being mentioned in an article about a term originating in the Hebrew Bible?.
>I thought that a translation of the Hebrew term might possibly be sufficient for a Wikipedia, if less familiar.< more familiar from where? Google Books and Google Scholar sources use English to discuss "stranger and sojourner", it seems to be mainly religious websites (which are not WP:RS which use Hebrew instead of English for this term.
In ictu oculi (talk) 04:49, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
It is a problem to only quote the Bible, when trying to explain an area of Jewish law. Certainly it is worth mentioning. But to only use the Bible in the context of halacha? That is a mistake that only a tyro would make. The actual halacha is usually not clear from the verses themselves, and understanding the halacha absolutely requires use of sources in the Oral Tradition, such as the Shulchan Aruch, the Talmud, the Rishonim, etc. etc. For example, the verse, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." Halacha does not require the court to gouge out someone's eye or knock out his tooth. Instead, the guilty party pays the value of the lost eye or tooth (including medical treatment, pain, loss of work, etc., as applicable) (Artscroll Bava Kamma, introduction). Similarly, most other laws in the Torah are not explicitly fleshed out in the verses, such as the laws of tefillin and tzitzit, the laws of the shofar, the laws of how to write a Torah scroll, etc. etc. Usually, it just says to "bind them as a sign on your arm" or "make tzitzit on the corners of your garments" without saying what these things are, how they are made, or how exactly to perform the said actions (does "yad" mean hand or arm? how many blasts on the shofar? how do we write a Torah scroll? according to the keri or the ketiv? etc.). Jewish law is therefore primarily found in the Oral Traditions of the Rabbis, and the Scriptures make up only a small part of the information.
Here are some printed primary sources that use "ger toshav" in Hebrew:
Also, a recording of a high-level class about this from Yeshiva University (in English, but must be very familiar with halachic terminology, some Yiddish knowledge helpful. Rabbi Michael Katz pronounces it "ger toishev"): http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/710587/Rabbi_Michael_Katz/Ger_Toshav Musashiaharon (talk) 09:55, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Exclusion of ger toshav from ger toshav article[edit]

I hate to point this out, but after all this talk we still have the problem of a user 1. deleting academic sources and 2. forcibly excluding the original use of the term (Leviticus), from which all other tradition follows, from the article. In ictu oculi (talk) 18:15, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

