“Let Us Go with You”
Bringing the Light of Torah to the Nations
An Introduction by Rabbi Elie Mischel
A sailor in the United States Navy during World War II, my grandfather’s service nearly ended before it began. When a fellow serviceman from Texas demanded that he reveal his “Jew horns”, my grandfather – not known for his patience – hit the antisemite so hard that he knocked him unconscious. He was fortunate to avoid being court-martialed!
Witnessing the dramatic rise in antisemitism in recent years, many Jews understandably assume that nothing has changed since the Holocaust. But even as antisemitism intensifies, many non-Jews – and particularly Christians – now view our people with nothing short of affection and turn to us for inspiration and guidance.
Last month, 80 years after my grandfather taught that Texan a lesson, I visited the small town of Granbury, Texas, to speak with local Christians about Israel and their relationship with the Jewish people. From the moment I walked into my host’s living room, I was overwhelmed with love and affection. For the next eleven hours, I didn’t have a chance to breathe! One after the other, pastors and simple Christians peppered me with questions about Torah, the Hebrew language and Israel – recognizing that I, as an Orthodox Jew, possessed an understanding of the Bible that they could only dream of.
With my own eyes, I witnessed the fulfillment of the verse in Zechariah: “So said Hashem Almighty: In those days ten people from all the languages and nations shall take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his cloak and say: ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that G-d is with you’” (Zechariah 8:23).
As Israel grows ever stronger and more confident, we are blessed with opportunities that were unimaginable during the long generations of exile. Do we have a duty to share the light of Torah with non-Jews? What are the risks and rewards of engaging with others who are different from us?
In this edition of HaMizrachi, we examine our responsibility, as individuals and as a nation, to actively serve as a light unto the nations. From Evangelical Christians throughout America’s Bible belt to growing groups of Noahides in southern India, Nigeria and the Philippines, gentiles all over the world are yearning for the truth of Torah. Will we be there to teach them?
“And many peoples shall go and say: ‘Come and let us go up to the mountain of Hashem, to the house of the G-d of Ya’akov; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the word of Hashem from Jerusalem” (Yishayahu 2:3).