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The need for a Rabbi and related questions
(07-30-2015, 02:39 AM)GentileLaw Wrote: Again, I understand that it is possible to infer a positive something from a negative, but when you said "it is a commandment," are you saying it's a divine commandment in the same way that there is commandment from God against worshipping idols?

It is not the same type of commandment, as explained below.

(07-30-2015, 02:39 AM)GentileLaw Wrote: Or are you saying that it's a rabbinical "commandment"?


(07-30-2015, 02:39 AM)GentileLaw Wrote: Or that it's a rational "commandment" (as Gentiles are obligated to keep commandments that can be arrived at rationally)?

It additionally falls within that category as well, but that aspect of it is not part of this discussion.

(07-30-2015, 02:39 AM)GentileLaw Wrote: So if you are saying that there is a commandment to believe in God, are you saying it purely on the basis that "from a negative, one can infer the positive" as opposed to the actual command against worshipping idols which is not based on an inference.

No, it is not only that. That is one way that we can explain - using the Written Torah text - that there is this positive commandment (of the type that it is).

(07-30-2015, 02:39 AM)GentileLaw Wrote: I'm asking if it's a divine commandment on the same level as the prohibition against worshipping idols.

No, it is not on the same level. The famous brief listing of the "7 Laws of Noah" are only those Divinely commanded prohibitions for which active physical transgression makes a Gentile liable to capital punishment from an empowered Noahide court. (Bearing in mind that some, and perhaps most, classical Rabbinical opinions include the positive aspect of the commandment for Judgments [i.e. Laws and Courts] within the designation of the "7 Laws of Noah," without considering neglect of it to be a capital transgression.)

(07-30-2015, 02:39 AM)GentileLaw Wrote: Because when I read "one can infer" then that sounds to me like what is inferred is not a divine commandment to the same level as the original command, but rather it is an inference. And again, an inference may have some power, may have connection to the core prohibition (as it says "only prohibitions -sit down and don't do - are counted in the Seven Commandments"), but it doesn't come across to me like they have the same force.

It is not just an inference, but also it doesn't have the same force, because a Noahide Court is never empowered to executive someone just for not believing in G-d, even in the case that the person's denial of G-d's existence is willful.

(07-30-2015, 02:39 AM)GentileLaw Wrote: I've got a level of literalness about the way I understand things, maybe also seen as a black and white view of things. Although I understand "shades" and "tantamounts" and what they can teach, it doesn't exactly show me whether something is a divine command with the same force as the core prohibitions or something else, like an inference, or rabbinical command or a rational moral obligation.

There are two more ways to explain this:

Explanation #1:

There are commandments from G-d that consist of multiple required components, and the overall "stated" commandment is not completely fulfilled unless all of the individual required components are fulfilled. In this case the components are all understood to be actually commanded by G-d, but the overall "stated" commandment of G-d goes by the name of the overarching theme.
The same is true if the "stated" commandment has an underlying prerequisite, the fulfillment of which it depends upon. In that case, the underlying prerequisite is also understood to be actually commanded by G-d.

As Rabbi Bloom explained in the answer above, the full scope of the prohibition against idol worship by a Gentile (which includes a prohibition against deifying any created entity) can't be completely fulfilled unless the Gentile accepts the existence of G-d. (But a Noahide Court doesn't punish for this unless the Gentile actively worships an idol in one of several specifically defined ways, some of which depend on what idol it is.)

See the source cited in the last footnote "The Divine Code," Part I, topic 1:5, which explains why "One needs a general acceptance of the yoke of Heaven as a preparation for keeping [i.e. fulfilling] the Seven Noahide Commandments." Along these lines, if a Gentile doesn't murder simply because of the logical/practical reason that it would disrupt the social order, he has not fulfilled it as a Divine commandment.

Explanation #2:

It is a basic principle in the Oral Torah that G-d does not send a soul to punishment / cleansing in Gehinom (the spiritual "Purgatory") unless that soul was not sufficiently repentant for violating one of its commandments from G-d while invested in a living human body.

In "The Divine Code," Part I, topic 1:10, it points out the Talmudic Sages cited Psalms 9:18 as a Scriptural source for the fact that the souls of unrepentant willful non-believers in G-d's existence will be sent to Gehinom. Now you may say that this shows there is a commandment not to not believe in G-d. But in such a case, the principles of Torah teach that there is a parallel commandment to believe in G-d, because it is a "negative commandment juxtaposed to a positive commandment." Which proves that there is a commandment from G-d for belief in Him.

Messages In This Thread
RE: The need for a rabbi and other questions - by excited_for_life - 01-11-2012, 11:11 PM
looking for a tutor - by AskNoah fan - 02-20-2012, 04:31 PM
RE: The need for a Rabbi and other questions - by AskNoah fan - 02-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Ger Toshav and Rambam - by amenyahu - 01-11-2013, 03:39 AM
RE: Ger Toshav and Rambam - by Director Michael - 01-13-2013, 06:26 PM
Is this an obligation? - by GentileLaw - 07-08-2015, 02:58 AM
RE: The need for a Rabbi and related questions - by Director Michael - 07-30-2015, 01:12 PM
Rabbinical Jurisdiction - by amenyahu - 01-13-2014, 11:46 PM

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