Synergy is the combination of two or more seemingly opposing, yet mutually complementary forces.
Our task is to unite these opposing forces into an entity that is greater than its parts.
A rabbi and a Muslim woman and a NYC lawmaker walk into City Hall with a bill in their hand. That’s not the start of a joke, but a successful team that got Kosher and Halal food passed for NYC schools. As individuals, we had plenty of differences, but together, we were formidable.
As we will explore, the spiritual world and the physical world are seemingly opposite in nature, yet they need not be in conflict. The ultimate goal of our existence is to fuse these two worlds. This will be accomplished when the physical world is fully permeated by the spiritual.
The world is hungry to figure out what this means.
The Divine purpose of every Biblical commandment from G-d – every mitzvah – is to take a physical creation and utilize it for holiness. Thereby, a wonderful harmony is achieved – between the individual and the world at large. Wherever a person finds himself, he is capable of utilizing the task at hand for its Divine purpose, thereby transforming the world into a dwelling place for G-d.
A teenager in the bustling city of Paris, and a withered, elderly couple on the frozen plains of Siberia each have an equal opportunity to do something holy. Because a mitzvah is G-d given, it doesn’t matter who I am, but rather whose Will I am doing.
Every human being is “created in the image of G-d,” and therefore fit to “imitate G-d.” By performing the Divinely-given commandments, every man, woman and child can achieve holiness. While the Jewish people were given 613 commandments, G-d gave an additional 7 commandments to all humankind. These commandments are known as the Seven Noahide Laws are from the Bible for all people.
Actually, the first six of these laws were originally commanded to the first created person, Adam. Ten generations later, at the time of Noah, the seventh commandment was added and therefore this combination of laws was given the Talmudic name Noahide.
The Seven Noahide Laws form the basis of a body of mitzvot all derived from the basic Seven. The Ten Commandments given by G-d Almighty to Moses on Mt. Sinai, represented the many mitzvos to be transmitted to all nations of the world.
The Seven Noahide Laws include the prohibitions of idolatry, blasphemy, forbidden sexual relationships, theft, murder, lawlessness (the failure to establish courts with the ability to enforce justice) and cruelty to animals. Only after the Flood, was mankind permitted to slaughter meat for consumption, and with this leniency came the law prohibiting one to “eat the limb of a living animal” that included the prohibition of treating animals cruelly. The reader is encouraged to learn the myriad of details of each of these laws, by asking questions and studying the commentaries on the Torah, and particularly the insights of Chassidus, the philosophy upon which many of the concepts discussed in this book are based.
“Throughout the ages, Jewish scholars have viewed the Seven Laws of Noah as… universal norms of ethical conduct, as a basic concept in international law, or as a guarantee of fundamental human rights for all.” The Biblical story of Noah’s ark and the sign of the covenant that G-d made with the children of Noah – the rainbow – symbolize a universal theme.
The United Nations chose the olive branch for their emblem, projecting the theme of global peace.
The olive branch that was brought back to Noah by the dove, symbolized the receding of the waters of the flood and the rebirth of the vegetation of the world. G-d placed a rainbow in the sky and commanded the survivors to go out and replenish and build the world again. As stated by G-d in Genesis 9:12, “This [rainbow] is the sign of the Covenant that I give between Me and you, and every living being that is with you, to generations forever. I have set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the Covenant between Me and the earth … that water shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”
The tradition of the Universal Noahide Code is kept alive by the Noahide movement, the B’nai Noah (Sons and Daughters of Noah), who believe that they are supposed to both learn and follow these laws, religiously. The Noahides are not Messianic Jews, rather, descendants of Noah. The Children of Noah, the righteous Gentiles, also known as “the pious among the nations” (chasidei umos ha’olam), have taken upon themselves the obligation to fulfill the Seven Laws of Noah, because they believe these laws are the Will of G-d for all mankind, as expressed in the Holy Torah.