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Principles of Noahide Faith
A question that was recently received:
Quote:What is the best term to use for the true righteous faith that Gentiles should follow: Noahidism or Noahism?

It is better to call it "Noahidism" instead of "Noahism."

The term "Noah-ism" could be taken to imply that the person is only a follower of Noah, similar to the way that, l'havdil, "Buddhism" implies that the person is a follower of Buddha, etc. Also, Noah lived before the Torah was given, to it could be interpreted as being disconnected from the Torah Laws given by G-d through Moses at Mount Sinai.

What is needed to be communicated is the distinction of Gentiles who are observant of the Sheva Mitzvot Bnai Noach - the Seven Commandments for the Children of Noah, based on the Torah. In modern times, by Divine Providence, it became very widespread that these are now called the Seven Noahide Commandments, and a righteous Gentile who observes them is called a Noahide.

The pious path for Bnai Noach encompasses more than just the basic Seven Commandments that G-d gave through Noah. More details within these Seven Commandments were given by G-d at Mount Sinai, where He established them eternally as part of the Torah of Moses. For example, in the Noahide prohibition of adultery with another man's wife, before Mount Sinai the definition of marriage was relevant only in regard to Non-Jews (since there were no Jews in that time). But after Mount Sinai, the Noahide prohibition of adultery was extended by G-d to include adultery with a wife in a Jewish marriage, which has an extension in definition that does not apply for Non-Jews (that marriage for Jews takes effect at the time of betrothal, as it is defined in Torah Law).

Also, the Torah Law from Mount Sinai includes the authority bestowed by G-d upon the Torah Sages to enact obligatory Rabbinical decrees that will "make a fence" around the Torah's commandments - including even the Noahide Commandments, for which a few decrees were enacted. For example:

(1) If meat was removed from a living land mammal or a bird, one of the Noahide Commandments prohibits a Gentile to eat that piece of meat if he knows it was (or was probably) removed from a living creature, as long as the creature is still alive. The Sages extended the prohibition of eating that piece of meat (which was removed before the creature died) to be in effect for Gentiles even after the creature has died (but in the extension it is no longer a capital sin).

(2) In the Noahide Commandment that prohibits theft, it is forbidden for a Gentile to knowingly benefit from a stolen item as long as the rightful owner (the victim of the theft) has not despaired of recovering his stolen item (at which point he relinquishes his ownership). During that time, if a Gentile knows that the item was stolen and he goes ahead and benefits from it, he is sinning by participating in the act of the theft. The Sages extended this prohibition to be in effect even after the victim has despaired of recovering the stolen item (but in the extension it is not a capital sin).

So overall, we talk about the "Noahide Code," which includes the full range of obligations and prohibitions for Gentiles within Torah Law. See the book "The Divine Code," 4th Edition, by Rabbi Moshe Weiner:

All of this is only known to us because G-d included it as part of the Torah's precepts that He instructed to Moses at Mount Sinai, and is not limited to only the precepts that were included in the Seven Commandments when they were given through Noah.

Likewise, in regard to the great number of Gentiles who are now taking on this true faith and observance, it is now popularly known as the "Noahide movement."

So overall, "Noahidism" is a better term to use than "Noahism."

Messages In This Thread
Principles of Noahide Faith - by Director Michael - 06-04-2007, 02:30 PM
RE: Principles of Noahide Faith - by Director Michael - 09-25-2018, 09:41 PM
Principles of Noahide Faith? - by Joachim ben Noach - 07-04-2009, 12:01 AM
RE: The Principles of Faith - by Director Michael - 07-10-2009, 03:43 PM

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