Are the 7 Noahide Laws reflective of the purpose of creation?

From Chapter 66 of “G’vurot HaShem,” Chapter 66, by Rabbi Yehudah Loew, the Maharal of Prague (1525-1609 C.E.). Translated and annotated by Rabbi Dr. Shimon Cowen [1], and presented here with permission. Original source: S. D. Cowen, “Perspectives on the Noahide Laws – Universal Ethics,” from the Appendix, pp. 96-117. © 20-03 Institute for Judaism and Civilization, Melbourne, Australia.
(Not all of the footnotes have been retained.)

Says Yehudah the son of Betzalel [2]:

Everything has a purpose, and according to the nature of each thing is its purpose. Accordingly, if the work is an important and great one, it will fittingly also have an important goal. For it is inappropriate that there should be an inferior and lowly goal for an important work. How much more so with the works of G-d, all of Whose deeds are with wisdom and understanding, that all His deeds should be directed towards a goal, which is fitting to the deed.

We saw in the Exodus that G-d wrought very great, awesome deeds, and in His glory, Himself brought them out from Egypt. Accordingly, it is appropriate that there should be a purpose for this act – commensurate in importance with the act which G-d worked for the sake of that goal… He brought them out of Egypt and afterwards gave them the Ten Commandments, the first of which is [Ex. 20:2-3], “I am the L-rd your G-d, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; you shall have no other gods…,”[5] and after that the other [of the Ten] Commandments and then the portion V’ela hamishpotim [setting forth much detailed civil law in Ex. 21:1-23:19]…

Afterwards, He wanted to dwell amongst them, as is written [Ex.25:8]: “They shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell amongst them.” [6] ….

We need to look into this goal: whether this should be considered appropriate to [such] a great act. For it must be asked – after all, “the heavens are His throne and the earth His footstool[7]“ and His Divine Presence is in the upper realms. Why then should He have chosen to dwell in the lower realms? In relation to His Divinity, ascent is more appropriate than descent. What need does [He] have in the lower realms, which are dust, maggots and worms?

If, however, it is the case that the entire purpose of existence depends upon His Divine Presence being in the lower realms, and that this is all important, the question disappears. [And this will be so] when one appreciates that G-d unites with the existing beings because they are caused by Him. For G-d, Who is the Cause of everything, desires what He has effected, and when there is a Cause, there is an effect.[8] It turns out that the bond of the First Cause with the existing beings is by virtue of the fact that He is their Cause and they have been effected by Him…

On the basis of this explanation, we must say that not the upper, but rather the lower, realms are [truly] united with G-d. For the fact that they are called “upper” realms, means that they [themselves] have an effect upon the lower realms and [themselves] are considered a cause. Rather, the lower realms, as the lower realms, are the essential effect. Accordingly, the true bond of the First Cause, which is the true cause, is with the lower realms, in that they are the true effect.

The Midrash, on the portion of B’reishis [10] states:

[The verse Gen. 3:8 states:] “And they heard the sound of G-d the L-rd walking [mis’halech] through the garden towards the sun”. The word m’halech is not used [for “walking”], but rather mis’halech [which signifies jumping, or leaping in bounds]. The principal [dwelling place] of the Divine Presence was [originally] in the lower realms. When Adam sinned, the Divine Presence departed to the first Heaven.[11] Cain sinned and It departed to the second Heaven. The generation of Enosh sinned and the Divine Presence departed to the third Heaven. The generation of the Flood sinned and the Divine Presence departed to the fourth Heaven. The generation of the Dispersion [which built the tower of Babel] sinned and the Divine Presence departed to the fifth Heaven. The people of Sodom arose and sinned and the Divine Presence departed to the sixth Heaven. The Egyptians arose in the days of Abraham and sinned and the Divine Presence departed to the seventh Heaven. Afterwards, seven righteous individuals [tzaddikim] arose and brought the Divine Presence down to earth: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Levi, Kehot, Amram [and] Moses, as it is written, “The righteous shall inherit the earth and forever dwell upon it.”[12] Now, what [based on this verse] do the wicked do? Do they fly in the air?! [Rather, the meaning of the verse is not that] the righteous [dwell upon the earth, but that they] cause the Divine Presence to dwell upon the earth.

