Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Noahide Laws: Overview


This is the first of a series of posts on the 7 Universal Noahide Laws. This post will provide an overview of the Laws with the purpose of raising awareness of the First Covenant made by G-d to man.

Judaism is one of the few religion in the world that holds that one does not have to be Jewish to be "saved" or to be good in G-d's eyes. While Christians believe that non-Christians are destined for eternal damnation and every 12th verse in the Qur'an tells of the Merciful Allah flinging non-Muslims into hell, G-d loves non-Jews. In fact, "Even a gentile who follows his commandments is as righteous as a High Priest." (Midrash Sifra, Acharei Mot 9:13). Indeed, R. Avraham Grodzinsky wrote (Torat Avraham, p. 139):

Not only Israel, but also all of the other nations, have the potential to reach the highest levels because they were created in the image of G-d. How wonderful are the words of the Tana devei Eliyahu, which says: 'I bear witness before heaven and earth, that Jew or Gentile, man or woman, slave or maidservant, all receive holy revelation according to their actions.'

G-d created us all, Jew and Gentile, and wishes for us to serve Him in joy and love. To the Jews G-d gave the 613 mitzvot of the Torah and to the Gentiles He gave the 7 Noahide laws, the basic laws of ethical monotheism, upon which all of society is based. Even US law officialy recognized this (Public Law 102-14, H.J. Res 104). Before G-d made His covenant with the B'nei Yisrael, the Children of Israel, He made a covenant with the B'nei Noach, the Children of Noah. "And I will establish My covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth." (Genesis 9:11). Through the observance of these laws, Gentiles become holy and serve G-d properly.

These laws are:

1) DO NOT COMMIT BLASPHEMY

2) DO NOT WORSHIP IDOLS

3) DO NOT COMMIT THEFT

4) DO NOT COMMIT MURDER

5) DO NOT COMMIT SEXUAL IMMORALITY

6) ESTABLISH COURTS OF JUSTICE

7) DO NOT EAT THE FLESH OF A LIVING ANIMAL

Today, these laws are more essential than ever. Throughout Jewish history, although Jews are obligated to spread the Noahide laws, they lived under Christian or Muslim oppression and were forbidden to do so under pain of death. Today, living in free societies in the era of the Birthpangs of the Moshiach, it is critical for us to teach the Noahide laws. These basic laws are the keys to world peace, a world united in harmony in service of G-d. Please join me as we explore each of these laws individually in the attempt "to perfect the world in the kingdom of the Almighty". It is time to return to HaShem, Maker of the World.

"For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the Name of the L-rd to serve Him with one consent." (Zephaniah 3:9)

"O LORD, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge, in the day of affliction, unto Thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say: 'Our fathers have inherited nought but lies, vanity and things wherein there is no profit.' Shall a man make unto himself gods, and they are no gods? Therefore, behold, I will cause them to know, this once will I cause them to know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is the LORD." (Jeremiah 16:19-20)

5 comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

Judaism is one of the few religion in the world that holds that one does not have to be Jewish to be "saved" or to be good in G-d's eyes....so so true!

The Frank Family said...

An excellent undertaking! I anxiously await your future posts!

nanc said...

b.k. - o.t.

Brooke said...

Odd how those laws all make perfect moral sense, huh?

Pete Aldin said...

I was fascinated by this post, Bar Kochba, and up until now I had assumed that Judaism simply excluded non-Jews (probably I was viewing through the filter of my own fundamentalist evangelical Christian upbringing). I am one of many Christians who believes that it's a teaching of our book of Romans that someone who obeys God's law even if they don't know of it will be judged righteous by Hashem for that. Obviously now I understand that the Jewish writer of that book still had retained that principle you speak of here.

Some of us too are beginning to question the nature of damnation and whether or not "hell" is even truly a biblical concept or whehter it is the christianised form of a Greek myth.

Anyway, thanks for your post. I could certainly welcome a world in which we lived truly by these laws!