Ignorance of Law is no Excuse … even for Jews

Having had a number of interactions with a certain type of Jew, and maybe even a fake Jew, a certain fact of life becomes so much more evident to me. It’s a sad fact in some ways, but it’s also just the way things are in other parts of life.

Ok, David. Stop talking around the subject and just get to the point.

Gentiles who choose to learn and embrace the noahide code cannot and should not always rely on Jews to know the laws of Noah. It’s vital that a person knows the seven commandments for oneself. It’s even better if you know the seven commandments in detail and their sources and purpose. The more you know, the better.

What is and is not commanded

One reason for knowing the seven commandments for gentiles is simply so that you know what God commanded gentiles. Sounds simple, huh? But the simplicity doesn’t always translate across to what is taught by many regarding what a gentile must, should, can, shouldn’t and mustn’t do.

What do I mean?

The core commandments of the noahide law are prohibitions, things we mustn’t do. If there were courts of law based on the noahide law, the acts forbidden by the core laws would get the most severe punishment. They are the most basic standard of morality and what has been more or less explicitly commanded by God on gentiles. What are these prohibitions?

– Don’t pervert justice or commit injustice (the command is called Dinim or “civil laws”).

– Don’t curse God’s name.

– Don’t do idolatry.

– Don’t murder.

– Don’t have sex with forbidden sexual partners.

– Don’t steal

– Don’t eat meat taken from an animal while it’s alive

When a gentile avoids these prohibited acts, at the very least, he is living according the basic moral standard for gentiles as given by God. These things are a total no-no. Avoiding these acts at least grants a gentile right to life in this world. I won’t concern myself with the World to Come in this article. I’m just talking about the basic standard of behaviour for this life.

Again it must be understood that these are the core commandments. There may be other important things that a gentile must do and know, but they shouldn’t be mistaken for these prohibitions, these commandments. For example, it is very important that a gentile know that there is a Creator to everything, and that this Creator revealed his standard through humanity to the nation of Israel as recorded in the Torah of Moses. This is very important because it gives the basic moral standard for gentiles an objective basis. It should be known to a thinking person that to just have morality based solely on human reasoning is subjective and has no power to it to impose on others. What’s right in one person’s eyes may not be right in another person’s eyes. Every one doing what is right only according to themselves and their own reasoning is the source of many problems in this world and none can judge the other based on subjective standards like that. But knowing the divine basis of the Noahide laws makes firm that very law by showing that it is based on objectivity, a source outside of and infinitely superior to just human logic, a source that, as Creator, is in the right place to judge us all, a source with has effect at all times wherever one is. Such cannot be said for morality just based on human logic.

So it is very important for a person to know that there is a First Cause and Creator and His relationship to the basic standard for humanity. But such knowledge is not one of the core prohibitions/commandments. There is no core overt command that says “Believe in God” even though it is popularly spread across the internet as the first Noahide commandment. Since the commandments govern actions, the actual command is not to worship or serve, as a god, false gods, “false gods” basically meaning anything except from the real God, any aspect of creation, even angels.

People – devout gentiles and Jews (devout in the sense of their respective commandments) – can be unsettled when I say that “belief in God” is not one of the core seven commandments. But I think it is important to distinguish between what is commanded and what is important. Look at the way Rambam spoke of the Noahide commandments in his Mishneh Torah, Section Shofetim, Laws of Kings and their Wars, chapters 8 and 9. He never said that a gentile was commanded to believe in God. But he showed that it was important. Look at his listing. In chapter 8 he says that a gentile who accepts the seven commandments because God gave it to Moses at Mount Sinai is considered a “chassid” amongst the nations of the world and gets a place in the World to Come. By “chassid”, I mean someone devoted, in mind and action, to God’s commandments for mankind, including reverence for the source of those commandments. The same sentiment is reflected in these next words.

“The Rambam writing to Rav Hasdai stated: “Quoting from our sages, the righteous people from other nations have a place in the world to come, if they have acquired what they should learn about the Creator.” (quoted from Noahide Commandments by Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, translated by Yitzhak A. Oked Sechter)

But Rambam doesn’t say this is a command. He leaves such sentiments about active acknowledgement of God outside of his basic listing which he then starts in chapter 9 where he lists what makes one liable for punishment in a court of law and what goes against the core seven commands.