Now the explanation of this, as we have said, is that when the world was first created and there was no impairment in the effect [i.e., the world], G-d joined with it, as befits the unity of the Cause and effect. The joining was solely with the lower realms, inasmuch as they were the true effect. [This lasted only] until sin was [manifested] in the effected beings, at which point a separation developed in that attachment, until there was no connection between the Cause and the effect.

These seven sins, committed by the effected beings [which caused the progressive departure of the Divine Presence were violations of] the commandments which [G-d] gave them from the beginning of the creation of His world. [These are the prohibitions on] consuming the limb of a living creature, blasphemy, idolatry, forbidden sexual relationships, courts [in its aspect of prohibiting arbitrary judgment and arbitrary processes of justice], theft and murder. In these seven commandments consist the connection between the Cause and the effect [the created beings: that is,] through His decrees and commandments, in that the effect accepted the decree and commandment of the Cause. … Thus, as soon as man [Adam] was created, G-d gave him seven commandments.

[Now,] it would appear that G-d chose these seven commandments because He desired that the human being should be good to Heaven and good to his or her fellow creatures”[13]. A person’s righteousness is established in these two dimensions, as the verse states: “Praise the righteous person, for he is good, since he consumes the fruits of his deeds”.[14] [Its meaning for us here is unlocked by the question] asked in the first chapter of the Talmudic Tractate Kiddushin[15]: [Does this verse imply that] there is a righteous person who is good as well as a righteous person who is not good? To this the answer comes: “[one who is] good to Heaven and good to one’s fellow creatures” is a righteous person who is good. One, who is good to Heaven, but not good to one’s fellow creatures is a righteous person, who is not good”.

Accordingly, G-d gave three commandments between the individual and his or her Creator, so that the person should not be bad to Heaven. These are [in relation to] forbidden sexual relationships[16], blasphemy[17] and idolatry.

[Similarly,] He gave three commandments in the relationship with one’s fellow creatures: theft (that one should not steal from another), courts of justice, and [the prohibition of] murder, so that one should not be bad to one’s fellow creatures.

The seventh commandment, [the prohibition on] consuming the limb of a living creature, is the starting point and foundation, from and upon which one will not come to the [other] transgressions. This commandment was given as an antidote to the bad impulse [in a person], such that he should not desire to eat and cut up an animal before its life has left it. On account of his impulses, and in order to suppress them, the human being was given this commandment. … Therefore, this commandment [prohibiting consumption of] the limb of a living animal [was given] so as [to train] oneself not to follow impulse. For if one does follow one’s inclination, in the end one’s inclination will tell one to do this and then to do that, until one transgresses all the prohibitions. Similarly, [we find] at the end of the Ten Commandments [given to the Jewish people], “You shall not covet”, for the sin of [simply following] desire is the beginning of all sins. Indeed the liturgical poet formulated it thus “in ‘you shall not covet’ [are] included all”, to tell you that all the commandments are included in “You shall not covet”, since if one does transgress in the sin of “you shall not covet”, one will come to transgress in general. For this reason [the prohibition on consuming] the limb of a living creature is enumerated seventh [as the comprehensive principle of all the Noahide commandments].

Now, to Adam, to whom meat was not permitted at all, G-d gave in place [of the prohibition of consuming the limb of a living creature] the commandment not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, about which Scripture states that it was “goodly to eat and desirable to the eyes”[20] – so that he would not follow his impulse [and take and eat it before it was permitted][21]. It was this [unconstrained desire] which caused him to sin, as is written in the verse, that he was drawn after his inclination. He was therefore given [all] these commandments [i.e. the remaining six, since the realm of possible transgression had now been opened up, through his failure to keep this commandment].

Why was he given three commandments, in the dimension of the relationships between human beings and three commandments bearing on the relationship between G-d and the individual human being? [This is understood by way of the introduction that] the parts of the human being are body and soul.[22] The human being as a whole comprises these parts, in that through them [together], the person receives the form of the human. This third dimension is like a house, which has as its parts wood and stones, but afterwards is made a house, compounded of both. It is something other than its parts and this [idea] has been explained before very many times.

[Proceeding though each of these two dimensions, in each of their three aspects, we have schematically the significance of these six commandments.] In order that one should not sin towards Heaven with his soul, G-d gave the person [the prohibition of] idolatry…. Concerning this, the Talmud in the chapter “shilu’ach hakein” [24] states, “Perhaps he entertains idolatrous thoughts”. For in none of the transgressions is thought reckoned a deed, except for idolatry… so the sin [pertains] to the soul [alone].

