Explanations and Philosophy in Noahide Law

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Rabbi Yoel Schwartz (Jerusalem Court for Bnei Noah)


According to Rabbinic literature, G-d does not want people to question matters connected with that which existed before the creation. As creatures in creation, we can only comprehend G-d in and through creation as Creator. “When I consider the heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; [I think:] What is man that You are mindful of him” (Psalm 8:3). Only the Torah existed before creation. David declared in Psalm 119: “Your word, O G-d is from everlasting to everlasting.” “With Hashem’s word the heavens were made, and all the heavenly hosts [were fashioned] with the breath of His mouth” (Psalms 33:6).

Genetic engineering is a delicate subject. There is room to postulate that engaging in some kinds of genetic engineering constitutes a violation of the prohibition to crossbreed. Since the prohibition of crossbreeding does not include hybrid breeding of plants and animals and breeding to develop a hybrid within a species of like kind the same can be said regarding some kinds of genetic engineering.

Even if it is permitted, those dealing in this field must be careful that through this work they will not feel that they are capable of divorcing themselves from G-d and His creation, that scientists will not feel that they are capable of creating independently from G-d, like Adam in his first sin. [1]


  1. Noahide Commandments by Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, Translated by Yitzhak A. Oked Sechter, Reviewed and corrected by Yechiel Sitzman in consultation with Rabbi Yoel Schwartz