I am interested in knowing what the alternative titles/names for Bnei Noach have been in Rabbinic literature. For instance, were the non-Jews who attended Temple korban called Bnei Noach? My memory is hazy, and my experience is far from wide, but don't seem to recall the title "Bnei Noach" associated with them. Is this because they were not Bnei Noach?

1 Answer 1


They are also referred to as "Chassidei Umot HaOlam", the righteous of the nations of the world as explained by Rabbi Meir Ibn Gabbai in Sefer Avodat HaKodesh, chapter 42

חסידי אומות העולם הם אשר קיימו כל תורת בני נח שהן שבע מצות שנצטוו

Another name used for them is "Ger Toshav" as mentioned by Rambam in Mishnah Torah, Hilchot Issurei Biah, Chapter 14, Halachah 7. But this title is only used inside the land of Israel when it is ruled over by Jews and the Yovel is practiced. That means when more than 50% of the Jewish people reside inside the land of Israel.

"איזה הוא גר תושב? זה עכו"ם שקיבל עליו שלא יעבוד כוכבים ומזלות עם שאר המצוות שנצטוו בני נח, ולא מל ולא טבל, הרי זה מקבלין אותו והוא מחסידי אומות העולם.

  • Thank you for your answer. Can you also add some information regarding the similarities and differences between Chassidei Umot HaOlam, Ger Toshav, and Bnei Noach?
    – user9670
    Sep 11, 2015 at 2:37
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    This is not necessarily true. Rambam says that only bnei Noach that accept Torah are Chassidei Umot haOlam. There are bnei Noach that do not live in the land, do not go before a beis din, or do not accept Torah. This is your bnei Noach stam.
    – EhevuTov
    Sep 11, 2015 at 17:59
  • @EhevuTov The Rambam is discussing one of the alternate names used in regard to Bnei Noach, specifically "Ger Toshav". Ger Toshav means "resident alien" and is only applied to gentiles who are B'nai Noach who reside inside Israel. They have the "din" of B'nai Noach. This is something the Rabbanut and Vendyl Jones were working on toward the end of his life. They reside in Israel but that doesn't mean they can't travel, only that their residence is there. As he explains in that halacha, gentiles who are not B'nai Noach are not permitted to reside inside the land of Israel according to halacha. Sep 11, 2015 at 18:54
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    It's not quite true. It's not an alternative. Ger toshav are chassidei umot haOlam, but chassidei umot haOlam are not necessarily ger toshav. Bnei Noach are not necessarily ger toshav or chassidei umot haOlam either. The Rambam mentions these different categories separately in Hilchot Melachim 8:10-12.
    – EhevuTov
    Sep 11, 2015 at 19:08
  • @EhevuTov You're arguing with Rabbi Meir Ibn Gabbai concerning the equating of Chassidei Umot HaOlam and the B'nai Noach. And I would suggest that you are misreading the Rambam in Hilchot Melachim 8:10-11. The "Ger Toshav" in Melachim since it appears later is limited by the definition which precedes it which I cited from "Hilchot Issurei Biah. Halacha 11 only restates what I quote from Sefer Avodat HaKodesh. Also, the standard chapter 8 only goes to halacha 11. I don't have my Rav Kapach handy to see if 12 is part of the censored version. I'll have to get back to you on that. Sep 11, 2015 at 19:55

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