A Spiritual Path to HaShem for the Noachide with Kabbalistic Commentary - Class 9

The basis of these lessons uses a book titled "The Path of the Righteous Gentile-An Introduction to the Seven Laws of the Children of Noach" by Chaim Clorfene and Yakov Rogalsky.

This is Chapter 9 that comes from a blog BY NETIV / THE PATH · SEPTEMBER 30, 2014


1. Of all the categories of the Seven Laws of Noah, the prohibition against theft may be the most difficult to obey. Human history and psychology are in clear agreement with the Talmudic statement, that “Man’s soul has a craving and longing for incest and robbery.” Babylonian Talmud, Makkot 23b But unlike incest, committing theft is often a simple matter in which the opportunity presents itself almost constantly. Moreover, the commandment prohibiting theft includes aspects that without careful Torah study might elude a person and be considered acceptable behavior. Therefore, a frequent review of the laws of theft is important.

chanoch's Commentary

Note the word incest refers to the sexual prohibitions that appear in Leviticus Chapter 18 and 20. It does not refer to the modern understanding of sex between parents and children. There is much more to comment upon in this paragraph yet i think it will be revealed below.

2. The commandment prohibiting theft that was given to the Children of Noah is a single comprehensive law with many parts and details. It is virtually identical to the sixteen separate commandments dealing with theft that were given to the Children of Israel. This means that God’s will concerning theft is essentially the same whether the person involved is an Israelite or a Noahide. Armed robbery (hamas in Hebrew) was the sin that sealed the fate of mankind to bring the Great Flood in the generation of Noah. See Genesis 6:13. The only difference involves the return of a stolen object worth less than a pruta, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 9:9 the smallest coin denomination in the times of the Talmud. Just as a frame of reference, a pruta might be compared to a one agora coin in Israeli money, which in 2013 would be worth one-third of a U.S. penny. Israel stopped minting the one agora coin in 1991. Today, the smallest denomination coin being minted in Israel is a 10 agorot, worth about three U.S. pennies. If such an object is stolen from a Jew, it need not be returned, for the Israelite is presumed to forgive the theft of so small an object and forego its return; but the Noahide does not forego an object worth less than a pruta, and such a stolen object must therefore be returned to him. Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 57a

chanoch's Commentary

Why is there this difference between the Israelite and the Noachide? To understand this one needs to understand what is spiritually wrong with stealing something that belongs to another? i am not speaking about the morals and ethics of theft because that is not the level of the teachings of the Torah that these classes refer to. Also in my opinion, one of the reason for the length of the exile is due to the emphasis by the Rabbi's to teach morals and ethics and conceal the Kabbalah.

The reason for the emphasis by the Creator relating to theft is that it truly corrupts the plan of the Creation. Each item has a a spark or sparks of Light that require the proper soul and proper time to elevate that spark back to its location in the heavens. If an item is not in the proper location due to theft then it takes additional planning and moving and time to move the proper soul close to that object at the proper time so that the spark might be elevated properly to the proper heavenly location. When something is stolen this time and place might be changed by man's free will of stealing and require addtional time and effort to elevate that spark. Now that you have this understanding we can relate this to the actions of the Noachide. The Noachide is a lower spiritual level than the Israelite. The Israelite who steals will not relate to a physical item on the same intensity that a Noachide relates to physical items. This connection is part of the cleansing that brings the Noachide to elevate to the level of a Child of Israel.

3. The commandment prohibiting theft holds men and women equally liable in every aspect and detail. Encyclopedia Talmudica, The Children of Noah, volume 3, page 348

chanoch adds: This is part of the 16 Mitzvot that apply to the Children of Israel and also to the Children of Noach.

4. One is liable for punishment whether he brazenly robs in public or sneaks into a house on a moonless night. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 9:9

chanoch adds: This is part of the 16 Mitzvot that apply to the Children of Israel and also to the Children of Noach.