So it is the ideal for every gentile to reach the level of “chassid”, but the basic commandment is not the ideal. The basic commandment is just the platform, the basic standard. The basic standard gives you the right to live in this world. The ideal takes you beyond that. Not everyone wants the beyond, but they can still make this world a better place by just behaving in ways that avoid the prohibited acts stated in the basic standard.

I really hope I’m getting this out correctly.

The Difference between Obligations and Commandments

So, David, what’s the difference between a command and an obligation in terms of the Noahide Commandments?

Now my problem so far is that I’ve been using these English words, “commandments” and “obligations”, as if these words, in and of themselves, accurately describe my thoughts. So let me add some definition so you understand what I mean.

When I speak of commandments, I’m speaking of God, more or less, overtly ordering people in what they should and shouldn’t do. It has the same effect as a biblical verse saying, “and God commanded the man saying, Don’t do x!” We could use the more accurate term, “divine commandments”. It is clearly stated in the Talmud that only prohibitions, things we should not do, are counted amongst the Noahide Commandments.

The way I’m using the word “obligations” is not like that. Where obligations are concerned, they are not overtly commanded by God. They are actions that a person becomes aware of once one starts to think about and study God’s commandments for Gentiles and Jews and his revelation in the Torah and rest of the Jewish Bible. They would go along the lines of the following:

  • that which may not be commanded yet is expected of us;
  • important fences around the basic commandments, i.e., things we can do to avoid breaking the commandments.
  • positive commandments to do something (as opposed to negative ones, or prohibitions, things we should not do, acts to refrain from), which come from the axiom, “from a negative, one can infer a positive”, i.e., logically deducing a positive obligation from one of the core prohibitions.

I think I can give examples of each from the words of rabbis.

“that which may not be commanded yet is expected of us.” This refers to the idea that because we are made in the image of God, something that other living creatures and species don’t have, that in itself means that more is expected of us than the animals. Some know this befitting behaviour for humanity as derekh eretz and the concept and wording of this term is used by wise Jewish teachers. These teachings were condensed in an online article by Rav Binyamin Zimmerman in the article “Shiur 02: Natural Morality and the Divine Spark” found at http://vbm-torah.org/archive/chavero/02chavero.htm. In the section called “Tzelem Elokim and Its Obligations” [take note that “tzelem elokim” is normally translated as “image of God”], he extracts points from rabbis such as Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Baal Shem Tov and Rambam that shows that just by being created in God’s image demands of us a higher standard of behaviour than that of the animals. I’m not going to go in-depth into everything this can entail, but I will give one of his quotes to give you a taste of what I mean.

As Rav Moshe Cordovero writes (Tomer Devora, Introduction):

God’s tzelem and demut refer to His deeds, not to any bodily form. In order, therefore, for man to validate the image of God in which he was made, he should strive to imitate his Creator in His deeds. If he does so, he penetrates the mystery of God’s form; otherwise, he debases it.

Please note that tzelem is roughly translated as “image” and demut is roughly translated as “likeness”.

“important fences around the basic commandments.” This idea can be seen in Rashi’s commentary on the Talmud where he refers to “the spices”. I’ll quote Alan W. Cecil’s book “Secular by Design – A Philosophy of Noahide Laws and Observances”:

In Sanhedrin 74b, it states that “Noahites were given seven commandments … and all their ancillaries … Noahites are required to observe not only the seven basic Noahide laws but also the various regulations associated with them … Aruch … and Yad Ramah interpret the word … to mean ‘their spices.’ Spices are generally added to food merely to enhance its flavor, but a spice is not considered a food in its own right. Thus, our Gemara uses the term …, spices, to describe mitzvos [or commandments – DD addition] that strengthen or define other laws.” Weiner, The Schottenstein Talmud, Sanhedrin 74b, n. 20. (Alan W. Cecil, “Secular by Design – A Philosophy of Noahide Laws and Observances” page 434, footnote 2)

