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Noahide Torah Study
#21
It is OK to use the text of the Tanach (complete Hebrew Bible) in the web-site section
http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/...-Rashi.htm

However, the best English translation of the Tanach is the "Stone Edition" from Artscroll publishers:
https://asknoah.org/books/artscroll-hebr...e-complete

Older English translations of Tanach (especially pre-1960) are not recommended, even from Jewish publishing companies, since they were usually based on the poorly translated KJV.

But your idea to only look at the Hebrew Bible text "without adding any commentary or explanations." in order to focus on "the living word" is a misconception. First of all, any translation of the original Hebrew text of the Tanach, by definition, is not "the living word". It is only the original Hebrew text that is "the living word". The translation task of a reliable, expert, and G'd-fearing scholarly translator is to communicate, as best as reasonably possible, the actual traditional meaning of the text, at its simple level. But the original Written-Torah text just by itself is mostly not understandable in a full and consistent way, even just at the simple level, without the authentic explanations that were communicated in the Oral Torah. The primary source for those Oral-Torah explanations is from Rashi, and that is available in the Internet link on chabad.org that I referenced above.
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#22
Thanks for the web-links. These are valuable source of information for me! Since I don't have any Jewish people in my state in India, these websites and links become a primary source of information.
Thanks again!
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#23
I am new to Noahide and trying to learn what parts of the Torah I am suppose to study. Please show me the way. Should I get a Chumash? I have been trying to study the 7 Noahide Laws. Give me direction. I feel like a bumble bee! Sad

I am also trying to learn how to get around Ask Noah. I think I went about writing a message wrong. Maybe this is the way to go. I have been reading The Divine Code. I have been trying to study the 7 commandments on another website, but I wonder if there is more to them that I should know about. I need direction, a Rabbi. I don't want to sin by studying the wrong thing. Please help. Been reading from a website called Hasidic University, and some books: Every Man's Talmud, and some Kabbalah book, Torah. But since, and recently, I found out that there is some restriction on reading the Torah, so I had to change gears and ask for forgiveness. Please help. I really need direction. Sad
Rhonda
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#24
(01-03-2014, 09:12 AM)RhondaCoad Wrote: I am new to Noahide and trying to learn what parts of the Torah I am suppose to study. Please show me the way.

Welcome to the Noahide path, and welcome to Ask Noah! Torah is such a diverse and multifaceted system of knowledge that this can be very daunting at first. That is why it is so important for you to have proper guidance as you get started. By studying all the questions and answers in this forum thread on "Torah Study for Noahides", you will get a good introduction. The formal explanation of the rules and guidelines for Torah study by Noahides are the subject of Part I, Chapter 5, in our book "The Divine Code" by Rabbi Moshe Weiner of Jerusalem. But naturally as a beginner, you will have a lot of questions as to what all of this means. That is what we are hear to help you with.

(01-03-2014, 09:12 AM)RhondaCoad Wrote: Should I get a Chumash (Five Books of Moses from the Hebrew Bible)?

Yes, and it needs to be an authentic Chumash published by an Orthodox Jewish publishing company, with high-quality English translation, and preferably with some classical straightforward explanations on the Torah text. This could be a book that is just the Chumash (the first 5 Books of the Hebrew Bible), or it could be a Tanach (all 24 Books of the Hebrew Bible). Our highest recommendation is for the "Stone Edition" series from Artscroll publishers, as featured in the "Recommended Books" section of this web site:

https://asknoah.org/books/artscroll-hebr...e-complete

(01-03-2014, 09:12 AM)RhondaCoad Wrote: I have been trying to study the 7 Noahide Laws. Give me direction. I feel like a bumble bee! Sad

We have an on-line booklet titled "Go(o)d for You: the Divine Code of 7 Noahide Commandments", which gives a very readable introduction to the concepts and precepts of the Noahide Code:

https://asknoah.org/books/good-for-you-noahide-code

For full in-depth explanation and analysis, you have the book "The Divine Code", which is the first and foremost codification of the concepts and precepts of the Noahide Code:

https://asknoah.org/books/the-divine-code

You should also go through this entire Q&A Forum to see answers to very many questions on fundamental concepts and practical applications.

(01-03-2014, 09:12 AM)RhondaCoad Wrote: I am also trying to learn how to get around Ask Noah. I think I  went about writing a message wrong. Maybe this is the way to go.

This Forum is fully moderated, so the submitted questions will be posted visibly after they have been approved by the moderator. Some of the threads are blocked from posting, because of problems with floods of spam posts. To find out which threads are open for posting, please send me a private forum message, or an email or web-form message from our Contact Us page.

