Working For A Living in Noahide Law
Rabbi Yoel Schwartz (Jerusalem Court for Bnei Noah)
1. Work as a moral value:
- G-d encouraged work to help mankind, as a moral value and in partnership in the work of the creations.
2. Restrictions in Agriculture
- It is recommended to not castrate men or animals because there was a great rabbi who was of the opinion that Noahides have taken upon themselves not to do this.
- It is forbidden to crossbreed animals and trees that are not of the same species. Breeding within a species in either the plant or animal kingdoms is permitted. It is permitted (even for Jews) to use and eat both animals and trees that were produced through forbidden crossbreeding.
- (Nowadays there are many things that can be done through genetic engineering. It may be that this is in the category of the prohibition of crossbreeding. One of the reasons given for the prohibition to crossbreed is that doing so implies disrespect for G-d’s handiwork. It is as if one is declaring that those species that He created in His world are not enough.
- Though genetic engineering is not necessarily doing this, it may still imply a lack of respect for the Creator because it implies that the order of His creation is not good enough and is an attempt by man to improve on it. On the other hand there is no denying that man does have the right to try to improve a species and possibly genetic engineering is no different.)
3. A person should work as much as he can.
- This is true especially if he is a hired worker. This is true even if he is self-employed. We can learn this from Jacob who told the shepherds whom he met (Genesis 29:7), that they should not stop work at high noon.
4. Being a Faithful Worker Jacob told his wives that he had worked with all his power under the employ of their father. A person should work in honesty and move away from dishonest ventures.