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 4 that comes from a blog BY NETIV / THE PATH · SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
1. With respect to God’s commandments, all of humanity is divided into two general classifications: the Children of Israel and the Children of Noah.
The Kabbalah teaches that the difference between these categories is that the souls of the Children of Israel are further along their Tikune path. It also teaches that there is a relationship between the souls of the Children of Israel and the souls of the Children of Noach. This relationship started in the worlds of Tohu and Bohu and became established in the paradoxical actions of the Breaking of the Vessels.
2. The Children of Israel are the Jewish people, the descendants of the Patriarch Jacob. They are commanded to fulfill the 613 Commandments of the Torah.
The 613 Mitzvot is obligatory on the Children of Israel. Many of the Mitzvot physical action can only be done when the Temple exists. Other of the Mitzvot can only be done when one is resident in the physical Land of Israel. All of the Mitzvot can be studied by the Children of Israel and the Creator credits each soul with the actions of the Mitzvot when they study these Mitzvot from the written and oral Torahs. The Mitzvot of the children of Noach can be performed at two levels. One level is a generally simpler level and is obligatory on the Children of Noach. The Children of Noach may make a free choice decision to do all of the 613 Mitzvot except those Mitzvot that relate to the King of Israel and the Mitzvot that apply to the Priests and Levites. This difference of obligation and free choice is the most important distinction between the two communities.
3. The Children of Noah comprise the seventy original nations of the world and their branches. They are commanded concerning the Seven Universal Commandments which are known as the Seven Laws of Noah. Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 56a These seven universal laws are the elementary and basic principles of civilized humanity. The seven laws pertain to idolatry, blasphemy, murder, theft, forbidden sexual relations, eating the limb of a living animal, and establishing courts of law.
In earlier classes we taught two Mitzvot - Know HaShem and Teshuvah - that do not appear to be in the list of the seven Mitzvot. One, "Know HaShem" is included in the first item on the list - Idolatry. In order to know what is idolatry one needs to know what is not idolatry and that is an aspect of "Know HaShem". Teshuvah is a sign of HaShem's Mercy. It provides a tool to undo any mistakes that one makes with respect to the 7 Mitzvot and the 613 Mitzvot. The Kabbalah teaches that Teshuvah is created prior to the Creation of the physical world. That is the only way that the possibility of changing an action from negative to positive or from negative to having never been done exists. Do you see where in the list of 7 Mitzvot you would find the idea of Teshuvah? It is in the idea of establishing courts of law. The results of doing Teshuvah relates to a judgment system to evaluate the inner essence of the persons desires and feelings.
4. All Seven Universal Laws are prohibitions. The Ramban lists establishing Courts of Law as a positive command. Do not wonder at this. Negative commandments are of a higher order than positive commandments, and their fulfillment, which takes more effort than positive commandments, earns a greater reward.
Why do you think that the author said that the 7 are all negative while the Ramban indicates that establishing a court of law is a positive Mitzvah. Perhaps it is due to the fact that the understanding that the Mitzvah is to establish courts of law that treat all litigants fairly and with justice. That aspect is a positive aspect.
Why do you think that the negative is of a higher order? It is due to the fact that a human being is created as a "desire to receive". Therefore it is more difficult to stop doing something since we have to stop our innate desires rather than fulfill a desire as we do when we do a positive Mitzvah, in my opinion.
5. Men and women are equal in their responsibility to observe these seven commandments. Encyclopedia Talmudica, The Children of Noah, volume 3, page 348
6. It is a matter of dispute as to when a person becomes responsible for his or her actions under these laws. One opinion holds that it depends on the intellectual development of the individual. Rabbeinu Asher (the Rosh), responsa number 16According to this opinion, as soon as a child has attained the maturity to understand the meaning and significance of the Seven Universal Laws, This is known as a “bar daat,” a child of knowledge, i.e., one whose intellectual development is sufficient for him or her to make reasonable choices. He is obligated to the fullest extent of the law.
