The Noahide Faith
How can I become a Noahide (a Righteous Gentile)?
Considering all the spiritual gain that will be achieved by becoming a Righteous Gentile who follows the Seven Laws of Noah (the “Noahide Code”), many people are anxious to embark on this path. But how would you get started? Here are some thoughts on how to best proceed.
Since there are two sets of Divine Commandments, you must first know the answer to the question, “What am I?” If you are a Gentile (i.e., born to a Gentile mother, and not converted to Judaism according to traditional Torah Law), you are ready to get started. Read more »
Is there a certain prayer or ceremony for someone wanting to become a Noahide?
There is no ceremony or specific prayer necessary. It only depends on your decision, by learning G-d’s commandments of the Noahide Code, and living in that righteous path.
Here is the explanation from Rambam (Maimonides), who was one of the greatest Torah Sages, about the meaning of a “righteous Gentile” [emphasis and text in brackets added for clarity]:
Any Gentile who accepts the seven commandments and is careful to observe them is of the “pious of the nations of the world” and will have a portion in the World to Come. This is so provided that one accepts them and observes them because the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded them in the Torah and informed us through Moses our teacher that the descendants of Noah were originally commanded about them.
But if one observes them only by virtue of common sense [separating them from their connection with G-d], he is not a “Ger Toshav” [a Hebrew Biblical term identified with one who takes on the Noahide Code], or one of the “pious of the nations of the world,” [in today's language, an "observant Noahide"] but rather, [merely] one of their wise people.
[From Rambam, Laws of Kings 8:11. ]
How Are Abortion and Euthanasia Classified in the Noahide Code?
The following explanation of the Noahide prohibition of murder, including the precepts related to abortion and euthanasia are excerpted and based on Part V of The Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner of Jerusalem:
1. A Gentile is forbidden to commit murder or bloodshed, and would be liable for this as a capital sin, as G-d commanded Noah, “But your blood of your souls I will demand; of every beast I will demand it; but of man (adam), of man for his brother, I will demand the soul of man (adam). Whoever sheds the blood of man (adam), by man (adam) his blood shall be shed; for in the image of G-d He made man (adam).” Read more »
Are any Jewish holidays off-limits to Noahides?
QUESTION: I was wondering if there are any Jewish holidays that are “off limits” to Noahides, or are we able to celebrate them all? I read on the internet that Noahides can celebrate Passover, not in the Jewish way, but with some changes. Is this true? And if it is, how can I celebrate it?
ANSWER: Please see our web page http://asknoah.org/essay/noahide-holidays
Do Noahides celebrate secular holidays?
QUESTION: Do Noahides celebrate secular holidays (for example U.S. Independence Day, Canada Day, etc.)?
Celebrating secular activities and commemorating historical events, even if they involve a festive meal, are permissible for Noahides – for example, the Independence Day of your own country, such as July 4th in the U.S.
It is also permissible for Noahides to participate in nationally designated days which can be observed as a reminder and encouragement to praise and give thanks to the One True G-d. Examples in the U.S. are Thanksgiving Day and the National Day of Prayer.
The same applies to observance of days that are designated by one’s nation to strengthen logically incumbent precepts or to improve the settled nature of the society, such as honoring parents on Mothers Day and Fathers Day, or national days for doing acts of charity, goodness and kindness, or Education Day, U.S.A.
This also includes days to honor national heroes, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Presidents’ Day in the U.S.
Similarly, this also includes days like an Arbor Day to highlight environmental responsibility, if it’s done properly (but not as an idolatrous concept of worshiping the earth, or making environmentalism into a religion or a radical movement).
Of course, national holiday observances that are connected with idolatry should not be celebrated.
For our MP3 audio clip on celebration of secular and Jewish holidays, CLICK HERE.
When were the Noahide Laws established as Torah Law?
Timeline of G-d’s re-affirming the Noahide Commandments at Mount Sinai, where He commanded them with specific details as part of the eternal Torah of Moses: Read more »
How do we know that a Gentile can be righteous by only following the Noahide Laws?
Question: How do we know for sure that a Gentile can be righteous by only following the Noahide Laws? Please give a short and simple answer.
It’s challenging to answer this with just a “short and simple” response. I will give a condensed answer, and also recommend a short video of a talk by the Rebbe on this subject: Read more »
What does the Noahide Code say about murder?
Guarding the Sanctity of Human Life
The following is adapted from the Introduction by Dr. Michael Schulman to the section on the Prohibition of Murder and Injury, in “The Divine Code” Part V:
Human life is an unalienable right of every person, and a gift from G-d that He expects us to guard and respect. Mankind was created “in the image of G-d”, and therefore possesses a dimension of holiness. Taking a human life diminishes a measure of the Divine image that is present in the world, and without G-d’s permission it is strictly forbidden. Furthermore. murder is an act of extreme rebellion against G-d Himself, Who blessed mankind “to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28), and “He did not create it for emptiness; He fashioned it to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18). Read more »
What if you break a Noahide Law and don’t repent?
Here is some information about this from the book The Divine Code, Volume I, 2nd Edition (p. 558-559).
“Any Gentile who recognizes the existence of the One True G-d, and accepts upon himself the yoke of the G-d’s Kingship and the responsibility to keep the Seven Noahide Commandments from the Torah of Moses, will merit to be resurrected to receive a portion in the future World to Come. This person has elevated himself to become a Pious Gentile (a Hassid). Read more »
Asking G-d to forgive for breaking a Noahide Law: Does this relate to Yom Kippur?
With regard to repeated sins: at any time, a person can sincerely repent for a past sin, which may have been committed multiple times, and resolve not to repeat it again in the future. Read more »
Is it OK to accept the 7 Noahide Laws in general without looking to Rabbinic authority?
This is a step in the right direction, because at some level you would be connecting with the 7 Noahide Commandments that are incumbent on you as one of the Children of Noah, but it is an incomplete acceptance. At this level, a person might still mistakenly transgress in some ways. A person who doesn’t learn the details of these commandments as they are elucidated in the traditional Torah sources is likely to err in his own (biased) judgment of what he assumes would be permitted or forbidden by G-d. Just as an example, one might naively (and wrongly) assume than if one commits euthanasia, it is not considered to be murder in G-d’s eyes.
On the other hand, if you observe the Noahide Code properly (which requires learning the correct explanations based on the Torah Law for Gentiles), you will be able to know and follow the rightoeus path. Even more so, to earn the ultimate reward that G-d will give to the “Pious Gentiles of the world” (Hasidei Umot Ha’Olom in Hebrew), it is necessary to also accept that the obligation to follow the Noahide Code comes from G-d’s commanding it through Moses at Mount Sinai, as part of the eternal Divine Truth of the Torah of Moses. This includes the details of the Noahide Code as they are found in the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. The Torah is G-d’s “Tree of Life,” and Gentiles who wish to have eternal life need to connect with this “Tree of Life” in the proper way, through its Noahide Code.