Another example of an important fence around a divine command for gentiles can be seen in the Divine Code. When discussing how the prohibition against turning to idols impacts Gentiles, it says the following:

However, this is forbidden for a Jew, because of the prohibition “Do not turn to the idols” (mentioned in topic 1). See topic 4, which explains that the basic reason for all the mentioned prohibitions in this chapter for Gentiles are precautions, lest one be drawn after an idol. But when there are practical reasons for a Gentile to enter a house of idol worship, it is permitted. This constitutes the basic difference between this command to Jews and to Gentiles. The Jewish prohibition, even though logically based, is obligatory in any case. But the Gentile is prohibited from a totally rational basis … (The Divine Code, by Moshe Weiner, page 145, footnote 18)

The prohibition against turning to idols for gentiles is a protective fence that helps a person avoid actually committing the offense of idolatry. It has a rational basis linked to the command against idolatry, but it is not a divine command in and of itself.

“positive commandments … from the axiom, ‘from a negative, one can infer a positive'”. Examples of this can be seen in the following. The prohibition against cursing God’s name is meant to “protect” his honour. This leads to the positive obligation that, if we speak of God at all, we are supposed to speak of God honourably. The prohibition against injustice leads to the positive obligation that there is a need for courts of law, and for a system of laws and procedures to protect and uphold justice. That fact that we are not allowed to commit idolatry would lead to the importance in knowing who the true God is to avoid any form of idol worship. So that leads to the positive obligation to know God.

This form of reasoning is seen in the book, the Divine Code, by Moshe Weiner, page 48 footnote 4, where he says:

“Obviously the commandment to believe in one God and no other is included in the prohibition against serving idols, based on the logical rule, “from the negative, one can infer the positive.”

What does he mean when he says that the commandment to believe in God is included in the prohibition against serving idols? I don’t know. But here’s what I can say with some certainty. The commandments which are counted amongst the Noahide Commandments are prohibitions. The command to believe in God is not a prohibition. Rabbi Weiner’s inferring this positive from this negative makes it a logical obligation that is linked to the core Noahide commandment, but it doesn’t make an actual command of God in its own right.

I believe that each category of “obligation” can overlap and there may categories that I’ve failed to mention. But the important thing to note is that these obligations, these derivations and supports and context-givers, they can vary in importance. Some are very important, and other not so. But they are not divine commands in and of themselves. We can’t say “God overtly commanded that gentiles should return stolen items.” It’s a good thing to do. It’s important for the thief’s healing and rehabilitation that he returns what he stole. When it comes to that individual’s standing before God, especially in a land that doesn’t keep the Noahide commandments, such as the vast majority of the whole world, the act of returning a stolen item and asking God, the Supreme Judge, for forgiveness can be important for thief’s life in this world and the next. But it cannot be said that God commanded the restoration of the stolen article(s).

Why are you saying these things, David? Are you not weakening a person’s resolve to do these obligations if you are saying that they are not commandments from God? I think it is better to be honest than to believe God commanded something when he didn’t. Eve appeared to make a similar mistake when she spoke of God commanding her and Adam not to touch the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad when God actually only commanded that they not eat from the tree. She mistook a fence, maybe a good defensive rule to avoid breaking the actual command, for the actual command itself.

Rambam expressed an important principle.

[Gentiles] are not to be allowed to originate a new religion or create commandments for themselves as if from God based on their own decisions. They may either become righteous converts and accept all the divine commandments or remain in his own Torah [the seven commandments] and he shall not add or diminish. (Mishneh Torah, Sefer Shofetim, Laws of Kings and their Wars, Chapter 10, Law 9, can be found at http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1188355/jewish/Chapter-10.htm)

Gentiles should know what we are commanded, the details of those overt commandments. We should know the righteous obligations that come alongside keeping those commandments to better ourselves and the world. And we should know the difference between both. That is so that we don’t end up creating a reason to doubt the commands. I’ll show you want I mean by rehashing something I learnt from a Jew once.