No. We don't. The academic sources weren't pertinent, which made them a violation of WP:RS in the context of this article. The tradition doesn't follow from the verse. It uses the verse to hang the law on. And the context in which you referred to the verse made it a violation as well. I have no problem with mentioning a verse. Find me a reliable source that says something along the lines of "The choice of the term ger toshav for this status is based [or appears to be based]] on the phrase ger v'toshav, as used in Leviticus." - Lisa (talk - contribs) 18:20, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Slight correction. There is a difference of opinion within tradition was to whether the Talmud primarily derives from the Bible or tradition. And, of course, outside tradition they often just claim it was made up. Which is the point, of course - such claims are POV and not that useful.Mzk1 (talk) 22:03, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Lisa,
That's the same sort of argument Christians make to exclude their "Old Testament" from Wikipedia articles, but unfortunately in this case the academic sources you deleted say quite clearly that Rashi and the Rambam were citing ger toshav (identical phrase) from Leviticus. If the sources didn't disagree with you, then why did you delete them? :) In ictu oculi (talk) 18:58, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
I added a section about the etymology, covering some of IIO's deleted material. Does this satisfy everyone's concerns? Musashiaharon (talk) 06:58, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Musashiaharon, thanks. I haven't looked at the edits yet, but based on your response/approach with other articles, I imagine it'll be progress. Can you please review the 15 or so books which were deleted and see which ones could be restored? In ictu oculi (talk) 07:04, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't see how it could. It began by asserting that the "etymology" of the term ger toshav was a verse in Leviticus that talks about ger ve-toshav – precisely the problem that has plagued this article in the past few weeks – and went on to insert a bunch of other original research, essentially unsourced. Please ensure that you use only modern, reliable, secondary sources when adding material. Jayjg (talk) 16:51, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Jayjg, as before the above is simply a more sophisticated form of WP:personal attack, little different in intent from the other incessant PAs. "Original research" isn't there to be thrown out as a self-proving justification for supporting the deletion of WP:RS, the burden is on the person making the accusation to demonstrate that there is OR, or indeed synthesis. And "a bunch of" is a bunch of, indicating that the actual deleted sources are not being considered individually - or it would have been noticed that the Hebrew ger toshav without the waw-conjunctive does actually occur, identically, in the Leviticus source, just as ger v toshav with the waw-conjunctive occurs in rabbinical sources. As modern secondary WP:RS deleted from the article indicated. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:30, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
The key here is to cite reliable secondary sources that make this connection. In this context, that would generally mean late 20th or early 21st century academics. One certainly could not cite ancient religious texts, whether 3,000, 2,000 or even 1,000 years old. Jayjg (talk) 14:16, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not really sure why "in this context" we should limit secondary sources to the late 20th or early 21st century, especially since the concept is so old. Could you explain your reasoning? If you really want me to cite recent sources interpreting ger toshav, I could cite the Artscroll translation of Rashi and any translated Chumash I happen to have on hand, but essentially it is the same text. (If you say that Rashi is a primary source, see the Policy statement at WP:Primary regarding "straightforward, descriptive statements". Otherwise, he would be a secondary source, and permitted anyway.) Musashiaharon (talk) 23:05, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Jayig, If ger toshav doesn't come from Leviticus, then from where? Since both Rashi and the Talmud understand the ger toshav in Leviticus to refer to the legal concept, it seems proper to include it; it relates directly to the halachic usage. This is no more original research than similar material in the articles on tzitzit or tefillin, for example. Perhaps the first verse and Rashi I put could be removed, because ger toshav appeared instead as toshav, but even that is a stretch, because Rashi evidently understands it to be the ger toshav, and it therefore has relevance to the topic. Certainly the second verse and Rashi could remain, because that verse contains ger toshav without the vav splitting the words apart. Musashiaharon (talk) 01:37, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't think the sources have to be modern. Rabbinic sources are sufficient. Tosfot, maybe. The Gemara. There are two verses in Leviticus that use the phrase -- 25:35 and 25:47. Here's a list of places in the Babylonian Talmud where those two verses are cited. It's almost Shabbat here, so I don't have time to look them up: Baba Metzia 71a and 114a, Erchin 30b, Kiddushin 14b and 20a, and Yevamot 46a. Odds are, at least one of those will do it. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 21:59, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

