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"30 Laws" for the Children of Noah
Everything you have said is insightful. I have understood the post-Flood and pre-Sinai thirty laws as "above and beyond the call of duty."

The Post-Flood societies saw them as necessary on a practical basis to make a fence around the "Seven Noahide Laws," so they would not fall too far into sin and arouse G-d's wrath and incur G-d's destruction of their societies, for example, as G-d did to the metropolis of Sodom.

The seven commandments are broad legal categories, i.e. seven categories of sins, although the Seven Commandments include the prohibition of some very specific actions.

However, the thirty laws are specific mitzvot. Literally, "mitzvoth" are commandments from G-d. The majority of the 30 laws were added on and accepted by the societies, so as to make a fence around observance of the Sheva Mitzvoth.

So if the thirty included the seven, then really there would be only 23 additional laws. The statement is that they "observed 30 laws" - meaning 30 prohibited actions in total.

Also, capital punishment, whether by a court or by the hand of heaven, was only inflicted for violation of the seven laws, so capital punishment was not to be inflicted for a mere violation of the thirty laws, except as provided for in Gentile governments who enforced the thirty laws, not by G-d Himself. (See the story of Tamar and Yehuda in Genesis.]

In all practicality, that we, as post-Sinai Noahide chassid, have an optional set of laws- more than the thirty laws-- so all that means on a practical basis, is that we are permitted to accept upon ourselves additional obligations from the 613 mitzvoth of the Torah, with certain specific exceptions. So it follows, that post-Sinai, the "thirty laws", i.e. added-on observances are different for every Noahide Chassid, and that there is no need of having literally only "thirty" laws. Just that we are permitted to accept upon ourselves additional mitzvot as we become logically and morally compelled to. Some things are logically and morally compelling on a universal basis.

Except for academic reasons, there remains no need to enumerate the post-flood/pre-Sinai thirty laws. It just needs to be remembered that those who already keep the seven commandments, they are permitted to take upon themselves additional observances from the 613 mitzvot for personal and societal practical benefits, rather than for the idea of getting purely divine reward, and that reward, including the personal and societal practical benefits, is not to be underestimated.

And don't forget the civil laws that are enacted by the ruling governments, as long as they don’t command a violation of the seven laws and as long as they don’t prohibit you from performing a good deed, are all obligatory under the seventh law of Noah, which prohibits lawlessness.

"Thirty" is a figurative word ever since the Torah was given at Sinai. It just means the mitzvot that a Noahide chassid takes upon oneself, within the guidelines of what is allowed.

My first impulse is to say I will have a long-term goal to keep the whole of the Torah, except what is forbidden to me. And that would be my "thirty laws."

Once someone has kept a mitzvoth three times in a row, there might become some obligation to keep doing so.

(This response was written by myself, "bdschuh," after discussions I had with Director Michael.)

Messages In This Thread
"30 Laws" for the Children of Noah - by bdschuh - 07-02-2010, 02:05 PM
RE: "30 Laws" for the Children of Noah - by bdschuh - 07-13-2010, 08:13 AM

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