[Further, in the dimension of the person’s relationship to G-d] forbidden sexual relationships relate to the [bodily component, the] flesh, on account of the impulse in the body which desires forbidden relationships. So it is explained in various places that the sin of forbidden relationships relates to the body, as the Torah states [expounded in the Talmudic Tractate] Sota[25], that the sacrificial flour offering of the woman suspected of infidelity should be of barley [not wheat]: her act was the act of a donkey and so her offering should be [barley,] the food of a donkey. [We see that] the sin of forbidden sexual relationships is a physical, bodily one and this has been explained in various places.

Blasphemy relates to the human being composed of both body and soul. For in blasphemy, one sins with speech by cursing G-d and the category of a person is that of a living being which speaks. Speech is the distinguishing form [tzura] of the human being [as such] composed of both body and soul. Hence, with blasphemy, through speech, it is the person as a whole who has sinned – just as is done with the soul in idolatry and with the body in forbidden relationships – through speech, which embraces the whole person. Moreover, you should know, and this is the main point, that the reason why the sin of blasphemy implicates the human being as a whole is because one who sins in this way denies the basic Principle [G-d, the basis of existence] by cursing G-d, and if there is no basis, the person’s [own] existence is nullified. He thereby sins with his whole person, and thereby his existence is utterly nullified. Just as with forbidden sexual relations, he sins with his body and with idolatry the sin attaches to his soul, so with blasphemy, the sin is fundamental and attaches to the person in totality.

This is the reason the Torah instructed that [upon pronouncing judgment on him, all the judges and witnesses] lay their hands upon the head of one who blasphemes and say to that person, “your blood is upon your head”: as though to say, you have brought it upon yourself; we have not caused it to you. For in all other sins, there might have been some argument in his favour, and if he is pronounced guilty in court, it is the court which is sentencing him to death but still there he might have some argument in his favour to allow us to say that [by his conduct] he did not [really] bring his death upon himself. However, in the sin of blasphemy, in which one denies the basic Principle, there is no argument in his favour at all.[26] This is why they lay their hands upon his head and say to him “your blood is on your head” – because you caused it to yourself, you have no possible argument in your favour….

In the dimension that one should not be bad to [one’s fellow] humans, there are three transgressions [stipulated by the Noahide laws:] courts [i.e. the prohibition against arbitrariness in justice], theft and murder. In arbitrary justice the sin is with one’s soul, namely the perversion of true justice and uprightness, [the concepts of which are] found in the soul of man. For truth and uprightness are apprised in the soul. Accordingly, this is a sin of the soul, since uprightness and justice are apprehended only in the intellectual soul.

Moreover, when a person does not rightly carry out justice, this comes from a deficiency of the soul, for anyone who sees injustice must be aroused in his soul to [do] justice. This is why every judge has to have a strong and resolute mind [leiv] for justice. It is evident that justice comes from an arousal of the soul, and when one contemplates this properly, one will understand that justice is an act of the soul. So too in the [Midrash][27] it is written: “Two things are at the left of the Holy One blessed be He – justice and the soul: justice, as it is written ‘And My hand takes hold of judgment”[28]; and in regard to the soul [it is written] “For in Your hand is the soul of all life”[29]; and wherever the word “hand” [appears in Scripture], it refers to the left [hand]. The Torah is [here] saying, I created the soul in the place of judgment; it has gone out and sinned. That is why it is written [in conjunction with civil law], “When a soul will sin…”[30]. For the soul seeks justice since it was created in the place of justice and if there is injustice, it is reckoned to the soul as a sin. This is clear and simply grasped.

Now this commandment parallels [the prohibition of] idolatry, which is a commandment that one should not be bad to Heaven. For idolatry is called elokim acheirim [“other gods”] and judges are also called elokim in all places. [In this regard] the Sages stated: “one who appoints a judge, who is unfit, is as though he planted an asheirah [a tree used for idolatrous worship]”[31]. They represent the one notion in all respects and therefore, corresponding to the commandment, which G-d gave that one should not sin with other gods – this commandment being between the person and his Creator – He commanded in the dimension between fellow humans, that one should carry out true justice: not to sin in relation to a matter which is also called elokim.

