Noahidism

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Noahidism or Noachidism is an ideology based on the Talmudic "Seven Laws of Noah" and on their traditional interpretations within Rabbinic Judaism.

"Seven Laws of Noah"

Supposedly, according to the Talmud, these laws were established as a covenant by God with Noah, after the Flood, and apply to all of his descendants (all humans). Later, God supposedly established a separate and more detailed covenant with the Israelites, under the leadership of Moses, at Mount Sinai.

The seven Noahide laws as traditionally enumerated are:

  1. Do not deny God.
  2. Do not blaspheme God.
  3. Do not murder.
  4. Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
  5. Do not steal.
  6. Do not eat of a live animal.
  7. Establish courts/legal system to ensure obedience to the law.

Freemasonry and Noahidism

Freemasonry has been claimed to be related to Noahidism, but this has been criticized.[1]

Alleged non-Jewish obligations and Jewish promotions

According to religious Jewish laws, non-Jews are not obligated to convert to Judaism, but they are obligated to observe the Seven Laws of Noah.

This may be interpreted as a form of Jewish supremacism.

The punishment for not following the laws are debated. The Talmud lists capital punishment as the penalty for many crimes for "the sons of Noah". A controversial aspect is which religious beliefs are considered "idolatry" and thus forbidden for non-Jews.

Jewish religious groups have been actively promoting Noahidism to non-Jews. See also Tikkun olam.

The Chabad-Lubavitch (Haredi) movement has been the most active in Noahide promotion. In 1991, they had a reference to these laws enshrined in a Congressional proclamation: Presidential Proclamation 5956,[2] signed by then-President George H. W. Bush. Recalling Joint House Resolution 173, and recalling that the ethical and moral principles of all civilizations come in part from the Seven Noahide Laws, it proclaimed 26 March 1991 as "Education Day, U.S.A." Subsequently, Public Law 102-14 formally designated the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (Menachem Mendel Schneerson) 90th birthday as "Education Day, U.S.A.," with Congress recalling that "without these ethical values and principles, the edifice of civilization stands in serious peril of returning to chaos," and that "society is profoundly concerned with the recent weakening of these principles, that has resulted in crises that beleaguer and threaten the fabric of civilized society."[3]

In 2007, Chabad-Lubavitch gathered ambassadors from six different countries to take part in a gathering to declare, in the name of the states they represent, their support of the universal teachings of Noahide Laws. They represented Poland, Latvia, Mexico, Panama, Ghana, and Japan. They were part of a special program organized by Harav Boaz Kali.[4]

In 2016, the Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef stated that Jewish law requires that the only non-Jews allowed to live in Israel are Noahides: "According to Jewish law, it’s forbidden for a non-Jew to live in the Land of Israel – unless he has accepted the seven Noahide laws.[5]

Noahide-influenced views have been claimed to be influential in the Israeli military and among Israeli settlers, possibly contributing to mistreatment of Palestinians.[6]

External links

See also

References

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