The Prohibition Against Making a New Religion or Adding a Commandment
1. Moses our teacher gave the learning and explanation of Torah, and
fulfillment of its 613 Jewish commandments, as an inheritance only to the Jews, as it says, “The Torah which Moses commanded us is an inheritance for the congregation of Jacob,” and to anyone who chooses to become Jewish through proper conversion. Likewise, Moses was also commanded by God to compel all nations of the world to accept the seven Noahide precepts that they had been commanded, and a Gentile who does not accept them is liable.
This commandment to Moses to compel all the nations of the world to accept the seven Noahide precepts is not incumbent merely on the Jews, but also upon all the nations of the world; anyone who has the power to compel others to act in the correct way is obligated to do so.
If there is a court or government that has the authority, they must establish these seven commandments as an order and statute. If an individual has the ability to persuasively explain to Gentiles about their obligation, he is required to do so from this commandment to Moses.
2. The general rule is that it is forbidden for a Gentile (an individual, and certainly a community which observes the Noahide Code) to add precepts from another religion or create a commandment based on his own decision. If he wants, he can seek proper conversion to become a Jews, or he can remain observant of the Noahide Code, without adding to or subtracting from the Noahide Commandments that he observes.
A Gentile may be deeply involved in study of Torah regarding the Noahide Code in which he was commanded, but one who delves deeply into other areas of Torah is liable. Also, if a Gentile abstains from weekday activities and makes a sabbath for himself, even on a weekday, he is liable. This includes one who establishes a “holy day” for himself, similar to the holy days and Sabbaths of the Jews (which are religious holidays, i.e. “holy convocation”50 days), during which he prohibits himself from work, since this is creating for himself a new religion. Not only is taking on a sabbath day forbidden, but even the setting aside of any day for a specific religious
observance or statute, such as one who establishes for himself a time to
eat a special food as a precept (e.g., eating unleavened bread on Passover), or to fast on a specific day (e.g., the Jewish fast day of Yom Kippur), and the like. Even if he did not also set it aside as a sabbath or festival day (i.e., for refraining from work), this is considered as creating a festival and a religion from his own comprehension.
However, if he sets up for himself a day of rest from work, not as a holy day but just as a break from work, it is permissible, for he is not establishing it as a religious precept from his own comprehension.
If a Gentile does involve himself deeply in Torah study beyond the Noahide Code, or he curtails his activity in observance of a sabbath day, or he adds any other commandment upon himself, a court may chastise him and inform him that he is liable to death by the Hand of Heaven for this, but he may not be severely punished by the court.
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.
Used Sources: The Divine Code
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