Saturday, March 23, 2019

Largest Israeli advocacy group endorses American Noahide Law

"United With Israel" (UWI) claims to be the largest pro-Israel advocacy group with 7 million members in 170  countries. According to their website their goals include mobilizing global networks of Israel supporters and engaging them in on the ground projects that "benefit the citizens of Israel". On the UWI website is an article written by Rabbi Ari Enkin who is the rabbinic director of United with Israel which advocates for the Noahide Laws. The Rabbi states that Jews are commanded to try to compel non-Jews to follow the Noahide Laws. More importantly he brings forth the stipulation that it is not enough for non-Jews to follow the Noahide Laws for any other reason than to serve the god of Israel and do as he commands, meaning one cannot escape execution by adhering to the Noahide Laws in an atheist and remote way. The Rabbi also reminds us that a Noahide who lives within the borders of Israel is known as a Ger Toshav; though the Rabbi states that he believes no Ger Toshavs can be accepted at this time we have already discussed that the Israeli government has already accepted Ger Toshavs for religious legal reasons, perhaps implying that Israel can institute religious law for practical reasons even though all the legal requirements are not met (here).  It is from this article that I first learned that before Noahide Law was signed into law as the "basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded" via Public Law 102-14 (here), President Ronald Reagan signed a similar proclamation which claimed the Jewish Noahide Laws are “the historical tradition of ethical values and principles, which have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization".  When "United With Israel" says they wish to mobilize massive global support for Israel and projects which benefit Israeli citizens are they including having nations enact and enforce the Noahide Laws?  Does "United With Israel" really support setting up international courts which might be subservient to the Israeli government and which pass out death sentences to Christians, homosexuals, atheists, pagans and more?


UWI delivers content via its website, social media, phone apps, browser apps, emails, newsletters and more – bypassing the mainstream media and its anti-Israel bias.
United with Israel uses its grassroots power to raise vital funds for a variety of charities that benefit Israelis in need. 
– To publicly defend the truth about Israel and promote and advocate for the people, country and land of Israel, fighting media bias, BDS and online incitement.
– To expand and mobilize a massive global network of Israel supporters and activists.
– To share the miracles of Israel and demonstrate how Israel is a great blessing to the world in the areas of technology, medical advances, agriculture and so much more.
– To foster the development of strong connections between the citizens of Israel and people who live in communities around the world.
– To support vital on-the-ground projects that benefit the citizens of Israel.


By Rabbi Ari Enkin, rabbinic director, United with Israel

The “Seven Laws of Noah” or the “Noahide Laws,” are a set of moral laws commanded by God and binding on all “children of Noah,” namely, all of humanity. According to Judaism, any gentile who adheres to the Noahide laws is regarded as a Righteous Gentile and is assured of a place in the World to Come.
Jews don’t believe in proselytization or seeking converts. We don’t believe there is any reason for non-Jews to convert and become Jewish. The Noahide Laws are regarded as the way through which non-Jews can have a direct and meaningful relationship with God. As the saying goes, “Any non-Jew who keeps these seven goes to Heaven!” It is interesting to note that according to most rabbis and decisors of Jewish law, non-Jews are not only not obliged to observe the other mitzvot of the Torah, but they are actually forbidden to do so.
In recent years, the term “Noahide” has come to refer to non-Jews who strive to live in accordance with the seven Noahide Laws. The rainbow is the symbol of the Noahide movement.
The Seven Laws of Noah are:
The prohibition against idolatry;
The prohibition against murder;
The prohibition against theft;
The prohibition against sexual immorality;
The prohibition against blasphemy;
The prohibition against eating flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive; and
The requirement to maintain courts and a system of justice.

Additional Laws

Some authorities add, or more precisely, extend the Seven Laws to include additional prohibitions. For example, some sources include a prohibition against mixing species of seeds or animals, castration and sorcery. Rabbi Nissim Gerondi (14th century) argued that gentiles are obligated to give charity as well. The 16th-century work Asarah Maamarot by Rabbi Menahem Azariah of Fano, Italy, enumerates 30 commandments, listing the latter 23 as extensions of the original seven, which includes prohibitions on various forms of sorcery as well as incest and bestiality. The 10th-century Shmuel ben Hophni Gaon lists 30 Noahide commandments, including prohibitions against suicide and false oaths, as well as obligations related to prayer, sacrifices and honoring one’s parents.
According to Jewish tradition, God gave most of these seven laws to Adam and the remainder to Noah. The Talmud states: “Righteous people of all nations have a share in the world to come.” What this means is that any non-Jew who lives according to these laws is regarded as one of “the righteous among the gentiles” and is assured of a place in Heaven.
As the great 12th-century Rabbi Moses Maimonides writes:
“Anyone who accepts upon himself and carefully observes the Seven Commandments is of the Righteous of the Nations of the World and has a portion in the World to Come.”

Coincidental Observance vs. Faith in God

Maimonides does add, however:
“This is as long as he accepts and performs them because he truly believes that it was the Holy One, Blessed Be He, Who commanded them in the Torah, and that is was through Moses our Teacher that we were informed that the Sons of Noah had already been commanded to observe them.”
What this means is that it is not enough to simply live an outstanding ethical and moral life. Rather, one has to live such a life because it is what God had commanded. Moral living by coincidence is great, but its merit is limited. One has to live a moral life with the intent that one is doing so because it was commanded by God!
Maimonides also teaches us that Moses (and by extension, all Jewish people) was commanded by God to try and compel the non-Jewish world to observe these seven commandments. For many centuries, however, circumstances did not allow this to be done.

U.S. Recognition of Noahide Laws

In 1983, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, better known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, said that it was time to revitalize this long-dormant role of the Jewish people. In 1987, then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation speaking of “the historical tradition of ethical values and principles, which have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws, transmitted through God to Moses on Mount Sinai.” In 1991, the United States Congress declared and established “Education Day” in honor of the birthday of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the Chabad movement. In the words of Congress:
Whereas Congress recognizes the historical tradition of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded; Whereas these ethical values and principles have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws…”
A ship modeled after the biblical description of Noah's Ark, "Johan's Ark", in the Netherlands. (Photo: Wikipedia)
A ship modeled after the biblical description of Noah’s Ark, “Johan’s Ark”, in the Netherlands. (Photo: Wikipedia)
In January 2004, Sheikh Mowafak Tarif, the spiritual leader of Israeli Druze, signed a declaration calling on non-Jews living in the Land of Israel to observe the Noahide Laws.
In earlier times, a gentile living in the Land of Israel who accepted the Seven Laws in the presence of a rabbinical court was known as a Ger toshav, or “resident stranger.” Jewish law only allows the official acceptance of a Ger Toshav as a resident in the Land of Israel during a time when the Jubilee Year (yovel) is in effect. There is much discussion in the codes as to whether some of the laws that apply to a Ger Toshav may be applied to some modern gentiles. A Ger Toshav should not be confused with a Ger Tzedek, who is a person who ultimately prefers to proceed to total conversion to Judaism, a procedure that is traditionally only allowed to take place after much thought and deliberation and only after the potential convert has been turned away a number of times.

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