From previous questions and answers I’ve seen on this site, there are some (albeit a minority) of halachic opinions that mitzvot don’t apply off of earth and so Jews can’t leave earth to remove their halachic obligation. My question is, does the same apply to Noahide commandments, or is this opinion only relevant to Jews? Is it different principles at play?

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    "such a view is expressed by for example Moshe Sternbuch." - where if I may ask?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Jan 16 at 16:54
  • Not quite an answer, but with regard to regular mitzvos, refer to here, sv. אחרי עיון של רפרוף במקורות
    – Shmuel
    Commented Jan 16 at 16:56
  • sefaria.org/sheets/494435.1?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en - why would this be different for Noahide laws?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Jan 16 at 16:58
  • There is no such view from R' Moshe Sternbuch. I think you are misreading an answer quoting Teshuvos veHanhagos (5:84) where he discusses Shabbos in outer-space, where he says that time bound mitzvos don't apply. He is absolutely clear that other prohibitions and obligations do apply.
    – chortkov2
    Commented Jan 16 at 21:47
  • תשובות והנהגות (ח"ה סי' פ"ד): "ונראה שקבלנו את התורה עם הזמנים כפי שהם בעולמנו, ומי שיצא חוץ לעולם זה הפקיע עצמו ממצוות התלויות בזמן כמו שבת ורגלים או יום ולילה בקריאת שמע ותפילה"
    – chortkov2
    Commented Jan 16 at 21:50

2 Answers 2


You're misunderstanding the idea you are presenting.

It's true that there is an opinion that certain mitzvot do not apply to space. This is only true for a specific set of mitzvot which are tied to the day/night cycle. It isn't applicable to all Jewish law but only Jewish law which use time as a manner of determining when we perform certain mitzvot.

Even then, the opinion further states that a Jew should perform these mitzvot anyway as to not lose connection to them.

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Halperin, Im Esak Shamayim, p. 41

Therefore, everywhere on the globe – where the Creator set and imprinted the order of creation based on the paths of the Earth, sun, and moon – all of Torah’s time-bound mitzvot are applicable… That is not true in space, where the laws of creation and the order of time are totally different, and are not bound at all by the system of day and night – and the time that flows from it – based on the path of the earth, sun, moon, and the relations between all of them. ...It therefore seems obvious that with regards to space…essentially, the mitzvot, laws, and obligations dependent on day and night, the week, month, and year are not applicable. For these mitzvot are only applicable to one living in a place that is following the laws of creation and the order of time on the globe – not to someone living with a totally different time system. Nevertheless, it is very logical that on a rabbinic level, a person is obligated to fulfill these mitzvot, so that he should not lose consciousness of these mitzvot.

To answer your question:

A Noahide would still be obligated to follow all categories of law which are not time dependent. Just as a Jew would be required to follow all categories of law which are not time dependent.

  • Do not profane God's oneness
  • Do not curse God
  • Do not murder
  • Do not eat flesh of a living animal
  • Do not steal
  • Do not participate in inappropriate sexual relations
  • Establish courts

These categories of law are not dependent on time. If we are using the original opinion I cited as the guidepost for the logic Noahide might use for determining what is acceptable, a Noahide would be required to continue observing these laws. They are not time dependent.

  • @Kirk this is based on the sheet I commented. You said it wasn’t applicable to your case, since it referred not to Noahide laws.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Jan 17 at 11:10

Spinoza writes that halacha (Jewish law) does not apply to Jews anymore since the destruction of the state of Israel by the Romans in 70 CE. Spinoza explains:

“That the Jews themselves were not bound to practice their ceremonial observances after the destruction of their kingdom is evident from Jeremiah… They were no more bound by the law of Moses, after the destruction of their kingdom, than they had been before it had been begun… From all these considerations it is clearer than day that ceremonies have nothing to do with a state of blessedness, and that those mentioned in the Old Testament, i.e. the whole Mosaic Law, had reference merely to the government of the Jews, and merely temporal advantages.”

Spinoza held that Jews are not obligated to observe Torah laws outside the state of Israel.

It may surprize many that Nachmanides held the same view as Spinoza. He wrote the Torah laws only applied when Jews were in Israel and the obligation outside of Israel is only rabbinic.

If Jewish law does not apply to Jews outside the land of Israel, then it does not apply in outer space. If halacha does not apply to Jews in space, the Noahide laws, equally do not apply to non-Jews in space, as they were developed by the rabbis and are thereby rabbinic in nature.

However, it is better to observe Torah laws and the Noahide laws anywhere whether on earth or in space and the observance of them will help improve ourselves and society. The Ramban and Spinoza were wrong.

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    Sources for the ramban please. Regardless I’ve never heard this idea in Orthodox Judaism the Torah doesn’t apply outside of Israel
    – Kirk
    Commented Jan 17 at 6:34
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    This is just wrong. Spinoza is not a good source for an Orthodox Jewish website. The Ramban said no such thing.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Jan 17 at 14:28
  • @MichoelR The Ramban said such a thing. That is why I said it will come as a surprise for you to hear this.
    – Turk Hill
    Commented Jan 17 at 16:36
  • @MichoelR He wrote, “There is in this matter a secret relating to that which the rabbis have said (in the above quoted talmudic statement): ‘He who dwells outside of the land of Israel is like one who has no God.’”
    – Turk Hill
    Commented Jan 17 at 16:38
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    @TurkHill Not a surprise, but disagreement. In all these Rambans, he is saying that we are obligated. He is only giving a novel explanation as to why. And of course, the Ramban lived almost his whole life outside Israel and kept the Torah and led his part of Jewry in doing it. - I don't see how you can take, "We are only obligated because ___", and turn it into, "We are not obligated." Those are pretty much opposites.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Jan 17 at 17:15

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