Noachide Law: Violating of “Not to Add”?


Moshe Ben-Chaim



Reader: Is the Noachide movement a Rabbinic invention, a violation of “Do not add to the Torah”? The Torah says, “One law for the native and the stranger” implying that the Noachide system is a “new” law for the Noachide, violating this principle of “one” law for both Jew and Noachide. Can you help me on this? I am studying some Karaite things and they have good points. Your view will be interesting on this as I have been reading your JewishTimes for a while and it seems that you agree with not adding to Torah. Thank you, Greg.


Mesora: “One Law” refers to the Jew and convert, not the Jew and Noachide. So the Jew and the Noachide can, and do have two different systems, which does not violate the “one law”. This is proven from Exodus 12:49 where we are commanded to observe the Passover laws, be we Jew or convert: “One law shall you have for the Jewish-born and the convert who dwells among you.”  Rashi says on this verse that the convert is equated to the Jewish-born in all other Torah commands as well. This shows us that the “one law” excludes the Noachide, who is not comparable to one born Jewish.


The Rabbis did not “invent” the Noachide system. Noachide Laws were the first 7 commands which God commanded (before Torah) those people defined as “children of Noah”, or Noachides. This proves that the Rabbis did not create Noachide Law, God did.