Frequently asked Questions about Noahide Laws and Beliefs

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Q. Is there a certain prayer or ceremony for someone wanting to become a Noahide?


A. There is no ceremony or specific prayer necessary. It only depends on your decision, by learning G‑d’s

commandments of the Noahide Code, and living in that righteous path.


Here is the explanation from Rambam (Maimonides), who was one of the greatest Torah Sages, about

the meaning of a “righteous Gentile” [emphasis and text in brackets added for clarity]:


Any Gentile who accepts the seven commandments and is careful to observe them is of the “pious of

the nations of the world” and will have a portion in the World to Come. This is so provided that one

accepts them and observes them because the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded them in the Torah

and informed us through Moses our teacher that the descendants of Noah were originally commanded

about them.


But if one observes them only by virtue of common sense [separating them from their connection with

G‑d], he is not a “Ger Toshav” [a Hebrew Biblical term identified with one who takes on the Noahide

Code], or one of the “pious of the nations of the world,” [in today's language, an "observant Noahide"]

but rather, [merely] one of their wise people.

[From Rambam, Laws of Kings 8:11. ]



Q. How can I become a discerning Noahide?


A. from David D. ben Noach (a discerning Noahide):

Currently, the approach taken by other Noahides is to study sources on the Noahide Commandments,

like “The Divine Code,” taking their time and asking questions on this forum. To find an actual Noahide

teacher for you might be difficult, because there are so many Noahides at different levels of learning

and few Rabbis to look after many of them.


Maybe AskNoah can connect you with a fellow Noahide to study with. Having a study buddy can help

sharpen one another and give quick answers or help consolidate questions to ask on this forum. There

are parts of the Noahide Code that are simple enough to pick and learn for oneself, and then a person

can build up from that with study, discussion and asking questions.

Here is some advice that can be given regarding what you ask.


- Always be slow and thoughtful in conversation, not quick to speak. Sometimes silence also is the best

policy if you don’t know the answer to a subject.

- Don’t be drawn into debates, since they can produce more useless heat than edifying light. I do

understand that the people around you are either secular or following a non-Torah religion. Focus more

on a quiet obedience to the principles that you learn as opposed to forcing any views on others. A

person’s example can make a bigger difference to others and their conduct than argumentation.

- There are many sources that talk about the Noahide Law. To avoid confusion, try to stick to one, such

as studying “The Divine Code” and building up your knowledge through that first, before

indiscriminately reading other books and websites at the same time (there are numerous books that

have been put out from various sources, and thousands of web sites and web pages). I’m NOT saying

that you should never search the Internet for “noahide laws”, or that you shouldn’t ask any other Rabbis

about the Noahide Law. But get at least some grounding on the subject first from the authentic sources

available from AskNoah, to get a good foundation. Other Noahides (like myself) find “The Divine Code”

to be a great source IF it is taken slowly, and you ask questions if they arise.


As far as the pace of growth, the Seven Noahide Laws are about fulfilling your divine responsibility.

Don’t worry too much about additional commands and responsibilities for now. Do what you MUST do

first. Get good at that! Then you can concern yourself with anything else later on down the line.

“The Divine Code” goes into the Seven Laws of Noah (the Divine laws for Gentiles), summarizing each

commandment and then going into the details. It sifts through the knowledge and writings of the Rabbis

and the Hebrew Bible to bring across a detailed perspective of the Torah laws and guidelines for

Noahides, not just for the individual but also to give a person a grasp of what the law would be if it were

implemented as the law of the land. It has received official approval and/or approbations many

knowledgeable, reliable Rabbis. If you take it in your stride and look for principles you can apply to your

life, then it can help you to grow in a responsible and active life in obedience to G‑d’s Law. Some topics

it includes may challenge you, but the good things in life are meant to.



