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The Seven Noahide Laws are laws from the Talmud which Jews have determined apply to non-Jews, that non-Jews must not worship in ways not approved by Jews, they must not practice "idolatry", that non-Jews may not "blaspheme", and that non-Jews may not engage in "sexual immorality". In USA Public Law 102-14, these laws are stated to be the "foundation of American civilization" and it is our "responsibility" to transmit these laws to future generations. The seventh law states that non-Jews are to set up courts to enforce these laws, and the Talmud says that those who do not comply should ultimately be executed. The idea that non-Jews are to enforce these rules on themselves would imply that there must be some form of adoption or "conversion" to these Seven Noahide Laws. This idea that non-Jews would willingly adopt these laws and attempt to structure societies to eventually enforce them is very real, it is happening today, all around the world, and it is being facilitated from Israel.
We have already discussed the 1999 brief submitted to the US Supreme Court by Noahide Law advocates which suggested that the Supreme Court should entertain the idea of using the Jewish Talmud's recommendations on execution methods, particularly the mode of execution demanded under Noahide Law, decapitation. The Talmud is the same text from which we get the Seven Noahide Laws. However, there was another passage added to the brief which if entertained by the Supreme Court would theoretically give religious courts in Israel international jurisdiction. The Talmud states that "a Sanhedrin has jurisdiction within the land of Palestine and outside of it". According to the Jewish Virtual Library: "The ancient Jewish court system was called the Sanhedrin. The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme religious body in the Land of Israel during the time of the Holy Temple. There were also smaller religious Sanhedrins in every town in the Land of Israel, as well as a civil political-democratic Sanhedrin. These Sanhedrins existed until the abolishment of the rabbinic patriarchate in about 425 C.E".
"A SANHEDRIN HAS JURISDICTION WITHIN THE LAND [OF PALESTINE] AND OUTSIDE IT " - – Babylonian Talmud, Makkoth 7a
Launch of the "Sanhedrin" in Israel
It would seem that there have not been any Sanhedrin in quite some time, nor is there any official Sanhedrin today. However with the "restoration" of Israel in what was once known as the land of Canaan, there are some religious groups who are making serious efforts to re-establish a Sanhedrin. In 2005, a large group of Rabbis from across the Jewish spectrum gathered in Tiberias Israel to launch their first attempt at reviving an official Sanhedrin. The stated "goal is to have one rabbinic body in Jerusalem that will convene monthly and issue rulings on central issues". While the body is not yet official, from their website (www.thesanhedrin.org) they seem to be building several unofficial Jewish Court systems and issuing unofficial proclamations and rulings. Moreover, the group's ambitions are not to create any Sanhedrin, but the "Great Sanhedrin", "the supreme court and legislative body in Judea during the Roman period".
Sanhedrin Launched In Tiberias
A unique ceremony - probably only the second of its kind in the past 1,600 years - is taking place in Tiberias today: The launching of a Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish-legal tribunal in the Land of Israel.
The Sanhedrin, a religious assembly that convened in one of the Holy Temple chambers in Jerusalem, comprised 71 sages and existed during the Tannaitic period, from several decades before the Common Era until roughly 425 C.E. Details of today's ceremony are still sketchy, but the organizers' announced their intention to convene 71 rabbis who have received special rabbinic ordination as specified by Maimonides.
An attempt to reconvene the Sanhedrin was made several centuries ago in Tzfat. The body in fact ordained such greats as Rabbi Yosef Karo, the author of the classic Jewish Law code Shulhan Arukh. However, the opposition of other leading rabbis soon forced the end of the endeavor.
One of the leaders of today's attempt to revive the Sanhedrin is Rabbi Yeshai Ba'avad of Beit El. He said that the 71 rabbis "from across the spectrum received the special ordination, in accordance with Maimonides' rulings, over the past several months." Rabbi Ba'avad explained that the membership of the new body is not permanent: "What is much more crucial is the establishment of this body. Those who are members of it today will not necessarily be its members tomorrow. But the goal is to have one rabbinic body in Jerusalem that will convene monthly and issue rulings on central issues. This is the need of the generation and of the hour."
Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who heads the Temple institute in Jerusalem, is one of the participating rabbis. He told Arutz-7 today, "Whether this will be the actual Sanhedrin that we await, is a question of time - just like the establishment of the State; we rejoiced in it, but we are still awaiting something much more ideal. It's a process. Today's ceremony is really the continuation of the renewal of the Ordination process in Israel, which we marked several months ago. Our Talmudic Sages describe the ten stages of exile of the Sanhedrin from Jerusalem to other locations, until it ended in Tiberias - and this is the place where it was foretold that it would be renewed, and from here it will be relocated to Jerusalem."
Rabbi Ariel said that the rabbis there included many from the entire spectrum:
"Hareidi, religious-Zionist, Sephardi, Ashkenazi, hassidi, and many others - such as Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, Rabbi Adin Shteinzaltz, and many others... We can't expect a great consensus; that's not how things work here. But sometimes that's how the process goes, from the bottom up."Sanhedrin Sets Up "Council for Noahides"
In the same year in which the unofficial Great Sanhedrin was founded, the Rabbis of the body gathered to establish a "Council for Noahides". The article published in the Israel National News gives the specifics. We learn that "Noahides" are non-Jews who have willingly taken on the “obligation” of following the seven Noahide Laws. According to the Rabbis, there have been Noahide communities for some time, but until this point, they have been scattered, however, there are concentrated Noahide population in the Southern US. The internet has allowed the religious movement to grow. In order to help these Noahide communities the nascent Sanhedrin currently based in Tiberius has decided to assist the movement form a leadership council.
With the Sanhedrin’s blessing, a Rabbi named Michael Bar-Ron went to the united states to help establish a “High Council” of Noahides there. Rabbi Bar-Ron attended a conference in California where he addressed the annual convention of the Vendyl Jones Research Institute, a Noahide Law research institute run by non-Jews. Five Noahides were selected to be on this new Noahide “High Council”. The High Council was the idea of Rabbi Avraham Toledano, and its stated purposes are 1) “serve and organize all kosher B’nei Noach communities of the world under a single body that can operate under the direct authority and supervision of the Sanhedrin” 2) “To form a vessel through which the Torah, from Zion (via the Sanhedrin) can effectively serve non-Jewish communities around the world.” 3) “transform the Noahide movement from a religious phenomenon – a curiosity many have not heard of – into a powerful international movement that can successfully compete with, and with G-d’s help bring about the fall of, any religious movement but the pure authentic faith that was given to humanity through Noach, the father of us all” According to the Sanhedrin it is incumbent upon all humanity to follow the Seven Noahide Laws and widespread observance is to be worked for, even if that means turning to proselytization.
We learn that Noahide communities in Brazil and India have reached out to become part of the movement as well. According to the Rabbis of the Sanhedrin, it seems that Noahides are more eager to be part of the work than most Jews. Rabbi Bar-Ron discusses how even though the current government of Israel is not fully in compliance with the covenant between the Jews and their god (he cites the Israeli government expelling Jews from Gaza) that the Sanhedrin can still move forward with re-establishing other parts of the law, in this case, Noahide Law. Rabbi Bar-Ron says this is an obligation because Israel is to be a “priest onto the nations”. Rabbi Bar-Ron continues by describing some of the different members of the newly formed “High Council” of the Noahides. All of the prospective members of the High Council are obligated to appear in Jerusalem in January 2006, at which time they will be ordained by the Sanhedrin as members of the High Council.
The acting head of the Sanhedrin, Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, has set up a Beit Din for B’nei Noach to serve the needs of B’nei Noach worldwide. At this point, the council will not serve as an adjudicating body. ”It is our sincere hope that in years to come, the knowledge of the halakha, Torah law, of the Seven Laws of Noach will grow to such a degree that there will be true Noahide judges,” Bar-Ron said ”Never before in recorded history have B’nei Noach come together to be ordained by the Sanhedrin for the purpose of spreading Noahide observance of laws,” Bar-Ron said. “This is the first critical step of bringing about the ultimate flowering of the brotherhood of mankind envisioned by Noach, the father of mankind.”
It should be stated here that according to the Sanhedrin's website on Noahide Courts, these courts are not necessarily to be run by Jews but by converted Noahides in their respective nations. The implication here could be that Noahides, if well trained, may be able to set up their own Noahide Courts and Noahide judges, regardless of Jewish direction or lack thereof.
