The Torah is for Everyone – The Problem with the Noahide Movement
You stand this day, all of you, before HaShem your God — your tribal heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Israel, 10 your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to waterdrawer — 11 to enter into the covenant of HaShem your God, which HaShem your God is concluding with you this day, with its sanctions; 12 to the end that He may establish you this day as His people and be your God, as He promised you and as He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 13 I make this covenant, with its sanctions, not with you alone, 14 but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here this day. [Devarim 29:9-14]
I am fascinated by the above statement from this week’s Parasha. Everyone was standing before HaShem – From the oldest to the youngest – From the lowliest to the highest.
The passage states that it was to establish the covenant between the people and HaShem. We are His people and He is our God!! Interestingly however, verse 14 says “but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here this day.”
In his commentary Rashi points out that “those who are not with us here this day” refers to future Generations. [Tanchuma 3]. The thought occurred to me – We who live and breathe Torah are the future Generations.
There is a movement today called the Noahide Movement. The Seven Laws of Noah (Hebrew: שבע מצוות בני נח Sheva mitzvot B’nei Noach), often referred to as the Noahide Laws or Noachide Code, are a set of seven moral imperatives that, according to the Talmud, were given by God to Noah as a binding set of laws for all mankind. According to Judaism any non-Jew who lives according to these laws is regarded as a Righteous Gentile and is assured of a place in the world to come (Olam Haba), the Jewish concept of heaven. Adherents are often called "B’nei Noach" (Children of Noah) or "Noahides".
The Seven Laws are:
(1) Do not worship false gods; (2) Do not murder; (3) Do not steal; (4) Do not be sexually immoral; (5) Do not eat a limb removed from a live animal; (6) Do not blaspheme; (7) Set up a court system.
One of the major questions is why not simply convert? It appears that the Noahide Movement is one without a clear focus and set of guidelines. Do you keep Shabbat? Do you eat Kosher? How about the feast days?
To this writer, I could not imagine following the Torah halfway! To me you either do or you don’t follow HaShem. There is no middle ground. It appears as if the Noahides want to have their proverbial cake and eat it too.
I make this covenant, with its sanctions, not with you alone, 14 but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here this day. – For You, For Me, For Everyone!!
Tags: abraham isaac, adam penrod, Bnei Noach, covenant, elders, ephraim sphrechler, future generations, Hebrew, Jacob, jew, Judaism, mankind, mdash, moral imperatives, moshe kempinski, noah, noahide, noahide laws, noahide movement, Noahide nonsense, parasha, passage states, sanctions, sheva mitzvot, talmud, Torah, Vendyl Jones
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