(01-03-2014, 09:12 AM)RhondaCoad Wrote: I have been reading The Divine Code. I have been trying to study the 7 commandments on another website, but I wonder if there is more to them that I should know about.

Yes! You need to know if you are studying reliable and correct information that's posted on-line, since there is no way to stop people from posting wrong or off-track information. Once you have learned and understood "The Divine Code" very will, you will have a good foundation for judging the reliability of information you encounter on-line.

(01-03-2014, 09:12 AM)RhondaCoad Wrote: I need direction, a Rabbi. I don't want to sin by studying the wrong thing. Please help.

That is what we are here for! :-)

(01-03-2014, 09:12 AM)RhondaCoad Wrote: Been reading from a website called Hasidic University

Take caution, because the Noahide Commandments and the Jewish Commandments are really two separate systems of Divine precepts. The correct and practical application of the Noahide precepts, based on their source in the Oral Torah, can't be cobbled together from picking and choosing from the Jewish Commandments, as some web sites and books try to do.

(01-03-2014, 09:12 AM)RhondaCoad Wrote: and some books: Every Man's Talmud,

This has a lot of excerpts from the Talmud that are interesting, but largely not relevant for Noahides. Unfortunately, it is written from a Non-Torah, and even somewhat Anti-Torah (known as "Biblical Criticism") point of view. Therefore, we don't recommend it.

(01-03-2014, 09:12 AM)RhondaCoad Wrote: and some Kabbalah book, Torah. But since, and recently, I found out that there is some restriction on reading the Torah, so I had to change gears and ask for forgiveness. Please help. I really need direction. Sad
Rhonda

Without specific titles, it's not possible to know if those books you're reading are reliable or appropriate for Noahides. The modern "pop-kabbalah" books are misleading and should be avoided. A Noahide should only study parts of Kabbalah, or Talmud, that are relevant to the Noahide Code, and if such study is undertaken, it needs to be done with the tutelage and guidance of an expert Orthodox Jewish teacher / mentor who has a good understanding of what is allowed and appropriate for Noahide's to study within those sources. Since the days of the Baal Shem Tov, it is better to study relevant Chassidic teachings instead of kabbalah, since "Chassidus" puts the lofty spiritual concepts into a logically understandable framework. Please see our web section of recommended books:

https://asknoah.org/books

Our book "The Divine Code" gives more information on categories of Torah learning and specific classical texts that are permitted for Noahides to learn.
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#25
B"H

(1) From the Divine Code (p 92, topic c):

"For other Torah study that is permitted for Gentiles but is not related to the observance of an obligatory precept, there is no great spiritual reward. Instead, there is the reward of the benefit it provides for him, like the advantages he can derive from the Jewish precepts that are permissible for him, which may be performed by Gentiles only for the sake of the practical benefit that will result."

Can we liken secular learning to this level of Torah learning by a Gentile? Secular learning is allowed for Gentiles. It does not bring spiritual reward. But it has practical benefits.

(2) Rabbi Weiner writes (p 87, right next to footnote 106 in the main text):

"Rather, a Gentile is permitted to learn from books in a language he understands, on topics that are written in a concise and clear way."

To understand any language a Gentile needs to learn it. A Gentile cannot learn Torah at all without learning linguistics beforehand. If a Gentile learns a language for the sake of learning the 7 commandments in that language, does he get a spiritual reward from G-d?
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#26
(12-27-2015, 01:12 AM)Hrvatski Noahid Wrote: (1) From the Divine Code (p 92, topic c):

"For other Torah study that is permitted for Gentiles but is not related to the observance of an obligatory precept, there is no great spiritual reward. Instead, there is the reward of the benefit it provides for him, like the advantages he can derive from the Jewish precepts that are permissible for him, which may be performed by Gentiles only for the sake of the practical benefit that will result."

Can we liken secular learning to this level of Torah learning by a Gentile? Secular learning is allowed for Gentiles. It does not bring spiritual reward. But it has practical benefits.

That is a good question. The answer is that this lower level of permitted Torah-learning for a Gentile is not EQUAL to secular learning, G-d forbid. Even that level of Torah-learning has a spiritual advantage over secular learning, because his mind is engaged in thinking about G-d, or about matters that are connected with G-dly wisdom.

Rabbi Weiner wrote that for the lower level of Torah-learning, for a Gentile there is no GREAT spiritual reward. This means that the spiritual reward it does bring (which is the spiritual, moral, or personality enhancement he gains) is not on the level of the great reward for the higher level of Torah-learning, about how to observe an obligatory precept within the 7 Noahide Commandments.