As in Genesis 3, the snake tempts Eve and Eve tells the snake that God commanded that she is not allowed to touch the forbidden tree or else she’ll be put to death. The snake, seeing Eve’s mistake in thinking, gets close to Eve and then pushes her against the tree, thereby touching the fruit. Eve is horrified for a moment as she thinks punishment is gonna hit her there and then. Then it slowly dawns on her that nothing is happening. No punishment! But wait there! Didn’t God command her not to touch the tree or she’ll die? And so if that’s ok to do, then what about eating it? God commanded that too, right? But if it’s ok to touch the tree, then why not eat from it? It looks good enough to eat, right? … etc, etc, etc.

That’s the danger that comes from mistaking the “obligations” for the “commands”. It is best to just accept the two for what they are. One is essentially important because God commanded it. The other is important because of the good context it can give to keeping God’s commandments. If we break an “obligation”, we have done a bad thing for ourselves and maybe the community, but it cannot be said that we’ve broken God’s commands.

Do you see what I’m getting at?

When [some] Jews get it wrong

Now Jews have an awesome responsiblity. They are custodians of a pact between the Supreme Being and their nation. They hold and treasure the revelation of God to man. And their pact and covenant gives them extra responsibilities and stipulations beyond the gentile seven commandments. They are commanded by God to love him and to pray. They are commanded by God to know him. They are commanded by God to keep Sabbath and return what was stolen with a penalty as well. In the mind of modern people, their elaborate system comes closest to what we could call “religion”, even though, in significant ways, it is not. They were the ones entrusted to keep a hold of the seven commandments for the children of Noah whilst the nations were busy gangbanging, worshipping nothings, going through sexual depravities, thieving, warring, mistreating animals, all sorts, almost like what the western nations, like USA, UK, and Europe, are doing today. So the Jews have their almost-religious-but-not system, and then they also hold the seemingly simplistic, more secular system of the Noahide Commandments.

Not only this, but, just like the rest of humanity, Jews come with a range of knowledge about their own law. Some know a lot. Some know little. Some know a lot about one area, but not so much about another. Some think they know a lot but don’t. Some are humble and put down their own immense knowledge.

What are the results of this?

It should be noted now that even some Gentiles fall into the trap of drawing the same mistaken conclusions as those that follow for other reasons, so this isn’t “anti-Jewish” moment.

So again, what are the results of this Jewish phenomenon?

You get some Jews who think they must dictate to us Gentiles what we must know, and any questioning of that is almost an insult to their nationality. For now, we can ignore that kind. They may be of some use, but studying for oneself is much better (with the right mindset of course). The only sad thing is their arrogance in thinking that the fact they have embraced the covenant of Moses and their own stipulations, that automatically gives them an authoritative voice when discussing the divine commandments for gentiles. You’ll see later on that they still should be aware of how much authority they really have to impose too much on gentiles.

Then there are the ones that mistake “obligations” for commands. Because certain laws and precepts are important in a Jewish setting, they assume the same things to be just as important in the gentile world. This is seen in the Jewish teachers of the Noahide Commandments who teach that belief in God is commanded on Gentiles, or over-emphasize concepts like prayer. If you see some Jews’ listing of the Seven Noahide Laws, or the listing of Gentiles who are taught by such Jews, you will see that they say that the first commandment is belief in God rather than the prohibition against idol-worship. Let me quote to quote the Talmud.

Our Rabbis taught: seven precepts were the sons of Noah commanded: social laws; to refrain from blasphemy, idolatry; adultery; bloodshed; robbery; and eating flesh cut from a living animal. (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, Folio 56a)

That’s supposed to be the source text for the exact codification about the laws of Noah (scripture alludes to it but it doesn’t codify it). I don’t know about you, but I don’t see a positive command to believe in God, just a prohibition against idolatry. It may just be an attempt to appeal to people who are religiously minded, but it blurs to line between what is commanded and what is an ideal. And too many times it does a job of creating more religious people instead of just making decent people. But the Jewish mindset where such things as prayer and belief in God is commanded bleeds across to the gentile commands where these things are not. This is another reason why it is important for us gentiles to learn and become adept in what the actual commands so we can know the difference and treat our fellow gentile accordingly.

