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Before Rosh Hashanah – the Call of the Hour!

This essay was submitted to the web site by a Noahide gentleman.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been drawn to Mishley (the Book of Proverbs). Time and again, whenever I had hardships in my life, chapter 3 has always hit me. G-d (my Father in Heaven) was giving me an “attitude adjustment,” and kept referring me to my share of Torah. Chapter 3, verses 1-10 in particular, stuck with me, and I incorporate these verses into my daily prayers.

Quoting from Proverbs 3:1-10 in Artscroll’s Stone Edition Tanach (the Hebrew Bible):

“My child, do not forget your Torah, and let your heart guard My commandments, for they add to you length of days and years of life and peace. Kindness and truth will not forsake you. Bind them upon your neck; inscribe them on the tablet of your heart, and you will find favor and goodly wisdom in the eyes of G-d and man. Trust in G-d with all your heart and do no rely upon your own understanding. In all your ways know Him, and He will smooth your paths.

Do not be wise in our own eyes; fear G-d and turn away from evil. It will be health to your navel and marrow to your bones. Honor G-d with your wealth, and with the first of your produce; then your storehouses will be filled with plenty, and the wine of your vats will spring forth.”

Now, as a reader with Noachide eyes, does this not hit you like a ton of bricks? Just read it, think about it and let it sink in! What is our share of Torah? Surely it includes the commandments we are to guard. But what are we to bind upon our necks? What are we to inscribe in our hearts?

The Gentiles’ connection to Torah

Our share of Torah is everything pertaining to the Seven Noachide Laws, our intellectually incumbent obligations, and the Jewish mitzvot from the Torah that will give us practical benefits. This is absolutely huge!

Breaking it down further, individually in my own words, I think that our Father in Heaven is telling us:

“Please, listen: you may have stumbled or fallen, therefore act now so you won’t hit rock bottom! Will you change your heart and listen to Me now? Otherwise you may suffer more hardship of your own doing, and you might also need My discipline! Therefore, now is the time to correct your ways, stop doing not-good things, and return in repentance (teshuva)! First and foremost, make sure that you are living by your Seven Commandments in their letter and spirit:

(1) Do not worship idols or objects; believe and trust in me.

(2) Speak to Me, know Me, fear Me, respect and praise Me.

(3) Do not murder or hurt anyone, physically or socially; respect the sanctity and honor of human life.

(4) Do not be immoral by engaging in forbidden relations.

(5) Do not steal, rob, or extort; respect other people’s things and property.

(6) Don’t be cruel; respect all creatures, and how much more so, people.

(7) Set up just laws and follow them! Tell the truth, be kind, be humble, be caring, take care of yourself and others if they need it, and don’t indulge in self-destructive behavior. Get involved in honor for parents, which you can do by calling your mother and father and helping them, and talking with your family. Give tzedakah (charity) and wisely help others, thinking first about your own brother or a sister if they are having difficult times.”

A message for life

G-d is telling us: “Do not forget My Seven Laws that I commanded you, and they will help you live a long life in peace with other people and with Me. Trust Me and I will help you. With the time and money which I allow you to have, do not be selfish!  Help the poor, the needy, the destitute, the orphan, the widow, the sickly! Then I will make things better for you in all aspects of your life.”

Now we all know that there are many more details to observe within each general Noachide Commandment.  My point is that since we are now in the month of Elul, and Rosh Hashanah is fast approaching, it’s time to hunker down and really take stock of ourselves and who we individually want to be. As Torah-observant Noachides, we should work on ourselves – especially to study, practice and teach our commandments and delve into them. In doing so, we not only improve our character, our lives, and our families, but we improve the world! May the Mashiach (the true Messiah) and the Third Holy Temple come speedily in our days!

By C. N. B. ben Noach