Q. Are there suggested morning prayers for a Noahide?


A. It’s a very good thing for a person to start the day with a deep awareness of the Creator. It is also

valuable to consider the potential for doing good that G‑d grants us with each new day. We are all

encouraged to devote the very first conscious thought of the day to the One True G‑d, as it says about

the Supreme King of kings, the Holy One Blessed be He, “The whole world is filled with His glory” (Isaiah


By asking for a “suggestion” for morning prayers, you show that you are aware that for Noahides there

is no requirement that certain prayers be recited at certain times. All of which follows is to be

considered completely voluntary, and you are welcome to contact us for further suggestions and

resources for prayer.

When a Gentile has prepared for prayer in the morning (after using the lavatory, washing one’s hands,

and with one’s body clothed), in the spirit of the verse (Psalms 16:8), “I have set the L-rd before me at all

times,” one can say:

“I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your

faithfulness is great.”

You might continue your morning prayers, and conclude your prayers in the evening, with the following

affirmation, which is from a traditional prayer in the Jewish liturgy called “Adon Olom” (“L-rd of the


L-rd of the universe, Who reigned before anything was created – at the time when His will brought all

things into being, then was His Name proclaimed King. And after all things will be uplifted, the Awesome

One will reign alone. He was, He is, and He shall be in glory. He is One, and there is no other to compare

to Him, to call His equal. Without beginning, without end – power and dominion belong to Him. He is my

G‑d and my ever-living Redeemer, the strength of my lot in time of distress. He is my banner and my

refuge, my portion on the day I call. Into His hand I entrust my spirit when I sleep and when I wake. And 

with my soul, my body too, the L-rd is with me, I shall not fear.

After getting ready for your day, you can put some coins aside for a proper charity (one which does not

violate the Noahide commandments), and continue by saying Psalms chapters 67, 100, 145, 146, 150,

and 20, which give praise and thanksgiving to the Al-mighty [1], followed by verbally accepting yourself

G‑d’s Unity and Kingship, and devoutly asking G‑d for your needs.



Q. What is the short blessing after food that Abraham taught?

A. Here is the translation of the prayer that Abraham taught his Gentile guests to say after they ate food

to their satisfaction, in order to teach them that there is only One True G‑d (from the Midrash on the

Book of Genesis):


“Blessed is G‑d of the Universe, from Whose bounty we have eaten.”*

As taught by Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet o.b.m. and Rabbi Moshe Weiner of Jerusalem, Noahide

individuals and families are encouraged to recite thanks to G‑d before eating a meal or a snack. These

words of thanks can mention the type of food or drink that one is about to partake of. For example, one

can recite thanks and blessing to G‑d for:


1) “… bread from the earth” (for any bread that is made from grain flour – wheat, barley, rye, oats or

spelt – with water as the main liquid)

2) “… fruit of the tree” (for fruits that grow on perennial trees, bushes and vines)

3) “… fruit of the earth” (for edible roots, leafy greens, all vegetables, legumes, and fruits that don’t

grow on trees)

4) “… fruit of the vine” (for grape wine and grape juice)

5) “… sustaining food” (for non-bread foods made from grain flour, such as crackers, pastas, pastries,


6) “… all that is created by His word” (other foods that don’t grow from plants with roots in the ground,

such as: meat, beverages, candy, milk, eggs, cheese, mushrooms, etc.)


#3 can also include #2

#6 can also include all the others.


A prayer of thanks to G‑d for bread at the start of the meal (#1) includes everything that will be eaten

within the meal (since bread – the “staff of life” – is the most important food), so no mention of the

other foods or beverages is needed, except for grape wine or grape juice. A prayer of thanks to G‑d for

grape wine or grape juice at the start of the meal (#4) includes all the other beverages that will be drunk

within the meal, so in that case a separate blessing for the other beverages is not needed.


*From Midrash Rabbah ( Genesis), ch. 54.