This court has been set up to serve the needs of B'nei Noach worldwide. Judaism does not view itself as a universal religion, instead it sees itself as a national faith. This is understood within the context of the Jewish teaching that there are seventy nations or groups of people in the world. Each group of people must develop its own form of worship, unique to its own character. There is however a basic minimum common to all proper faiths, and this is the Noahide teachings. The Sanhedrin, through this court, is required to play a role in helping to clarify these most basic teachings, and each group of people in turn must set up its own religious court to expand, develop and adapt these laws to fit the needs of its community of believers.
Sanhedrin Moves to Establish Council For Noahides
First Publish: 9/28/2005, 10:39 PM / Last Update: 9/28/2005, 4:05 PM
B’nai Noach, literally “Children of Noah,” known as Noahides, are non-Jews who take upon themselves the Torah’s obligations for non-Jews – consisting of seven laws passed on from Noah following the flood, as documented in Genesis (see below).
Until now, Noahide communities and organization had been scattered around the globe, with a particular concentration centered around the southern United States. The communities themselves are a relatively recent phenomenon bolstered by the fact that the Internet has allowed individuals sharing Noahide beliefs to get in touch with one another.
The court of 71 rabbis, known as the Sanhedrin, which was reestablished last October in Tiberius following the reinstitution of rabbinic semikha, decided, after numerous requests from the Noahide community, to assist the movement in forming a leadership council.
Rabbi Michael Bar-Ron, with the Sanhedrin’s blessing, travelled to the United States to meet with representatives of the Noahide movement and select members for the High Council. Bar-Ron, an ordained student, talmid samukh, who currently sits on the Sanhedrin, is also one of the Sanhedrin’s spokesmen.
Bar-Ron organized a small conference in California where six of the council’s future members were selected and also addressed the annual convention of the Vendyl Jones Research Institute – one of the Noahide organizations represented on the council. At the VJRI convention, Bar-Ron met five more of the Noahide leaders who will be joining the council.
The purpose of the council, which was the brainchild of Rabbi Avraham Toledano, is to assist the B’nei Noach in their struggle to observe the word of G-d. “The goal is to unify, serve and organize all kosher B’nei Noach communities of the world under a single body that can operate under the direct authority and supervision of the Sanhedrin,” the decision to establish the body reads. “To form a vessel through which the Torah, from Zion (via the Sanhedrin) can effectively serve non-Jewish communities around the world.“
A third goal of the creation of the High Council and the Sanhedrin’s efforts in regard to the Noahide community, is to “transform the Noahide movement from a religious phenomenon – a curiosity many have not heard of – into a powerful international movement that can successfully compete with, and with G-d’s help bring about the fall of, any religious movement but the pure authentic faith that was given to humanity through Noach, the father of us all,” said emissary Bar-Ron.
To that end, one of the primary functions of the council will be the creation and development of effective outreach materials for the world. Although Judaism does not require or encourage non-Jews to become Jewish, the observance of the Seven Laws of Noah is incumbent upon humanity and widespread observance is to be worked toward, even through active proselytization, something that is anathema to Judaism.
The council is also seeking to identify and contact communities around the world who observe the Seven Laws of Noah in order to invite them to learn more about the movement. B’nei Noach in India and Brazil are already in touch with Noahide leaders.
Asked why the Sanhedrin would reach out to B’nei Noach before concentrating on outreach within the Jewish community, Rabbi Bar-Ron answered: “There was no conscious choice to ignore the issue of outreach toward other Jews, but there is a Torah principle that a mitzva, positive precept, that comes to your hand should be fulfilled first and should not be put off. It happens to be that the group that showed the most outward display of support and genuine concern for the success of the Sanhedrin – contacting us from the very outset – were the B’nei Noach. One of the great responsibilities of the Jewish people is to spread the laws of Noach.”
Bar-Ron said he had mixed feelings as he departed for the meetings with the B’nei Noach leaders, as he left the day the forced expulsion of Jews from Gaza began. “I was in such a horrible heart-wrenching pain about leaving – I almost felt like a traitor to our people. But I realized then that although the government was detaching itself from the Land of Israel – a partial annulment of our covenant with G-d, similar to the sin of the ten spies – there is another aspect of the covenant that has not been pursued. That aspect is our obligation to be a nation of priests unto the nations. This is the core of the covenant with Abraham and it is something the Jewish people as a nation has not involved itself in since Second Temple times. So as the government disengaged from the covenant, I was participating in the reengagement with an aspect of the covenant that has been dormant.“
Bar-Ron was very impressed with the B’nei Noach leaders he met. “Each of them had a different unique talent. One was an extremely talented media coordinator, two were great scholars of Noahide law, one was secretary of a large successful Noahide community and research institute and one was a law enforcement officer for a number of years. Each had the wisdom and experience that will help them lead the movement.