Theft parallels forbidden sexual relationships, as we find everywhere, that the Sages spoke of “theft and forbidden relationships, [things] which the soul of man desires”.[32] We see that these things match each other. The main aspect of theft is the pursuit of money, and the desire for wealth and riches are physical matters like forbidden sexual relationships, simply that [theft is an infringement] between fellow humans.

Now forbidden sexual relationships and theft are not included in [the general category of] desire [the object of the prohibition on consuming the limb of a living creature]. For in forbidden sexual relationships, whereby one desires and pursues women,[33] or theft, where one pursues wealth, this is not desire alone [and not in general unbridled] but desire for a specific thing – to be led by sexual desire or to scramble after wealth. Desire [in general] is the desire for whatever one lacks, which [means that such a person] is a creature of desire [in general]. This is something else altogether, as will be explained, which derives from [an intellectually and spiritually unmediated, and so in a sense immature, pre-fully human] physicality of the person, as will be explained. These matters are clear.

The sin of murder is between fellow human beings. This is a sin in which the entire person sins; the sin is not in a part, but rather in all of the person. [For] just as in the sin of blasphemy, where one denies the [Divine] Principle which is [the source of] everything [spiritual and physical], so this murderer spills the blood [of the person] totally. [That is to say, he destroys both the spiritual and the physical identity of the slain person], and hence this sin similarly implicates the entire person [both body and soul, both of which destroyed facets of humanity in the slain]. This is not like the sin in [the perversion of] justice or the sin involved in theft, where the sin is not such that the whole person sinning is corrupted – but rather only a part is corrupted. However, just as with blasphemy, where one denies the basic Principle entirely [and] it is as though there is no G-d, Heaven forbid, similarly this murderer in spilling the blood of the person completely, has sinned with his entire person.[34]

The seventh [prohibition] relates to the [unmediated] physicality [(chomer) of the person], from which desire arises such that a person is unable to hold back [from eating the flesh of the creature] before slaughtering [it]. This is the desire which comes from the physicality that constantly lacks and so lusts and desires to fill its lack.

[The Midrash goes on to] say that Adam came and sinned with desire when he took the fruit which he coveted, and the Divine Presence departed to the first Heaven. Cain came and sinned with murder [and] the Divine Presence departed to the second Heaven. The generation of Enosh came and sinned with idolatry …. His generation was the first to serve idolatry, as it is written ‘then it was begun to call [the names of men and other beings] by the Name of G-d,”[37] and the Divine Presence departed to the third Heaven.

[Then] came the generation of the flood and sinned with theft, as the verse states explicitly, “And the earth was filled with violence”[38] – other than this, no other sin is explicitly stated [in Scripture in relation to the Flood] – and the Divine Presence departed to the fourth Heaven. [After that] the generation of the Dispersion came and sinned with blasphemy when they said, “Let us build ourselves a city and a tower”[39] and make war with Him – this was blasphemy – and the Divine Presence departed to the fifth Heaven. [Then] there arose the people of Sodom and sinned [in the realm of] justice as is evident from the deeds, which are told of them, and of what the judges of Sodom did and how their judgments were, and the Divine Presence departed to the sixth Heaven. The Egyptians arose [next] in the days of Abraham and sinned [with forbidden] sexual relationships as is evident from the “practice of Egypt” referred to in the verse, “Like the practice of Egypt…”[40] For this reason Pharoah did not say to Abraham, “Behold, my land is before you…”[41] as Abimelech said to Abraham, since he acknowledged that the Egyptians were immersed in lewdness, and the Divine Presence departed to the seventh Heaven.

Now came Abraham, like whom no other had ever been as guarded in matters of forbidden sexual relationships. Concerning him, our Rabbis of blessed memory, said,[42] “Put earth in the mouth of [i.e. silence] Job, who said, ‘I have established a covenant with my eyes, so how could I have thought of a maiden’. [43] [That is, Job] did not gaze upon another, but upon his own he did gaze. However, Abraham, did not gaze even upon his own, as [the verse] states, ‘Behold, now I have known that you are a woman of beautiful appearance’ ”.[44] [That is to say,] up to that point of time, he had not recognized her [- his wife’s -] beauty, since he had not gazed at her. Accordingly, he brought the Divine Presence down to the sixth Heaven.

