The Captive Child

The HIDDEN (sins) are for Hashem, our God, but the REVEALED (sins) are for us and our children FOREVER, to carry out all the words of this Torah” (Deut. 29:28).

That is, we are responsible for detecting the sins committed openly in our community, and to eradicate any evil among us. And if we do not execute judgment upon these open transgressions, over which we do have control, then the whole community will be punished, because they would be remiss in their responsibility.

When Israel crossed the Jordan, they accepted upon themselves the oath at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, and thereby formally became responsible for one another (Sanh. 43b) - under which every Jew is obligated to help others observe the Torah and to restrain them from violating it: Non-Jews are obligated to obey the seven commandments given to Noah (See God’s EVERLASTING Covenant with Noah, Genesis 9:8-17, Isaiah 24:1-6), Jews are responsible for fulfilling the 613 mitzvot in the Torah.


THE JEWISH PEOPLE IS AGAIN THREATENED WITH ANNIHILATION FROM PERSIA: Maybe Queen Esther would face the same threat as the other ’assimilated’ Jews since she was married to a non-Jew? As Mordecai said, ”Do Not Think You’ll Be Safe in the King’s Palace.”

As history shows, “God will never allow Israel to assimilate and disappear, even if He has to rule over them ”with a mighty hand and a stretched out arm and out poured anger” (Ezek. 20:32-44).

"An example of this out poured anger in modern times was when the proportion of assimilated Jews in Europe rose to over 50% in the 1930’s, provoking a fury that while indiscriminately wiping out six million Jews, religious and non-religious, also indirectly lead to the establishment of the State of Israel, a huge ingathering of the exiles and the ongoing Torah revival that is taking place in our generation” (Rabbi Avraham Ben Yaakov).

Intermarriage rates among Diaspora Jews at all-time high: ”The fear of assimilation of Diaspora Jews is a strategic threat for the continued existence of Israel,” Danon said.

In the US 55% of all Jews married non-Jewish partners,.. An intermarriage rate of 35%-45% was recorded among the Jewish Diaspora in France, Britain and most of Latin America.

The study revealed much higher figures in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where 65% of Jews exchanged nuptials with non Jews, while Russia came out on top of the list with a 75% rate of intermarriage (Ynet News, 11.17.10).

Lest Israel retort that it cannot be held responsible for sinners about whom it has no knowledge, Moses reassures the nation hidden sins are of the province of God alone, and He holds no one responsible but the sinners themselves. But everyone is obligated to safeguard the integrity of Israel against openly committed sins (Rashi; Ramban).

Ramban adds that the verse refers also to sins that are hidden from the perpetrator himself, for it often happens that people sin out of ignorance of the law or the facts of a situation. Such sins belong to God, in the sense that He does not hold them against the sinner.

This verse also alludes to the fate of Jews who had become so assimilated among other peoples that their Jewish origins had become forgotten.

In the words of Rabbi P Waldman: Intermarriage it is a tremendous sin. However, we must distinguish between those who are aware it is a sin, and those, who are not even aware that there is something wrong with it.

The Jews in the Diaspora who have assimilated for generations cannot be considered sinners. They are as a “kidnapped child” (Exodus 20:5-6) who does not know any better. Sinners that you find in Samuel and Isaiah are sinners of serious sins such as idol-worship, who are very well aware that they are commanded to do otherwise, and in spite of it sin – (source: Talmud Shabbat 68a; “Rashi” Isaiah 66:17).

WHEN THE FINAL REDEMPTION COMES, these HIDDEN ONES known only to God WILL BE REUNITED with the rest of the nation AND BE RESTORED to the status of their forefathers (Rashi to Psalms 87:6): [When] the Lord counts in the script of the peoples forever, [He will say,] ”This one was born there.” He will count the Israelites who are assimilated among them and those who were coerced [to abandon Judaism] among them and extract them from their midst, and [He shall] say, “This one was born of those of Zion,” and He will choose them for Himself...

This is what Isaiah says (66:21): “And from them, too, will I take for priests and for Levites.” From the nations bringing them for tribute, I shall take those assimilated among them. And there will be among them priests and Levites who are unrecognizable, but they are revealed to Me, says the Lord. Now where did He say it? (Deut. 29:28) “The secret things belong to the Lord, our God” – Rashi.

