I am an Italian Noahide.

In Mishneh Torah-Hilchot Melachim 9:9, Rambam says (English translation by Tav Eliyahu Touger):

"A Noahide is liable for violating the prohibition against theft whether he stole from another gentile or from a Jew. This applies to one who forcefully robs an individual or steals money, a kidnapper, an employer who withholds his worker's wages and the like, even a worker who eats from his employer's produce when he is not working. In all such cases, he is liable and is considered as a robber. With regard to Jews, the law is different".

However, I did not understand whether Rambam considers rape to be the same as kidnapping, and therefore considers it a case of Noahide prohibition against theft.

In the following halacha n. 14, Rambam states:

"How must the Noahides fulfill the commandment to establish laws and courts? They are obligated to set up judges and magistrates in every major city to render judgment concerning these six mitzvot and to admonish the people regarding their observance. A Noahide who transgresses these seven commands shall be executed by decapitation. For this reason, all the inhabitants of Shechem were obligated to die. Shechem kidnapped. They observed and were aware of his deeds, but did not judge him."

Here is cited the famous case of the kidnapping of Dinah, who was also raped, but Rambam states laconically that "Shechem kidnapped", so it would seem that he detects the violation of the Noahide Law, in this event, to kidnapping tout court, and not to Dinah's subsequent rape.

1 Answer 1


The Ramban writes (Bereishis 34:13):

צוה אותם בדיני גנבה ואונאה ועושק ושכר שכיר ודיני השומרים ואונס ומפתה ואבות נזיקין וחובל בחבירו ודיני מלוה ולוה ודיני מקח וממכר וכיוצא בהן כענין הדינין שנצטוו ישראל ונהרג עליהן אם גנב ועשק או אנס ופתה בתו של חבירו או שהדליק גדישו וחבל בו וכיוצא בהן

[G-d] commanded [the non-Jews] regarding the laws of theft, price fraud, withholding payment, failing to pay a hired worker, the laws of bailees, rape or seduction, the primary categories of damages, injuring another, the laws of buying and selling, and other areas of civil law in which Jews are commanded. [A non-Jew] would be executed if he stole, withheld payment, raped or seduced someone else's daughter, burned his grain heap, injured him, etc.

Now, the context there is that the Rambam defines the Noachide law of "dinim" to mean the setting up of courts of justice, while the Ramban differs and says, as above, that it includes pretty much all of Jewish civil law. The Ramban, then, is clearly saying that rape (and seduction, for that matter) is prohibited to Noachides; whether the Rambam would agree needs further investigation.

  • 1
    So this doesn't answer the question...
    – MDjava
    Commented Feb 25 at 20:43

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