The following is a collection of legal rulings concerning the Bnei Noach from a wide variety of sources. The only requirement is that they must be given by a Rabbi who follows halakha. They may not agree with each other and no context for the ruling is given.
These rulings are collected here for information puposes only, you should consult your own Rabbi before relying on any opinion stated here.
The intention is to list the rulings in the same order as topics in the Shulchan Aruch. It should reflect the daily, yearly and lifetime cycles of personal living. The events occuring more frequently coming before events occuring rarely. National issues which account for the status of Bnei Noah are not dealt with here.
Types of Rulings
Noahide legal rulings are composed of three kinds of rulings.
- The Seven Laws - the basis of proper belief and conduct.
- Expansion of the Seven Laws - details concerning the application of the basic seven Bnei Noah commandments, as well as injunctions of the Jewish law which Bnei Noah are allowed to take upon themselves, or forbidden.
- Civil laws - Areas not covered by the Bnei Noah commandments such as inheritances,contracts and other civil matters are left to be adjudicated, each nation according to its own laws and customs.
There is an opinion that there should not be one Code of Law for Noahides, but perhaps 'seventy' codes of law for each of the seventy nations, where each Code of Law would reflect the national character of that nation. In this case, the details of the decisions -- where they concern the third type of Noahide law above -- may be different from nation to nation.
Rabbi Yaakov Anatoli (1194-1256) in HaMelamed put it this way: When the Noahites were enjoined concerning Justice, they were put under obligation to create legal arrangements .... It is incumbent on the judges to draw up rules of equity that shall be appropriate for that particular country, as exemplified by the manner in which this matter is handled currently by the nations, severally. Likewise, it is incumbent upon merchants and upon the members of the trades to establish regulations for themselves... and whatever emerges as the law in this manner is law, as much as that which is written in the Bible. Furthermore, anyone violating this law violates Scripture, because Scripture commands the individual to accept the decisions of the contemporary jurists. The dictum, "The law of the land is the Law," relates to this concept.
Format of Legal Rulings
The Wikinoah page name is generally "XYZ in Noahide Law". Where rabbinic opinions differ, all opinions are presented, and no attempt to arbitrate between the opinions is attempted. Rulings belonging to a specific approach are generally marked with a Category or Image.
When possible, the rulings are made up of three or four parts.
- Introduction: This section introduce the concept and gives general background information.
- Law of XYZ in Jewish Law (for Jews): This optional section describes a particular legal ruling as it applies in Jewish law for Jews. According to Maimonides the Noahides are free to borrow any ruling from Jewish law, provided it is not specified as applying only to the Jewish people. Maimonides also rules that it is forbidden for Noahides to create their own religion.
- Law of XYZ in Jewish Law (for Noahides): This section lists the various rabbinical opinions on how the law applies to Noahides. These rulings are for the most part based on logic, linguistic definitions and comparisons, and comparison to Jewish law. Nahmanides disagreed with Maimonides and felt that Noahide law would include an extensive body of expanded versions of the seven laws, and other interpolations which may differ from Jewish law.
- Law of XYZ in Noahide Law: This section lists the various national court opinions on a given law. They may or may not be consistent with the Seven Laws, and the differences and discrepancies with Jewish Law for Noahides are noted. Most Achronim and the Shulchan Aruch generally holds that these laws are valid and authoritative laws where they do not conflict with the Seven Laws.
- Commandments Dealing with Personal Matters in Noahide Law
- Concerning Food in Noahide Law
- Naturalist in Noahide Law
- Vegetarianism in Noahide Law
- Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages in Noahide Law
- Keeping Healthy in Noahide Law
- Ethical Behavior and Moral Values in Noahide Law
- Marriage and Sex in Noahide Law
- Arts in Noahide Law
- Pastime and Recreation in Noahide Law
- Working For A Living in Noahide Law
- Studying Science in Noahide Law
- Patriotism in Noahide Law
- Vows, Oaths and Pledges in Noahide Law
- Embarrassing in Noahide Law
- Hitting another person in Noahide Law
- Property, Goods and possessions of others in Noahide Law
- Returning lost property in Noahide Law
- Prohibition against cheating in business and weights in Noahide Law
- Coveting other person’s property in Noahide Law
- Bribery in Noahide Law
- Charity in Noahide Law
- Prohibition of kilayim and Bnei Noach
- Mitvot in Noahide Law
- Commandments between Man and G-d
- The Laws of Belief
- The Prohibition Against Doing Anything that Contradicts the Belief in One God
- Explanations and Philosophy in Noahide Law
- Prohibition Against Influencing Others to Sin
- Grace, Mercy, Charity, Kindness and Benevolence
- Gossip in Noahide Law
- Divorce in Noahide law
- Capital Punishment in Noahide law
- Martyrdom under Noahide Law
Interaction with Jewish Law
- The Noahide Oath
- Noahide Oath before a Rabbinical Court
- Noahide doing Melacha on Shabbat for a Jew
- Non-Jews are assumed to be Noahides by Jewish law now-a-days.
- One is not allowed to create a new religion
- Optional observances for non-Jews Which parts of Torah observance are forbidden to non-Jews?
- Non-Jew in Jewish Law
- Quoted by Reuben Margolioth, Margolioth Hayarn. Jerusalem: Mosad Harav Kook, 1958, volume 11, page 20. (Sanhedrin 56b, section 9.)