I have stated specific issues with some of your RS's, and with your methodology, which you have not addressed. I don't blame you for not having time to get into this, but I am stating this in response to your continual claim that your sources are all RS.
Also, you keep on stating that we are following our own POV's. Actually, my POV states that the Bible does refer, in many cases to Ger Toshav. I am trying not to use it. And you still don't address the issue that Jewish Law is its own discipline.Mzk1 (talk) 22:01, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi Mzk1, is this paragraph addressed to me? Actually I haven't seen you making edits or deletions which I would describe as POV. Of course Jewish Law is its own discipline, just as Hellenistic Judaism, Reform Judaism or spurs from Judaism such as Christianity and Islam are their own discipline; but any take on the Leviticus ger toshav should be relevant to an article entitled ger toshav. Excluding Leviticus from an article on a term originating in Leviticus falls under WP:POVFORK. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:00, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Someone once told me something that happened to him while he was in the police force. There was some criminal group that had barricaded itself in a building and was resisting arrest. The National Guard was called in, and both the police and the Guard surrounded the building. My policeman friend said to the Guardsmen, "I'm gonna go in. Cover me." In police talk, "cover me" means "have your weapons up and be ready to fire; defend me." But, in military jargon, "cover me" means "give 'em everything you've got." So my friend started running towards the building, and from behind him he hears RA-TA-TA-TA-TA! (Machine guns.) BA-BOOM! BA-BOOM! The Guardsmen were firing RPGs!
Moral of the story: Same term, different meaning. As the Rambam often asks, "In what context were these words said?" In other words, context is critical.
Same thing goes here. It's not POV; it's a completely different usage. Musashiaharon (talk) 01:37, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Musashiaharon, are you sure your friend was really ever a policeman? And it really happened to your policeman friend - which precinct was he at and what year was this? This is surprising because this WP:RS source descrives this anecdote as an "urban legend", in other words, it isn't true, and it never happened to your policeman friend, he's letting his Bud talk. Or he read it in the same urban legend source I've linked above. It's a good urban legend, the message being that National Guard are trigger happy idiots who behave on the streets of America as if they were in Iraq, but if this was real there would be a Wikipedia article on National Guard incident in wherever, and there isn't. Maybe we should start a cover me (urban legend) article?
Anyway..
That aside, what does a bar story from some guy who may never even have been a policeman, repeating an unlikely urban legend have to do with deleting Kaplan, Fraade, Eichhorn, Rashi (boxes above) etc comments about the usage/change in usage in ger toshav from the article ger toshav? In ictu oculi (talk) 02:59, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh, boy. I'm wondering now if you are keeping this up just to play around with our heads or something.
Rest assured, it happened. But even if it didn't, the point is that the halachic usage ger toshav is a specific status with a body of literature defining it and codifying the laws regarding it. In contrast, "stranger and sojourner" outside of this context can apply to anyone who is a wandering foreigner in some way or another; it's not that specific. In that context, it's used to create feelings of pity, humility, comradeship and/or a sense of community; its primary purpose there is not the specialized legal meaning, but rhetoric. The point is that these usages are different enough that they merit different articles per WP:NOTDIC.
About my story, if you really want to argue it's accuracy, that same google books search showed two+ sources (1 2, and see footnote, word usage supported by 3) that give it a time and place in the 1992 LA riots. In Talmudic logic, when two kosher witnesses say "maybe" and two kosher witnesses conflict them and say "definitely", the ones that say "definitely" are accepted. Your source, if you read it carefully and in context, effectively says "maybe": "the following example that is more urban legend than real event (at least I hope so)." Besides, my sources are books about the military or by written by the military itself (aside from my encounter and conversation), while yours is at best a third-hand account mentioned in passing in a book about healthcare management. I really hope you don't take undue offense, but all in all, it's not exactly a shining example of WP:RS. Musashiaharon (talk) 07:41, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Musashiaharon
Please WP:AGF (I am not messing with your head), just as I WP:AGF that "someone once told me" is 100% the truth, I don't doubt someone pretending to be a policeman or actually a policeman told you that. I also found the anecdote a welcome light relief. Especially the RA-TA-TA-TA-TA! (Machine guns.) BA-BOOM! BA-BOOM! The Guardsmen were firing RPGs!. I have no problem with this excursus at all :) In ictu oculi (talk) 11:57, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Hey Musashiaharon. Well, I'll eat my hat. Turns out your Budweiser friend may have been telling the truth, or almost. If he was from LA, and was a senior officer of the LAPD in 1992, and in charge of the specific LAPD unit described in retired Major James D. Delk's account of the incident at the basis of the story in 1992, then he was the senior police officer who said "I'm gonna go in. Cover me." An interesting friend to have :) In ictu oculi (talk) 12:40, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Review of In Ictu Oculi's material from 12 Nov 2011 for Re-inclusion[edit]

In ictu, I'm in the middle of reviewing the sources you added on 12 Nov. While there is some good material there I'd like to see put back, there are some instances where I am noticing worrisome research patterns similar to those in our most recent exchange here. I do not mean any disrespect, but if I may presume upon our mutual goodwill, I would like to be clear and honest about it.

