In a nutshell, anyone who is descended from Noah is a ben (son) or bat (daughter) of Noah, i.e., a Noahide. When Noah went out of the ark, the Rainbow Covenant became effective for all mankind. Everyone must obey the 7 Laws of Noah.
However mankind left the Rainbow Covenant very soon and after a few generations mankind had forgotten the covenant and G-d again.
G-d saw that the people did not accept the 7 Laws upon themselves, and therefore He released them from the 7 Laws.
Actually, that's odd, because shouldn't He be punishing the nations precisely for not keeping these laws, rather than exempting them from them?
An explanation of this can be found in tractate Kiddushin 2, which explains that someone who does mitzvot because he is obligated to, he receives a greater reward - because the Yetsar Hara makes it harder for him - than someone who does a mitzvot voluntarily. Because G-d released the people from the obligation, but not from the laws themselves mankind in general receives the lesser reward for good deeds and the consequences of violating them.
The reward of the mitzvah is the mitzvot itself. So by not lying you will not get into trouble. If you do lie, and people discover the truth, you experience the consequences of your lie.
Many people recognize that the laws are logical - one does not murder, one does not steal, etc. - these people are called wise men of the world.
All who accept the Seven Mitzvot and observe them carefully are called MiChasidei Umos HaOlam (of the pious peoples of the world) and have a share in the world to come.
Rabbi Moshe Weiner in “the Divine Code”, after examining the various readings of Maimonides, concludes that personal acceptance of the 7 Laws is sufficient to become MiChasidei Umos HaOlam.
Thus, it is sufficient to accept the seven mitzvot personally, however, it is logical to express the intention of this acceptance in a verbal pledge, in front of 3 rabbis, listing the 7 mitzvot and justifying why one takes them upon oneself.
It makes a clear definitive end to an old lifestyle and manner and the starting point of a new path in life.
Especially in times when life has its challenges, it is an anchor point in time that will help you stay on the right path.
Brought By Angelique Sijbolts
Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners en intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.
Talmud Bava Kama 38a on Habakkuk 3:6
Tractate Kiddushin 2
The Divine Code
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