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Righteous Gentile & Pious (Hassid) Noahide
Note: In my original posted reply dated April-24-20'12, I included some rather terse semantics which unfortunately were easy to misinterpret. This has just now been brought to my attention. The following is my updated post, which I hope will alleviate misunderstandings.

It seems that this common confusion arises from a widespread mistranslation, in which the basic prohibitions within the Noahide path are commonly referred to as the "Seven Noahide Laws" (sic.). Technically, that is not correct. The original Hebrew term, which (as expounded in the Talmud) is the "Sheva (7) MITZVOT B'nai Noach" = "Seven COMMANDMENTS for the Children of Noah". The entire discussion in the Talmud is based completely on that premise - that they are COMMANDMENTS, which means that they were commanded by G-d.

The Talmud shows that all of the 7 Noahide mitzvot can be derived by exegesis of the verse Genesis 2:16, which begins: "And the L-rd G-d COMMANDED the man [Adam], saying..."

Someone (for example, an atheist) who does not accept that these seven general precepts are given by G-d, and required by Him, has not connected with the system of observance which the Talmud and later Torah Sages identify as the Noahide path.

Rambam, in Laws of Kings 8:11, cites as Torah Law that in order to merit a share in the World to Come, a Gentile must "accept and fulfill [i.e. precisely observe] them [these 7 commandments] because the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded them in the Torah and informed us through Moses, our teacher, that Noah's descendants had been commanded to fulfill them previously" (through Adam and Noah). As referenced in "The Divine Code", p. 38, Rambam based this ruling on a text by one of the Talmudic sages, "Mishnat Rabbi Eliezer". None of the other Rishonim sages disagreed with Rambam about this point.

Furthermore, the Written Torah itself testifies that the Torah was given by G-d through Moses, and the Oral Torah (specifically in the Talmud) completely accepts this, and is BASED upon it. As it says in Deut. 33:4, "The Torah, which Moses commanded us, is the heritage of the Congregation of Jacob."

So if a Gentile does not accept that the "Seven Noahide COMMANDMENTS" were given by Moses, and that this is the very basis for that system of precepts, he is not fulfilling that which the Talmud identifies as the key to a Gentile's receiving a place in the World to Come. Also, this is derived by (Torah-based) simple logic, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe explains in this discourse:

In answer to your last question: an atheist breaks the FOUNDATION of the Seven Noahide COMMANDMENTS (that being the system of observance - in obedience to G-d's command - which is discussed in the Talmud). So by not stealing, not murdering, not committing incest, etc., an atheist has saved himself from the punishments he might incur for those specific acts. However, he has not saved himself from the judgment of Heaven on account of his being a "deviant believer" (an atheist believes there is no Deity)..

N.B. If a Gentile atheist does a meritorious good deed, he will surely be rewarded for that by G-d, but it will be a temporary reward.

Messages In This Thread
RE: Noahide Path - by rabbiyitz - 06-16-2007, 02:54 AM
RE: Righteous Gentile & Pious (Hassid) Noahide - by Director Michael - 04-24-2012, 06:03 PM
Minimum observance - by Joachim ben Noach - 12-15-2009, 08:14 AM
RE: Minimum observance - by Director Michael - 12-20-2009, 08:16 PM
RE: Minimum observance - by Daniel2 - 01-21-2010, 09:35 AM

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