All of the prospective members of the High Council are obligated to appear in Jerusalem this coming January, at which time they will be ordained by the Sanhedrin as members of the High Council. “One of the things I thought would be more difficult was implementing the fact that the Sanhedrin’s steering committee unanimously voted that the High Council members must appear personally before the Sanhedrin to be ordained as such,” Bar-Ron said. “But the level of commitment of these people is so high that it is not posing a problem at all.
Each member was screened very carefully and accepted not only on the basis of their high reputation, wisdom and experience – there were many dedicated and talented B’nei Noach who we would have loved to have accepted into the council – but for their role as representatives of entire B’nei Noach communities or as experts in a particularly field.
The acting head of the Sanhedrin, Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, has set up a Beit Din for B’nei Noach to serve the needs of B’nei Noach worldwide. At this point, the council will not serve as a adjudicating body.
“It is our sincere hope that in years to come, the knowledge of thehalakha, Torah law, of the Seven Laws of Noach will grow to such a degree that there will be true Noahide judges,” Bar-Ron said. “One of the goals is to delineate clearly the seven laws and their applications according to the Mishneh Torah of the Rambam.”
“Never before in recorded history have B’nei Noach come together to be ordained by the Sanhedrin for the purpose of spreading Noahide observance of laws,” Bar-Ron said. “This is the first critical step of bringing about the ultimate flowering of the brotherhood of mankind envisioned by Noach, the father of mankind.”
The Seven Laws of Noah are:
Shefichat damim - Do not murder.
Gezel - Do not steal or kidnap.
Avodah zarah - Do not worship false gods/idols.
Gilui arayot - Do not be sexually immoral (engage in incest, sodomy, bestiality, castration and adultery)
Birkat Hashem - Do not utter G-d’s name in vain, curse G-d or pursue the occult.
Dinim - Set up righteous and honest courts and apply fair justice in judging offenders and uphold the principles of the last five.
Ever Min HaChai - Do not eat a part of a live animal.For more information email the Sanhedrin’s secretary at:email@example.com
The Noahides Arrive In Israel
According to plan, in January of 2006, the Noahide “High Council” from the United States appeared before the Sanhedrin to pledge their loyalty to the Talmudic doctrine which calls for the decapitation of anyone practicing a religion not approved by Judaism, blaspheming, or living outside of Jewish sexual standards. They also asserted the authority of the hereditary priesthood of the Sanhedrin.
The Noahides pledge their allegiance to the Sanhedrin and the Talmud (sometimes referred to as “Torah” or “Oral Torah”) and to spread the Noahide religion worldwide. The Rabbis of the Sanhedrin let the Noahides know that the High Council cannot be doubted or criticized and that the Sanhedrin is a special hereditary priesthood. The Sanhedrin admits that there will soon be conflicts with Christians and Muslims over this issue.
Muslims leaders also appeared before the council and spoke their approval for the Noahide Laws. The Sanhedrin states that the timing for the propagation of Noahidism is perfect since now the Jews have access to world communications systems and can convert the globe very quickly. Finally, the Noahides announce their plans to use books and documentaries to indoctrinate children using science presented through the lens of the Torah.
Sanhedrin Recognizes Council to Teach Humanity ´Laws of Noah´
First Publish: 1/10/2006, 1:08 PM / Last Update: 1/9/2006, 10:43 PM
A group of non-Jewish delegates have come to Jerusalem to pledge their loyalty to the Laws of Noah. They appeared before the nascent Sanhedrin, which established a High Council for B’nai Noach. The ten delegates appeared before a special session of the Jewish High Court of 71 Rabbis led by its Nassi (President) Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz. B’nai Noach, literally “Children of Noah,” also known as Noahides, are non-Jews who take upon themselves the Torah’s obligations for all members of the human race. The seven such laws were passed on via Noah following the Flood, as documented in Genesis (see below). The gathering took place under a banner quoting the Biblical passage in Tzefania 3:9which refers to “all the nations… speak[ing] a pure language… proclaim[ing] the name of G-d.”
Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz addresses the Noahide Council membersThe Noahide delegates stood before the nascent Sanhedrin, which was reestablished over a year ago in Tiberias, following the renewal of Biblical ordination, and has met regularly since then. “Each one [of the B'nai Noach] comes with a name he has made in the world, as a teacher and example in his community of observance of the seven laws of Noah,” said Rabbi Michael Bar-Ron, the Sanhedrin’s emissary who facilitated the council’s organization, introducing the delegates. “At great physical and financial expense, they have flown across the world to Jerusalem, the holy city, to pledge before the court and all mankind, their allegiance to the Seven Laws of Noah, the laws of the Creator.”
B’nai Noah delegates sit before members of the nascent Sanhedrin in JerusalemEach of the Noahide representatives stood before the Sanhedrin and pledged: ”I pledge my allegiance to HaShem, G-d of Israel, Creator and King of the Universe, to His Torah and its representatives, the developing Sanhedrin. I hereby pledge to uphold the Seven Laws of Noah in all their details, according to Oral Law of Moses under the guidance of the developing Sanhedrin. May HaShem bless and aid me, my fellow council members and all B’nai Noach in all our endeavors for the sake of His name. Blessed are You G-d, King of the universe, who has caused me to live, sustained me, and brought me to this day.”
Ben Noah Roger Grattan pledges before the SanhedrinRoger Grattan, a council aide who lives in Maine, told Arutz-7 prior to the ceremony, “I am sure that this will be a paragraph in the history of civilization, although one could also write books on it. It is also the fulfillment of prophecy.” The core members of the council are Indian Foreign Relations Coordinator Bud Gill, Billy Jack Dial, Andrew Overall, Adam Penrod, Jacob Scharff, Chairman Larry Borntrager, Honorary Noahide Council Elder Vendyl Jones, Tennessee Noahide Community Head Jack Saunders and Council Speaker Jim Long.
Long addressed the rabbis of the court, requesting formal recognition of the Noahide Council: “Your honor, esteemed rabbis of the developing Sanhedrin. We are here because of your Torah. Rabbis before you elevated the Torah and it drew us in; before that, we stumbled in darkness. Everyone here today can tell you that in the past we have experienced the need to consolidate our efforts to make the world aware of the truth.”
Rabbi Even-Israel Steinsaltz, on behalf of the Sanhedrin, replied: “We hereby recognize these men as the first high council of B’nai Noach in accordance with the conditions they have accepted upon themselves.“
Rabbi Steinsaltz spoke about the role of the Jewish people in bringing the Laws of Noah to the world: ”I am part of this Jewish family and I have nothing bad to say about that family, but you don’t go up to a man on the street and ask him to join your family. Instead you talk to him about joining the true belief in the Creator and about implementing divine justice toward his fellow man. We are setting up a global mission here – not to recruit people, but to bring them to the realization that there is one G-d.”
The Nassi explained that this aspect of Judaism lay dormant for years, as the Jewish people dealt with remaining alive and keeping the Torah in the exile. Rabbi Steinsaltz called for an extensive project to be undertaken to help B’nai Noah in the nitty-gritty details of the observance of the religion. “A Shulhan Arukh [Jewish Law Code] for B’nai Noah must be written so that the individual can have guidance as to what to do,” Steinzaltz said, referring to the compendium of practical Jewish law written by Rabbi Yosef Karo of Tzfat in the 1560′s that is still used today.
He then addressed the ten B’nai Noah representatives, who had endured hours of Hebrew speeches throughout the day, in English:
“There are those people, so far only a small number, who say, ‘We are bound by the covenant of Adam and the covenant of Noah and we know we have to perform and fulfill our obligations.’ We, as Jews, have the same religion as you.
“Within the nation of Israel there is one tribe that deals with the Temple – the priests. We Jews are a specific tribe in the world that was chosen to be a tribe of priests – hereditary priests. Because of this we have special duties. Being a priest does not mean we are cut off from the other people. While the people of the world are all different units in the armies of the Lord, we are a special commando unit that maybe doesn’t get paid more, but has special assignments that may be more dangerous.”
Rabbi Even-Israel spoke about the difficulties that would confront the B’nai Noah movement as it grows:
“When we are speaking in general, almost every human being can more or less accept the laws of Noah, but when we get to particulars we will come to serious points, at which we disagree with Christianity and Islam.
