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What are the Seven Noahide Laws?
7 Special Mitzvahs
for People Who Are Not Jewish
The word commandment is a translation of the Hebrew word mitzvah, which also means “connection.” By observing God’s commandments, a person becomes connected with God’s infinite will and wisdom and thereby elicits a Godly light which shines onto his or her soul.
-Likutei Torah, Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi-
“The non-Jews have the full length and breadth of Torah—they just have a different role in it. The role of every person is to be a good person, to bring divine light, to draw down G-dliness into the world. To do it as a Jew, as a non-Jew, it doesn’t matter. It’s the same light, the same Godly energy.” -Rabbi Yakov Cohen-
There are seven special mitzvahs, known as the Seven Laws of Noah, which are the minimal Torah observance for non-Jews. The Noahide commandments are those that G-d gave to Adam and his descendants and, after the flood, to Noah and his descendants. They are binding upon all of humanity, and were included in the Torah when G-d gave it to the People of Israel at Mount Sinai. Men and women are equal in their responsibility to observe the Seven Universal Laws.
By learning the Torah laws that pertain to all people and performing these mitzvahs (commandments or Torah laws), the righteous people of all nations help perfect this world to a new state of universal holiness, wisdom and peace. “The Seven Noahide Laws” are a sacred inheritance of all the Children of Noah (non-Jews or gentiles), one that every person can use as the basis of his or her spiritual life.
Besides the Seven Universal Laws, the Children of Noah have traditionally taken it upon themselves to fulfill the commandments of honoring mother and father, giving charity, and studying Torah. When a Gentile resolves to fulfill the Seven Universal Laws, his or her soul is elevated. This person becomes one of the “Chasidei Umot Haolam” (Pious Ones of the Nations) and receives a share of the World to Come.
The Seven Laws of Noah are the following:
Believe in one G-d (Prohibition of idolatry)
Acknowledge that there is only one G-d who is Infinite and Supreme above all things. Do not replace that Supreme Being with finite idols or other gods. This mitzvah includes such acts as prayer, study and meditation.
Keep the Name of G-d holy (Prohibition of blasphemy)
Respect the Creator. As frustrated and angry as you may be, don’t blame it on G-d, Who loves you so much He created you and breathes life into you every moment.
Respect human life (Prohibition of murder)
Human life is holy, as man was created in the image of G-d. Every person is of irreplaceable value. Every human being is an entire world; to save a life is to save that entire world. To destroy a life is to destroy an entire world.
Respect the rights and property of others (Prohibition of theft)
Be honest in all your business dealings. Express your trust in G-d as the Provider of life and your livelihood.
Respect the Family (Prohibition of illicit relations)
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. Disloyalty in marriage and other forms of forbidden relationships destroy that oneness.
Respect all life (Prohibition of eating meat from a live animal)
Respect G-d’s creatures. At first, Man was forbidden to consume meat. After the Great Flood, he was permitted – but with a warning: Do not cause unnecessary suffering to any creature.
Respect the Law (Establish courts of justice)
Maintain systems of justice. Justice is G-d’s 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 with G-d in creating the perfection of the world.
To Find Out More About the Seven Noahide Laws: