Why isn’t there more outreach for the 7 Laws?

World ContinentsQuestion: I am a Noahide… Why does the organized Torah community not take a more active role in disseminating the Seven Universal (Noahide) Commandments? – From Mr. R. N. G.

[AskNoah’s following reply, slightly edited here, was published in the Oct. 25, ’04 issue of The Jewish Press]

Mr. G.’s letter in the Oct. 11 [’04] issue was indeed a much-needed eye opener for your readers. Well done! We wish to address the premise of his question, along with the question itself.

The Torah-based obligation to promote the Seven Noahide Commandments to Gentiles [as stated in the “Mishneh Torah” by Rabbi Moshe Maimonides] was not included in the Code of Jewish Law, because doing so was not practical at the time of its writing in 1563 C.E. It would probably have been life-threatening to the Jews at that time, while they were under the threat of religious persecutions which continued on for over 400 years. But as a result of persistent insistence by the Lubavitcher Rebbe beginning  in the 1980’s, broader efforts were started to introduce the teachings of the “Seven Laws for the Children of Noah” to people in the general public around the world. But even today, most people still haven’t received this information.

Now, more and more with the help of outreach and some kosher web sites, both Jews and Gentiles are learning that it is a Torah-based obligation for Jews to recognize and promote the Noahide Code for the purpose of teaching it to the rest of the world. This is important, since many rabbis are still not well-versed in the details of the Seven Commandments, and many are still uncomfortable teaching them to Gentiles, as their formal rabbinical training has been for teaching Jews. We do agree with Mr. G. that since it is the obligation of Jews to promote these Laws, they should become educated about this and do so. Yes, observant Jews should assist individuals and legitimate Noahide groups, helping them spiritually within the guidelines which the Torah tradition sets out.

With patient encouragement and prodding by Mr. G., and by other Noahides who share his enthusiasm and determination, qualified Orthodox rabbis will surely take more interest in starting classes and teaching about the Seven Noahide Commandments and their spiritual content. But he should not overlook the opportunities for connecting with reliable organizations such as Ask Noah International and supportive local Noahide groups. For this there are some quality web sites such as Asknoah.org that are on-line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to teach about the Noahide path.

It should be inspiring for Jews to know that Mr. G. and people like him are truly involved in observing the Torah Laws which apply to Gentiles. If only all Jews would be inspired to have such enthusiasm for serving G-d and observing their Torah Laws! We encourage Mr. G. and other Noahides to regularly write and speak in public forums about their faithful commitment to Noahidism.

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