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Honoring the Festivals
07-09-2007, 04:18 AM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2012 05:13 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #1
Honoring the Festivals
Hi Rabbis and Director Michael-
I am curious as to which holidays are OK for Noahides.
Also what Jewish Holidays can we do and how can we do them?
Thank you!
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07-09-2007, 02:13 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2016 10:25 AM by Director Michael.)
Post: #2
RE: Holidays
Here is a listing of text (html), audio and video files posted on asknoah.org which provide information for Noahides about celebration of appropriate secular and Torah holidays:

Special days for Noahides:
http://asknoah.org/essay/noahide-holidays

July 4th (and other holidays) - audio:
http://asknoah.org/audio/holidays-for-noahides

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (JEM video):
http://asknoah.org/video/thanksgiving-and-hanukkah

Birthday celebrations:
http://asknoah.org/essay/birthday-celebrations

For Noahides who are considering to perform selected Jewish commandments:
http://asknoah.org/faq/righteous-traditions
http://asknoah.org/faq/going_beyond
http://asknoah.org/essaysart/the-realiza...us-gentile
http://asknoah.org/audio/mitzvos-for-gentiles [audio]

Rosh Hashanah:
http://asknoah.org/essay/rosh-hashanah-t...f-creation
http://asknoah.org/audio/rosh-hashanah-the-new-year [audio]

Hanukkah:
http://asknoah.org/essay/what-is-hanukkah
http://asknoah.org/essay/celebrating-hanukkah
http://asknoah.org/audio/hanukkah-part-1 [audio]
http://asknoah.org/audio/hanukkah-part-2 [audio]
http://asknoah.org/audio/hanukkah-part-3 [audio]
http://asknoah.org/audio/hanukkah-part-4 [audio]

Passover:
http://asknoah.org/essay/passover-messages

Lag B'omer (33rd day of the Omer):
http://asknoah.org/essay/joining-together
http://asknoah.org/audio/33rd-day-of-the-omer [audio]

Shavuot:
http://asknoah.org/essay/message-of-shav...from-sinai
http://asknoah.org/audio/shavuot-ethics-from-sinai [audio]
http://asknoah.org/audio/shavuot-and-torah [audio]
http://asknoah.org/audio/shavuot-and-the-oral-torah [audio]

Jerusalem Day:
http://asknoah.org/audio/jerusalem-day [audio]
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07-15-2007, 03:07 AM (This post was last modified: 07-15-2007 06:22 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #3
Holidays
I was wondering if there are any holidays that are "off limits" to B'nei Noach, or are we able to celebrate them all?
-James
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07-15-2007, 07:42 PM (This post was last modified: 07-30-2011 08:46 AM by Director Michael.)
Post: #4
RE: Holidays
This question is answered in our web page
http://asknoah.org/essay/noahide-holidays

With regard to the seventh day, please see our web page
http://asknoah.org/essay/the-seventh-day
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07-18-2007, 08:30 AM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2010 09:47 PM by Rabbi Immanuel Schochet.)
Post: #5
[split] Observing the Festivals?
I would go so far as to suggest that if Noahides want to light candles in honor of the Jewish Sabbath or Holy Days, they can do so but in context of enhancing the meal(s) they are eating on that day (since it is a custom of the world in general to light candles for enhancing the atmosphere of any meal), but to do so when sitting down to have the meal (this would be after sunset for a dinner - for example, to weekly mark the seventh day which begins after sunset - unless it is summer and they want to have their meal earlier).
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03-03-2009, 12:33 AM (This post was last modified: 03-10-2014 06:49 AM by Director Michael.)
Post: #6
RE: PURIM FOR NOAHIDES
A Noahide who wishes can read the Book of Esther on Purim, and there are numerous universal messages from Purim that a Noahide can take to heart and implement in his or her daily life:

1) G-d is intimately in control of all events in the world, both the great events and the seemingly "small" events. This is called individual Divine Providence. If the wicked seem to prevail for a period of time, it is only so that they will be overturned - either their wickedness will be overturned and they will repent, or they themselves will be overturned.

2) Every individual has a responsibility to do what is right in G-d's eyes and to answer the call of the hour in support of Torah, and you should not sit by idly and expect that someone else will do your job for you. But what is needed has to be explained by the Torah leader of the generation, because G-d gives him the insight as to what is needed at a particular time. At the time of Hanukkah, Matisyahu revealed that the call of the hour was to rise up and fight the Greeks. When the Jews did this, they were answered with Divine miracles. At the time of Purim, Mordechai revealed that the call of the hour was to return to Torah study and mitzvah observance with repentance and prayer. When the Jews did this (for a full year), they were answered with Divine miracles.

3) Be happy!

4) Give charity for the needs of poor people.
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03-27-2009, 08:23 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2016 02:43 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #7
RE: Observance of Jewish Festivals?
Rambam explains in Mishneh Torah that Noahides are forbidden to "observe" Jewish holy days (Biblical festivals) in the manner of the Jews (i.e. stopping from certain actions in a similar manner to the observance of the Jewish Sabbath).

From Laws of Kings 10:9 - The general principle governing these matters is: Gentiles are not allowed to innovate religious practices for themselves, including taking commandments upon themselves based on their own decisions. They should observe their own part of the Torah [the Noahide Code] without adding or subtracting any Divine commandments.

From Laws of Kings 10:10 - A Noahide who wishes to do one of the commandments that will bring with it some tangible benefit is allowed to do so, for the purpose of receiving that benefit [for one's self or for the society].

