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Can Noahides Study the Jewish Torah?

By Rabbi Moshe Perets

The general rule is that it is obligatory for a Gentile to learn the

seven commandments that he is commanded to do, and he should

learn them very well, to know what is permitted and prohibited for

him. He is permitted to learn them even in a way of “delving into

them,” meaning deeply learning to understand the reasons and the

details within the Noahide Code.


But in regard to the rest of the commandments of the Torah (i.e. the

Jewish commandments), he is allowed to learn about them for the sake

of understanding them, whether from the text of the Written Torah or

the Oral Torah, but not in a way of in-depth learning or penetrating

investigative learning (i.e. pilpul, which is the Jewish style of learning

Talmud). Rather, a Gentile is permitted to learn from books in a

language he understands, on topics that are written in a concise and

clear way. An example would be a proper translation of the text of the

Mishneh Torah by Rambam, which presents Torah-law decisions, but

not the inner reasons or the details of how the derived rulings were

decided by the Sages (including Rambam himself).


If a Gentile does not understand what is permissible for him to learn,

he should ask an observant Jewish Torah scholar to explain it to him.

Therefore, if one does not understand a point in any text that he may

read or study that is mentioned in this chapter, he is permitted to ask a

reliable and observant Jewish Torah scholar to explain it to him.88


Gentiles are permitted to read the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible, even with traditional explanations of the simple meaning (e.g., by Rashi),90 in order to correctly understand the verses. But it is forbidden for a Gentile to delve into study of the Written Torah (except for verses that discuss the Seven Noahide Commandments).


Brought by Rabbi Moshe Perets

 

Rabbi Moshe Perets is the Founder and Executive Director of NoahideAcademy.org, the world’s largest Noahide informational website. He has established the Noahide Academy of Israel website under the non-profit organisation - אור לעמים - Light Unto the Nations since 2016. He accomplished his Rabbinical Studies at the Chabad Yeshiva of Brussels in 2011. He has a medical degree by the University of Louvain in Brussels as well a Masters in Biomedical Research by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has for the past years focused on Psychotherapy and developed a new approach: Deep Soul Therapy. He is a spiritual mentor, teacher, coach, and healer who has helped facilitate profound shifts for hundreds of people around the globe. His teaching activities at the Noahide Academy allowed students from all over the world to live passionate, purposeful lives, connect more intimately with G-d, and reveal the hidden light and power of their souls. Rabbi Moshe Perets lives currently in Israel with his wife and 5 children.


 

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