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Assuming that our patriarchs Abraham Isaac and Jacob spent time learning in the House of Study of Sheim v'Eiver, the descendents of Noach, what were they learning? The seven commandments of the Noachide Covenant are derived by Chazal (in tractate sanhedrin?) from pesukim in the Torah, but the Torah was not given yet. Assuming that the Avot were shomer torah u'mitzvot before matan torah, how could they learn torah and understand ratzon Hashem (noachide covenant or sinaitic covenant) if they had no access to study the Torah because it was not given yet?

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No source, but they had traditions going back to Adam Harishon and different prophets (Chanoch, Noach, etc.) Perhaps they were analyzing those. –  Shmuel Brin Mar 28 '12 at 18:33
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I asked my Rav this question once. He answered that they would learn theology such as belief in God and the mitzvot Ben Adam Lechavero that are obvious (such as גזל). I guess it would be best comparable to ibn Pequda's Chovot HalLevavot, parts of which he derives from what he calls "sekhel". He also pointed out that they must have had some form of mesorah in certain halachot, for example Noach knew to differentiate between Behemot Tehorot and She'eynan Tehorot, and this institution kept this mesorah alive.

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Which Rav of yours? –  Adam Mosheh Jul 16 '12 at 14:36
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