Noahide handout

The Seven laws of Noahide  

 

The Children of Noah

At the dawn of creation, G-d commanded the first human being Adam with six laws to follow in order that His world be sustained. Later, after the Great Flood, he charged Noah with one more.

The Children of Noah comprise the seventy original nations of the world and their branches. They are commanded concerning the Seven Universal Laws, also known as the “Seven Noahide Laws”. These Seven Universal Laws pertain to idolatry, blasphemy, murder, theft, sexual relations, eating the limb of a living animal, and establishing courts of law

By observing the Seven Universal Laws, mankind is given the means by which it can perfect itself. The individual, through these laws, has the power to refine his essential being. In the Bible book of Genesis as interpreted by our tradition in the Talmud. There will come a time, our sages told us, when the children of Noah will be prepared to return to this path. That will be the beginning of a new world, a world of wisdom and peace.

For most of Jewish history, circumstance did not permit our people to spread these principles, other than by indirect means. When The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, leader of the world Jewry, has said that this is to bring about universal peace and the Messianic Redemption.

What is fascinating the breathing room they provide. They resonate equally in a hut in Africa or a palace in India, in a school in Moscow or a suburban home in America. They are like the guidelines of a great master of music or art: firm, reliable and comprehensive —but only a base, and upon this base each people and every person may build.

According to the sages of the Talmud, there are 70 families with 70 paths within the great Family of Man. And each individual has his or her path within a path. Yet, there is one universal basis for us all.

Anyone who lives by these laws, acknowledging that they are what G-d wants of us, is considered by our tradition to be righteous. That person is a builder with a share in the world as it is meant to be.

The Noahide laws is a sacred inheritance of all the children of Noah, one that every person on the face of the earth can recite every day. And if enough of us will begin to say these same words every day, we will see a different world today.

 

 

 

 

The Seven Noahide laws 

 

I, child of Noah,
caretaker of our precious planet earth,
accept upon myself the responsibility for peace and oneness in our world,
as accepted by Adam and by Noah,
transmitted by Moses and his people over the ages:

 

1) I will not worship anyone or anything other than the One Creator, who cares for the creatures of our world, renewing the Act of Creation at every moment in infinite wisdom, being life for each thing.
In this is included prayer, study and meditation.

 2) I will not show disrespect for the Creator in any way.
This may be seen to include respect for the beauty and life of the Creation.

 3) I will not murder.
Each human being, just as Adam and Eve, comprises an entire world. To save a life is to save that entire world. To destroy a life is to destroy an entire world. To help others live is a corollary of this principle. Every human being that G-d has created is obliged to provide for others in need.

 4) I will respect the institution of marriage.
Marriage is a most divine act. The marriage of a man and a woman is a reflection of the Oneness of G-d and His creation. Dishonesty in marriage is an assault on that Oneness.

 5) I will not take that which does not rightfully belong to me.
Deal honestly in all your business. By relying on G-d, rather than on our own conniving, we express our trust in Him as the Provider of Life.

 6) I will not cause needless harm to any living thing.
At the outset of his creation, Man was the gardener in the Garden of Eden to "take care of it and protect it." At first, Man was forbidden to take the life of any animal. After the Great Flood, he was permitted to consume meat--but with a warning: Do not cause unnecessary suffering to any creature.

 7) I will uphold courts of truth and justice in my land.
Justice is G-ds business, but we are given the charge to lay down necessary laws and enforce them whenever we can. When we right the wrongs of society, we are acting as partners in the act of sustaining the creation.

 May the nations beat their swords into plowshares. May the wolf lie down with the lamb. May the earth fill with wisdom as waters cover the ocean floor. And may it be very soon in all of our lifetimes, sooner than we imagine.