The other opinion is that a boy reaches the age of legal responsibility at his thirteenth birthday and a girl at her twelfth birthday. Babylonian Talmud, Nazir 29b, commentary of Rashi: “And Rabbi Yose…”; Likutei Sichot, volume 5, page 421
7. The Children of Noah are permanently warned concerning the Seven Universal Laws. This means that ignorance of the law is not a valid defense. One cannot claim, for example, that he did not know that idolatry was one of the seven commandments. Nor can he claim that he did not know that bowing down to an idol constitutes idolatry. However, he can claim that he did not realize that a certain idol was an idol, for that is not ignorance of the law. Therefore, one is duty bound to study the Seven Universal Laws to the best of one’s ability and to teach the knowledge of them to one’s children.
Is there a difference between the 7 Mitzvot of the Children of Israel and the 10 Utterances or Chas V'Shalom Commandments? What are they? One significant difference is the 10 Utterances relate to the Tikune of Zeir Anpin while the 7 Mitzvot of the Children of Noach relates to Malchut. Only the Children of Israel are able to achieve tikune at the level of Zeir Anpin.
8. When one of the Children of Noah resolves to fulfill the Seven Universal Laws, his or her soul is elevated. This person becomes one of the Chasidei Umot ha-Olam, the Pious Ones of the Nations, and receives a share of the Eternal World. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 8:11 The Holy Scriptures call one who accepts the yoke of fulfilling the Seven Universal Laws a ger toshav, a proselyte of the gate. This person is permitted to live in the Land of Israel and to enter the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and to offer sacrifices to the God of Israel. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Forbidden Relationships, 14:7
Ger Toshav גר תשוב has a general translation as a "stranger who sits" or a "convert who sits". It can also mean a "stranger who is a resident". The definition provided in section 8 is clearly coming from a person with an agenda. In my opinion, a Ger Toshav is one who chooses to accept the 613 less some Mitzvot upon themselves. This is the essence of the Talmudic discussion about this phrase. The agenda of the author in my opinion is to continue to keep a separation between the Children of Israel and the Children of Noach even as he promotes the growth and knowledge of the Children of Israel.
9. Although the Children of Noah are commanded only concerning the Seven Universal Laws, they are permitted to observe any of the 613 Mitzvot.
10. A Noahide who, though forbidden, engages in learning Torah or observes the Sabbath in the manner of Jews, or reveals novel meanings to verses in the Torah, may be physically restrained and informed that he is liable for capital punishment by divine decree, but he is not put to death by a court of law.
Note: The action taken against this person is only meant to dissuade him from doing forbidden acts.
It is interesting to note that the source for this teaching is not quoted. This is part of the agenda mentioned above. i do not think it is actually taught in the Talmud, yet i can not be certain.
11. The responsibility of The Seven Noahide Laws is a yoke of faith in God. This means that the laws must be observed solely because God commanded them. If the Children of Noah observe these Seven Universal Laws for any reason or intention other than to fulfill God’s will, no divine reward for the performance is received. This means that if one of the Children of Noah says, “These laws seem sensible and beneficial, therefore I will observe them,” his actions accomplish nothing and he is not a Ger Toshav (Resident Foreigner) nor is he considered one of the Chasidei Umot HaOlam - Merciful of the World. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 8:11
i.e., a Noahide who worships idols and is, therefore, not one of the Chasidei Umot Haolam (Pious Gentile). The acum damages his soul if he studies portions of the Torah that do not pertain to him.
In Kabbalah we teach that doing something because someone, even HaShem, commands it is idol worship. Yet this is a motivating tool to cause someone generally children to do these Mitzvot. It is a lower level. Generally it is related to a fear of punishment which is not a good motivation yet is a valid motivation until someone grows to a higher level.
12. A Noahide who studies Torah is comparable to the High Priest of the Jews, for both are rewarded with a share of the World to Come. Babylonian Talmud, Baba Kamma, 38a
This is a very powerful statement. In our generation we all know many people who follow the man from Nazareth who study the Torah from a corrupted translation. How does that fit with the pasuk 12. When we learn all about the 7 Mitzvot we will realize that there are people who follow the man from Nazareth yet do not accept the assertions of the Church and therefore do not follow these teachings as idol worship. It is up to each person's free choice to determine what is right for them. Then the higher courts will determine if the individual is comparable to the High Priest or not.