5. One is liable to punishment by a court of law whether he steals money or any object or kidnaps a person. And he is liable no matter from whom he steals.

6. A Noahide who steals a beautiful woman from the enemy during time of war is liable for punishment. It is presumed that he kidnapped her and that she is a married woman. Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 57b

chanoch adds: This is part of the 16 Mitzvot that apply to the Children of Noach. The Children of Israel are allowed to kidnap a beautiful women during time of war since this attraction to the Righteous Israelite is coming from a spark of Light that needs to be elevated back to the Children of Israel. This beautiful women must go through the ritual delineated in the Parasha of Ki Teitzei and become converted. This is why the Reform movement accepts converts who which to marry a Jewish Man while the Orthodox movements do not, since they can not determine the truth of the motives of the convert.

7. The Children of Noah are forbidden to engage in wars of land conquest, but if such a war does occur, and in the process a land is conquered, what the Noahide acquires of this new land belongs to him ex post facto.

chanoch adds: This is part of the 16 Mitzvot that apply to the Children of Israel and also to the Children of Noach.

Why is it forbidden yet rewarded if the Noachide breaks this negative Mitzvah? There is a spiritual law that when something happens in the physical world then that is what is included in the Plan of Creation. Remember there are an infinite array of choices given to a human being as he travels through his/her life. When someone makes that decision it becomes the Plan of Creation. Apply this to the above question and you will see the reason behind why the Noachide is rewarded for his breaking the negative Mitzvah.

8. Later authorities rule that a man who rapes or seduces a woman who is not forbidden to him is liable for punishment because he is stealing from the woman’s worth for his own personal use. Minhat Hinnukh, Commandment 35

This judgment applies only to a man who seduces a woman, not to a woman who seduces a man. A woman is considered unable to truly seduce or rape a man, as a man must have an erection to have intercourse and therefore his involvement in the act is one of acceptance and violation.

chanoch's Commentary

This leads to a very important discussion about our generations Rabbi's and the Sages of the past. Modern science says a man can be raped since the erection is caused by a natural response of a human being. Please note that the paragraph above does not have a source - this means it is said by the writer in order to further his agenda in this series. In modern times paragraph no 8 would be considered chauvinist. The modern view of religious Rabbi's called Charedi is that the Sages are perfect and their opinions are true as well as perfect. When modern science disagrees with an opinion of a Sage other modern orthodox Rabbi's tell us that the Sage was speaking about or with the science of his generation. The other thing you need to realize is what the Zohar says about the Rabbi's of the final generation. The Zohar says the Rabbi's of the final generation will have their soul root in the Erev Rav. With this information you will have to decide for yourselves what is the truth.

9. The early Sages of Israel were in disagreement as to whether the Children of Noah were forbidden concerning usury and overpricing before the giving of the Torah. Babylonian Talmud, Baba Metzia 70b, Tosefot, “What is this, usury?” In either case, both of these commandments are in effect today because they were given to Moses at Mount Sinai, not because God commanded Noah to follow them. It is a general principle of the Seven Universal Commandments is that they are binding only because they were given on Mount Sinai. The great Jewish sage Nachmanides Rabbi Moses ben Nachman (1194-1270), known as the Ramban. states that overcharging is clearly one of the tenets of the commandment prohibiting theft. Genesis 34:13, commentary of Ramban

This means that a transaction whereby one is greatly overcharged is considered an illegal transaction and may be voided. Usury, the act of lending money at unfair interest rates, is in the same category. Usury is forbidden as an illegal transaction.

chanoch's Commentary

A child of Israel is forbidden to charge interest to another child of Israel. Usery is something else. Thus it is one of the 16 Mitzvot that apply to both the Children of Israel and the Children of Noach.

10. The category of overcharging includes the admonition against using false weights and measures. This applies to any storeowner or salesperson, whether he is selling fish or precious stones, or measuring land for sale, as it is written, “You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measuring land, in weight, or in measuring liquids (Leviticus 19:35).”

