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I have been reading up on the sheva mitzvos bnei Noach and the idea that there are 7 laws, but it seems that according to one sense, there must be eight. If not, can a "Noachide" be successful as a Noachide if he only keeps the known 7?

If one can only be "credited" for following them because they are a commandment (as per this, though I don't know how to link to the answer, and the answer doesn't have a clear source), and

if the laws are as stated, not including any rabbinically added ones (as stated here in the first answer, quoting the Mishneh laMelech)

then it seems that an implicit 8th law is the acceptance of the Torah as divine and authoritative and the rabbinical exegesis as valid and applying to the non-Jew (otherwise, how could we end up with lists like this and this and expect them to be listened to in light of the "no rabbinically added ones"?)

Is it possible for someone to reject the torah as divine or the rabbinical framing of the laws as more than just the work of men and still, as he believes in god and in an inherent morality hardwired into humankind which can be codified in those 7 laws, to be a proper Noachide?


Note -- I am not talking about someone who rejects god or is involved in a religion which might be called idolatry as in this, but someone who is a deist, mnonotheist, call it what you will, but rejects the Torah and authority of the rabbis.

  • FYI, you can link to specific answers using the "share" link after each one (next to "edit" and "flag"). CLicking on the link will pop up a URL that you can then cut/paste. – Monica Cellio Feb 20 '13 at 15:10
  • Why? Is there a Mitzvah, in the 613 we Jews are commanded, of "the acceptance of the Torah as divine and authoritative and the rabbinical exegesis as valid and applying to" Jews? I'd say just as the equivalent is a foundation of Torah( Yesod 8, Torah Min ha-Shamayim), and not a Mitzvah, for Jews, so should it be a foundation of the 7 laws, and not a Mitzvah, for Noachides. – Tamir Evan Feb 23 '13 at 21:11
  • I would say from this list jewfaq.org/613.htm that #12, 13, 14 and 261 (on first glance) seem to indicate a mitzvah to accept the torah and its interpreted authority (and the authority of those who interpret it). You raise a separate question -- are yesodei emunah mitzvot? But That's a question for another time. – rosends Feb 24 '13 at 0:55
  • @Dan (1) All Mitzvot presume acceptance of "the torah and its interpreted authority (and the authority of those who interpret it)". That doesn't make it an extra Mitzvah, implicit or otherwise. (2) When you say "then it seems that an implicit 8th law ..."( emphasis mine), you are deciding that "yesodei emunah" are Mitzvot. I'm challenging that assertion. – Tamir Evan Feb 25 '13 at 19:41
  • @TamirEvan feel free to challenge it, but if there are, for Jews, explicit requirements and commandments to know god and accept the authority of the torah, why do you assume that non-Jews don't have to be told this explicitly. All the moreso they would need to be told such. – rosends Feb 25 '13 at 20:23
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The רמ"ע מפאנו in עשרה מאמרות has a list of 30 mitzvos Bnei Noach in מאמר חקור דין חלק ג' פרק כ"א. He basically has 7 major categories and the other 34 are sub-categories of the 7. Within the category of ברכת ה'‏ he lists כבוד התורה (ours) and לעסוק בתורה שניתנה להם (the mitzvos Bnei Noach).

The יד יהודה (a מפרש in the sefer) brings that through honoring our Torah, that is, the Torah that we received from ה'‏ at Sinai, they will know for certain that they were commanded in their mitzvos.

So it seems like belief in the divinity of the Torah and in the mesorah is one of their mitzvos.

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