Specifically, it looks like you are primarily using searches on Google books, reading maybe three or four lines before and after the hit, and assuming that it is WP:RS if it looks good enough from that review. It appears that little, if any, research is made on the author's history, credentials and specialties, and sometimes the author's alignment on the issue is taken or assumed to be one way, when it is actually not so. In short, little attention is given to the context of

  1. the statement, or
  2. the book.

For example, referring to the note numbers of your edit dated 12 Nov 2011, note 20, titled Islam and Global Dialogue. It provides an overview of the ger toshav, but fails to give any comparison to dhimmis, as suggested by the location of the ref link in the article body. It looks like you assumed a comparison to dhimmis based on the title of the source, but that particular chapter was actually discussing the Jewish attitude towards other religions.

Reference 14, titled Autonomy and Judaism is a bit more subtle. It was used to support the statement it was attached to, but the reliability of the source - with regard to this particular aspect of Jewish law - was questionable. Firstly, the ger toshav is mentioned in only one sentence and never again. Furthermore, it is a short comment on a quote from another author, Cohen, who is attributed with having an agenda to demonstrate the cosmopolitanism of the Torah, rather than giving a description of the ger toshav in particular. Also, rather than understanding ger toshav to refer to a class of Gentiles, Frank apparently believes that it refers to Jews themselves (probably based on a simplistic reading of the verses in Lev. 25, focusing on v.23, without reference to traditional Jewish commentators or the halachic codes on the later verses there). In short, it is a cursory mention of a cursory mention of the ger toshav. My assumptions are borne out by his heavy quoting of Scripture without any of the traditional legal Jewish interpretations - surprisingly, not even Maimonides, whom Frank directly contradicts, usually widely studied in Dr. Frank's specialty of Jewish Philosophy. Probably he was feeling pressed for time, and therefore neglected to research the ger toshav in depth because it was, after all, an ancillary point. Frank's statements at the end of the sentence in question suggest a high likelihood that even his Scriptural citations were taken from Cohen. (Google says the book comes from a meeting of "The Academy for Jewish Philosophy", and further research about the organization suggests that it is an interscholastic group that publishes books and meets roughly once a year to discuss Judaism through the lens of modern philosophy. They have neither a website, nor brick-and-mortar building that I could find. It appears that their primary expertise is philosophy and history rather than halacha, but that impression may be incorrect. Dr. Lenn Goodman, an acquaintance of mine who is well-known for his expertise in all matters Maimonides, seems to be one of their number.)

A discussion of your citations from the Jewish Encyclopedia is above, where similar concerns are raised.

I think that the above were honest mistakes, and made in good faith. Howevery, ideally, a source should:

  1. Be devoted to the topic under discussion and not merely mention it in passing, and
  2. Be written by someone with expertise on that particular subject.

I do not believe that your research is "in ictu oculi." I can see that you devote much time to it, as evidenced by the sheer number of sources you bring. However, if I may, I humbly suggest that you use the time to produce fewer sources, but research a bit more deeply and acquire a little more background knowledge before writing. This is especially so if a certain topic is rarely-studied and in the domain of an unfamiliar field. As anthropologists say, to know a culture, you have to live in it - and even then one doesn't really know. Myself included. Musashiaharon (talk) 07:41, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

I did a bit more work on reviewing the sources. Still not finished, but I thought I'd post what I have so far. See also my entry in the re-inclusion section, below.

Note 12: Walzer only mentions "sojourners and tenants" here to show that the earth belongs to G‑d, rather than to man; and only since it happens to be in his prooftext. This is apparent in how he never again mentions ger toshav in any form at all as a specific term in and of itself. He is not describing the halachic status of the ger toshav, but rather addressing the treatment of land acquisition and ownership in Judaism. (This reminds me of the famous, strongly-worded Rashi to Genesis 1:1, but I digress.) The usage here is merely to indicate that "the land and all that is in it belongs to Hashem." It is quite different in meaning from the halachic usage of the term. [ Omit ]

Notes 15-18: This section of the article was about the biblical phrase as understood by another religion. It is not related to the halachic usage of GT. Probably good for WP, just not in this article. Should probably be moved to Strangers in the Bible or a similar article. [ Omit x4 ] Musashiaharon (talk) 16:09, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

For Re-inclusion[edit]

On a brighter note, I believe there are some sources there that meet the reliability requirements of WP:RS.