Isaac arose and was righteous in justice, in that he accepted upon himself with love the [Divine] attribute of judgment, when, [at the binding (akeidah)] he stretched forth his neck to be slaughtered. He was [thus] the opposite of the people of Sodom, who corrupted justice. And there is no difference between the judgment of Heaven [which was given to Isaac] and the judgment of earthly courts [which the people of Sodom perverted, for it is all justice. It is known that Isaac [embodied] the attribute of justice and therefore he drew down the Divine Presence to the fifth Heaven.

Jacob [then] came and sanctified [G-d’s] Name, as it is written in the verse, “And sanctify the Sanctified One of Jacob”[45]…. Even the angels sanctify in the name of Jacob, as it is written “blessed is the G-d of Israel [another name for Jacob]”[46], as explained [elsewhere, the concept] that the angels sanctify in the name of Jacob. Accordingly, he countered the people of the generation of the Dispersion who blasphemed the Name of G-d, and he [Jacob] brought down the Divine Presence to the fourth Heaven.

Levi [the son of Jacob] was the antithesis of theft, where [one] covets and takes what is not one’s. Levi was its opposite in that his entire tribe had no portion in the land [of Israel] or inheritance in the spoils [of war]. “G-d is his inheritance”[47]. Levi was removed from money matters and from the pursuit of money and even that which should fittingly have come to him, was not his. [Now] if the tribe of Levi was not so disposed, G-d would not have given them [this lot] – rather, only because [the tribe] was satisfied with what it had. Now, can we say [that this was the quality] simply of his tribe but not of [Levi] him[self]? This is impossible, for his tribe would not have acquired this quality, if not from their father, since the name Levi applies to the tribe as a whole. That is why he drew down the Divine Presence to the third Heaven.

Kehot [the son of Levi] is the contrary of idolatry. His family [within the tribe of Levi] served G-d with their bodies, carrying [parts of] the sanctuary, and all their offspring were serving G-d with their bodies. [In this they were] different to the families of Gershon and Merari [also of the tribe of Levi] who had wagons [upon which to transport those parts of the sanctuary entrusted to them]. But the family of Kehot “shall carry on their shoulders”.[48] And something which one serves with one’s body is [truly] called service. So also amongst their offspring were the Kohanim [the priests], upon whom was incumbent [also] an actual service [of G-d, that is to say, one performed with their bodies]. For this reason, he brought the Divine Presence down to the second Heaven.

Then came Amram, who was a person of such great righteousness that he did not sin [at all] and death did not come to him on his own account. The Sages said in the Talmudic Tractate Bava Basra [49] that Amram died only on account of the counsel of the snake [in the Garden of Eden]. That is to say, it was not appropriate that he should die, were it not for the snake, which had brought death to the world. Accordingly, he is the contrary of Cain, who took up the craft of the primordial snake and brought death to the world. Amram, however, did not die because of any sin of his own, and indeed he is the total opposite of Cain who brought death upon another. And even though it is the way of the world to bring death upon oneself through one’s own sin, Amram did not bring [it upon himself]. It follows that Amram was entirely life and Cain entirely death; and this is clear. For this reason, he brought down the Divine Presence to the first Heaven.

[Then] came Moses, who was a righteous person who separated from his wife. From this you know that desire was not to be found in Moses. For if he had possessed it, it would have been improper for him to separate from his wife, lest he come to sin. This is why we know that desire was absent from him. He is therefore the contrary of Adam, who possessed desire. For this reason, [at Sinai] he brought the Divine Presence down to earth, through which the Divine Presence returned to its original place.

At all events, we know from this that the [proper] place of the Divine Presence is upon earth, for the reason, which has been explained. Moreover, it will be clear how specifically the lower realms [humanity] deserved that the Divine Presence should [rest] in the lower realms, were it not for sin, which separates between existing beings and the First Cause.


[1] Gratitude is due to Rabbi David Cohney for helpful comments and suggestions on a draft of this translation. Notes of the translator are placed in square brackets.

[2] [The Maharal (Rabbi Yehudah Arieh Loeve) adds the blessing after the name of his father (Betzalel): “whose remembrance is for the life of the world to come”- Trans.]

[5] Exodus, 20:2.

[6] Ibid., 25:5.

[7] Isaiah 66:1.

[8] [Note that representing G-d as a Cause, which entails an effect, applies only at the level at which G-d chooses to enter the realm of existence, shared by created beings. As Maimonides writes, however, and is elucidated in Chassidic thought, there is a level at which G-d is wholly beyond this, and there apply Maimonides’ words in Hilchot Dei’ot 1:3: “If one would imagine that all other beings did not exit, He would not cease to exist with their cessation of existence.” This is a level beyond ordinary causality. See Rabbi M. M. Schneerson, Sefer HaSichot 5751, NY:Kehot – Trans]

[10] Midrash Bereishis Rabbah, parshat Bereishis 19:7.

