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The First Keepers of Torah
I was reading The Path of the Righteous Gentile and it said:

"The Patriarchs fulfilled the Seven Commandments of the Children of Noah, and through their gift of prophecy saw what the Sinai Revelation would bring, and obeyed those laws as well, even though they had not been commanded concerning them."

Does this include laws that gentiles are forbidden to follow like wearing tallis, teffillin, putting up a mezzuzah, observing the shabbos, and other holidays?
B”H. Hi James. I’ll give a brief intro to this topic and the Rabbis can follow up if needed.
It’s important to realize that the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were unique in the world at that time. They were not only prophets, but they also constantly bound their intellects so intensely to G-d that they became a “chariot” to the Divine Presence. This means that they were so bound up with the will of G-d that all of their thoughts, speech and actions were constantly Divinely inspired and totally nullified to Him. One reason for this is that everything they did was to be a “sign for their children,” the future Jewish people. Therefore they, uniquely in the world, were assigned the task of *beginning* to introduce the Jewish commandments (mitzvot) into the physical creation. Some of the mitzvot were impossible for them to perform, because the requirements were lacking. For example, the mitzvot of tefillin and mezuzah require scrolls written by Jews, containing verses from the Five Books of Moses. So the Patriarchs did certain, seemingly unrelated, actions while meditating on the spiritual meaning of those mitzvot. Regarding Shabbos, the Patriarchs would be careful to do some labor during the 24 hours from sundown to sundown which would qualify as a violation of the Jewish Shabbos. After Mount Sinai, both the large tallis (tallis gadol) and small tallis (tallis katan) have the connotation of uniquely Jewish garments, and therefore Noahides are discouraged from wearing either of these, as Rabbi Schochet has pointed out for us.
There are commentaries that teach that the Patriarchs accomplished the spiritual intent of certain mitzvot, i.e. to bring down the spiritual benefits (as opposed to elevating the physical realm to a higher level), by doing other actions. A case in point: when Yaakov/Jacob stripped the bark off the rods that he placed in the water troughs for the sheep, in spiritual terms he was accomplishing what his descendents the Jewish people accomplish when they don Tefillin. When Abraham wore Tzitzis, it was not considered a garment for him as it is only a garment for a Jew; thus when he wore the Tzitzis on the Seven Day, he was not wearing them as garment, and it was considered as the labor of carrying. Thus he did not observe a Sabbath in total, and therefore he did not transgress the prohibition against a Noahide fully observing the Sabbath as a Jew is commanded to.

The dispute between Joseph and his brothers was based on whether they were Noahides or Israelites. The brothers held themselves as Israelites; thus they held that they were allowed to eat of a slaughtered animal before it stopped thrashing. Joseph held them to still be Noahides, as the Torah had not been given yet at Sinai. For Noahides, meat from a thrashing animal (i.e. in its death throes) - though it had been ritually slaughtered - is still forbidden as a Limb from the Living (but with a lesser penalty). Thus he accused them of this to his father. So the dispute between them was not at all a petty matter. It hinged on a point of fundamental doctrine.

To sum it up, the Talmud says that if the Patriarchs were like angels, then we can be considered "human." But if the Patriarchs were mere humans, then we are like donkeys. So we can not compare our generations to them.
Rabbi Yitz
Do we know whether Joseph was right or his brothers were right? Were they both right in some sense?
On the one hand, there is the point of actual Torah Law - which "argument" is correct. On the other hand, there is the question of what was transpiring between Joseph and his brothers.

In terms of Torah Law, the *basis* of the argument attributed to Joseph is correct. Jacob's family members were Noahides, and the animals they slaughtered (using the Jewish manner of kosher-slaughter) had the rule of being slaughtered by Noahides. This continued all the way until after the Israelites became Jews at Mount Sinai, at the giving of the "10 Commandments."

However, from "The Divine Code," Volume I, p. 313-314, it is clear that even so, the brothers would not have been liable to any punishment for taking meat from a convulsing *slaughtered* animal, based on pre-Sinai Torah Law. Surely Jacob did not make a rule about that for his family, because the brothers would have followed it. *Possibly* Joseph felt that the practice was wrong and worthy to be banned for Noahides (as the early Jewish Sages did decree after Mount Sinai - see Rambam, Laws of Kings 9:13), so he reported it to his father in hopes that Jacob would issue such a decree.

There are other opinions about what was transpiring between Joseph and his brothers. Another opinion (from the Zohar) is that Joseph observed the brothers doing something with the form of an animal, but he did not correctly interpret what he saw. He made the assumption, and reported it to his father without taking the time to investigate the real truth of the matter.

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