Seven Noachide laws

Since by Divine Providence this week’s Torah portion is Noach, I would like to post the seven Noachide commandments that were given to Noach.

The non Jewish nations have an obligation to keep the sheva mitzvahs bnei Noach (the seven Noachide laws)  that were commanded to Noach (Noah) by God for all humankind to observe.  These laws were given in order to ensure that people will be righteous and moral. It is important to publicize these commandments that were given to the non Jewish nations in order to help them fulfill the purpose for which they were created.

BELIEF IN ONE GOD: Do not profane God’s Oneness: acknowledge there is a Creator, only one God,  and do not worship idols or attribute power to any other deity in any form. Acknowledge Divine Providence over creation.  Nothing happens randomly. Nothing happens unless decreed by God and even a leaf does not turn over in the wind without God willing or allowing it.  How much more so is God is involved in every aspect of a person’s individual life and one must recognize that and acknowledge God’s constant involvement. One must be humble and worship God, realizing that we are obligated to fulfill the commandments of God because He said so, whether we understand them or not.  Every human being is created in the image of God and needs to be respected and cared for.  We have to strive to emulate the good character traits of our Creator and to do good. 

DO NOT CURSE YOUR CREATOR:  Respect Him and His creation. No  matter how angry you may become in life, do not curse your Creator. Accept with humility that whatever happens is part of God’s plan and is for the good, whether we understand it or not. We need to accept that God Almighty is in charge of the world and only does what is best for His creations. We need to be humble and accept that everything that happens is from God.  It is also wrong to curse any person (including oneself). We must respect all of God’s creations.

DO NOT MURDER: This also includes not doing abortion at any stage of pregnancy.  It also includes not committing suicide: you cannot murder yourself either!  Be humble and realize that only God Almighty has the ability to bestow life to His creations and nobody has the right to take life, other than God.

DO NOT STEAL: This commandments refers to not stealing any material possessions belonging to others, and it also includes the prohibition against kidnapping a human being.  Be grateful for whatever blessings you have, look at everything as an undeserved gift and do not try to steal what belongs to another. Recognize that your livelihood comes from God and should not be acquired through theft or cheating .

DO NOT EAT THE LIMB OF A LIVING ANIMAL This refers to not cutting off the limb of an animal while it is still alive since the soul is still within it.  It is also forbidden to eat the blood of a living creature while it is still alive. This commandment also includes not causing pain to any living creature and being sensitive to all of God’s creations. 

DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY. Do not engage in sexual relationships outside of marriage, and a married person cannot have relations with anyone else besides their spouse. This prohibition also includes not committing any type of sexual immorality, rape, incest or sexual abnormality.   Included in here is the underlying commandment to get married and establish a family (having as many children as God wants to give), which is also an obligation for a non Jew. Be devoted and faithful to one’s spouse and do not look outside marriage for happiness. Before marriage, men and women must not live together (since that affects one’s emotions and can interfere later with one’s marriage).  True happiness can only be achieved in a proper marriage relationship between man and woman. This also includes the idea of being fruitful and multiplying when one is married: every human being is meant to do their utmost to have children and fill the earth with people.  Noach was commanded to have as many children as God would bless them with.

ESTABLISH COURTS OF LAW AND ENSURE JUSTICE IN SOCIETY. Every society needs law and order to keep it functioning in a proper way and to prevent crime .  Every society needs a system of true justice without racism, anti Semitism or any type of unjustified prejudice. Included within this commandment is the concept of giving charity and helping others who are in need: establishing social projects to help people etc. , hence promoting a better society with less crime.

These 7 Noachide laws have further details and ramifications but this is the basis.  

Part of a non Jew’s obligation is also to respect one’s parents (and in fact we learn a lesson in true respect from a non Jew who refused to wake his father up, even though he was promised riches if he did so). 

If all the nations of the world observe these seven commandments faithfully, and add in deeds of goodness and kindness,  the world will certainly be a holier and better place!