But on the other hand, if the person is learning secular material to gain knowledge that he needs for his job or to prepare for a career (which he will surely conduct in accordance with the principles of the Noahide Code), then he is actively engaged in fulfilling his mission in the world of "yishuv olom" - contributing to making a "settled" and better world.

(12-27-2015, 01:12 AM)Hrvatski Noahid Wrote: (2) Rabbi Weiner writes (p 87, right next to footnote 106 in the main text):

"Rather, a Gentile is permitted to learn from books in a language he understands, on topics that are written in a concise and clear way."

To understand any language a Gentile needs to learn it. If a Gentile learns a language for the sake of learning the 7 commandments in that language, does he get a spiritual reward from G-d?

Not for learning the language.
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#27
(08-22-2007, 03:56 AM)scott allen Wrote: Hello I'm new here. And I am just learning what it is to follow the laws for the Noahide. I have a question regarding why a Noahide is forbidden to study the Torah commands that concern Jews? Even though the Torah for certain areas may not apply to me, I would think it would still be OK to study those commandments. Please help me to understand.

Peace

Scott

Peace be upon you,

Why wouldn't you want to study the word of G-d completely? The Torah was send as a guide and light. Please be honoured and begin with your study on the Torah.

There is a lot more. But at least start with the Torah. May our L-rd increase our Knowledge. And may He protect us.
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#28
I see that you've referred back to Post #1 in this thread. Please note that I added this to my answer in Post #2, for more clarification:

"It is the in-depth learning of Talmudic, Midrashic and Kabbalistic commentaries and analyses, on the deeper levels of Torah and its detailed laws for Jews, which should be learned exclusively by Jews (if the material does not relate to the Noahide Code)."

The reason is because that level of Torah learning constitutes one of the purely ritual commandments that Jews are exclusively obligated in, above and beyond any practical (down-to-earth) benefit. For more information, please refer to "The Divine Code," Part I, chapter 5.

Since Torah is unlimited, a person in his lifetime can't aspire to study the word of G-d "completely." For Gentiles, the realm of Torah that relates to their Noahide Code, and is thus permissible for them to study,is so vast that there is no risk of running out of material that's permitted to learn.

By the same token, one shouldn't think of starting with Torah as merely an "initial" field of study, with the intention to then branch off into the study of texts from Non-Torah religions. A person should stay true to the true G-dly wisdom, which is Torah.
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#29
Dear Dr. Schulman

As much as I appreciate the generous ruling in the Noahide code about the guidelines for Torah study by Noahides, I am trying to get a better imagination of Rambam's literal Halacha (Torah law) in Hilchot Melachim (Laws of Kings) 10, on this subject.

In the times of the Rambam, how and by what means would a Noahide's Torah study "be involved in his seven laws"? Would he be educated by Jews or learn from a Torah scroll? Thank you.
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#30
B"H. Thank you for that interesting question about Torah study by a Noahide in the time of Rambam (d. 1204 C.E.), done in compliance with Rambam's ruling about the Torah law on this subject.

1. Would he use a Torah scroll?

He definitely would use the Jewish Bible (Tanach). If he knew Hebrew, he could read the 5 Books of Moses from a Torah scroll, if he had access to one. Translations were also available:

The first translations of the Hebrew Bible were done in Aramaic, during the time that the Jews were in the Babylonian Exile, after the destruction of the First Temple.

Also long before Rambam's time, the Five Books of Moses had already been translated into Greek by the Jewish Sages, as the Septuagint. They were forced to do that by King Ptolemy of Egypt, and it was in the earlier version of Greek that was used at that time.

There were also Arabic translations of the Hebrew Bible. From Wikipedia, "The earliest fragment of the Old Testament in Arabic [discovered so far] is a text of Psalm 77, found in the Umayyad Mosque, dating from the 8th century. One of the oldest Arabic bibles was discovered in the 19th century ... The manuscript called Mt. Sinai Arabic Codex 151, was created in AD 867."

2. or would this study only involve oral instruction by a Jew?

It would involve both reading of the Hebrew Bible, and instruction in the relevant areas of the Oral Torah by a Jewish Torah scholar. That could include the parts of both the Mishna and the Talmud that are relevant to the Noahide Code.

The Talmud itself says that a Noahide who becomes a Torah scholar in the subjects of his 7 Commandments is as worthy of honor as a Jewish High Priest who served in the Holy Temple.

This teaching from the Talmud is included in what Rambam was referring to when he wrote about the rules for Torah study by Noahides.
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