13. If one of the Children of Noah wishes to accept the full responsibility of the 613 Commandments of the Torah, he or she can convert and become a Jew in every respect. One who elects to do this is called a Ger Tzedek, a righteous proselyte. Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh Deah, Laws of Conversion, chapter 268, law 2
Kabbalah teaches that a Child of Noach can do all 613 Mitzvot without converting - although it is proscribed from this person studying the laws of the Cohenim and the laws of the Kings of Israel. Yet there is a difference between one who chooses to convert and one who does not. A human being finds it more difficult to do an action when they are ordered to do them than if they do the action of their own free choice. This is why it says that the Jews of the generations after the Giving of the Torah are considered more righteous than even the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
613 Commandments of the Torah for the sake of receiving divine reward. Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zara 64b; Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 10:9. According to some opinions the exceptions to this are:
A. Observing the Sabbath in the manner of the Jews. This means that the Children of Noah may not completely rest from the 39 creative work activities that were needed for the building of the Tabernacle during the Exodus from Egypt. This is a complicated subject whose details and implications are outside the scope of this book, but will be addressed at greater length in a later work.
The Kabbalah teaches that the Children of Noach do not have a vessel to handle all of the light of Shabbat and that is why it is recommended that a Child of Noach who starts to keep / guard Shabbat to make sure they do one action that separates them from keeping / guarding Shabbat.
B. Observing the Jewish holy days in the manner of the Jews. This also means resting from the creative work activities in a similar manner to the Sabbath. There are several fundamental differences between resting on the Sabbath and resting on a Jewish holiday. A full discussion of these details and implications will similarly be included in a later work.
C. Studying those parts of the Torah that do not apply to the Noahides’ service of God. This prohibition, like the others, may apply to some Children of Noah and not others.The Rambam in the Mishneh Torah forbids these categories to the “acum,” a term for an idol worshipper, literally meaning one who worships stars and constellations. This would indicate that a Noahide who has elevated his soul by accepting the Seven Laws may well be permitted to engage in Torah study, Shabbat observances, etc.
D - A. Writing a Torah scroll comprising the Five Books of Moses.
Please note there is no source given for this exception. It is my opinion that this exception is verbalized in order to create a difference between Children of Israel and the followers of the Man from Nazareth.
E. Receiving an aliyah to the Torah. Being called up to a communal reading of selected portions of the Torah. There are 65 Talmudic or Halakhic study of subjects that pertain exclusively to the Jew’s service of God is expressly forbidden to an acum..
The person given an Aliyah - called to the Torah is a channel for the Light of the Torah to the community. The vessel of the Children of Israel is not sufficiently capable of performing that role, according to Kabbalah.
Note: A prime purpose of the Seven Universal Laws is to teach the Children of Noah about the Oneness of God. Therefore, it is permissible and even imperative that he acquire this knowledge from Torah study. This includes the entire twenty-four books of the Hebrew Scriptures. Also, the study of any part of the Torah that brings one to greater knowledge concerning the performance of the Seven Noahide Commandments is permissible.
It is a principle of Judaism, however, not to seek converts, and one who requests conversion is generally discouraged. Should the person persist in the desire to convert, counsel should be taken only with an Orthodox rabbi or scholar, for conversion not in accord with Halakha, Torah Law, is no conversion at all, and conversion supervised and granted by rabbis who themselves do not follow the laws of the Torah are null and void, neither recognized in heaven nor by any God-fearing Jew.
14. It is incorrect to think that since the Children of Israel have 613 Commandments and the Children of Noah have seven commandments, the ratio of spiritual worth is proportionally 613 to 7. The truth is that the Seven Universal Laws are general commandments, each containing many parts and details, whereas the 613 Commandments of the Torah are specific, each relating to one basic detail of the Divine Law. Therefore, the numerical disparity in no way reflects the relative spiritual worth of the two systems of commandments. The Seven Laws of Noah, Lichtenstein, chapter 9,
The prime difference in the service of the Israelite and that of the Noahide is that the Noahide sees the existence of existence, that is, he refines the world, whereas the Israelite sees the non-existence of existence, that is, he reveals divinity in the world. Of course, refining the world reveals its inherent divinity and revealing divinity inevitably refines the world.
15. The statutory penalty for intentionally transgressing any one of the Seven Laws of Noah is capital punishment. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 9:14. This is the opinion of the Rambam. The subject will be discussed more fully in Chapter 11, Courts of Law 67chanoch adds: i am not sure why this is being said at this point. If it is meant to frighten than it is not a teaching of Torah. Hopefully you will not become frightened by this section.
