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"30 Laws" for the Children of Noah
#5
The suggestion of "Honoring Father and Mother" as one of the pre-Sinai "30 laws" was made by a prominent Rabbi in the 19th century, in his work called "Nachal Eshkol." I read what he wrote there: he questions if Gentiles are obligated in "Honoring Father and Mother," and he suggests that it *might be* one of the 30 laws that the descendents of Noah took upon themselves after the
Flood. He has no sources to back up his suggestion.

From a discourse by the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Likkutei Sichot, vol. 5, p. 154), it is clear that he holds that Gentiles (all non-Jews) are obligated in "Honoring Father and Mother" because it is a *logical* obligation.

In any event, the Talmudic statement that the descendents of Noah took upon themselves 30 laws after the Flood is Midrashic, which means that it comes to teach a lesson, but it has no weight in and of itself in actual Torah Law.

The Talmud in Tractate Sanhedrin lists some extra obligations that the descendents of Noah took upon themselves after the Flood, to guard themselves from transgressing the actual Seven Noahide Commandments. "Honoring Father and Mother" is not mentioned in Tractate Sanhedrin or anywhere else in the Talmud as an obligation for Gentiles. It also doesn't say that it's not an obligation.

The Talmud does recount a story about a Noahide in ancient Israel who exemplified the ideal of honoring parents. This person was a gem merchant, and he passed up the opportunity to earn a fortune, because it would have required that he wake up his sleeping father, which he felt would be disrespectful. As a message to all mankind, G-d rewarded Dama in a miraculous way, with an even greater fortune than the one he gave up.

It is important to explain that "Honoring Father and Mother" is not a Divine commandment for Gentiles, but instead it is one of their fundamental logical moral obligations, in the same way as giving proper charity. For Gentiles, the most stringent part of "Honoring Father and Mother" is that one should not embarass or disgrace his or her parents.
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"30 Laws" for the Children of Noah - by bdschuh - 07-02-2010, 02:05 PM
RE: "30 Laws" for the Children of Noah - by Rabbi Moshe Weiner - 07-30-2010, 01:18 PM

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