What are the Noahide Laws?

The Seven Laws of Noah were recognized by the United States Congress in the preamble to the bill that established Education Day in honor of the 90th birthday of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement:

Whereas Congress recognizes the historical tradition of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded; Whereas these ethical values and principles have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws

The Seven Laws of Noah (Hebrew: שבע מצוות בני נח‎ Sheva mitzvot B’nei Noach), often referred to as the Noahide Laws or Noachide Code, are a set of seven moral imperatives that, according to the Talmud, were given by God to Noah as a binding set of laws for all mankind.[1] According to Judaism any non-Jew who lives according to these laws is regarded as a Righteous Gentile and is assured of a place in the world to come (Olam Haba), the Jewish concept of heaven. Adherents are often called “B’nei Noach” (Children of Noah) or “Noahides” and may often network in Jewish synagogues.

The seven laws listed by the Tosefta and the Talmud are

  1. Prohibition of Idolatry: You shall not have any idols before God.
  2. Prohibition of Murder: You shall not murder. (Genesis 9:6)
  3. Prohibition of Theft: You shall not steal.
  4. Prohibition of Sexual promiscuity: You shall not commit any of a series of sexual prohibitions, which include adultery, incest, bestiality and anal sex between males.
  5. Prohibition of Blasphemy: You shall not blaspheme God’s name.
  6. Dietary Law: Do not eat flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive. (Genesis 9:4, as interpreted in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 59a)
  7. Requirement to have just Laws: Set up a governing body of law (eg Courts)

The Noahide Laws comprise the six laws which were given to Adam in the Garden of Eden according to the Talmud’s interpretation of Gen 2:16[4] and a seventh one, which was added after the Flood of Noah. Later at the Revelation at Sinai the Seven Laws of Noah were regiven to humanity and embedded in the 613 Laws given to the Children of Israel along with the Ten Commandments, which are part of, and not separate from, the 613 mitzvot. These laws are mentioned in the Torah. According to Judaism, the 613 mitzvot or “commandments” given in the written Torah, as well as their reasonings in the oral Torah, were only issued to the Jews and are therefore binding only upon them, having inherited the obligation from their ancestors. At the same time, at Mount Sinai, the Children of Israel (i.e. the Children of Jacob, i.e. the Israelites) were given the obligation to teach other nations the embedded Noahide Laws. However, it is actually forbidden by the Talmud for non-Jews (on whom the Noahide Laws are still binding) to elevate their observance to the Torah’s mitzvot as the Jews do.[5][6]

While some Jewish organizations, such as Chabad have worked to promote the acceptance of Noahide laws, there are no figures for how many actually do.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] What are the Noahide Laws? (via I See) Posted on October 23, 2010 by ccryder1964| Leave a comment The Seven Laws of Noah were recognized by the United States Congress in the preamble to the bill that established Education Day in honor of the 90th birthday of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement: Whereas Congress recognizes the historical tradition of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded; Whereas these ethical values and princ … Read More […]

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