Q. What Psalms of thanks are recommended for Noahides when they’re happy?


A. We have selected the following Psalms. A Noahide who is feeling happy can recite any or all of these

in prayerful gratitude to G‑d:

Chapters 33, 100*, 104, 145, 150




Q: Is it OK to accept the 7 Noahide Laws in general without looking to Rabbinic authority?

A: This is a step in the right direction, because at some level you would be connecting with the 7 Noahide

Commandments that are incumbent on you as one of the Children of Noah, but it is an incomplete

acceptance. At this level, a person might still mistakenly transgress in some ways. A person who doesn’t

learn the details of these commandments as they are elucidated in the traditional Torah sources is likely

to err in his own (biased) judgment of what he assumes would be permitted or forbidden by G‑d. Just as

an example, one might naively (and wrongly) assume than if one commits euthanasia, it is not

considered to be murder in G‑d’s eyes.

On the other hand, if you observe the Noahide Code properly (which requires learning the correct

explanations based on the Torah Law for Gentiles), you will be able to know and follow the rightoeus

path. Even more so, to earn the ultimate reward that G‑d will give to the “Pious Gentiles of the world”

(Hasidei Umot Ha’Olom in Hebrew), it is necessary to also accept that the obligation to follow the

Noahide Code comes from G‑d’s commanding it through Moses at Mount Sinai, as part of the eternal

Divine Truth of the Torah of Moses.

A lesson from Sinai: Is there morality without commandments?

Q: Can’t a Noahide (or any human being) just live as a good person in their own eyes, deciding right

and wrong based on their conscience?

A: A person should strive at all times to live and act in accordance with G‑d’s Will. It is thus incumbent

on a person to learn what G‑d’s Will is (as revealed by His true prophets and righteous sages), since He,

in His infinite wisdom, did not choose to program this knowledge into us from birth, but rather that we

should acquire and assimilate this knowledge through the process of education. There is no guarantee

or even expectation that a person’s inherent feelings of “conscience” will automatically be aligned with

the Divine Will, since each person is influenced greatly from the outside by the secular outlook and the

immoralities of the society around him, and from the inside by his own passions and self-interests.


The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, explained this in a letter of response (October

’72) to an individual who raised this very question (printed in the “L’Chaim” publication, #318, May 20,

’94). The Rebbe wrote:


This is to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence.

You write that you would love to learn what it means to walk in the presence of G‑d, etc. I trust that you

know of the so-called Seven Commandments given by G‑d to Noah and his children. These are:

1) the establishment of courts of justice; 2) the prohibition of blasphemy; 3) of idolatry; 4) of incest; 5)

of bloodshed; 6) of robbery; 7) of eating flesh cut from a living animal. These Seven Commandments

which G‑d gave to the children of Noah, i.e. to all mankind, are the basic laws, with far-reaching

ramifications, which embrace the whole life of society as well as of the individual, to ensure that the

human race will be guided by these Divine laws of morality and ethics, and that human society will

indeed be human, and not a jungle.

To be sure, Jews, the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were later given many more Divine

commandments which obligate them, but not the rest of mankind. However, this in no way diminishes

the fact that gentiles can and must attain complete fulfillment through the observance of the above-

mentioned Seven Commandments, with all their ramifications, for, inasmuch as they are G‑d-given, they

provide the vehicle whereby to attain communion with G‑d, and thus “walk ever in the presence of G‑d,”

as you write in your letter.


I would like to make an additional essential point. If there was a time when some intellectuals thought

that there was no need to connect the laws of ethics and morality with Divine authority, inasmuch as

these are rational principles, the fallacy of this thinking is now abundantly clear. For we have seen, in

our own day and age, a whole nation which had boasted of great philosophic advancement and ethical

systems sink to the lowest depth of inhuman depravity and unprecedented barbarism. And the reason

for this was that they thought that they could establish a morality and ethics based on human reason,

not subject to the authority of a Supreme Being, having themselves become a super race, as they

thought. There is surely no need to elaborate on the obvious.