An example of a Jewish commandment with no tangible benefit for Noahides: making a point to specifically eat matzah on the night when Jews are commanded to observe the Passover seder meal.

Examples of Jewish commandments that do have tangible benefits for Noahides: returning a lost object to its owner, giving proper charity, honoring parents, .

Laws of Kings 10:9 teaches that Noahides are permitted to "delve deeply" into Torah study if it involves study of the commandments and principles in the Noahide Code. On the other hand, studying the Hebrew Bible and the explanations of any Torah commandments is permitted for Noahides, if it is not done as in-depth study. So on the night of Passover, Noahides may read and/or discuss the Torah passages about the Exodus from Egypt and/or about the Jewish commandments associated with Passover.

See:
a) http://www.asknoah.org/forums/showthread.php?tid=96 (post #6)
b) "The Divine Code," Vol. 1, by Rabbi Moshe Weiner:
http://asknoah.org/books/the-divine-code

Nevertheless, it is far from the truth to imagine that faithful Noahides are in some sort of "limbo" between false relgions and Judaism, just because they should not observe the commandments of the Jewish Biblical festivals. First of all, a Torah-faithful Noahide has connected and established his lot with the One True G-d, the G-d of Israel; he is living a life of spiritual truth in fulfilling what G-d desires from him, and with this he earns the merit of eternal reward in the World To Come.

Furthermore, there are some of the Jewish festivals that Noahides have more of a connection to, and they can honor these as special days (for example, with prayers and selected Torah reading). For example:
- Rosh HaShanah, the annual Day of Judgment for all people;
- Sukkot, the annual time of judgment for the rainfall that each nation will receive, which is also characterized by the themes of unity and joy;
- Displaying the candles of Hanukkah to public view (without making a blessing), which is a practical way of accomplishing the good deed of reminding people of G-d’s miracles in the world.

Further information:

Special days for Noahides: http://asknoah.org/essay/noahide-holidays

Special days (audio): http://asknoah.org/audio/holidays-for-noahides

Rosh HaShanah (audio):
http://asknoah.org/audio/rosh-hashanah-the-new-year
http://asknoah.org/essay/rosh-hashanah-t...f-creation
http://asknoah.org/faq/rosh-hashanah-pra...ent-of-vow
http://asknoah.org/faq/noahide-prayers-f...h-hashanah

Sukkot:
http://asknoah.org/audio/messages-from-sukkot
http://asknoah.org/essay/connection-betw...d-a-sukkah
http://asknoah.org/faq/noahides-at-the-third-temple

Hanukkah:
http://asknoah.org/essay/what-is-hanukah
http://asknoah.org/essay/celebrating-chanukkah
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07-25-2011, 10:16 PM (This post was last modified: 07-25-2011 10:22 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #8
RE: Observing the Festivals?
1) Restrictions as this applies to a gift for a Jew:

In general (except as noted below), a gift should NOT be given to a Jew on the seventh-day Sabbath nor on the major Jewish holy days. This is because gift-giving involves a business transaction (transfer of ownership), and a Jew is prohibited from engaging in business transactions on these days. These restrictions start shortly before sundown at the start of the Jewish holy day. They end approximately 45 minutes after sundown at the end of the day (a few minutes less in the winter and up to a few minutes longer in the summer).

Except for Yom Kippur which is always one day and Rosh HaShanah which is always two days, the major Jewish holy days ("festivals") last 1 day for Jew who normally lives in Israel, and 2 days for a Jew who normally lives outside of Israel. (In case of doubt, and reliable Orthodox Rabbi should be consulted.) These are: the first day (or first and second days) of Passover, the seventh day (or seventh and eighth days) of Passover, Shavuot (one or two days), Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, the first day (or first and second days) of Tabernacles (Sukkot), and the first day (or first and second days) of Shemini Atzeret/Simkhat Torah.

Note: the exception (for Jews or Gentiles) is that if a person is going to eat a Sabbath or festival meal in the home of Jew, he (or she) may bring a gift of ready-to-eat FOOD or BEVERAGE that he himself will partake of during the meal, since it is as if he is bringing it for himself and sharing it with the others at the meal. However, it should be an item that is in accordance with the kosher standards of the Jew(s) who he wishes to share it with.

2) Otherwise, *personal* gifts (not intended in honor of any holiday) may be given at any time. It is OK to give a person a gift in honor of his/her birthday. To learn how to make the best use of a birthday, in accordance with its inner meaning, see our web page http://asknoah.org/essay/birthday-celebrations

3) For some non-Jewish idolatrous holidays, the traditional service of the day involves gift-giving. This should not be observed in honor of the day. A person may give or receive a personal gift on such days, if he/she makes it clear (or if it's already well understood) that it's being done for personal affection and/or respect or as a secularized matter, and not in honor of the traditional idolatrous concept. (For this reason, it has been a widespread custom not to give gifts on Hanukkah, because it comes during the winter season, which is the reason why some people in recent history innovated the nontraditional idea of gift-giving on Hanukkah).

4) The only Jewish holiday that involves gift giving as one of the traditional observances is Purim, when Jews are obligated by Torah Law to give at least one gift of at least two different types of kosher and ready-to-eat food, or food and beverage, to at least one Jewish friend. It is traditional for males to give this to males, and females to give to females. A Gentile may participate in this Purim activity, but not as a matter of a religious observance.
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