Then there are the Jews that think all Gentiles are supposed to become Jews. They see the heights that their own covenant can take a Jew and think that this is the level that’s best for every human. They mistakenly think that learning God’s law for Gentiles is a steppingstone to becoming a Jew and can look down on those Gentiles that are happy remaining as Gentiles. This is another reason why it’s important to know these laws for ourselves. Why? Because these Jews ignore the title “commandments for the descendants of Noah” or “commandments for gentiles”. They are not commandments for conversion or naturalization into Israel. They are commandments for those who are gentiles. There is not one command from God in the whole of Jewish tradition, written or oral, that a Gentile must become a Jew! Thus they overstep their own standards, making an ideal that doesn’t exist. God wants righteousness and justice in the world. That doesn’t mean he wants the whole world to be Jewish, just that we at least live according to our respective divinely given laws, whether Jew or Gentile.

Then we have the ones that think that the Noahide laws are just seven simple sentences, too simple to base a whole morality on, having too many holes for righteousness. Again, let’s forget about obligations the Noahide Commandments lead into and consider just the Seven. I want anyone with an ounce of thought to compare what these Jews think to the actual Gentile Commands. Let’s take the prohibition against forbidden sexual partners. Just imagine what these Jews think to be the whole of this law:

No forbidden sexual partners.

Just imagine giving that to a Gentile, just that sentence. Do you think that tells a gentile, any human, anything they can actually live by? Ok, who are the sexual partners. What is considered legally as the sexual act? If it includes adultery, then what legally is marriage? And how can that marriage end, legally? And if incest is included, does it include every single person a person is genetically related to? What exactly are the limits? And these questions are just the tip of the iceberg for one single command. So much for “simple sentences”. The dim-wittedness of such an idea that the commandments are just simple statements is astounding. But a gentile who actually studies the subject is better prepared to handle such a viewpoint.

Such Jews are stuck in the numbers game thinking that the only way to live right is to have as many laws as they do. But they forget that one reason God gave them more laws is to have them as priests to set them apart from the world in some senses.

Again, these Jews will state that Gentiles are allowed certain things according to just the basic seven core commandments that not only are Jews forbidden but would be seen as immoral to some. Or they’ll say that the basic seven misses out some laws they see as fundamental, like love of God and prayer (seen that before somewhere?). They would include lesbianism, marrying one’s own daughter as things permitted in the basic seven. But again, such Jews betray and portray their own ignorance about what the basic seven laws are and what they do and don’t do. The seven basic commands are the most basic standard of morality for a person to have the right to life in this world. They are not laws for religion. They are just laws of basic decency. They are the platform for further righteousness to grow, not the ideal a gentile should aim for, which is why it’s even sadder that the nations of this world, in their legislation and in many minds, haven’t even reached this basic level in one way or another. The Jews who make this argument are ignorant of the fertile ground even those seven provide for further development in becoming better people through the righteous obligations linked to the Seven. The notions of such mentally impoverished Jews are upside-down thinking the basic is the ideal. Also such Jews can’t seem to grasp the concept that just because something is permitted, that doesn’t make it good, and doesn’t mean that the Noahide Code advertises these permissible acts as acceptable behaviour. A gentile who knows the Noahide Code should pity such people.

There are the “spiritual” Jews who teach Kabbalah or Jewish deep/mystical philosophy first and the Noahide laws afterwards or in-between. After me going on about the importance of knowing the difference between what is commanded and what is an obligation, and the fact that the Noahide Commandments are foundation, the basic grounding for gentile morality, you may see why such an approach, though having some benefits, is fundamentally weak. It’s like building a house from the second or third floor downward. No basic framework. Such an approach is prone to so many mistakes and deceptions, it’s unbelievable. Real Jews are supposed to be over forty years old and thoroughly knowledgeable in the written Torah, the rest of the Jewish Bible, the Mishnah and Talmud before they are even taught the REAL kabbalah. That’s called real foundation work. And Jews want to teach it to Gentiles??? We don’t even have a world that keeps the basic laws and they wish to set us on the mountain top to teach us how to climb down??? Wow! Good luck with that! I’ve seen the communication skills of some Gentiles who have taken that route. Too many times it’s a job to translate what they’re saying … and they’re speaking the same language as you!!!