While reference 20 does not appear linked to the topic of interfaith comparison, reference 19 does in fact suggest it, based on a Karaite POV. This seems to be worthy of inclusion, but in a section devoted to interfaith comparisons at the end of the article, as originally and appropriately placed by IIO (regarding interfaith comparison material, see my comments on Lisa's or IIO's talk page).

Reference 13 also appears worthy of re-inclusion. Musashiaharon (talk) 07:41, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi Musashiaharon
I welcome this discussion. :) Yes it may well be that not every source is germane or the best source available. Is so much more difficult to actually add good sources than just delete (no surprise).
And it's so much nicer to actually talk about it than just have knee-jerk deletes followed by shouting and personal attacks for being so wicked divisive and disruptive to ask for a reason for a delete. There's a certain kind of intolerance that treats "Talk" as edit warring. But Talk is Talk. What happens here on the Talk page is that, Talk. Evidently you understand the difference between the article page and the Talk page, and I am delighted. For that reason I'm not going to pick and cavill at your responses above. I don't agree with them all, but, goodness. Someone is actually looking at academic, or Reform, sources. It's great. Thank you. In ictu oculi (talk) 12:04, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm glad, because I've tried to make this argument to you for a while, basically without response. I even repeated the use of a quote from Rabbi Kpalan (an extremely respected traditional source, BTW) as a particularly troubling point, where you did not include enough to even have a page number.
Forgive me, I disagree. It is much easier to pull a bunch of unchecked scatter-shot stuff out of Google Books / Scholar (if that is what you did; I never got an answer on that either), then to try, while still having a life, to see if it really belongs there and end up having to guess whether the source is really germane, one item at a time, with no idea as to whether there is more there than meets the eye. (Here AGF backfires.) It appears there is not more than meets the eye, but I never did get an answer from you. (I am not assuming this was on purpose.) Honestly, would a University accept a thesis researrched this way? I hope not. (No offense intended, I wish everyone else was as polite and co-ooperative; I am just pointing out the problems with the methodology and my problems in trying to deal with the results.)Mzk1 (talk) 17:53, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Note 13 was about the status/existence of geirim toshvim in the time of Moshiach. It seems this author has a few decades of experience, but he phrases his statement as a conjecture. (And a surprising one, to me. Maybe I'll look for other sources about this in Sefer Sheva Mitzvot Hashem and Shaarei Geulah.) However, fits WP:RS. [ Include ] Musashiaharon (talk) 16:01, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

I actually did find an opinion to the contrary from the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Shaarei Geulah. I added it to the article, while leaving note 13 in place. Musashiaharon (talk) 07:02, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Additions from code from Chabad[edit]

I appreciate the additions from the Chabad Code and all of the hard work from the editor. However, I see two possible issues here:

1. There are already articles entitled Seven laws of Noah and Noachide. Does all of this material belong here? Wasn't it cut down in one of the other articles?

2. Perhaps there is an undue weight issue here? It is only one opinion, even if the form is unique. I am especially interested regarding circumcision as separate from conversion. Classically - and I am not referring to rabbinic sources specifically - circumcision meant conversion. Also, is it clear that a Gentile not descended from Ishmael is even allowed to circumcise? I can think of a copule of sources that would put this into question.