“It is one thing when a religion is small, but as it gets bigger there will be huge pressures. We will be there beside you. We are members of the same religion that was given by the Almighty to humanity. Part of it was given to the Jews and part of it was given to humanity as a whole.”
The Nassi added that while there are those who doubt the ability of the Sanhedrin to be more than an idea leading up to the true reestablished court, the Noahide Council cannot be doubted or criticized due to its pure motives and unprecedented mission.
Rabbi Yaakov Ariel of the Temple Institute said that although Tuesday is the Fast of the Tenth of Tevet, which commemorates the beginning of the destruction, “Our sitting in Jerusalem now, alongside B’nai Noach, demonstrates the revival and the fulfillment of the words of the prophets.” Rabbi Ariel told those gathered that he had seen a rainbow that morning, “the closest thing to seeing Noah himself – the symbol of the covenant between G-d and humanity as witnessed by Noah.”
Famed archaeologist and Noahide leader Vendyl Jones addressed a festive banquet held for the Council members, speaking about the Seven Laws of Noah. He explained, in detail, the verses in the first eleven chapters of Genesis from which the seven laws are elucidated, saying that he always understood the first six, but never understood the law proscribing the eating of a limb of a living animal – until he remembered his cattle-branding days in Texas: “We would brand and castrate the cattle when I was young, and at night we would all sit around the campfire and eat what they called ‘mountain oysters’” – the testicles of the still-living animals.
Rabbi Nachman Kahane, Av Beit HaDin, spoke in English. “G-d created a primitive world,” he said. “We don’t grow loaves of bread, but grain that must be harvested, ground up and baked. We were meant to be partners with G-d. Unfortunately, throughout history, perversions of this idea grew. How can you be G-d’s partner if you are damned and born with original sin? How can you be a partner of G-d if your religion tells you to send yourchildren to shopping malls to blow people up? What we are creating today is a reconnection between the people and G-d. G-d is saying to humanity – everyone has a job. I happen to be a priest – I have a particular task for when the Temple is built – but all of us have a specific task just the same; I am no better.”
Jones told Kahane that his brother, slain Knesset Member Rabbi Meir Kahane, together with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, had organized one of the first conferences for B’nai Noah nearly 20 years ago.
Conference on Noahide CouncilEarlier in the day, several speakers addressed issues surrounding the B’nai Noah movement as part of a conference on the establishment of the B’nai Noah Council.
Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, a leader of the Italian Muslim Assembly, addressed the assembly, speaking about B’nai Noah in Islam: “Islamic law holds within it the seven laws of Noah and can be taught correctly to the Muslims of the world… I remember reading that a new Sanhedrin was created in Jerusalem [and] my impression was very positive – I thought maybe something new had been created to allow the Jewish people to project moral and legal clarity to counterbalance the lack of it in our world.”
Palazzi added that the project of creating a council of Noahide teachers would hopefully counter the negative educational effect of the Gaza withdrawal, “which taught the opposite to my people – it convinced many that only terrorism works.”
Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Zini, who heads Yeshiva Or V’Yishuah and is the rabbi of Haifa’s Technion, spoke about the intuitive natural truths of the laws of Noah. “We must create a formal connection between the nation of Israel and the B’nai Noah to show the world that we are a nation of holy priests, as is dictated in our Torah,” he said, speaking partly in French as well, as the conference will be available on the Sanhedrin’s web site for viewing by prospective B’nai Noah worldwide.
Member of the Noahide Council at the conference earlier in the dayRabbi Yoel Schwartz, who received the blessing of leading hareidi-religious Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv to engage in the project of creating a court and infrastructure for B’nai Noah, addressed the conference as well. Rabbi Schwartz is the Deputy Av Beit HaDin [literally, Court Elder] of the Sanhedrin and the Av Beit HaDin for the B’nai Noah court. He spoke on the topic of “B’nai Noah and World Peace.”
“The Islamic Jihad against the world has restored religion to the center of the world’s consciousness,” Schwartz said. “Over 30 years ago, someone by the name of Eisenberg sent a proposal to the United Nations saying that there will never be world peace unless the citizens of the globe agree on certain principles of faith. It was adopted by the UN as one of its official documents but was not followed up upon and has since been forgotten. We are here today to follow up on that document and remind the UN why it exists. There will be world peace when the whole world agrees that there is one G-d. There are people who do not think what I am about to say is worthwhile, but I suggested years ago that we begin to translate our books, which are meant for the nations of the world, into Arabic as well [Schwartz has authored many books on practical observance for Noahides –ed.]. It is not by coincidence that we have this nation alongside us, surrounding and living inside the land upon our return to it, who also preserves the heritage of Abraham our father.”
