Anne-Marie Antonietti describes her acceptance of the Seven Mitzvot as being born a second time and gives thanks for the experience.
For many years, I loved the God of Israel, believed His word, and tried to follow His path in my life. But I was not able to find the proper way to relate to Him (not by rejection, like most of the world; not by apathy, which can be compared to forming a covenant with the enemy; and not by "replacement," as is attempted by those who want to take over the goal and even the name of Israel).
My first step with respect to the nation of Israel was to do volunteer work in the country. I started six-and-a-half years ago by volunteering in IDF bases and in old age homes, mainly for survivors of the Holocaust. Another step was to write letters, articles, and books defending the rights of Israel. But I was still left with the main question: What is my position with respect to Israel?
And then one day I was invited to attend a Torah lecture in Jerusalem. It was a shock for me, a revelation. For the first time I heard the Word of God in a way that I had never heard before. It had depth, richness, and clarity, giving the keys to reveal an infinite world of understanding that I could not have imagined. It also gave me the tools, based on the written word, to decipher what is happening in front of our very eyes in the international scene and here, in the Land of Israel.
I was so excited by what I had discovered that I began to listen every day to the lessons taught by Rabbi Haim Dynovisz at his website, www.ravdynovisz.tv. This provided a response to my yearning, and his teachings helped me organize my life in a practical way, and gave me a fundamental cure and a path to rebuild myself that I so needed and which I could not find in any other way.
At the same time, I was invited to a conference of Noahides that was organized in Jerusalem by Leo Guez of the Espace Sephria in Nice. (See http://sephria.wordpress.com/tag/bnei-noah/.) From the moment that I arrived, I felt a new and strange sensation – that I had come home. It was as if this had always been my rightful place and my family. My initial reaction was confirmed during the two days of the conference, with the lectures, the discussions, and the contacts I had with Noahides, and later on with the organizers over the internet.
I loved their world outlook, which respects everybody, no matter what their origins and diversity, stemming from listening to the Word of God, seeing His revelation, accepting His Torah, and the choice of the Jews as a light to the nations and priests who teach the Word of God. And the fact that every nation, with its own unique traits, receives instructions from Israel about how to follow the path of God, based on the Seven Mitzvot of Bnei Noach (which were given to Noach by God after the Deluge, for all of humanity).
I loved the allegory which sees all of humanity as one large body, where every nation has a role to play like body parts, and at the center the heart: the nation of Israel. I wrote two books last year, both with the same title: "Israel as the Heart"! In the books, I quote verses that I heard in the conference and on other occasions: "And many nations will go and say, Let us rise up the Mountain of God, to the House of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us His ways and we will follow His paths, for from Zion will the Torah emanate, and the Word of God from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2,3). And also, that the day will come when "ten men from all the languages of the nations will take hold of the corner of the garment of a Jewish man, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you" (Zechariah 8,23). In these verses I encountered the central character of Israel and its message to the world, which I had felt in my heart all along.
The two verses describe the end of days. We can feel that these days are close. ISRAEL ONCE AGAIN EXISTS AS A NATION, AND MORE AND MORE OF ITS PEOPLE ARE RETURNING TO ITS LAND. Thus, in a natural way and without intending for this to happen, LIFE HAS BEGUN TO FLOW FROM ISRAEL TO THE REST OF HUMANITY: From all over the world, individual people and groups are coming on their own initiative with a desire to learn. Bnei Noach can already be found in 78 countries, some of them in groups of hundreds of people!
By now I knew that I had found the framework that would allow me to say to Israel: "I will go with you, for I know that God is with you!" And that is what I did!
I asked Rabbi Oury Cherki, the head of Brit Olam, the Noahide World Center (www.noahideworldcenter.org), to help me perform a ceremony to proclaim my allegiance to God, His Torah, and His nation – the nation to whom God revealed Himself and through which His Word is being disseminated to the world.
I declared my allegiance on Thursday, November 22, 2011, to a court consisting of Rabbi Oury Cherki, Rabbi Chaim Dynovisz (since my entire spiritual journey began with his lectures and I am one of his students in Jerusalem), and Rabbi Efraim Choban.
The day was very exciting! Every word was so powerful and so full of infinite content that I could just barely read the words of the proclamation – even though it was very short!
With the new dimension in my life, the tremendous change that had taken place within me, my declaration of my allegiance to God, His Torah, and Israel, I suddenly felt like a new life was born.
Here is what I wrote in my request to accept the mitzvot of Bnei Noach:
"When I heard Torah lessons in the midst of this nation, in its own land, I was born anew. From this point on, I know that the Land of Israel, its nation, and its Torah are inseparable, because that is what I have experienced. The Land of Israel has taken me into its bosom, like a womb, in the heart of its love for its nation, and it has given birth to me through the living Torah. This could not have happened in any other place, with any other nation, with any other Torah or writings. It was exciting and beautiful to hear Gilad Shalit's father recently say that he feels as if a new son had been born to him! For me, I can testify that I feel that I am a daughter of the Land of Israel, because the Land of Israel, together with its people and its Torah, gave birth to me in a renewed and true life.
"With God's help, I aspire to live a full life as a Bat Noach, a woman of the nations who follows the path of the eternal Torah which the Holy One, Blessed be He, has revealed to us through you, His eternal nation, Israel. I hope and pray that I too will have the privilege, at the proper time, to give to others as you do! And I want to say, to God and to all of you, from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU!!"
How amazing it is to see that in spite of all the trouble that our ancestors – my ancestors ! – caused for two thousand years, and in spite of all the unending hatred by the world towards it, the nation of Israel continues to search for nothing more than other ways to show its love for us!? We come with questions and demands, and the nation receives us, accepts on itself to fulfill the role to humanity for which it was chosen by God!
God bless you, nation of Israel! Let Him guard you for all eternity, as He promised: that He will never slumber and never sleep!
"I am God, I have called you with righteousness and I hold your hand
I will guard you and establish you as a covenant for the people,
as a light to the nations,
to open blind eyes,
to remove a prisoner from a dungeon, those who dwell in darkness from prison."
"I will make you into a light for the nations
to be a salvation for Me until the ends of the earth.
Here is what was said by God, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One:
To the despised soul, to one hated by the nations, to a slave of the rulers,
kings will see and rise, ministers will bow down,
for God, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who chose you."
(Isaiah 49, 6-7)
To the nation of Israel: "All the nations of the earth will be blessed through you."