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There is a modern "Noahide" movement(I believe propagated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe), where people join together to be b'nei noah and not part of another religion. From some googling, I've seen that there are a fair amount of people on the web who identify religiously as Noahides. My question is, given that the 7 Noahide laws are relatively easy to follow (even if there are of course issues in Noahide halachah), what exactly do members of the modern Noahide movement do? For example, do they pray in an organized manner? If so, what forms do the prayers take? Do they study Torah? (Are they allowed to study Torah?) Or do they just follow the 7 rules? Is there any sort of organized religion for Noahides?

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  • The Gemara says a non Jew who learns torah is chayav misah Jun 20, 2014 at 10:09
  • I think this is a good question (aside from the issue about belief in God, which seems tangential). I've sometimes wondered whether they have organized communities or if it's an individual thing or what. Many of them are probably coming from religions that organize around a community and a regular service, so do they expect (and thus create) it as Noachides? Jun 20, 2014 at 14:27
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    @MonicaCellio, of the Noachides I have been exposed to, the appeal is the lack of "organized" in the religion. They like the general freedom of life implicit in the lack of ritual requirements, and the focus on interpersonal behavior.
    – Yishai
    Jun 20, 2014 at 15:44
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    @Yishai thanks. I've never met someone who identified as a Noachide. Jun 20, 2014 at 15:46
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    @DoubleAA But regardless, I'm still more interested in what Noahides who aren't part of any other religion (as opposed to say a Muslim who qualifies as b'nei noah), have as part of their religious practice.
    – user5540
    Jun 20, 2014 at 23:23

4 Answers 4

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Writing as a ben Noach, there is no definitive answer on what we do; only what we can't do(save setting up a court). Bnei Noach can do whatever they want as long as they don't transgress the seven. Brit Noach is a covenant of wild freedom, basically. For the details of the seven, I go by the Rambam, Hilchot Melachim Ch. 8-10.

Since Brit Noach allows so much freedom, this doesn't mean you should be obnoxious, etc. particularly when living in a Jewish community. I don't put on tefillin, affix mezuzot, immerse in a mikvah, write Torah scrolls.

My wife and I, although we are not commanded to, we do Jew-ish things either to fit into the community or just because we want to. I pray from the Siddur Tehillat haShem(nusach Arizal), go to Shabbat services, daven Shachrit, give tzedakah, study Rambam, Chassidut, study Hebrew, learn with a Rabbi, teach other bnei Noach, go to work, etc.

Some bnei Noach just keep the seven and want to be left alone. Some want to be like gerim toshavim(although gerim toshavim are not halachically accepted today).

Brit Noach is instituted to give the human soul freedom in how deep he wants to go with haShem without being bad in this physical world, basically.

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actually belief in G-d is part of those 7 commandments.

here are the 7 listed and defined (copied and pasted from chabad.org)

These are the Seven Noahide Laws, as enumerated in the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 56a:

1:carry out justice - An imperative to pursue and enforce social justice, and a prohibition of any miscarriage of justice.

2:no blasphemy - Prohibits a curse directed at the Supreme Being.

3: no idolatry - Prohibits the worship of any human or any created thing. Also prohibited is the making of idols and involvement with the occult. This necessitates an understanding of the One G-d of Israel and His nature.

4:no illicit intercourse - Prohibits adultery, incest, homosexual intercourse and bestiality, according to Torah definitions.

5:no homicide - Prohibits murder and suicide. Causing injury is also forbidden.

6:no theft - Prohibits the wrongful taking of another's goods.