Schwartz has indeed translated his books to Arabic, with the help of an Arab man he met at a bus stop who asked him a Mishanaic question, telling him he had already translated the Mishna, a codification of Jewish oral law. He said the entire printing has been sold out. “Muslim parents have thanked me for teaching their child that there is a different way to heaven than becoming a shahid, a martyr,” he said.
Rabbi Schwartz explained that although one of the purposes of the Jewish people’s exile was to disseminate belief in the Torah’s truths around the world, their return to Israel has brought with it the technology to redouble our efforts from here:“The moment we came to Israel, communication technology flourished. The telephone and radio spread rapidly, and computers and internet came soon after, changing the entire concept of communication and education. When we were in the exile, we were there to teach the world, and now that we have returned to the Land of Israel, G-d has given us the tools to do the work from here.”
“The moment we came to Israel, communication technology flourished. The telephone and radio spread rapidly, and computers and internet came soon after, changing the entire concept of communication and education. When we were in the exile, we were there to teach the world, and now that we have returned to the Land of Israel, G-d has given us the tools to do the work from here.”
Rabbi David Zilbershlag, Director of Meir Panim and Koach Latet, both innovative charity associations, spoke about rectifying the misdeeds of Noah’s generation, the generation of the Flood. Zilbershlag said that the new Council of Noahides must focus on kindness and charity, as that was the basis of G-d’s covenant with Noah (the lack of which resulted in the destruction of Noah’s entire generation) and His later covenant with Abraham.
“It is hard to distribute and spread an idea that is negative, as the laws of Noah are phrased,” Zilbershlag said. “We must make a great effort to find and distribute the relevant positive commandments in our tradition throughout the world as well, and the most basic of these is that of following in the footsteps of Abraham our father.”
Rabbi Eliyahu Essas, a former refusenik and founder of the Teshuva (return to Judaism) movement in the USSR, spoke about establishing outreach within Israel to help gentiles who moved from the former Soviet Union to Israel become aware of the Noahide laws:
“There are at least 400,000 out of the million people who came to Israel who are not Jewish according to Jewish law. There are many who think they are Jews, but do not have a Jewish mother and are therefore not Jewish according to Jewish law. 150,000 have no blood connection to the nation of Israel – spouses of Jews and relatives who came under the Law of Return. Then there are 30,000 who have nothing to do with the Jewish people, coming with forged documents. Over there, Jews wanted to be Russians; here, Russians want to be Jews.
“Should we harass such a person to convert, should we leave him alone, or should we try to get him to become a Ben Noah?” Essas asked, refraining from offering answers and saying that such complicated matters must be dealt with by both the Noahide Council and the Sanhedrin’s B’nai Noah Beit Din. He added that the problem of intermarriage was not discussed by previous generations because it did not exist in such numbers. “We are dealing with 50% of families in the former Soviet Union and even more in North America. So if one spouse is a Jew and one is a Ben Noah, what will be their status? I want to raise these issues and offer a prayer to the Almighty to help us find wise solutions.”
Council Looking ForwardSpokesman Jim Long outlined the Council’s goals: “Education is a vital part of our effort and we need you to help us with this. We need to make sure that developing Noahide groups do not split into denominations. As we move into the public eye, we will be viewed as heretics by many. We each come from other religions and must develop ways to approach them in a manner in which they listen without closing their ears. The Noahide movement is a Torah-based template for an ethical way of life. The Creator requires humanity to uphold these laws as per His covenant with Noah.
Members of the B’nai Noah Council“Anyone who reads the Bible can see that your Torah is your constitution, your Bill of Rights and your deed to the Land of Israel. We have plans to publish Noahide prayer books, children’s books and documentaries on science and the world through the lens of the Torah.”
“We have heard that G-d is with you,” Long concluded.For more information, the Council secretary can be contacted at:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Seven Laws of Noah are:
Shefichat damim - Do not murder or commit suicide.
Avodah zarah – Pray and offer sacrifices only to G-d. Do not worship false gods/idols.
Gilui arayot - Do not be sexually immoral (no incest, sodomy, bestiality, castration and adultery), crossbreed animals or perform castration.
