According to this thread http://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/13447/is-it-a-discouraged-or-an-unacceptable-practice-for-a-gentile-to-keep-the-sabbat?lq=1 It seems that non jews aren't allowed to keep shabbos. Doesn't that make this an eighth mitzvah (in addition to the 7 Mitzvot being Noah) ?

  • Some have other counts for the Noahide Laws, like 30 or more. ;)
    – ezra
    Apr 26, 2018 at 1:02
  • My understanding of Sanhedrin 58b (at the bottom of the page) is that Shabbat is not included because it is considered a positive Mitzvah, and they aren't included in the count.
    – Tamir Evan
    Apr 26, 2018 at 2:54
  • @TamirEvan What about the Noahide mitzvah of setting up courts of justice? That's positive
    – ezra
    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:16
  • judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/20585/…
    – user15253
    Apr 26, 2018 at 12:20
  • @ezra O.K., so what do you say "וליחשבה גבי ז' מצות כי קא חשיב שב ואל תעשה קום עשה לא קא חשיב" (Sanhedrin 58b) means?
    – Tamir Evan
    Apr 26, 2018 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


There is a discussion as to whether a non-Jew observing Shabbos, or studying certain parts of Torah is included within the prohibition of theft or sexual license (e.g. Maharsha, Sanhedrin 58b). The real debate is whether the relationships between the Jews and Shabbos and Torah is more like property or like marriage. But in either case, the connection to the Jewish People is considered similar enough to something already prohibited to be included in that umbrella.

Which touches on a more fundamental point; the 7 mitzvos are pretty broad. There are counts of 30 (Chullin 92) or 66 mitzvos that are described as subcategories of the 7. The count of 30 is explained this way by the (Rama miFano, Asarah Maamaros, Ma'amo Chaqor Din 3:21), saying that this position is not in dispute with the more usually cited 7, just giving more detail. Whereas Rav Aharon Lichtenstein ("The Seven Laws of Noah") only justifies his giving a longer list by stating that he is expounding on the standard 7.

An example of the breadth of each Noachide mitzvah. Abortion is prohibited to both Jews and non-Jews. However, it is not punishable when performed by a Jew. And for that matter, the Rambam distinguishes between cases where it would be permitted to abort a moment before birth, and prohibited to commit infanticide a moment after. (Hilkhos Rotzeiakh 1:9) In the opinion of many (most?) recent and contemporary decisors, abortion is not murder as the law is defined by Jews; it's another prohibition -- perhaps injury to the mother, or a more extreme form of the prohibition against masturbation (as both prevent a future person), yet more debate. But all agree that abortion is murder as defined in the Noachide Laws. "Murder" is an umbrella term that includes numerous prohibitions if counted the way the Jewish 613 were counted.

  • How could it be assur to injure the mother if she allows you to? The only issur in injury is theft for a non jew as far as im aware. So if she allows/requests it what issur is there in the injury?
    – Orion
    Apr 29, 2018 at 22:47
  • @Orion One is not even permitted to needlessly wound yourself. She doesn't have license to share with a doctor. May 3, 2018 at 15:23
  • How is this needlessly? If they can't handle/just don't want a kid hire is that 'needlessly'?
    – Orion
    May 3, 2018 at 17:01
  • @Orion -- You are asking a good question. "Needlessly" was a poor word choice, an attempt at quickly acknowledging something that isn't really relevant. The decision about whether a need warrants surgery is a complex one, so I just skipped over it. For example, surgery that extends life, saves a limb, or relieves pain is okay. Most costmetic surgery is not; although.... and that's where things start getting complicated. Surgery to remove something disfiguring is okay, but "just" to look better is not. And that's obviously a lot of gray area, so decisions have to be made case-wise. Here too... May 3, 2018 at 20:34
  • Here too, with abortion. It's generally prohibited. But, there are cases even short of threat to life where it's permitted. And the gray area is going to require a rabbi providing a case-specific ruling. May 3, 2018 at 20:35

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