[11] [Note by Ask Noah:  the Seven Heavens are the spiritual levels that comprise the Firmament of Heaven that was created by G-d on the second day of Creation.]

[12] Psalms 37:29.

[13] As indicated in the immediately forthcoming quotation from the Talmud.

[14] Isaiah 3:10. [The translation here follows the interpretation of the commentary M’tzudot Dovid. – Trans.]

[15] 40a.

[16] [It needs to be explained why this is in the category of “bad to Heaven”. The reason would seem to be that the partners to a forbidden sexual relationship could both consent, so that formally neither has “violated” the other. Rather, the transgression is against the personal identity of a person, created in the image of G-d. A degradation of the person is a degradation of the One in Whose image, he or she has been made. Compare here the commentary of Rashi on Deut. 21:23 – Trans.]

[17] [Euphemistically called by its opposite “bircat HaShem”, literally “blessing G-d’s Name” – Trans.]

[20] Genesis 3:5.

[21] [See Rabbi M.M. Schneerson, Likkutei Sichot (NY: Kehot), Vol. 3, p. 747, where based on the Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah) and other sources, he explains that the prohibition had a duration of only three hours – Trans.]

[22] [Note that the Maharal will call this the nefesh hasichlis or “intellectual soul” later in connection with the discussion of the Noahide commandment concerning courts and justice. – Trans.]

[24] Tractate Chulin 142a. [“Shilu’ach hakein” is the Jewish commandment to send a mother bird away from her nest that one finds, before taking the eggs or the baby birds.]

[25] 14a.

[26] [Since he has directly reviled the basis of his existence – Trans.]

[27] See Midrash Devarim Rabbah 5:4.

[28] Deuteronomy 32:41.

[29] Job 12:10.

[30] In a number of places in the portion Vayikra [Lev. 1:1-5:26].

[31] Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 7b.

[32] Talmud, Tractate Chagiga 11b.

[33] [The Maharal has earlier quoted the Talmud which, from the {Jewish} law of (abstaining from the fruit of) the young trees for three years, rebukes those who eat the flesh of an animal which has not yet been slaughtered…
The concept is here explained in two stages. First this desire is regarded as a general desire, for whatever the person lacks. It is desire, which is ultimately exemplified by the infant, who is unable to check, repress or sublimate any desire which it feels. The person, who desires something specific, such as forbidden relationships or theft, has at least been able to suppress other desires. It is simply that in some specific area, he cannot contain desire.
… just as the fruit of the tree will become permitted in the course of time (after the first three years) and so also the flesh of the animal will be permitted once it has been slaughtered. All that is required is that one wait. In general, we have a principle that a person can constrain desire and resist temptation now because he has “bread in his basket” (pas b’salo), that is to say, what he wants will become available to him. The general desire, at which the prohibition of consumption of the limb of a living animal is aimed, is general in the sense that it cannot bear any delay in its gratification; it is wholly unmediated. So also, as mentioned above (in a footnote), the duration of the prohibition upon the fruit of the tree of knowledge – an instance of the generic prohibition on consuming the limb of a living creature – was only for three hours, and Adam was unable to wait this time – Trans.]

[34] [The infringement of something spiritual is a defect of the soul of the sinner; the infringement of something physical is a defect of the physical nature of the sinner (a sin with the body). Hence when there is an infringement (with blasphemy) against G-d, the Source of all, both spiritual and physical, the whole person is implicated and tainted. When the person sins against the entire existence (spiritual and physical) of a person, through murder, the entire person of the sinner is similarly implicated and tainted – Trans.]

[37] Genesis 4:26.

[38] Ibid., 6:13.

[39] Ibid., 11:4.>

[40] Leviticus 18:3.

[41] Genesis 18:19.

[42] Talmud, Tractate Bava Basra 16a.

[43] Job 31:1.

[44] Genesis 12:11.

[45] Isaiah 29:23.

[46] See Psalms 41:14 quoted in the Midrash Bamidbar Rabbah 4:1.

[47] Deuteronomy 10:9.

[48] Numbers 7:9.

[49] 17a.