...What is the Noahide Covenant?

We are all Noahites!

We are all brothers and sisters

The story of Noah

Since the creation of Adam, G-d desired for people to stop seeking their own ideas of what is right and wrong and instead seek Him for answers.  But mankind was stubborn.  Although G-d had given man merely six commandments at the time,1 each person insisted that he or she could know what is right and what is wrong and acted according to his or her own heart or the hearts of others whom they felt where great in thier minds.   
1FOOTNOTE:  They were, in the order that they are addressed in Torah, 1) to not to blaspheme G-d (to acknowlege only Him as the source of every thing), 2) to have sexual morality (with your "other half"), 3) to not steal (take what is not yours), 4) to not murder (kill a another human without righteous justification through law), 5) to observe courts of justice (established by society), and 6) to not commit acts of idolatry (acts of worship and or service not appointed by G-d, Himself).
The condition has plagued mankind since the days of Adam.   For instead of listening to G-d, Adam "listened to his wife and ate of the tree.2"  (Genesis 3:17)   Since Adam, people sought to do what they felt was correct rather choose to follow G-d's Instructions as He gives us, called Torah.  Eventually, everybody fused right and wrong and soon Man would not be able to distinguish between the two.  People from Adam to Noah corrupted themselves so greatly that G-d decided to intervene and destroy the earth.  But there was a man who was "righteous in his generation" (Noah) which G-d chose to be a seed of a new generation of humankind.   Noah listened to G-d, as he was given instructions to build a great boat.   And through this boat, Noah and his family would be saved from the flood waters to plant future hopefully better generations of human beings on the earth.
 2FOOTNOTE:  It was not the listening of his wife that was the problem here.  Initially, when He spoke to Adam, G-d only told him that if he ate of the tree, he would die.   (Gen. 2:17)  But Eve understood (because of what Adam had told her since she was not around at the time G-d gave His Instructions) to not to eat of the fruit and  to not even touch it.  (Gen. 3:2)   Adam had told her not to even touch the fruit as a "fence" to protect her from making the mistake of eating it or of taking it.  The serpent used the changing of G-d's words to trick Eve (and eventually Adam) into taking of the fruit which was an act of theft.  Now Adam had changed the Instructions of G-d and he believed his own changed words.   Now hearing these changed words from Eve, the serpent pushed Eve against the fruit to show her that she wouldn't die by touching the fruit.  (The serpent knew what G-d had said as shown by his quote of G-d which was correct.)   So when she didn't die, the serpent was able to deceive her into thinking that G-d had lied.  And through this, the taking and the eating was possible.   Eve then took and ate.   And when nothing happened, she was convinced that theft was also okay.   When she showed to Adam the fruit, he was also convinced  and also ate.   Then when G-d confronted Adam, he put the blame on his his wife instead of himself when could have easily have just said "no"  to his wife.

When Noah and his family exited the Ark, G-d established a Covenant with Noah, the Noahide Covenant.  (Ex. 9:9-10)  G-d introduced the rainbow in the sky as a symbol of this Covenant.  In this Covenant, G-d promised never to destroy mankind with water again.  He added to the six Instructions he gave Adam's generations a Seventh Commandment (Ex. 9:2-4a)3 and reaffirmed the past commandments (Ex. 9:1; 4b-6; 7; and other verses following in the Torah and Nach).   Noah and his family accepted the Seven for all his descendants.   All human beings are children of Noah, and why we all have the responsibility to observe the commandments of the Noahide Covenant because of our forefather Noah.   All human beings, both Jew and nonJew have this responsibility to one another and to G-d.  Through this basic Instruction (Torah) G-d gave mankind a Path to make the world a better place.   And this Torah is described in the Torah of the Jews with is the Torah of Orthodox Judaism.
3FOOTNOTE:  Because of mistunderstanding, the translations of the Christian bibles are not accurate.  In this passage, Noah was told by G-d that although Man had not eaten animals in the past, he is permitted to eat animals now.  However, G-d commanded mankind to not do as a lion which grabs its victim by the neck (choking and strangling) and then tears it's victim's flesh while it is still alive.  Noah is commanded instead to kill the animal first, then remove it's limb to eat.   Because this is the instruction, one is not permitted to even take a limb from an animal that is still alive even when he does not intend to eat it.   And because of this commandment, one is required to removed the blood before eating.

