Rebuking Neighbors: A Noachide Obligation?


Moshe Ben-Chaim



Reader: Hello Rabbi. I hope all is well. I recognize how important it is for a Jew to rebuke his fellow Jew. What is the obligation, if any, of a Ben Noach in regards to correction? If a gentile gently rebukes his neighbor with only good intentions, and it falls under the 7 Laws (which just about any would) ... is this not teaching Torah? If correction of one’s fellow is an obligation, or even simply permitted for gentiles, is it limited to other gentiles only?

Mesora: I discussed your question with Rabbi Reuven Man who reminded me of a similar conversation we had last year. He said that all which deals with perfection applies equally to a Ben Noach, as to a Jew. Rebuking others is something you should do. It is teaching Torah, and you may teach Torah as well. What is prohibited is to engage in Torah study, which is not for any application, but to simply theorize. In this case, Rabbi Mann felt that this is where the prohibition exists. To retain the Jew as the Torah source, Torah study is limited to him. This is for the well being of all people, Ben Noach and Jew. Retaining the Jew as the sole Torah authority keeps the identity of Torah intact, as only those who diligently study it, will proliferate it. Torah will continue on taught by those with the greatest understanding.

Reader: If a Ben Noach attends a class given by a Rabbi, to what degree is the gentile allowed to give his thoughts on a subject? Does that change when the gentile is alone with the Rabbi as opposed to with a group?

Mesora: You may engage in study freely in all venues.



Reader: If the gentile gives a thought not his own and gives credit to a Rabbi for the thought, would it be permitted?”

Mesora: Certainly.


Reader: If a Ben Noach notices a Jewish man setting a bad example... is the Ben Noah to mind his own business? Or approach the man if the violation is clear, and the gentile’s intentions are good?

Mesora: Certainly you may rebuke the Jew.