And finally we have the Jews who actually study and know the Noahide Commandments. Thank God for them!

David, who are you to judge?

David, these people know better than you. [Yes, I’m talking to myself!] Their nation had the Torah for thousands of years before a little nobody like you appeared. You’re a gentile who has no historical, generational connection to their heritage. You were a christian. You’re a johnny-come-lately. They have studied their tradition and the revelation over and over and over again. You haven’t even read the whole Mishnah or Talmud. You don’t have access to their library of Hebrew texts or the texts written over history by their rabbis from different countries in different language. I mean, honestly, David, who the hell are you to judge?

Now someone reading that previous paragraph may envision me loading a gun with bullets, taking off the safety, aiming the barrel at my own foot and pulling the trigger … repeatedly. That’s another way of saying that I’ve shot myself in the foot. Haven’t I pulled the rug from under my own feet with that self-inflicted tirade?

Surprisingly, maybe not.

There is a difference between the Jews and me. I’ve got a vested interest in studying the divine commandments for gentiles. I’ve got a personal reason for getting it right and making sure I do. Can you guess what that interest is, what that reason is? Well, those laws are God’s commands to gentiles. I’m a gentile! I’m a gentile who knows that he owes everything to God and wants to do his best to do what he is commanded by God and as much as possible that surrounds those commandments, i.e., the obligations.

There’s another difference between the Jews and me. Jews cannot live the Noahide Laws! Yes, you heard me right. The extra stipulations that the Jews have are commandments from God. They have to beware of what buildings they go into for religious reasons. A gentile doesn’t have to. A Jew (just to say now, I’m speaking about real Jews, those who embrace their covenant with God, not just genetic ones) has to be careful about whether they are cooking milk with meat, or what restaurants they eat at, just in case their is unclean elements there. A gentile doesn’t. And, again, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of differences between the Jews’ interaction with the Noahide Commandments and mine, a gentile’s, The Jews’ lifestyle, in some ways, separates them from what is like to actually live life as a gentile. So they may have the Noahide Commandments in theoretical written or oral form. But only a gentile can actually live and apply it more fully. It is a well-known fact that there is a big difference between studying and knowing something, and actually doing it.

For all the centuries and millenia that the Jews had the revelation and the Torah and the heritage, for much of it, they were either in their own land where it served only theoretical purposes or however it applied to the gentiles in their own lands who had a slightly different status to gentiles living outside their land; or they were in exile and had to spend most of their efforts maintaining their own law and their own responsibilities whilst under persecution. At those times, the study of the Noahide Commandments were of less priority. Yes, there were rabbis that wrote about it and mentioned it and some of the Gentiles “obligations”/commandments, but not many places do you find it the focus of discussion, or, more importantly, study.

That’s why you’ll find a few places that will mention how the knowledge of the Noahide Commandments and the details and how it differs from Jewish law, all of this is not widely known amongst the Jews.

There is even a rabbi called “The Rebbe” who said that a gentile should not rely on a Jew to know the Noahide Commandments because of these evil times that we currently live in. Man, I wish I could find the quote. If anyone out there knows the exact quote I’m referring to, let me know. I’m not affiliated to Chabad. My respect for the Rebbe doesn’t come from any acceptance of what some claim about him. He just made a lot of sense as a man and a knowledgeable Jew. That’s it!

Based just on what I’ve said, something may cross the minds of some who think through what I’m actually saying. Based on the limited interaction Jews have with living the Gentile Commandments as Gentiles in Gentile lands, there are some places where the Jews has to just teach what they know, and then step aside for the Gentiles to deal with the real life living situations. The Jews may be our priests, our teachers, our guides, but they cannot be our leaders. Their primary responsibility is to maintain their own people, keep the covenant that God has given them, basically preserve all that Israel is as a covenant nation and treasure of God. It is by doing this and keeping their own laws that they become a light to the nations. You can see this is Deuteronomy 4, where the nations with see the wisdom of God’s Torah when the Jews actually keep the law. They are custodians of the whole Torah, written and oral, including the Noahide Code which they should teach the rest of the nations when the opportunity presents itself.