The name B'nei Noach is an English transliteration of the Hebrew.  It means "Children (or descendants) of Noah."  According to the Bible, everyone is obligated to these Commandments whether or not they choose to be.  Today the name B'nei Noach refers to anyone who chooses to abide by the Covenant G-d made with Noah. However, choosing to abide by them is only effective when we take upon ourselves to do "t'shuvah" (repentance)--a turning from our own selves, our own directions--and to G-d--as the Torah teaches (the first five books of the Bible).  Once we turn away from ourselves and to this Instruction that G-d has provided us, we opt to live righteous lives away from our own understanding (or from the understanding of those not authorised to teach) and rather to those G-d has set as our teachers. 

Torah teaches that the way to Ha-Olam Habah (the World-to-Come) is not dependent upon any mediator and that it is by the grace of G-d alone that a person have a share in it.  It is not about believing in certain doctrines as interpreted by gentiles.  It is not about "evil" people and "good" people, for everyone has the capacity to do both evil and good.  Rather, it is about being righteous--practicing to live righteous lives--by turning oneself over to the Torah, or Instruction of G-d.  It is about ensuring that we seek to do good at every instance...so our good outweighs our bad.  In Ha-Olam Habah, G-d rewards the righteous (of any faith or religion) by weighing his good with his bad.  G-d punishes evil deeds.  Only those whose evil deeds outweigh his good deeds so greatly will lose eternal life in the World-to-Come. 
Thus, no human being needs any false god, religion, "Jesus," or particular faith to find his or her path to righteousness or to obtain eternal life in the World-to-Come.  In fact using any mediator to reach G-d is idolatry.  It doesn't matter whether such a mediator is an animal, a thing (e.g. stone idol) or a person.  In fact there are people strong in religion who will find he has lost his share of the World-to-Come while others without religion who will discover they have their share of it.   For many religions that are strong in idolatry (as in every form of Christianity) strongly deceive a person into thinking he is doing "good" when in truth he is doing harm.

Torah teaches that every human being on the earth has a personal relationship with G-d.  Some people may choose to lock the door to that relationship most or all of the time.  Nonetheless, that relationship remains, though not a good one.   "Dialog" with the Almighty opens that door and learning Torah builds that relationship.  Some find it necessary to open a strong dialog with Him.  In their relationship, these choose to abide by the Teaching (the Torah) that G-d has given mankind and thus begins his or her righteous walk in life.  The are on the Path of G-d, called Derech HaShem.  Others want no relationship and choose never to dialog with G-d and never learn in Torah.   These are not on the Path and sit satisfied in "missing the bullseye."  

The Commandments of the Noachic Covenant

The Noahide laws were designed by G-d to enhance life and to benefit humanity. They include prohibitions which almost everyone on earth would agree with.  Four of these Commandments pertain to the way we should treat one another as human beings.  In this catagory are a prohibition of murder,  a prohibition of theft of another's property,  a prohibition of sexual immorality, and an injunction to set up and support courts of justice.   One of the commandments deals with how we are to treat animals.  This Commandment  forbids the barbarity of removing the flesh from a living animal.  The last two Commandments pertain to how we relate to G-d.  One teaches us not to blaspheme G-d (which inherently causes us to acknowlege that G-d exists) and the other forbids idolatry, that is the practice of using a medium such as stones, animals or people to worship through or worship of, to pray through, or associate with any deity, whether true or false.  Contrary to the views of many, idolatry can be even practiced by someone believing in the Almighty Himself.

In these latter days as the approaching of the days of the coming of the Messiah, there is a community of non-Jews who have recognized the Noahite Covenant and who have made the choice to follow the Seven Noahide Laws.  These people are practicing their lives as "righteous Gentiles."  They have chosen to accept the G-d of Israel yet do not wish to be understood as being Jewish. They are satisfied of thier relationship with the Creator and with mankind.  They are content with doing good without commiting to a certain religion.

The Path Noahides follow is a return to this simple truth:  G-d the Heavenly Father, blessed be His Name, loves mankind so much and wants the best for everyone and gave us His Guidance to help us.  It is the heart of Noachides to return this love and obey His Teaching, His Commandments.

B'nei Noach is an extension of Orthodox Judaism.  As G-d has chosen Israel to receive the Torah, He has given Jews the responsibility to be "a light to the nations."  Thus, it is the Jew's responsibility to hand it (teach it) to the rest of the world.  And thus Noahides rely upon rabbincal supervision for their interpretation of the Tanach, or Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament") and of the Creator.


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