The seven Laws considered by rabbinic
tradition as the minimal moral duties by the Bible on all
men (Sanh. 50-60; Yad, Melakhim, 8:10, 10:12).
Jews are obligated to observe the whole Torah, while
every non-Jew is "a son of the covenant of Noah" and he
accepts it's obligations is a ger- toshav
("resident - stranger" or even "semi-
convert"; see Av. Zar 64b Maim. Yad, Melakhim 8:10)
Maimonides equates the "righteous man (Hasid)
of the (gentile) nations" who has a share in the
world to come even without becoming a Jew with the
gentile who keeps these laws. Such a man is entitled to
full material support from the Jewish community (see ET,
6 (1957), Col 289 s.v. ger
toshav and the highest earthly honors (Sefer
Hasidim (1957), 338).
The Seven Noachide laws as traditionally enumerated are:
as well as the injunction to establish
a legal system (Tosef., Av.
Zar. 8:4 Sanh. 56a).
Except for the last, all are negative, and the last
itself is usually interpreted as commanding the
enforcement of the others (Maim. Yad, Melakhim, 9:1)
They are Derived exegetically from divine demands
addressed to Adam (Gen. 2:16) and Noah
(see Gen. R. 34; Sanh. 59b) i.e. the progenitors of all
mankind, and are thus regarded as universal.
The Prohibition of idolatry provides that to ensure
social stability and personal salvation, the non- Jews do
not have to "know God" but must abjure
false gods. (Meg. 13a, Kid. 40a; Maim. Yad, Melakhim
This law refers only to actual idolatrous acts, and not
to theoretical principles and and unlike Jews, Nochides
are not required to suffer martyrdom rather than break
this law (Sanh. 74a; TTJ, Shev. 4:2) They are however,
required to choose martyrdom rather than shed human blood
(Per.25b and Rash.).
In view of strict monotheism of Islam, Muslims were
considered as Noachides (cf. ET, loc. cit., col 291,
n.17), whereas the status of Christians was a matter of
debate. Since the late Middle Ages, however, Christianity
too has come to be regarded as Noachide, however,
Christianity to has come to be regarded as Noachide, on
the grounds that shittuf
("associationism" - this was the Jewish
interoperation of Trinitarianism is not forbidden to
non-Jews (see YD 151).
Under the prohibition of blasphemy, murder, and thief
Noachide are subject to greater legal restrictions than
Jews because non-Jewish society is held to be more prone
to these sins (Rashi to Sanh. 57a). The prohibition of
thief covers many types of acts.g. military conquest
(ibid., 59a) and dishonesty in economic life (ibid., 57a;
Yad, Melakhim, 9:9).
1 || Noachide Part