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Other than the Seven Noahide Laws, can a non-Jew observe mitzvahs?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Jewish Identity » Non-Jews » The Role of the Non-Jew | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Although the "Children of Noah" (i.e. non-Jews) are commanded in observing only the Seven Noahide Laws, they are permitted to observe any of the 613 commandments of the Torah (with several exceptions) for the sake of receiving divine reward.

A non-Jew can observe the laws of Kosher and pray in a synagogue if that's what he/she wishes.

A non-Jew can do most mitzvahs, but not all of them. Those mitzvahs which are a sign between G-d and the Jews (such as Tefillin, Mezuzah and Shabbat) are not supposed to be observed by a non-Jew.

Additionally, a non-Jew should only study those sections of the Torah which are of universal relevance--i.e. which affect their observance of the Seven Noahide Laws. This includes the study of topics that increase knowledge in areas of morality, theology, and charity.

See also www.asknoah.org


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corollaries of 7 Noahide laws among 613 mitzvot

Posted by: Anonymous, Tampa Bay, FL on Oct 11, 2006

It would seem to me (perhaps because of my ignorance) that there must be many positive and negative commandments among the 613 that are corollaries of the 7 Noachide laws. If that be the case wouldn't it be advisable for gentiles to study some of the halachot related to such mitzvot in order to better understand both the corollaries and the 7 Laws themselves? If this is correct, then where to study such halachot? Mishneh Torah, Shulchan Aruch, Mishneh Beururah, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, etc? DH

Editor's Comment

You are certainly correct. All the books you mention, plus many more on the market, (with the exception of Mishna Berurah, which does not discuss any miotzvot which can relate to a non-Jew) can be used by a gentile to familiarize himself with the details and nuances which are corollaries of the Seven Noahide Laws. The best two books to start with are The Path of the Righteous Gentile by Rabbi Yakov Rogalsky, and The Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner
Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Tefillin
Black leather boxes containing small scrolls with passages of the Bible written on them. Every day, aside for Sabbath and Jewish holidays, the adult Jewish male is required to wrap the Tefillin--by means of black leather straps--around the weaker arm and atop the forehead.
Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
Mezuzah
A rolled up scroll containing certain verses from the Torah which is affixed to the right-hand doorpost of doorways in a Jewish home.
Noah
Tenth generation from Adam. Of all humankind, only he and his family survived the Flood which destroyed all civilization in the year 2106 BCE.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.