A Noahide who inadvertently violates one of his commandments is exempt from all punishment. The sole exception is a person who murders unwittingly but negligently. Although the courts will not punish the killer for manslaughter, he may be killed by a blood redeemer. The blood redeemer is someone close to the slain party who seeks retribution. The blood redeemer in turn will not be killed for his actions. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 10:1. This is the opinion of the Rambam. The subject will be discussed more fully in Chapter 11, Courts of Law 67 According to others, in the case of murder, a transgressor of the Noahide Law who is ignorant of the law receives the death penalty in a court of law.
16. If the courts cannot punish an individual for lack of witnesses or any other reason, the transgressor will be punished from heaven by divine decree. Commentary of Rashi on Exodus 23:7 and 21:13;Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 37b
This applies to every human being - both children of Israel and Noach. When people learn the truth of the Torah they will realize that all deaths and financial loss comes from the Creator based on the spiritual courts decisions. HaShem is merciful and gives people time to do Teshuvah to annul these decrees. The problem is most people do not know this truth or if they do know it - do not believe it.
17. Besides the Seven Universal Commandments, the Children of Noah have traditionally taken it upon themselves to fulfill the commandment of honoring father and mother. Nahal Eshkol, Laws of Circumcision, chapter 39, number 6
As discussed briefly above the Noachide laws are general obligations. The honoring of parents is a particular obligation of all people that is included in the 7 Noachide Mitzvot. Can you tell which one? Perhaps it is "Know HaShem" or "proper courts". It is recommended to contemplate this question, as it will help you accept this action as a Mitzvah and not just "good behavior".
18. Some authorities are of the opinion that the Children of Noah are obligated to fulfill the commandment of giving charity. Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 56b, commentary of Rabbeinu Nissim, “And He commanded him – these are the judges” Others state that it is proper and meritorious for the Children of Noah to give charity but that it is not actually commanded of them. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 10:10
19. If a Noahide who follows the Seven Universal Laws gives charity, the Israelites accept it from him and give it to the poor of Israel. Through the merit of giving charity to the Jewish poor, one is given life by God and saved from death. But if a Noahide does not accept the yoke of the Seven Noahide Laws, but remains an acum and gives charity, it may not be given it to the needy of Israel. His charity is given to poor Noahides only. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 10:10
It is my opinion that this law is not well followed today. Rabbis as human beings find it difficult to refuse to collect funds from any source since the Rabbis of this generation soul roots are rooted in the Erev Rav soul roots - teaching of the Zohar. That does not mean that they are not to be followed, just realize the teachings may have become corrupted as has happened here.
20. If one of the Children of Noah arises and performs a miracle and says that God sent him, then instructs others to add to or subtract from any of the Seven Universal Laws or explains them in a way not heard at Mount Sinai, or claims that the 613 Commandments given to the Jews are not eternal, but limited to a fixed period of time, this person is deemed a false prophet and incurs the death penalty. Mishna Torah - Foundations of Torah, 9:1
21. There is an oral tradition that the Children of Noah are forbidden to interbreed animals of different species or to graft trees of different kinds, Mishna Torah - Foundations of Torah, 10:6 although some authorities hold that they are permitted to do either. Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh Deah, chapter 297, note 3, commentary of the Shach However, they may wear shaatnez clothing containing both wool and linen. and they may plant different seeds such as grape and wheat in the same field, which are acts forbidden to Jews. Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 56b Forbidden interbreeding and grafting are not punishable in courts of law. chanoch adds: Only by spiritual courts.
22. The Sages of Israel state that descendants of the children of Ketura, the sons of Abraham’s concubine, Hagar, who were born after Ishmael and Isaac, must by law be circumcised. Since today the descendants of Ishmael are intermixed with the descendants of the other sons of Hagar, all are obligated to be circumcised on the eighth day after they are born. Those transgressing this are not liable for the death penalty. Mishna Torah Laws of Kings Chapter 10 Laws 7 and 8.commentary of Rashi, “And if you want to say circumcision…” This law applies to Semitic peoples, although all other nations are allowed to circumcise if they desire.One opinion maintains that only the six sons of Hagar and not their descendants were obligated to be circumcised.