Inasmuch as the act of falsely weighing and measuring is forbidden, it is similarly forbidden to have such false weights or measuring devices in one’s possession, as it is written, “You shall not have in your bag diverse weights, a great and a small (Deuteronomy 25:13).”

Since sustenance comes from the hand of God, a man should earn it through honesty, not trickery. In Talmudic times, the fair amount of profit gained was thought to be one-sixth, Mishnah Baba Metzia, 4:3 but since profit margins are considered somewhat relative and subjective, the fair amount remains to be determined by the norms set in each generation.

chanoch's Commentary

one-sixth converts to 16+ percent. In todays world the prophet margin is different depending on the industry. There is something to contemplate here but we do not have enough information to make a determination logically or even know what questions to ask.

12. A Noahide is not obligated to return an object that he stole. But since he stole it, he is held accountable for the prescribed punishment in a court of law. This is according to Rashi’s opinion, which holds that when a single act warrants two punishments, the stricter punishment is enforced and the lesser one is foregone. Other authorities argue that this principle applies only to an Israelite and the laws of the Torah, and that when a Noahide has stolen, he is obligated to return the stolen article to its rightful owner, despite the fact that he may have incurred the death penalty. Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 71b, Tosefot, “The Sons of Noah are…”

13. One may well ask why the thief, who is going to be executed anyway, See Chapter 11, Courts of Law, for a discussion as to whether violation of the commandment of theft earns the death penalty. should bother to return the stolen object. He could just as well leave it to his spouse or child or a friend and therefore have some indirect benefit.

The explanation goes right to the heart of the intent of God’s Law, which is just and merciful at the same time. Every punishment meted out through the justice of the Noahide courts serves as an atonement, sparing the transgressor punishment in the Eternal World. This, of course, assumes that the convicted criminal repents for his transgression and returns to God before he is executed.

Because of the justice of the courts, therefore, a man can transgress and still repent and receive a share of the World to Come as a righteous person.

chanoch's Commentary

To clarify these few paragraphs assume someone is sentenced to death by a Noachide court of law. These laws apply to everyone who is in their jurisdiction. he is condemned to death for a theft. A noachide is required to return what was stolen. This was discussed above when we defined theft.

14. What happens then, if a man commits a crime and is not punished by the courts? Suppose there are two men, one who killed negligently but without premeditation and another who killed with malice aforethought. There were no witnesses to either crime. God will bring the two men together through Divine Providence. For instance, on a crowded street, the one who killed unintentionally might be driving a car, while the killer is crossing the street as a pedestrian. Not paying attention to what he is doing, the driver runs through a stop sign, killing the pedestrian. So what has God wrought? The murderer is killed, and the manslaughterer is now held as a manslaughterer.Exodus 21:13, commentary of Rashi, “But God caused it to come to hand…”

chanoch's Commentary

This scenario is describing a physical situation that creates Justice in the physical world. We must remember that this may not always happen this way yet the justice is always manifested in a measure for measure approach. This justice is determined by the spiritual court and may be manifested in the physical world. Or it may be manifested in another dimension that feels it is the physical level.

15. A Noahide who strikes another Noahide transgresses the commandment against theft and is liable for punishment by the courts, for the damage he caused brought a physical and psychological loss to the person struck. Genesis 34:13, commentary of Ramban; Encyclopedia Talmudica, The Children of Noah, volume 3, page 257 A Noahide who strikes an Israelite also violates the commandment of kedushat Yisrael, violating the sanctity of an Israelite. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 10:6

16. A person is forbidden to covet the property and physical dwelling place of another as expressed by the scriptural verse, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant nor his maidservant nor his ox nor his ass nor anything that is your neighbor’s (Exodus 20:14).” 19 The Seven Laws of Noah, Lichtenstein, page 22. The term covet is used twice, the first relates to some action taken to acquire an object, the second relates to a desire for acquisition in the heart. The latter is obviously not punishable in a court of law because only God can know what is in a man’s heart. chanoch adds: coveting in the heart will be reviewed by the spiritual court and when appropriate will impact that persons physical life.

