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Noachide Laws #7 – Justice
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The final mitzvah commanded to all mankind was to establish courts of justice, not only to enforce the other six laws but also to legislate for the betterment of society. This is another mitzvah we can see in action from before the Torah was given. When Shechem raped Dina in Genesis chapter 34, her brothers […]
Noachide Laws #6 – The Limb of a Live Animal
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Like Jews, non-Jews may not eat “eiver min hachai,” a limb torn from a live animal. This law was stated explicitly to Noah in Genesis 9:4. This mitzvah is the one that may or may not have been commanded to Adam. In Genesis 9:3, Noah was given permission to slaughter animals for food, something that […]
Noachide Laws #5 – Sexual Morality
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Typically rendered as “adultery,” this category actually includes far more. Incest, homosexuality, bestiality and other prohibited relationships are all part of this mitzvah. This category also includes the prohibition against castrating any human or animal. (Rape is not part of this category, since the man and woman might be permitted to marry. Rape is, however, […]
Noachide Laws #4 – Blasphemy
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Blasphemy is perhaps the most reprehensible thing there is. It is so unthinkable that this mitzvah is called “birkas Hashem,” blessing God, when, of course, we really mean the opposite (God forbid). Like Jews, non-Jews are not permitted to curse God. We see this throughout the Book of Job. When Job’s life goes completely down […]
Noachide Laws #3 – Idolatry
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Judaism does not require non-Jews to convert to Judaism. Islam, for example, is a purely monotheistic religion that is perfectly acceptable for Muslims. The Christian doctrine of a Trinity is problematic for Jews but it may be acceptable for Christians. (The concept of worshipping God “with partners” is relevant not only to Christians but also […]
Noachide Laws #2 – Murder
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Murder is another mitzvah that we can easily see applied from the time of Adam. Cain killed Abel, for which he was punished–a clear indication that murder was already prohibited! After the flood, God was very explicit in prohibiting murder, in Genesis 9:5-6. The prohibition against murder includes such additional aspects of life-taking as suicide […]
Noachide Laws #1 – Theft
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Like Jews, non-Jews are not allowed to steal. For non-Jews, however, this single commandment includes a number of things that are individual mitzvos for Jews: not stealing with stealth, not robbing by force, not kidnapping, not cheating a customer, not denying a debt, not moving a boundary marker, etc. It also includes those things that […]