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Approaching study of Written and Oral Torah
newman Wrote:There seems to be mixed opinion re: Jews teaching noahides Talmud or noahides studying Talmud.

This topic is very thoroughly explained in "Sefer Sheva Mitzvot HaShem," by Rabbi Moshe Weiner, from which the following answers to your questions are taken.

newman Wrote:Some claim there is a prohibition pertaining to ALL gentiles studying Talmud and against Jews teaching them Talmud.

That claim (if there really has been such a claim, as you claim) is too much of a broad generalization, since there are details in regard to who and what, as will be noted.

newman Wrote:Recent opinion however, is that the prohibition on gentiles studying Talmud was actually against 'idolators' and not righteous gentiles or noahides.

That claim as stated is not correct, because it also is too much of a broad generalization, in comparison to the actual facts of the issue. There are details in regard to who and what.

newman Wrote:Secondly, the purpose of the prohibition was to prevent idol worshipers from using a knowledge of Jewish scripture to deceive Jews and lead them astray.

That is only one practical consideration. There are much more fundamental issues involved (see below).

newman Wrote:There is no such risk from genuine, Torah-observant noahides.

A lack of risk from any particular individual isn't relevant to the basic precepts regarding what parts of the Written and Oral Torah a righteous Gentile is permitted to learn in-depth.

newman Wrote:Thirdly, The 7 Laws of Noah that noahides MUST study appear only in Talmud and NOT the (written) Torah.

An observant Noahide is permitted to study specifically THOSE parts of the Talmud in-depth (i.e., those parts that deal with matters relevant to a Noahide's observance of the precepts that are included in the Noahide Code).

But the Talmud is NOT the only place that the 7 Noahide Commandments appear, nor is it the only place for study of the Torah Laws on how to observe them, or for study of how to observe their many offshoots. In fact, the Talmud itself is of little value for definitively understanding numerous aspects of the Noahide Code which can be found in Torah-Law sources such as Mishneh Torah and Shulchan Aruch, to name a few.
As a guide and an aid for study, the practical rulings from and based on these many sources have been compiled by Rabbi Moshe Weiner of Jerusalem in the works "Sheva Mitzvot HaShem" and "The Divine Code."

newman Wrote:Finally, converts or would-be converts to Judaism study ALL Torah (including Talmud) BEFORE they become Jews.

Someone who has already converted according to Torah Law is completely Jewish, so that is not relevant to the discussion here. (However, even for Jews there are restrictions on Torah study - for example, who is permitted to delve into the study of Kabbala. Also, study of Torah can be a detriment for a Jew who does so for self-aggrandizement or for anti-Torah purposes, G-d forbid.)

Would-be converts to Judaism are NOT given carte-blanche permission to study ALL of Torah in-depth (including Talmud) before they become Jews. A would-be convert follows a course of practical study outlined by the Rabbi who is preparing him/her for the conversion.

newman Wrote:I look forward to some clarification as I am not a wood worshiper and I wish to study ALL Torah to become a better noahide chassid and to better combat pagan missionaries who would prey on Jewish souls.

Studying all of Torah will not help a person to be a better Noahide Chassid, and in fact there are areas that will have the opposite effect. It is also not at all necessary or useful to study all of Torah to better combat pagan missionaries. The falsity of pagan religions is very easily disproven by basic facts and concepts. Delving into Talmudic "pilpul" only will go over the heads of pagans and anyone who is on a level that could be influenced by pagans, and give them the impression that there is actually some validity to their false claims that needs some expert analysis to be able to be debated.

It is required for a Gentile/Noahide to learn what the Torah teaches about observance of the Noahide commandments, but there is much more than that. Also regarding anything a Gentile/Noahide is obligated to do (including things that are intellectual obligations, like giving charity, honoring parents, and refraining from tale-bearing), one is allowed to learn the Torah sources that will help him know how to understand and fulfill these obligations in a practical way, and even to the very best of his ability. (Obviously, those whose approach from the outset is a denial of fundamental Torah principles are excluded.)

Even for Torah precepts that a Gentile/Noahide is not obligated in, either by Divine command or by intellectual obligation, but that one is permitted to perform optionally if one desires to do so, it is permissible to learn the Torah laws that deal with those precepts (for example, circumcision for a man, and Jewish standards of modest dressing for a woman).

But even those parts that are permissible for Gentiles/Noahides to read, and how much more so for the rest of the sources within Torah, it is prohibited for even a pious observant Noahide to study them in a way of deep involvement and penetrating, investigative learning, which is the style of Talmudic study. That is commanded upon the Jews, to whom the entire Torah was given over by G-d, and it is a learning that is only for its own sake (since for any practical needs of a layperson it's not necessary to go into such depth). Therefore a non-Jew who would act in such a manner is taking an additional purely Divine commandment upon himself, in the same sense as putting on tefillin or writing a Torah scroll. For a non-Jew, that would be creating a new religion for one's self which G-d did not command, which is forbidden.

Messages In This Thread
RE: Approaching study of Written and Oral Torah - by Joachim ben Noach - 10-28-2008, 11:38 PM
Talmud study for noahides - by newman - 10-01-2008, 10:22 AM
RE: Talmud study for noahides - by Director Michael - 10-05-2008, 05:35 PM
RE: Talmud study for noahides - by newman - 10-06-2008, 10:15 AM
Study of Judaic religious texts? - by NoahideBrah - 03-01-2012, 10:43 AM
Reading beyond the seven laws - by intruder13 - 09-06-2017, 02:50 AM

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