I look forward to responses.Mzk1 (talk) 17:37, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

1. Yes, I think some of this material may work better over on the seven laws article. I wasn't aware that anything was "cut down" in the other articles, though.
2. I do think that having so much information from only a few sources seems a little strange. On the other hand, "the words of Torah are rich in one place and sparse in another," as the Talmud puts it. Also, keep in mind that Sefer Sheva Mitzvos Hashem is the first comprehensive, detailed work about the Sheva Mitzvos. As far as I am aware, there is no other book in existence similar to it. The closest I can think of are the last several chapters of Hilchot Melachim in the Rambam, but that primarily addresses the laws that apply to Jews, as opposed to the laws that apply to Gentiles. Also, it isn't nearly as detailed (but, I haven't seen the traditional commentaries on the chapters there yet).
I already knew that Rambam considered circumcision obligatory on Muslims because of a doubt (as to whether they were actually descended from Ishmael or from Esav Keturah's descendants, who married into Ishmael's family), so the fact that other Gentiles had the option to circumcise without converting was only slightly surprising to me. Still, because of the usual connotation of conversion, at first I thought that's what the Sefer Sheva Mitzvos Hashem meant. But, from the context, and from the chapter about the subject later on, it is clear that (according to SSMH) circumcision does not necessarily indicate conversion to Judaism, and may be undertaken by any Gentile, even if not an Ishmaelite. In the chapter mentioned, it discusses the motivation and procedures for Gentile circumcision without conversion. There are also some differences between Gentile and Jewish circumcision.
By "Chabad Code" I think you mean the Sefer Sheva Mitzvos Hashem. I think that "Chabad Code" is a bit of a misnomer, though, because it was accepted and endorsed by the Ashkenaz and Sephard Chief Rabbis of Israel - in other words, it's not just Chabad. Although many of the footnotes come the Lubavitcher Rebbe's talks, I think that this is simply because the Rebbe devoted a lot of effort to the subject. (This is understandable, because he was (and arguably still is) a driving force in the campaign to publicize the Sheva Mitzvos to Bnei Noach. Before the Rebbe, I am not aware of any modern figure who pioneered as much in this area as he did.) There are also notes and sources from Ran, the Ra'avad, the Kesef Mishna, Tosafos, the Rashbam, and many other authorities that I had never heard of before. In his approbation to the book, I think that the head of the Beis Din of Jerusalem (or one of the chief rabbis? I forgot) mentioned that he was extremely impressed with the varied sources the author brought forth and discussed. Musashiaharon (talk) 07:27, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, but perhaps give it its own sub-section? Also, the big paragraph should be split in two, I think, starting with "In the code". Regarding milah, I would oppose this with the medrash that mamreh died because he circumcised himself, and perhaps the Rambam's opposition to gentiles taking on commandments, although I need to recheck the latter.Mzk1 (talk) 07:43, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, makes sense to split the paragraph.
Re:milah - Rambam's opposition to Gentiles taking on commandments stems from the prohibition against innovating a new religion. Therefore, in general, they only violate this prohibition by observing a Jewish commandment if they believe that they themselves were Divinely commanded to observe it. If, on the other hand, they only perform the relevant action for some other reason, there is no prohibition. Ex. sitting in a sukkah for the shade, eating matzo because they like the taste, eating matzo because of honor for their Jewish host, observing a day of rest in a nonreligious way. (Sheva Mitzvos cites Hilchos Melachim 10, and notes that Rashi on Sanhedrin 58b and the Radbaz on the Rambam dispute this, ruling that even observing a Sabbath merely for rest is forbidden to Gentiles.)
