Skip to comments.Universal Morality (The Seven Noahide Laws)
Posted on 04/20/2008 6:45:39 AM PDT by Reaganesque
According to the sages of the Talmud, there are 70 families with 70 paths within the great Family of Man. And each individual has his or her path within a path. Yet, there is one universal basis for us all.
At the dawn of human history, G-d gave man seven rules to follow in order that His world be sustained. So it is recounted in the Book of Genesis as interpreted by our tradition in the Talmud. There will come a time, our sages told us, that the children of Noah will be prepared to return to this path. That will be the beginning of a new world, a world of wisdom and peace.
At the heart of this universal moral code is the acknowledgement that morality - indeed, civilization itself - must be predicated on the belief in G-d. Unless we recognize a Higher Power to whom we are responsible and who observes and knows our actions, we will not transcend the selfishness of our character and the subjectivity of our intellect. If man himself is the final arbiter of right and wrong, than "right", for him or her, will be what they desire, regardless of its consequences to the other inhabitants of earth.
At Mount Sinai, G-d charged the Children of Israel to serve as His "Light unto the nations" by bringing all of humanity to a recognition of their Creator and adharence to His laws.
For most of Jewish history, however, circumstance did not permit our people to spread these principles, other than by indirect means. When the Lubavitcher Rebbe began speaking about publicizing them as a preparation for a new era, he was reviving an almost lost tradition.
What is most beautiful about these laws, is the breathing room they provide. They resonate equally in a hut in Africa or a palace in India, in a school in Moscow or a suburban home in America. They are like the guidelines of a great master of music or art: firm, reliable and comprehensive -- but only a base, and upon this base each people and every person may build.
"The Seven Noahide Laws" are a sacred inheritance of all the children of Noah, one that every person on the face of the earth can use as the basis of his or her spiritual, moral and pragmatic life. If enough of us will begin to incorporate these laws into our lives, we will see a different world very soon. Sooner than we can imagine.
THE 7 LAWS
1 Acknowledge that there is only one G-d who is Infinite and Supreme above all things. Do not replace that Supreme Being with finite idols, be it yourself, or other beings. This command includes such acts as prayer, study and meditation.
2 Respect the Creator. As frustrated and angry as you may be, do not vent it by cursing your Maker.
3 Respect human life. Every human being is an entire world. To save a life is to save that entire world. To destroy a life is to destroy an entire world. To help others live is a corollary of this principle.
4 Respect the institution of marriage. Marriage is a most Divine act. The marriage of a man and a woman is a reflection of the oneness of G-d and His creation. Disloyalty in marriage is an assault on that oneness.
5 Respect the rights and property of others. Be honest in all your business dealings. By relying on G-d rather than on our own conniving, we express our trust in Him as the Provider of Life.
6 Respect G-d's creatures. At first, Man was forbidden to consume meat. After the Great Flood, he was permitted - but with a warning: Do not cause unnecessary suffering to any creature.
7 Maintain justice. Justice is G-d's business, but we are given the charge to lay down necessary laws and enforce them whenever we can. When we right the wrongs of society, we are acting as partners in the act of sustaining the creation.
While looking through this one website, I found this article about "The Seven Noahide Laws". I had never heard of these before and read with great interest. When I was finished, I thought that I should share them here. We should seek truth wherever we can find it and this is most certainly truth. Heck, they're basically a condensation of the 10 Commandments. I was particularly impressed with Law number Four, the one regarding the sanctimony of Marriage.
As is said in my faith: "If there is anything hvirtuous, ilovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." This article meets those standards and then some.
Awesome post. Through work I have grown to know several Baltimore Orthodox Jews. They are great folks.
These are so important, G_d himself set them in stone!
Why is “-” preferable to “o”?
I don’t read anything about Talmudic laws taking precedence over the Christian New Covenant. Its not in the New Testament.
What is this, some sort of gimmick to have Christians render preeminence to Judaism? Sorry, I see Jesus Christ as superior to both the Mosaic Old Covenant and the Talmud.
The first so-called commandment listed here for us Gentiles forbids idolatry. Well, good. As a Christian I am against pagan idolatry too. But I am made to wonder whether or not they include the Christian worship of Jesus as idolatry.
If a Jew regarded Jesus as the Son of God, they would by definition be a Christian. So to a Jew, it would be a violation, but from the Christian perspective it would not be a violation.
Regardless, Christians have the Gospels as their guidance
For observant Jews, the name of God is sacred. The dash is meant to preserve the sacred nature of His name by not repeating too often.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Please note that Paul did not qualify this with: "but only if it comes from a Christian." Paul knew that truth is truth whatever source it comes from. To my mind, these Seven Laws serve to confirm that the Ten Commandments are God's word and law. There's no question or even hint of "pre-eminence" of one over the other, it simply is true.
Remember, the Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament. We still live by those. The Lord's New Covenant fulfilled the old law, it didn't obliterate it. Christ gave us a higher law. But this higher law has many things in common with the older, preparatory law. And why shouldn't it? It came from the same source! God was teaching the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept until they were ready to receive His higher law.
The Old Testament is still part of our Bible because it gives us perspective. It contains truth that we can learn from and live by and gives us an understanding of how God works. Again, in my opinion, this is merely a second source that confirms that the Ten Commandments came from God and, personally, I think that's cool.
But "God" is not His name.
In their view, its a sign of respect and reverence towards God. The Ten Commandments say that we should not take the Lord’s name in vain as do the Noahide Laws. Men take the Lord’s name in vain in many ways on a daily basis and, in Jewish tradition, using His name or the word “God” too often is one of those ways.
