MOBILIZING CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS ETHICS – United Nations HQ 2015
UN HQ – UNESCO Combating Violent Extermism on July 21, 2016
Rabbi Yakov Dovid Cohen on Capital Hill Washington DC 2014
Rabbi Yakov D Cohen talks in UN HQ ICD conf 2017
Universal Noahide Conf in UN HQ Nov 29, 2016
Imam Shamsi Ali on Peace
Universal Noahide Code at UN HQ
Universal Noahide Code at the UN
One man had a dream once, that his children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. This dream was born out of the ashes of a crumbling belief that one man was worth more than another. This misguided idea, that a free man was still subject to the will of his former masters, was and still is a microcosm of a problem that is facing the world today.
The prejudice, bigotry, violence and wickedness that infects every nation is the result of a lawlessness born out of our tendency to forget our past. The nations of our planet face daily battles between people whose only real fault is ignorance of the laws given to mankind since the time of Adam. These forgotten laws are known as the Universal Noahide Laws and are ostensibly a paragon of ethical behavior meant to guide mankind to perfection through good deeds and to propagate knowledge and understanding of the Divine.
It should be the dream of all people that our children should not only live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, religion or social status, but that they should live in a nation that adopts these Universal Laws as the foundation of the existence of that nation.
In 1945, the United Nations was established to promote international co-operation as well as to create and maintain international order. The original 51 member states began with a vision that all nations, great and small, would benefit from a conglomerate of working together in their efforts to foster social and economic development, provide humanitarian aid, promote human rights and maintain peace between all nations. Today, over 190 countries have joined this international body in hopes that the infrastructure of peace lies within.
One of the principal organs of the UN is the Economic and Social Council, or ECOSOC. This 54 member council serves as a forum for discussing international economic and social concerns, as well as delivering recommendations regarding policy to be addressed to the entire UN body. ECOSOC deliberates with many non-governmental organizations , or NGO’s, that participate in the day to day activities of the UN. The Institute of Noahide Code-UN is an accredited NGO with consultative status promoting peace through the values set in place by the seven Universal Laws. These laws are the Key to opening up a dialog between people of all nations, regardless of creed, religion or social class. They represent the common bond of all people across the globe, the backbone of peace. These laws are the framework for building a bright future for our children.
The foundation for establishing these Universal Laws at the UN is already in place due to the tireless efforts of Rav Yakov D. Cohen, executive director of the Institute of Noahide Law. As our generation witnesses the moral decay of the society around us, like what the world recently witnessed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it becomes a moral issue whether or not to become proactive in stopping this burning hate that is festering in regions all over the world. We are beginning to forget the lessons that we learned from the Holocaust, which included the greatest lesson, that even discrimination against one group of people will result in the unraveling of the fabric of our entire society.
If we forget those lessons, if we forget our past, if we forget the Universal Laws, then our dreams of a utopia world for our children will fade away and be forgotten. These lessons, laws and future go hand in hand. In order to make peace between all nations, then all nations must realize that it is time to stop dreaming and embrace our reality. All of our lives depend on the choices we make from moment to moment. Each new moment provides us opportunities to change who we are. Now is the time to make the Universal Noahide Laws a priority.
When enough people recognize the importance of the Universal Laws, people and nations can truly begin the healing process all over the world with a common goal of providing our children with their own moments and chances to build a future for their children, our grandchildren. If we lose sight of our responsibility to pass on the knowledge of these laws to the next generation, we forfeit our future.
By: Craig R. Lodice
Purim 2020 UN HQ
Based on the teachings of the Rebbe of righteous memory ; adapted by Eli Touger
He saw him coming. Everyone else knelt to prostrate himself, but Mordechai sat upright. As Haman approached, his eyes met Mordechai’s. They didn’t see anger or rebellion, but rather the calm, resolute gaze of someone who knows what he stands for and chooses whom he stands with.
At that moment, Haman decided that he would try to rid the kingdom of Mordechai and his people.
A little lesson in history: Haman was the Persian viceroy, the most powerful man in the empire that ruled the world. Mordechai was the leader of the Jewish people; he “sat at the King’s gate,” serving as one of the royal counselors.