A large, essay-like footnote in Sheva Mitzvos I:3 #56 discusses in depth the various opinions about the permissibility of observing Jewish mitzvos. After proposing a few relevant, alternate interpretations of the nature of the ger toshav, Sheva Mitzvos concludes that these lines of reasoning are docheik (forced), for various reasons. (Interestingly, the Chida, who was certainly aware of the Rambam's ruling, writes that he told a Noahide to recite Shema morning and evening; certainly he would not tell a Gentile to violate a mitzvah.) Sheva Mitzvos also cites Avodah Zara 64b, which permits a Gentile to circumcise, even though he is not commanded to do so. Therefore, Sheva Mitzvos rules as stated above, that Gentiles may (usually) take on Jewish mitzvos, provided they don't believe that they are commanded in them. (Regarding the exceptions of affixing the mezuzah, laying tefilin, wearing tzitizis, and writing a Sefer Torah, mezuzah or tefilin; and also the reason for these exceptions, see there, 3:7.)
In the main text of Sheva Mitzvos itself, it summarizes that a Gentile receives reward for circumcising, but is not commanded to do so.
Off the top of my head, there are several other examples from which it appears that Gentiles may be circumcised:
  • The case where the city of Shechem was made to circumcise
  • The medrash that Yosef circumcised the Egyptians during the famine there
  • Also, non-Jewish slaves must be circumcised.
I am surprised about the medrash you cited about Mamre. Could you give the source or context? Musashiaharon (talk) 05:27, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
    • ^ what specifically
    • ^ Michael Walzer Law, politics, and morality in Judaism 2006- Page 60 "... since the earth is Mine, hence you are sojourners and tenants with Me (gerim ve-toshavim immadi)” (Leviticus 25:23). This theological reason is surely that “the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and all who ..."
    • ^ David Novak The election of Israel: the idea of the chosen people 1995 - Page 134 "... which is at the same time as Abraham's election itself elected to be the homeland, the dwelling-place of his people, this people is reminded in Scripture that "the land is Mine, that you are sojourning tenants (gerim ve-toshavim) ..."
    • ^ 20th Century Jewish Religious Thought Arthur A. Cohen, Paul Mendes-Flohr 2009 Page 918 In relation to God, who is God of the land, the Israelites are called gerim ve-toshavim — strangers and settlers: "But the land must not be sold beyond reclaim, for the land is Mine; you are but strangers resident with Me" (Lev. 25:23).
    • ^ Harvey J. Fields, A Torah Commentary for Our Times: Exodus and Leviticus - 1991 (Leviticus 25:23) That statement, Leo Baeck argues, reminds us that no people is superior to any other, no person is more sacred than any other. We are all strangers and must care for one another. (Baeck, Leo, 1873-1956 The Essence of Judaism, Schocken Books),
    • ^ Tractate Arachin Mesorah Publications 2008 p29a "That is, the law that a Jew is obligated to support and sustain a ger toshav {Leviticus 25:35) is in force only when the Yovel operates (Rashi )."
    • ^ Aryeh Kaplan, Abraham Sutton The handbook of Jewish thought Vol.2 1992 "It is for this reason that a Toshav is considered a "resident alien"; Rashi, Sifethey Chakhamim, ad loc. See, however, Avodah Zarah 20a sv LaGer, where Rashi equates Ger (in Deuteronomy 14:21) with Ger Toshav. "
    • ^ Rabbi Reuven Hammer The Torah Revolution: Fourteen Truths That Changed the World 2011 p164 "The Holiness Code in Leviticus equates the stranger to the native: “When a stranger resides with you in your land, ... site among you,” says Abraham (Gen. 23:4). As a resident alien, a ger v'toshav, he has no right to purchase land."
    • ^ Rabbi David Max Eichhorn Jewish intermarriages: fact and fiction 1974 p17 "It was because of this hostile atmosphere that the "ger v'toshav," now known simply as "ger toshav," was no longer allowed to become a Jew simply by coming to live within the Jewish community. He now had to become a "ger tsedek"
    • ^ Steven D. Fraade in Navigating the Anomalous: Non-Jews at the Intersection of Early Rabbinic Law and Narrativ (essay also printed in The Other in Jewish Thought and History) 1994 "In striking contrast to this exclusionary exegesis, let us now consider the following inclusionary interpretation of another verse from Leviticus: 2. Sifra Behar pereq 9: 2-3: [" If a resident alien among you has prospered, and your brother, being in straits, comes under his ... "