The challenge of making the Noah laws the foundation of a “better world” in our country

We the Jews introduced into the Gentile world the Torah-based Noah laws as the foundation of a better world for everybody, and this introduction is a part of our Torah-based mission of the Chosen.

However, we the Jews, and first of all our rabbis, have failed to work together with the non-Jewish majority on how to apply the Noah laws to the country’s civilian laws which are making a country better or worse.

Below are some challenges of contemporary Noah laws’ interpretation which have to be addressed to make the Noah laws the spiritual foundation of Judeo-Christian country.

The seven Noah’s laws:

(1)  Do not murder

(2)  Do not steal

(3)  Do not worship false gods

(4)  Do not be sexually immoral

(5)  Do not eat the limb of an animal before it is killed

(6)  Do not curse God

(7)  Set up courts and bring offenders to justice.

Do not murder

We cannot completely eliminate murders in any “better world” since the evil exist in our life by a Supreme design. However the rate of murders can be reduced, and can be reduced significantly, though proper civilian legislative decisions. These days the most debatable potential legislative action in the USA is a partial or complete ban on weapons in individual possession. The Jewish life experience should encourage Jewish leaders to support the individual possession of weapons. The weapons in individual possession could let the Jews defend themselves in the past in many places such as for example in the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust or in Russian villages during the pogroms. These days we may expect some civilian Iranians may be killed if Israel would have no other option but to bomb Iranian nuclear installations (possibly together with the USA) designed to eliminate the state of Israel together with its Jewish citizens. Is it murder or something else? I am waiting for rabbinical thoughts on all that.

Do not steal

These days the major stealing is coming not from burglary or theft – the major stealing is coming from the government through various forms of taxation which are benefitting government elected or appointed officials. In the USA the federal, state and local governments are taking through various forms of taxation, fees and tariffs well over half of citizens’ income. At the very beginning of the USA, most of the elected officials (Congressmen, Senators, President) were a relatively wealthy people who served in the government not for the money (they received no or very little income from their public service) but for the urge of creating a better world in their country. Now most of the elected officials are entering into the politics to improve their material well-being, to make money. The elected officials are making 3-5 times more money than their constituency. To secure their well-being through re-election the elected officials are creating ever-increasing freebies for their electorate to bribe it and thus guaranty re-election. The new freebies require new taxation which are harming the economy and cannot be sustained for a long run. The Torah has 10%-guidance on the taxation. Everything above this level should be covered through charity/mitzvah. However, I don’t see any rabbinical position on the matter.

Do not worship false gods

What is a Jewish definition of contemporary false gods? The Christians believe in the same One God as we the Jews believe. Jesus for them is a sort of spiritual Son of God that conveys the guidance from One God, probably in the same way as our Jewish prophets and sages do. What may be a good reason for our rabbis to resist this Christian interpretation? It looks like Hindus worship many gods. However the Hinduism experts will tell you there is only One God, and He is the same God in whom the Christians and the Jews believe – all a sort of lesser gods are the expression of various God’s characteristics. If we the Jews look at the names of our synagogues we may recognize in different names the different God’s characteristics as well. What may be a good reason for our rabbis to resist this Hindu interpretation?

Do not be sexually immoral

The Torah clearly defines sexual relationships between two men (or two women) as sexual immorality. I observe Christian leaders who are fighting legislative attempts to legalize a homosexual family but I don’t know of any rabbinical institution joining the Christian in this fight, or trying to find a legal accommodation for this sexual immorality. What should be rabbinical position on this matter?

Do not eat the limb of an animal before it is killed

I believe that is universally accepted and doesn’t require any additional rabbinical interpretation.

Do not curse God

Who are less sinful from a rabbinical point of view – the believers cursing God as some did during the Holocaust, or the unbelievers who are not cursing God since they believe that a non-exiting object, such as God in their opinion, cannot be cursed? It looks like the non-believers’ non-cursing is a greater sin that the believer’s cursing during the Holocaust-type tragedies. What might be a rabbinical thought on all that?

Set up courts and bring offenders to justice

“To bring offenders to justice” sounds good but only if we define correctly the justice.

Pontius Pilat brought the Jews to Roman colonial pagan justice two thousand years ago; King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella brought the Jews to the Inquisition justice about 500 years ago; Hitler and Stalin brought the Jews to the Holocaust-type justice over 70 years ago. I am still waiting for rabbinical community to define a Torah/Bible-based justice that should work in Judeo-Christian countries.

So, the Noah laws can be used as the foundation of a Torah-based better world but only if the challenges of their contemporary interpretation are addressed. 

About the Author
Vladimir Minkov graduated from the Naval Engineering Academy in the former Soviet Union, served in the Soviet Navy and there received his Ph.D. At the end of 1970s he immigrated to America where democracy and the Judeo-Christian spirituality of this country made it possible for him to actively defend both his scientific and spiritual ideas. In the USA he has found the place for his scientific public work in the spiritual realm of One God and Torah.