Haman had the king agree that all the people in the empire should worship him. Mordechai refused to comply.
Now why didn’t Mordechai bow down to Haman? Mordechai was a realistic person. He could have foreseen the consequences of his refusal. Why was he willing to risk everything – not only his own life and position, but that of the entire Jewish people?
So Haman was asking to be worshipped like a god. Big deal. Bow down to him and go further. Why waste more time about it? It definitely doesn’t make sense to give up one’s life – and risk those of one’s entire people – not to bow down.
But that’s the point. There are some things that are above making sense. There are immutable rules which G‑d wove into the very fabric of the universe. There is no way they can be broken. If a man tries, he will break himself against them.
Acknowledging G‑d and refusing to acknowledge any other power are the two most fundamental of these laws. Mordechai saw bowing down to Haman as a challenge to the fundamental core of his existence. Of course, he was not going to believe in Haman’s divinity. But no one was asking him a philosophical question. It was the deed that was most important.
Would he bow down to Haman and thus show his acceptance of the Persian empire as the most powerful force in his life? Or would he defy Haman’s decree and incur his wrath, but demonstrate his connection to G‑d?
For Mordechai, it wasn’t a question. Mordechai didn’t separate his faith from his live, or his principles from his day-to-day modus operandi. He lived what he believed in; he believed in what he lived. There was no dichotomy.
And this wasn’t true only of Mordechai. The entire Jewish people stood behind him. Even when Haman passed a decree calling for every Jew in the empire to be executed, they did not try to hide their Jewishness. On the contrary, they intensified their adherence to the Torah and its commandments.
Abstract idealism? An impractical approach?
Well, let’s see what happened. Haman was killed, Mordechai was given his position, and instead of the Jews being slain by their enemies, they annihilated all those who rose against them.
Not bad for idealism.
Because this was not just idealism, it was an awareness of the reality of our existence. It’s G‑d’s world. And when Mordechai and the Jewish people affirmed that, they were successful.
One further point: When Mordechai and the Jewish people affirmed of their Jewish identity and faith in G‑d, they did not retreat into isolationism. Mordechai became the viceroy; he – and his people – took a far wider role in Persian affairs than before. And while doing so, he proudly emphasized his Jewish identity; everyone referred to him as “Mordechai, the Jew.”
The two aren’t contradictory. Since one Judaism and one’s connection to G‑d are inherent facts of one’s existence, affirming them makes one more in sync with His order for the world, and more able to play a significant role within it.
UN HQ Chanukah party 2019- 2020
This Chanukah lighting a Menorah made by the late Mr. Harry Hirsch a World War I soldier that fled the flames of Russia to USA ( (born March 1884 USSR -died in Florida USA 1996) and melted his gun and bullets to make this historic Menorah transforming of Isaiah 2 :4 “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” The Menorah signifies triumph, freedom, and light, all universal symbols. The United Nations would be our choice for this historic Menorah to light the Menorah light on the nights of our celebration. The origin or lighting a Menorah stems from the moment when just a few people were able to confront a huge and well-trained army that wanted to do away with religious freedom, and be victorious over that army. It is also a symbol of freedom, of the yearning of people to exercise their religious beliefs without any external imposition. And finally, the Menorah also incorporates the notion that there should ever be more light in the world, as one candle is added each night to be lit at the darkest period of the year. In all countries of the world, leaders have been seen lighting the Menorah at their Jewish communities. As the Rabbi Director of the Institute of the Noahide Code, I am heartened coming into the United Nations Headquarters with the Isaiah Wall right across the UN in which the day is mentioned that no nation will wage war against another nation, and the swords will be transformed into plowshares. The Seven Universal Laws of Noah are means by which humanity strives to live in unity and peace. These laws for peace and unity encompass respect for G-d, for human life, respect for the Family, for other people’s property, the creation and respect of a judicial system, and respect for all creatures and environment. The United Nations acknowledges human rights as well as humanity’s right to freedom, including that of religion. It would be a celebration of all that unites us as human family that we are: our yearning for ever more light at a time that humanity hopefully emerges victorious with light over darkness, the forces of human rights and freedom successful over intolerance, and the ideals of the Universal Noahide Code (UNC) prevailing throughout the world.