Jesus Christ, One in being with the Father, said it better, and His version is not Man’s version. He said that everything was rolled up into the these two commandments:
1) Love the Lord your God with all your might
2) Love your neighbor as yourself.
Writing down gazillions of their own rules and trying to keep track of them is what prevented Jews from seeing their Messiah right in front of them.
Jesus said the 2 above covered all. I Follow God’s word, not mans.
Dear Fellow Noahides and Our Jewish Friends,
For many years we Noahides have found ourselves alone in our pursuit of the truth of HaShem. We all have made great sacrifices along the way. Many have lost family, friends, co-workers and more as a result of making the decision to keep the Noahide Laws. We have continued to study and meet other Noahides via the Internet and some have been fortunate enough to be able to start small Noahide groups. We are living in extraordinary times. Our world is plagued with violence, moral decay and diminishing human dignity. Yet, we find ourselves blessed with an unprecedented outpouring of knowledge that is both timeless and technological. It is a kind of flood that is both spiritual and material. We are poised on the brink of destruction or greatness. It is our hope and belief, here at Noahide Nations, that mankind is approaching the latter, fueled by innovative discoveries and a growing awareness in the deep riches of the Torah knowledge. The melding of these resources coupled with a heightened sense of the need for community is the underlying theme of our most ambitious project to date.
We invite you to be a part of Noahides Future is NOW at the World Conference of the Noahide Nations, June 26th through the 29th of 2008. The site for this event will be the Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hilton. We have chosen this location so that the large Jewish community in nearby Hollywood, Florida, will be able to fully participate in this rare 4-day gathering of Noahide and Jewish leaders who represent the best and the brightest in fields of Torah study, Science, History and Government. Youll hear
Rabbi Tovia Singer Israel National Radio Confirmed
Rabbi Michael Katz Noahide Torah Instructor Confirmed
Rabbi Lazer Brody Director Emuna Outreach Tentative
Rabbi Zvi Aviner Noahide Nations Torah Instructor Confirmed
Rabbi Moshe Ben Chaim Founder Mesora.org Confirmed
Rabbi Benjamin Blech Professor Yeshiva University, Author Tentative
Rabbi Joel David Bakst Teacher of Kabbalah, Noahide Nations Instructor Confirmed
Rabbi Chaim Richman International Director Temple Institute Confirmed
Rabbi Reuvan Mann Director Yeshiva Bnei Torah Confirmed
Rabbi Yeshayahu HaKohen Hollander Member Sanhedrin - Confirmed
Moshe Otero Way of Israel TV Show Confirmed
Harold Gans Torah Codes Confirmed
Dr. Andrew Goldfinger Author of Thinking About Creation Confirmed
James D. Long Author and Producer of Riddle of the Exodus Confirmed
Jack Saunders Noahide Nations Instructor, Noahide Community Leader- Confirmed
Professor Vendyl Jones Excavated Temple Anointing Oil & Incense - Confirmed
Roger Grattan North American Emissary of the Sanhedrin - Confirmed
The conference will offer exciting brainstorming sessions, thought-provoking lectures and valuable networking. There will even be an opportunity for both married couples and those wishing to be married to renew their wedding vows or take their marriage vows as Noahides, under a Chuppa by a Rabbi.
There will be important meetings and workshops on such topics as the International Noahide Homeschool Alliance, International Noahide Torah Fellowship, Noahide Community Building, Training and Ordination of New Noahide Leadership, Noahide Networking and much more...
Not only were they written in stone, they were “written” on the souls of every human created in God’s image.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualitieshis eternal power and divine naturehave been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Doesnt it seem a bit superstitious to think that one is less likely to abuse Gods name if they write "G-d" rather than "God"?
Isnt this the kind of thinking that Jesus condemned in His own time?
16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.' 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? (Matt. 23)Why does it appear so "wise" today?
Besides, this whole Jewish/Noahide thing is fundamentally at odds with the Biblical/apostolic view of Abraham being the father of many nations and all Gods people being united into one new man, where there is neither Jew nor Greek. Judaism is still essentially a religion that divides along the races. Unfortunately, even some Christians promote this same sort of racial/ethnic division within the body.
The message of the gospel is radical in that sense. It treats all men as equals who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not based on genetics, but has one set of commandments for all men everywhere (John 14:15).
It seems cautious and respectful. It also seems rather pointless to make such a fuss about a missing "o". If it is omitted in an attempt to keep His name holy, I fail to see how that could be a bad thing.
As to the seven laws, is there something there that you disagree with? They say pretty much the same thing the Ten Commandments say. What's there to object to?
My point is, God's truth can be found everywhere if you are looking for it. True, some religions have more truth than others. But the truths these religions do have are not invalidated by their lack of other truths. Give credit where credit is due. Should we not encourage correct beliefs and behaviors and not just denounce error?
Paul urged the Philippians to seek truth in all things and from all sources. That those sources may not have all of the truth is not relevant. Seek for the good, wherever it may come from. If you are earnestly seeking God's truth, you will recognize it when you see it and will not be misled.
This is my first exposure to the Noahide Laws but, from what I have read so far, Conservatives would be well advised to learn them. Its not really anything new, theologically speaking, but its a different perspective that I think could be of great benefit to today’s society. I have bookmarked your link and will continue reading. Thank you!
Interesting. Educational. Thanks for posting.
Do any of you Baltimore, MD area ortho Jews know Mosheh Wolfish?
His name is Mosheh Wolfish - do you know him?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.