Ever Min HaChai - Do not eat a part of a live animal or consume blood.
Birkat Hashem - Do not utter G-d’s name in vain, curse G-d or pursue the occult. Honor your parents.
Gezel - Do not steal or kidnap.
Dinim - Set up righteous and honest courts and apply fair justice in judging offenders and uphold the principles of the last five.
Avodah zarah – Pray and offer sacrifices only to G-d. Do not worship false gods/idols.Gilui arayot - Do not be sexually immoral (no incest, sodomy, bestiality, castration and adultery), crossbreed animals or perform castration.Ever Min HaChai - Do not eat a part of a live animal or consume blood.Birkat Hashem - Do not utter G-d’s name in vain, curse G-d or pursue the occult. Honor your parents.Gezel - Do not steal or kidnap.Dinim - Set up righteous and honest courts and apply fair justice in judging offenders and uphold the principles of the last five.
(Photos: Ezra HaLevi)
Upon their return to the United States, these Noahides made good on their promise to begin the process of setting up a Noahide Council and proselytizing their new religion. The set up the "Noahide High Council, Inc" (UNC) which runs "WikiNoah", and an education website about their beliefs and goals.
The goals of the United Noachide Council are:
- To set up a democratically run Noachide Council, which will seek to sponsor Noachide Yeshiva students from every Noachide Country in the world to study to become fully qualified Noachide Judges. A five to ten year Hebrew only program of study in Noachide and Oral Laws is currently being formulated and will be administered by Various Orthodox Rabbis, and will be located in Israel.
- Noachide Judges graduating from this program will be eligible to sit on the United Noachide Supreme Council. The Supreme Council will decide questions of Noachide law and oversee development of their respective Noachide communities of origin. Graduates of the program will also be fully qualified to act as Noachide community judges of Noachide law and to assize Noachide courts in their respective communities of origin. The United Noachide Council and its Supreme Council will rely upon spiritual guidance and oversight by the Rabbinical bet din composed from the rabbinical teachers of the yeshiva, to whom ultimately disputed questions of Noachide Law will be referred.
- The United Noachide Council will meet at least annually holding a public conference attended by the general public and Bnai Brit which will feature an educational speaker panel. The highlight of the Conference will be public attendance of the United Noachide Council Organizational Annual meeting where an Oath-Brit ceremony for all who desire to make an oath holding a Safer Torah in the presence of a bet din. Certificates will be issued and participants will be enrolled in the Global Registrar to receive full benefets of the Bnai Noach Brit relationship with their fellow Bnai Brit Noach and Bnai Brit Israel.
- The United Noachide Council Credit Union program will support Bnai Brit Noachides and Bnai Brit Israel communities in development and assistance through Gemach (Gemilat Chesed-Interest Free Loan Funds) and/or low interest loans, and Tzedaka (Charity Funds) supporting the full range of interests and needs relating to mitzvah purposes of the participating communities. Interests represented in this forum are anticipated to range from community-specific development or assistance needs to political advocacy. A special emphasis will be placed on educational needs.
- To establish a global outreach program including but not limited to: web based education, print ready brochures, flyers, Brit Noah information cards, etc.
- To support research into the history of the Noahide movement and Noahides since the second temple period to better understand Judeo-Christian relations and — perhaps more urgently — to understand the nature of Judeo-Islamic relations in the context of history and the role of noahides.
- To establish a Noahide Shoppe for study books, reference books, educational material, greeting cards, gift items produced or manufactured by Brit Noah like t-shirts, coffee mugs, calendars, etc.
- Future projects to be announced as the community expresses interest and funds become available.
From what we can gather here, the Noahide Laws take a much more serious twist when we see that the application of these laws, or the program of getting the public to accept their application, is not run by Jews but by "Noahides", non-Jews who have willing accepted these Seven Noahide Laws. There is now an official Noahide High Council who met the nascent Sanhedrin in Israel, pledged their loyalty to this "hereditary priesthood" and has upheld their promise to begin evangelizing "Noahidism" to the general public by setting up websites such as Wikinoah. The fact that there are non-Jews who are converting to this Noahide system and taking active measures to at least set the ground work for Noahide Courts and Noahide conversions should be taken very seriously, especially since this Noahide movement promotes a retrograde anti-social doctrine and at least the theoretical and eventual murder of all those non-Jews who do not comply with their judgment.