17. Since the Children of Noah are commanded to withhold themselves from committing theft, they are similarly commanded concerning deterrents to that transgression, namely desire. Sefer HaHinnukh, Commandment 424

Coveting something that belongs to another is in precisely the same category as desiring the object except it takes it a step further, involving action. Whereas desire remains something of the heart, total covetousness presupposes that the person does something to fulfill his desire, such as pressure the owner or plead with the owner to sell him his house or field. The Seven Laws of Noah, Lichtenstein, page 24

18. When mankind is judged each year on Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, God apportions each person’s income and sustenance and all forms of material acquisitions for the coming year. Nothing a person will do can add to what he has been allotted, and no one can take away what has been given to him, as King Solomon wrote, “The blessing of the Lord is that which makes rich, and painful labor adds nothing to it (Proverbs 10:22).” Therefore, to desire what belongs to another, and all the more so to covet it, is an act that betrays a lack of faith in God, for it is said, “Who is happy? One who is satisfied with his portion.” Chapters of the Fathers, 4:1.

chanoch's Commentary

The statement about Rosh HaShanah should not be a surprise to a student of Kabbalah. This is why the modern Kabbalists teach us to spread the knowledge to the Noachides to go to a synagogue and listen to the Shofar.

19. One is forbidden to enter another’s property stealthily and take back one’s own object, for thereby he is acting in the manner of a thief. Instead, one should confront the other and say, “This belongs to me, I am taking it.” Babylonian Talmud, Baba Kamma 27b

chanoch's Commentary

In today's world of modern America it may be worth the effort to determine that the holder of your goods is not holding a gun or other weapon.

20. One is forbidden to add to one’s own property by surreptitiously moving the landmarks back into the neighbor’s property, as it is written, “You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark (Deuteronomy 19:14).”

chanoch's Commentary

This is one of the 16 Mitzvot that apply to both Children of Israel an Noach.

21. This act of usurping one’s land through moving a landmark involves the idea of unfair competition. For example, if a person has a business in an area that will only support one business of that type, and someone moves in across the street and opens the same kind of business, this is said to be removing one’s neighor’s landmark. Shulchan Arukh, Choshen Mishpat, 156:1-7 24 Or today, the prevalent act of duplicating books or films or recorded songs without permission, even for one’s private use, is an act of moving your neighbor’s landmark, for one who does this denies his neighbor the right to make a living.

22. It is forbidden to withhold the salary of a worker. If one hires a worker, it is incumbent on the employer to pay the worker his wages at the conclusion of the day’s work, unless a different arrangement had been agreed upon ahead of time. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 9:9

It is similarly forbidden to refuse to repay a loan of money when one has the means to repay, or to refuse to return a borrowed object. Genesis 34:13, commentary of Ramban

All these are enjoined by the verse, “You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him (Leviticus 19:13).”

chanoch adds: All of these are related to theft and are included in the 16 Mitzvot.

23. An employer who works in a field or in a restaurant is permitted to eat the produce of the field or some of the restaurant’s food as he works if it is in connection with his work. For instance, if a person harvests grapes, he is permitted to snack on the grapes as he works. Similarly, if he is a cook, he is permitted to eat some of the restaurant’s food. But, if he merely irrigates the land on which grapes grow, his snacking on grapes is considered theft. Similarly, if he is a dishwasher in a restaurant, his snacking on the restaurant’s food is considered theft unless the owner expressly permits it. Even in permissible cases, the employee may snack only as he works. If he loads up a basket and secretly takes the food home to feed himself or his family, it is theft. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 9:9

24. If a person steals anything worth more than a pruta and then another steals it from him, both transgress the commandment prohibiting theft.

chanoch adds: These last two paragraphs relate to the 16 Mitzvot.