What are Mitzvos for Gentiles?

This lesson explains that G-d gave different commandments for different people. A G-dly commandment is not just a thing that should or should not be done. The commandment also includes whom it is that G-d wants that thing to be done by, or not done by. Without that detail, the commandment is incomplete. What’s commanded to be done by some people may be forbidden to be done by another category of people. Or it might not be applicable to them at all.

G-d’s plan for creation depends on each person doing the commandments that G-d has uniquely assigned for him or her. In that way, everyone helps to change the world from evil to goodness, and from spiritual darkness to spiritual light.

A nation has to have divisions of army, navy and air force with their own unique directives. But they also have to work together in disciplined coordination in order to have a viable military for defense of the country. So too, G-d arranged His world into categories of people. There are Gentiles and Jews, men and women, adults and children. We all have to work together with each other and with G-d to make the world the better place that it’s meant to be!

In this way, through the eternal Torah, G-d specifies to each person how to fulfill his or her particular invaluable mission in this world.

But that’s not enough!

The world depends not only on the commandments, but also on everyone doing good deeds. A look into the hundreds of Jewish commandments reveals that many of them are also good deeds for anyone to do! How is this understood? If a particular Jewish commandment is rationally necessary for everyone, it should also be observed by Gentiles. And if it will give a logical practical benefit to someone, which a person can know by human logic or correct morality, it can also be observed by Gentiles.

Here are a few examples. From among the 613 Jewish commandments, these include universally logical positive activities such as getting married, having children, honoring parents, giving charity, proper education of children, and returning lost objects. They also preclude universally negative behaviors such as bearing a grudge, taking revenge, or deliberately misleading other people.

Maimonides covers important additional aspects of the Noahide Code in Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, chapter 10.