Question: Please tell me in lay terms, even for a non-Jew (Christian) what it is to look at and practice Inner Purity. One reason this subject intrigued me is it is an important issue for the Desert Father’s in the Christian tradition and in the faith in general.Answer: You ask about inner purity. Orthodox Israel prays every morning, “My G’d, the soul you have given me is pure.” This in contrast to the well-known Xtian philosophy that every human soul is cursed and every human being is “utterly depraved.”
We work at keeping pure, at “returning” to the proper relationship w/ G’d. This is a battle fought constantly throughout the day, to be “ever fearful of His great and holy Name.” When we contemplate His Name and what it means and remember who and what we are, in contrast to Who and What He is, we are keeping pure.
Despite the Xtian teaching, a non-Jew is not utterly depraved and has plenty of potential for holiness, including inner purity. It just involves reaching out to G’d, recognizing Him as Israel recognizes Him, trying to “know His Name” as the prophets and sages of Israel did and do, and reaching out to Him with some modicum of the humility and respect that He deserves from us, His human creations.
You will notice that no mention is made here of vicarious atonement – of getting behind someone else’s sacrifice or measure of individual purity and riding it up for some sort of lift. That’s because that’s magical thinking, very superstitious – and also, I’d say, idolatrous and blasphemous, imagining that G’d, the Compassionate One, is so weird and illogical or mean.
He ain’t. His ways are close to us, if we just seek them, and Him; and all His ways (all the ways of Torah) are ways of pleasantness. Purity and holiness are, despite anything that anyone ever tells you to the contrary, ways of pleasantness.
I hope this helps. Please get back to me w/ any further questions, or to follow this up in any way. Shalom,
P.S. I wrote Rainbow Covenant: Torah and the Seven Universal Laws. It’s very germane to this discussion. At any rate, see more about it and more material for you about purity and holiness, etc., on our website, 1stcvovenant.com and rainbowcovenant.org.