I am very much in agreement with the Noahide concept. I think the biggest problem for me, an ex-christian, is that it is virtually 100% contained in the Oral Tradition. While I am growing to trust the Oral Tradition and various Rabbinic writings, I generally find enough bedrock from the Tanakh to confirm and accept their interpretation and interpolations. I guess the broader question is how far to take my concept of confirming ideas against the Tanakh. Comparing concepts from the "new testament" to the Tanakh was what freed me from a life time traveling the wrong path, one precept at a time. Unfortunately, (or maybe not) I am still a bit twitchy about trusting what any given group tells me which I cannot verify.
Bob Morley N. Ft Myers
September 28, 2014
Sex and Love: Homosexuality
(This is in response to Gerry Kent and Rabbi Brownstein.)
The Torah is against homosexual relationships. Fine. That doesn't mean it condemns them under punishment other than sodomy, particularly for non-jews. It is my understanding, for example, that while lesbianism is condemned, it is not punishable by death. Why is this different for homosexual relations between different genders?
Sex isn't only a physical action and love isn't solely emotional/spiritual. How does the Torah view love between same-sex genders and the desire to physically act on these feeling (distinct from actually acting)? Furthermore, sex between a man and a wife are encouraged to include strong emotional ties, to make the sex enjoyable on an emotional AND physical level. Does the Torah inhibit even non-jews from feeling entirely connected to the person they love? How does a homosexual address sex? If married to the opposite sex, is it fair to make the other person vulnerable to the emotion without reciprocation?
September 18, 2014
My sincere thanks, Rabbi Brownstein for taking the time to respond to my post. However, I really must ask you to reread my post and respond again because you did not address my specific concerns: 1. consider NON-Jews and their laws, not laws for Jews. You started out saying "the Torah prohibits" without identifying whose laws you meant, Jewish or Noahic. (I hate to say it, but your post sounds like it came from a Protestant fundamentalist.) Jews refer to legal sources. I gave you a source: the RAMBAN, "Book of Kings and Wars." See chapter 9. Also, Sanhedrin 56-60. You didn't clarify or site other sources. 2. If as you indicate, sexuality does not necessarily express love, then why don't you teach two males to use their sexuality as expressions of their love for one another as you would also advise for a married heterosexual couple whose sex was not loving. The law for gentiles is against sodomy, not sex. Can you show otherwise? I sat in a CHABAD yeshiva and was taught that.
September 17, 2014
Re: Homosexuality is not expressly forbidden
The Torah prohibits all forms of sexuality between same-sex individuals. You are right that the term "homosexuality" is not helpful. Why would we encourage two individuals to pursue a relationship that they could never satisfactorily consummate, even if supposedly lesser activities are permitted (which they are not)?
This has nothing to do with love. There are many people who love each other who do not express this love sexually, as that is inappropriate. Sexual love is appropriate between marriage partners, not between friends or relatives, e.g. On the other hand, the desire for sexual gratification can extend also to people one does not necessarily love. When the Torah (G-d) tells us that something is forbidden, it is because it is harmful for the individual involved. True love would therefore dictate that one not pursue a relationship that is harmful to the person they love.
Rabbi Shmary Brownstein For Chabad.org
September 8, 2014
Homosexuality is not expressly forbidden
What about love? Sometimes it happens that two males find themselves attracted to one another and want to express their love sexually. Correct me if I'm wrong (with genuine sources) but isn't the most acceptable view that the pertinent Noahic law here only forbids sodomy? There is a minority of opinion that forbids other acts. Maimonides defines what's forbidden as sodomy, not homosexuality, which is a modern term needing careful definition when applied historically. The Talmud also forbids only sodomy. So, there is no reason that two males can't express love sexually except for that one thing. Orthodox Jews under greater restrictions than non-Jews, trained from childhood to put fences around same-sex relationships, might find even hugging repugnant. But considering NON-Jews and their laws, wouldn't it be better to be as easy on the people as possible, just as chazal are easy on Jews? Let people love each other anyway they want as long as it is not expressly forbidden.
Gerry Kent usa
February 8, 2014
The Noahide Laws
The Noahide Laws are Torah ... Lite! Very lite! And so fundamental that without the belief in them, it almost disqualifies one from being considered a functioning human life form.
Imagine believing that ones own prejudices were sufficient to determine what is right and what is wrong. As my Aunt once pointed out to me when I was an AgnoTheist. "What if the whole world ran according to your understanding?" Didn't take me very long to change into a Theist Judeo/Christian. I am at least honest enough to admit that running the world according to my lights would be a horror movie.
The Torah with it's wisdom, knowledge and understanding and the Messianic revelation of the love, mercy and grace of Heshem is just the beginning of the skill set required to heal the world.
Susan Browne USA
February 4, 2014
I had no idea about these 7 laws until now. However, it's amazing as a child of God, that I would already have these principles instilled upon me. I am so glad to read this. I will share this with friends.
Clarice South Africa
December 2, 2013
Yes, you can find the Seven Noahide Laws in English at this link
Chabad.org Staff mychabad.org
November 30, 2013
The Seven Noahide Laws. Have a English text?
Ernesto Benfilh Brazil
October 24, 2012
When EVERY Jew takes his/her role of being a priest unto the world seriously then I think the Messianic age will have arrived, at the moment it is unclear.