But the most important thing that us Gentiles should know, the most essential thing, is what God commands us. And it is by knowing what God commands us Gentiles that we can learn, grow, and protect ourselves from the ignorance that lives amongst both Gentiles and Jews. And ignorance is one of the main reason why our governments and nations are as sick as they are.

What are you saying, David?

What I’m not saying is that we should disrespect or insult Jews. They are God’s people, chosen, set apart. They are a wealth of information with regards to God’s revelation and details of the Noahide Commandments. There are still many good teachers amongst them. There are still many good people amongst them.

I’m not saying not to listen to anything Jewish teachers say about the Noahide Laws or even the other obligations we should keep. There are so many righteous teachings and laws a Gentile can learn from. The laws concerning gossip, the respect that should be given to women, even how to treat employees, etc. There are practices we could adopt just because they are good and will benefit us, not because God commanded them. [It’s a shame that some Gentiles believe they must be commanded by God to do a good thing for it to have value.]

What I’m saying … what I’m asking is that we as Gentiles actually take the time to know the Noahide Commandments as much as possible, that we learn the difference between what is commanded, what is important, what is suggested, and the differences between each. This is all the more important when there are such things as ignorant and arrogant Jews who can distort the gentile commandments or arrogate themselves to the place of teacher/dictator over gentiles eager to learn from the Torah just because they are Jewish or have had the opportunity to learn consistently under a rabbi. Just think about the extra things we as Gentiles have to deal with: wicked governments, corrupt police forces, idolators, christians who try to rip the noahide code to shreds, the promotion of ideas and actions against the seven commandments through media and society due to the secular/godless culture, unjust political parties asking for support from gentiles to give them power to ruin the nations further. All these forces make it damn necessary for us to know what God commanded and become adept at it so that we can bat any nonsense from any quarter aside. And whereas the Jews primary concern should be God, Torah and Israel, a Gentiles primary concern must be obedience to God’s commandments and the betterment of the communities and the world around us.

I know that this article will neither popular or welcome to some. Some may not like my current stance on what the Noahide Commandments are, in comparison with the “obligations”. Some may think I cross the line and have insulted the Jews. I’m betting that there are some mistakes in this article, grammatical and contextual. But there is an essence to this article that I wish would shine through, regardless of whether you agree or not:

Kick ignorance to the curb and get some decent knowledge about the Gentile commands. The danger and risks you face without that knowledge are many, even, unfortunately, from some Jews. The benefit you gain from knowing the basics and growing beyond them is wonderful.

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4 Comments

  1. Elisheva Barre

    This is a beautiful post. I like it very much and take it very seriously.
    As I was writing my book, I had such questions at the back of my mind all the time.
    AlI I tried to do is to convey to the best of my knowledge what the Torah and our tradition say and correct rampant misunderstandings (hence the chapter “The Guiding Principles of Our Study”) without intruding into foreign lands, and let the words of the Torah and Halacha make their way…
    I would like to quote extracts of this post in the second edition of my book because what you write completes the picture and it is an aspect that is missing. If you allow me to do so, I will let you know which part/parts of this post I would choose. Please reply to this request by email.
    I am going through your blog and enjoy it very much. God bless you!

    • Feel free. I’m blessed immensely that you, who I esteem highly, can see positives in my words. You may not be mentioned in every post, but know, you were an influence. Feel free to quote and use with by blessing.

  2. Elisheva Barre

    You write: “There is even a rabbi called “The Rebbe” who said that a gentile should not rely on a Jew to know the Noahide Commandments because of these evil times that we currently live in. Man, I wish I could find the quote. If anyone out there knows the exact quote I’m referring to, let me know”.
    I do not know if this is the quote you mean because it does not mention “evil times” but in the compilation of the Rebbe’s sayings about the BN Laws called “Kol Baye Olam” we find the following:
    “Non-Jews have to learn Torah and they cannot rely on asking Jews questions about each and every detail what to do, especially since there is no assumption that a Jew will know all the details of the seven Bnei Noah commandments for there are a number of differences and modifications concerning their own obligations”.

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