”And HaShem’s redeemed people shall return and come to Zion with songs and EVERLASTING JOY ON THEIR HEADS” (Isaiah 35:10). This is a prophecy that Israel will be restored to the spiritual level they attained at the Giving of the Torah prior to the sin of the golden calf. In the words of the Talmud: ”At the moment when Israel said they ’We shall DO and we shall HEAR’ (Exodus 24:7) - i.e. they would PRACTICE the precepts of the Torah even before they would HEAR (=UNDERSTAND) their meaning –

- But in time to come the Holy One blessed be He will restore them to us, as it is written, ’And HaShem’s redeemed people shall return. and EVERLASTING JOY (SIMCHAS OLAM) on their heads’ - i.e. the joy of yore that was on their heads” (Shabbos 88a).


SHAVEI ISRAEL reaches out and assists Lost Tribes and "Hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. These include the Bnei Menashe of India, the Bnei Anousim of Spain, Portugal & South America, the "Hidden Jews" of Poland and others...

THE CAPTIVE CHILD: "For I am Hashem, your God-a jealous God, Who visits the sin of fathers upon children to the third and fourth generations, for My enemies" (Exodus 20:5-6).

In line with the Talmudic dictum that a child who had been kidnapped and raised by non-Jews is not responsible for sins that he never knew were wrong, a Jew educated in an assimilationist manner would also not fall under the category of this verse. Even in such a case, the punishment for the sin of parents does not go beyond the fourth generation.

However the next verse states that God shows kindness for thousands of generations ”to those who love Me and observe My commandments.” (Tosefta, Sotah 3:4).

The Torah uses the expression ”jealous” only with reference to idolatry and to a suspicious Husband’s claim that His wife (Israel), was unfaithful to the Covenant. In the context of idolatry, only God alone is entitled to the veneration of human beings, and He will not countenance worship of other beings.

HOW CAN CHILDREN BE PUNISHED FOR SINS THEY DID NOT COMMIT? The Sages explain that children are punished only if they carry on the sinful legacy of their parents as their own, or if it was in their power to protest, but they acquiesced to the lifestyle that was shown them. If so, they show that they ratify the deeds of their parents and adopt them as their own (Sanhedrin 27b).

History shows that when sins are repeated over the course of generations, they become legitimated as a "culture," or an independent ”lifestyle,” so that they become regarded as a way of life and a new set of values.

Thus, children who consciously accept and continue the ways of their iniquitous parents are forging a pattern of behavior that has much more force than the deeds of only one errant generation. Thus, children who adopt the ways of their parents are, in a sense, committing more virulent sins than they would be if they acted only on their own. God refers to such people as ”My enemies.”

The beautiful passage of Ezekiel 18:21-23 teaches that even the habitual sinner will also live if he repents of his sins and follows the path of justice and charity.

Then, the question is, do you think that gentiles is responsible for sins (idolatry; Christianity, Islam, etc) they never knew were wrong; a gentile educated in "an assimilationist manner"?

"I'm not 100% if the concept of Tinok Sh'nishba (Captive Child) would apply to gentiles as well, but on the surface, it makes sense that it should", says Rabbi Michael Skobac, Education Director of Jews for Judaism, Canada.


THE DANGERS OF ASSIMILATION: In the face of the Iranian threat, N Korea, etc, ... Please don’t bring down more punishments over yourself and Israel in breaking the laws of Shabbat, etc... as it is said, Lev. 26:18,25 “...And if, through these (punishments), you will still not be chastised [to return] to Me,.." - To perform all these commandments, statutes, ordinances, and keep the Covenant... (Lev. 26, Deut. 11:26-28, Ch. 28).

Then, He will chasten you "with the rod of men" (II Samuel 7:14, Psalms 89:29-33, 1 Kings 11:1-25).

”And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute the vengeance of the covenant; and ye shall be gathered together within your cities; and I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy” (Lev. 26:25).

Isaiah 53:5 "But he (Israel) was pained BECAUSE OF our (the gentiles') transgressions, crushed BECAUSE OF our (the gentiles') iniquities; THE CHASTISEMENT of OUR welfare/PEACE (MUSSAR SHELOMENO) was upon him, and with his wound WE WERE HEALED." Restored to prosperity or completely spiritually restored.

"Woe Assyria , rod of My wrath." (Isaiah 10:5): The prophet is teaching us that the nations that rise up against Israel are nothing but God's rod of chastisement - and this is exactly how we must view Iran, Syria, the "Palestinians", "Hizbullah" and all the others who persecute Israel today.

Leviticus 26:1-9 ”Ye shall keep My sabbaths...If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; then I will give your rains in their season, and the land shall yield her produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit....AND DWELL IN YOUR LAND SAFELY.

AND I WILL GIVE PEACE IN THE LAND, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid; and I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword...and will establish My covenant (OF PEACE) with you.” See Isaiah 54:10 – Ezekiel 34:23-31, 37:21-28.