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Who has to keep the seven laws of Noah? Why are they called Noahide laws? An in-depth look at this set of laws.

The Seven Noahide Laws

The Seven Noahide Laws

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Bob Morley N. Ft Myers January 3, 2015

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. Reply

Sarah H 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? Reply

Gerry Kent September 18, 2014

Reconsideration please 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. Reply

Rabbi Shmary Brownstein For Chabad.org 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. Reply

margaret washington June 26, 2017
in response to Rabbi Shmary Brownstein:

Totally confused. What about Sodom and Gomorrah? Guess i'm not understanding. Reply

Gerry Kent usa 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. Reply

Susan Browne USA February 8, 2014

The Noahide Laws Brian,

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. Reply

Clarice South Africa February 4, 2014

Amazing information! 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. Reply

Chabad.org Staff via mychabad.org December 2, 2013

Re English Yes, you can find the Seven Noahide Laws in English at this link Reply

Ernesto Benfilh Brazil November 30, 2013

The Seven Noahide Laws. Have a English text? Reply

Anonymous UK 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. Reply

Shruti New York October 21, 2012

In 2007 the Chief Rabbi of Israel declared, of Hinduism and Judaism "1. Their respective Traditions teach that there is One Supreme Being who is the Ultimate Reality, who has created this world in its blessed diversity and who has communicated Divine ways of action for humanity, for different peoples in different times and places." With this and the rest of the statements of the "Declaration of Mutual Understanding and Cooperation from the First Jewish-Hindu Leadership Summit" between Rabbi Yona Metzger, Chief Rabbi of Israel, and Swami Dayanand Saraswati, of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, it was established that the Hindus are indeed observant Noachides! Reply

Hindu September 9, 2012

To the Rabbi, thank you for this informative discussion! Speaking as a Hindu this was very interesting to me. Much of what you shared with regard to these Noachide Laws, including these laws themselves, is very much in line with our beliefs!

To the commenters, Hinduism IS a monotheistic faith. The rumour that our faith is not is a myth that was spread, and at times even wrongly taught in Western schools, both by those who innocently misunderstood us and lying missionaries of other religions (especially Christianity).

True faith of the books (which actually follows our scriptures) is purely monotheistic and we don't believe that all "gods" are one God either. That is a concocted non-scriptural belief. Reply

June Mercersburg, PA January 26, 2012

Noahide Laws Ack! This is so exciting! Surely the Messiah can't be far off?!?! Reply

Brian Bond amarillo, TX December 26, 2011

Good teaching I have been a Noahide for several years and love learing Torah from Chabad.org. The Jews are the heart and brain, the noahides are the limbs. What good is a brain and heart without limbs? and what good are limbs without a brain and heart? We are all a part of the whole. Regarding the comment above about not teaching the noahide laws because it will cause people to stray from Torah - the noahide laws are Torah - hello. It is a noahides desire to live within the Torah under the guidance of Torah scholars. Reply

Anonymous Durham, UK June 2, 2011

G_d? Is G_d a concept? Obviously this goes beyond human conception but if we make a concept and carry it round with us we are lugging around a small piece of mental mass (all thought has mass) which is in fact an idol. How do you get round this? Reply

elasah ben abraham castries, st lucia August 23, 2009

i am glad moshe that you said G-d is a el of all nations and not just you all jews but what i believe is that if u love g-d with all your heart and soul and abides in his laws you are an isrealite, cause it is the laws that makes isreal who they are.the next point is that you shouldn't even be telling people about those noahide laws cause g-d will have you accountable for straying people from the torah, thank you. Reply

Religion or G_d? July 20, 2009

To Moshe Ben Yakov, Los Angeles, CA Open your mind Moshe. You studied only what you wanted to study in order to disprove other religion. To begin with Judaism is not a religion as well as Hinduism...Organised religion is for an idiotic mind.

Secondly, people are free to make up their own mind without being shackled by any religion. It's a fact about every human being on this earth which deconstructs the theory of religion as truth. Religion is for the dogmatic, the ignorant, the follower who is unable to think.

Thirdly regarding Hinduism, Supreme G_d is Brahman & that's to apprise you that blasphemy from your part against G_d is yours to deal with not mine, not anybody's...So you believe in TRUE religion or G_d? It cannot be both. G_d stands alone without the need for religion to be understood! Religion at best offers a cultural and ritualistic approach (i.e controlled by religious institutions) to G_d not to be misunderstood with G_d himself!

The importance of religion has gain precedence over G_d unfortunately. But G_d is for all ! Reply

lavenia Lambasa September 30, 2008

Thank you i have wznted to find out more of my forefathers religion since they are jews of the 18 century...and i would like to know more...thank you for your web site. Reply

Tony Goodwin Stone Mountain, Ga September 5, 2008

Noahide Laws Thank you for helping to put my life togather. Reply

Moshe Ben Yakov Los Angeles, CA August 29, 2008

Hinduism just letting you know because you asked, Hinduism doesnt have any monothiestic take to it it's completely pegan altho I've heared that they do have some people who believe all their gods are really one god which doesnt make sence because in all their storys multiple gods of theirs appear all at once
incase you wonder how i know this i was raised secular but always hated it so i searched for truth stodyed every religion and found the true one to have been right under my nose the whole time, Judaism, just religious. Reply

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