24. In accord with the Seven Universal Laws, mankind is enjoined against creating any religion based on his own concept. He either develops religion based on this Divine Code of Laws or becomes a righteous proselyte, a Jew, and accepts all 613 commandments of the Torah. Babylonian Talmud, Baba Kamma 38a
All religions are therefore correct providing they follow the above recommendations. In effect mankind is given permission to create their own paths of spirituality. This is an amazing teaching. Do you think black religions like Satanism or Black Wicca and the like are valid under these laws and regulations? One has to research the laws. This is what Yitro did according to the Midrashim.
Note: Concerning making holidays for themselves, Noahides may participate in the celebration of Jewish holidays, such as Shavuot, celebrating the Giving of the Torah, since the Children of Noah received their commandments at the same time, or Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and Day of Judgment, since all mankind is judged by God on that day, so it should therefore be important to the Noahide as well as the Israelite. Rosh Hashanah is also the day that Adam, the First Man, was created by God, and all mankind is descended from Adam just as it is from Noah. Me’am Loez, Genesis, chapter 13, page 194 The Noahide celebrates these holidays in order to bring additional merit and reward to himself.
Moreover, the Noahide is strictly forbidden to create a new holiday that has religious significance and claim that it is part of his religion, even if the religion relates to the Seven Noahide Laws.
For example, it would be forbidden to make a holiday celebrating the subsiding of the waters of the Great Flood or anything similar. All the more so, it is forbidden to institute holidays that ascribe religious significance to events unrelated to the Seven Noahide Laws. Celebrating secular activities and commemorating historical events, even if they involve a festive meal, are permissible.
There is no source specified and thus i think that this comes from a need to separate from the religion following the teachings of the Man from Nazareth.
25. The nations of the world acknowledge the existence of God and essentially do not transgress the will of God. Their failing is an inability to be nullified to God, and they deny His Oneness by thinking that they themselves are separate entities, calling Him the God of gods. Therefore, we find that when they transgress the Seven Noahide Commandments, it is only because a spirit of folly enters them and covers the truth, concealing it from them. source is not clear But from their essential being, they are not able to transgress the Will of God. Therefore, even Balaam, the wicked prophet who had sexual relations with his donkey, a clear transgression of the Seven Noahide Laws, said, “I am not able to transgress the word of God (Numbers 22:18).”
26. The commandment to be fruitful and multiply was given to Noah, but inasmuch as it was not repeated at Mount Sinai, this commandment is not considered part of the Seven Universal Laws. Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 59b
This Mitzvah was not given to Noach but Adam and Eve. It is considered one of the specific 613 laws and does apply to the Children of Noach. Which of the 7 laws does it fall within, in your opinion?
However, the Children of Noah have the obligation to make the entire earth a dwelling place for mankind. Sefer HaChinuch, First Commandment This is minimally achieved by every couple giving birth to a male and a female child who are in turn capable of reproduction. Shulchan Arukh, Even HaEzer, chapter 1, law 5
A couple that bears more children is credited with bringing more spiritual goodness into the world, assuming that these children are reared in an environment of morality by observing the Seven Universal Laws.
27. A Noahide who strikes an Israelite, causing even a slight wound, though he is theoretically condemned for this, does not receive the death penalty. Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 10:6
28. When a Noahide dies, he is to be buried in the earth, “for out of it were you taken; for you are dust and unto dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).” This does not mean that a Noahide transgresses one of the Seven Commandments by utilizing another process such as Sefer HaArchin Chabad, volume 2, The Nations of the World, chapter 1, cremation or cryogenic preservation, but he or she will lack the atonement that burial in the earth accomplishes. Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 46b
29. By observing the Seven Universal Laws, mankind is given the means by which it can perfect itself. The individual, through these laws and the pathway they open for him, has the power to refine his essential being, reaching higher and higher without limit.
It was taught in the school of Elijah the Prophet, “I call heaven and earth to bear witness, that any individual, man or woman, Jew or Gentile, freeman or slave, can have the Holy Spirit bestowed upon him. It all depends on his deeds.” Tana D’Bei Eliyahu, beginning of Chapter 9.
King Solomon, the wisest of men, wrote, “Ultimately, all is understood: fear God and observe His commandments, for this is the completion of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”
In the following classes we will start to study each of the Mitzvot of the Noachide one by one.
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