How can I become a discerning Noahide?

Jacob's LadderQuestion: I am looking for a tutor, one who is a Noahide or a Rabbi. I need first to ask this question, about how to be guarded and prudent. How to take a pace of grace is my question. What is in the book “The Divine Code” that could help me to become discerning?

Answer from David D. ben Noach (a discerning Noahide):

First about the tutor question:
Currently, the approach taken by other Noahides is to study sources on the Noahide Commandments, like “The Divine Code,” taking their time and asking questions on this forum. To find an actual Noahide teacher for you might be difficult, because there are so many Noahides at different levels of learning and few Rabbis to look after many of them.

Maybe AskNoah can connect you with a fellow Noahide to study with. Having a study buddy can help sharpen one another and give quick answers or help consolidate questions to ask on this forum. There are parts of the Noahide Code that are simple enough to pick and learn for oneself, and then a person can build up from that with study, discussion and asking questions.

And about “how to be guarded and prudent,” the question would be, guarded about what? But there is still advice that can be given with what you ask.
- Always be slow and thoughtful in conversation, not quick to speak. Sometimes silence also is the best policy if you don’t know the answer to a subject.
- Don’t be drawn into debates, since they can produce more useless heat than edifying light. I do understand that the people around you are either secular or following a non-Torah religion. Focus more on a quiet obedience to the principles that you learn as opposed to forcing any views on others. A person’s example can make a bigger difference to others and their conduct than argumentation.
- There are many sources that talk about the Noahide Law. To avoid confusion, try to stick to one, such as studying “The Divine Code” and building up your knowledge through that first, before indiscriminately reading other books and websites at the same time (there are numerous books that have been put out from various sources, and thousands of web sites and web pages). I’m NOT saying that you should never search the Internet for “noahide laws”, or that you shouldn’t ask any other Rabbis about the Noahide Law. But get at least some grounding on the subject first from the authentic sources available from AskNoah, to get a good foundation. Other Noahides (like myself) find “The Divine Code” to be a great source IF it is taken slowly, and you ask questions if they arise. There is more summarized information about the Noahide Laws on http://www.asknoah.org, so you can look and search around there if you want some quick answers.

I’ve never heard of “pace of grace”. But if I take the phrase for what it says, going at a graceful stride in life, not rushing or going too slowly, but moving in a way that allows you to enjoy life at a good steady pace, then I do think that by taking time to read, think (meditate), and apply what you can to your day-to-day life at that steady pace, you can get some real benefits out of life on a whole. The Seven Noahide Laws are about fulfilling your divine responsibility. Don’t worry too much about additional commands and responsibilities for now. Do what you MUST do first. Get good at that! Then you can concern yourself with anything else later on down the line.

“The Divine Code” goes into the Seven Laws of Noah (the Divine laws for Gentiles), summarizing each commandment and then going into the details. It sifts through the knowledge and writings of the Rabbis and the Hebrew Bible to bring across a detailed perspective of the Torah laws and guidelines for Noahides, not just for the individual but also to give a person a grasp of what the law would be if it were implemented as the law of the land. It has received official approval and/or approbations many knowledgeable, reliable Rabbis. If you take it in your stride and look for principles you can apply to your life, then it can help you to grow in a responsible and active life in obedience to G-d’s Law. Some topics it includes may challenge you, but the good things in life are meant to.

There is currently a program to go through the book page by page, on a daily schedule, and you can register your participation through the Contact Us web page:

http://asknoah.org/courses

It would still be useful for you to also take the book at your own personal pace, faster or page by page as well if need be, and be ready to ask questions to the Rabbis at AskNoah and your fellow Noahides. We’re all in the same boat, striving to do what is right in the sight of our Creator.

I hope this answers your questions!

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Posted on the Ask Noah Forum at http://www.asknoah.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=1823

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