7:don't eat a limb of a living creature - Promotes the kind treatment of animal life. It also encourages an appreciation for all kinds of life and respect for nature as G-d's creation.

furthermore in addition to these 7 commandments there are things a Noahide should be encouraged to partake in including prayer (actually the no blasphemy is written as a positive to bless but the inverse is also understood from that not to curse either), charity, modesty, visiting the sick, honoring ones parents, and other good deeds which bring honor to G-d and peace between man kind. A good website to find out more about the noahide movement is noahidenations.com

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  • Thanks for the answer! Are you aware of how Noahides pray? Do they say Tehillim or read from a siddur, for example or can they just make up their own thing?
    – user5540
    Jun 20, 2014 at 18:51
  • tehillim are perfect. I remember seeing a noahide pray book a while ago but don't remember where it was. didn't like it for some reason. the psalms being as powerful as they are I would think there is no need to reinvent the wheel but that's just my thought on the matter
    – Dude
    Jun 20, 2014 at 19:34
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Your question - if you're still out there - was, "What exactly do Noahides do?"

I am a Noahide and I think you should first know who Noahides ARE. Often, but not always, they come from Christianity. Sometimes Islam. They're usually someone who already has a connection to the God of Abraham.

Some Gentiles maybe used to go to church, weren't very religous, their families marked some holidays and life cycle events with a mild religious tone. They may hang around Jewish people and go to classes, if they happen to live near a Jewish community that offers them. They might occasionally go to a synagogue for Shabbos. Overall, they have a level of interest in Hashem and an affinity for the Jewish people. Some of these call themselves Noahides, some don't. Some of them haven't even heard of the term, like the rabbis who teach them.

There's another group of people, many of whom were either ministers or deeply devoted followers of God, in accordance with their religion. In the process of deepening their relationship with God, they found issues and inconsistencies in their belief systems. This developed into a choice: either leave or embrace cognitive dissonance and believe what you're supposed to believe, regardless of the evidence. Those with a conscience allow their belief systems to crash, but hold onto Hashem with both hands. They hold onto the God of the Jews because of what He did at Sinai, because without Him, they would indeed be lost. These are the Noahides I know.

What they DO. They love God with all their heart, soul and strength. They love their neighbor as themselves. This is reflected in the things they do. They give to the poor - online and on the street. They visit the sick. In doing so, they believe God is proud of them.

They study Torah. Not like you, but they study. They study the Psalms and Proverbs. They study the Prophets and yearn for Moschiah, for the knowledge of God to fill the earth.

They pray. Again, not like you, but they pray. For them, emunah is more important than repetition, so their prayers are most often personal. They have prayer books and use them, some use this as a way to learn to direct their thoughts toward God in a disciplined way. Some use it to learn how to pray or teach others how to pray. Books like "The Garden of Enumah" by R. Shalom Gold/R. Lazer Brody tend to mean a lot to them.

Some homeschool their children to give them a God-fearing foundation. They're honest in their businesses and relationships. They're faithful to their wives and husbands.

Some form groups for association, study and worship meetings. Some can be like chapels, others might be like an informal shul. Groups are very rare. Some might convert, but most don't live around Jews.

Some Noahides establish ordaining bodies, appoint clergy and these lead groups. They do marriages, funerals, pastoral counseling. Some become chaplains in healthcare. Some groups are working to have Noahides recognized in the military and will someday send chaplains there, too.

Noahides are a diverse group. They're good people who love God, their fellow man, and are more concerned about doing the right thing than just being right.

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They definitely must believe in Hashem and keep His mitzvos as His commandments as apposed to thinking they are 'good ideas'. This is all in the rambam as others mentioned. There is a seffer called Mitzvos Hashem which deals extensively which mitzvos they are commanded in. There are alot more than seven, seven is only the number of mitzvos they get killed biyidei adam for transgressing. We know they are chayav missa bidei shomayim for things like keeping shabbos and learning torah, but those are not on the list of seven because those are not chayav bidei adam.

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  • Although this corrects an assumption of the question, it doesn't answer the question. If the number is 7, 30 or 66, the question persists, as they are almost exclusively negative (don't do) in nature.
    – Yishai
    Jun 20, 2014 at 15:07
  • I've edited the question to reflect this, but I'd still like an answer as to the things Noahides do (as opposed to don't do).
    – user5540
    Jun 20, 2014 at 19:26
  • k. Guess after all that typing I forgot to address the main point. I was going to end off 'if anyone talks about these ideas it would be him'.
    – user6591
    Jun 20, 2014 at 19:39

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