From what has been said above, it is clear that no individual can rest content with his own observance of

the Divine Commandments, but it is his responsibility to his friends and neighbors, and society at large,

to involve them in the observance of the Divine Commandants in daily life and conduct.”

This is very well explained in the following address by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. (The following was

translated from the original Yiddish by Rabbi Y. Oliver, and is presented here with his permission.)

If one wishes to ensure that mankind act justly and righteously, it must be founded upon observing the

Will of the Creator and Director of the world!


I wish to point out the theme of the Chapters of our Fathers: Although this tractate deals with “matters

of piety,” i.e., ethics and proper character traits, the Tanna [author of the Mishnah] emphasises at the

tractate’s outset: “Moshe received the Torah from Sinai.” The reasoning behind this is “to tell you that

the ethics and morals [in this tractate] were not thought up from their hearts [i.e., out of thin air] (as

was the case with the ethics invented by the non-Jewish sages), but ‘these too are from Sinai.’”

[Commentary of Bartenura, Ethics of the Fathers 1:1] This is the only guarantee of actual behavior

according to morality and proper character traits. This is relevant both for oneself, and when influencing

others, as the Mishnah continues, “Establish many students.”

This surely applies to mankind as a whole: The only way to guarantee just, righteous conduct is not an

ethical system based on human reason, but on the fulfillment of the Will of the Creator and Director of

the world.

As Maimonides says: “[...He is considered a Pious Gentile] only when he accepts them and fulfills them

[i.e., the Noahide Commandments] (not out of intellectual conviction, but) because the Holy One,

blessed be He, commanded them in the Torah and informed us [i.e., the Jewish people] via Moses, our

teacher [that non-Jews are obligated to follow these laws].” [Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 8:11]

This is similar to our Sages’ statement: “If one is told that non-Jews possess wisdom, believe it. If one is

told that non-Jews possess Torah [i.e. of their own, not received from the Jews], disbelieve it.” [Eicha

Raba, 2:13] Wisdom alone (without any connection to actual behavior) is not necessarily related to the

Giving of the Torah, so non-Jews can enjoy inherent possession of it. Torah, however, which denotes an

instruction [from G‑d] that is actually put into practice, is only present [originally] amongst the Jewish

people, by virtue of the Giving of the Torah. The Jews are the ones who must influence non-Jews in this

[putting the abstract theory into practice] when it comes to the Noahide Code.


May it be G‑d’s Will that all will increase in all the above, both in spreading Torah and Judaism amongst

Jews, and in spreading the seven Noahide Laws amongst all the world’s inhabitants.

Words that emanate from the heart will surely penetrate the heart and accomplish their effect. This

surely applies when we demonstrate a living example in our personal behavior in all matters of

goodness and holiness. In this way each person will merit to see the fine fruits of his labor. This is a

teacher’s greatest reward – seeing his student go in the path he was taught, coming closer and closer to

the Creator and Director of the world by actually fulfilling His Will, until the student himself becomes an

“illuminating candle,” “moist enough to transmit moisture” [i.e., transmitting his or her knowledge and

enthusiasm about Torah and the Noahide Commandments to others].

Let us occupy ourselves with all this with a sense of newness, with the same enthusiasm that we would

fulfill a command newly given from Sinai, in the words of our Sages, “He who studies Torah, G‑d studies

opposite him.”


Through this we accomplish that “The world will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d” [Isaiah, 11:9] as

much as possible during exile, and we hasten the complete fulfillment of this prophecy, with the arrival

of our righteous Moshiach, may he come and redeem us and take us upright to our land – with an

upright posture, with firmness and pride (but not arrogance, G‑d forbid), at the tremendous privilege of

being G‑d’s emissary to make the world into “A dwelling place [for G‑d] in the lower realms [this physical

world],” and with joy and gladness of heart.


Source: Hisvaduyos 5744, Vol. 4

, pp. 2169-2170