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Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach




… or to convince others to worship an idol or to transgress any of the Seven Commandments[1]

The previous fundamental 5 – was about “Not to prophesy falsely in the name of G-d”. This one is about prophets speaking in the name of an idol. We then saw that miracles and signs are not proof of the truth of someone’s words. Nor of a prophet speaking in the name of an idol. Many religions have people who can supposedly perform miracles. In fact, miracles and signs can be a test to remain in the true faith of the Torah.

Rabbi Moshe Weiner writes[2]:

If anyone comes to convince individuals or a community – by influencing, or with intellectual arguments, or by demonstrating supernatural powers or the like, or with false claims to be a prophet – to serve idols, or to nullify one of the Seven Noahide Commandments, or to add a commandment (in addition to the Seven Noahide Commandments transmitted by Moses), even if he says that G-d commanded that his should be done, it is forbidden to listen to him or to accept his words. All are obligated to remove and silence him by any necessary means.

We see in many religions that the 7 Commandments do show up in one way or another. All religions do have rules against immorality, against murder, against theft, etc. However, what other religions all have in common is that they either omit commandments from the 7 Commandments or omit, change or add details arising from the 7 Commandments.

Thus, we see that there are religions that find belief in 1 G-d too difficult and believe in multiple gods or a multi-headed deity. To believe in gods other than G-d is to omit the 2 Commandment, the prohibition against idolatry. For instance, there are societies that do justice to the main commandment of “The Prohibition of Forbidden Relations”, but leave out certain parts/details of it, calling it undesirable or old-fashioned.

In addition, we see the opposite happening. People who adopt the Torah-based faith but go beyond the mitzvot/ Commandments allowed to them.

Rambam, Hilchot Melachim 10:9 writes:

The general rule is that we do not allow them to create a new religion and invent mitzvot for themselves from their intellect….

Which is not to say that non-Jews should never be allowed to do those mitzvot, but that if they want to do so…

continued… Let him rather become a righteous convert and take on all mitzvot or stick to his Torah [the seven mitzvot] without adding or subtracting anything.

This includes people who want to take on all the Shabbat’s work prohibitions as if this were a Divine obligation for them, or people who want to wear a tzitzit – ritual fringes even though this is clearly forbidden to non-Jews.

Rabbi Moshe Weiner writes[3]:

The general rule is that any Jewish mitzvah between man and man, or between man and G-d, which has a reason and a logical benefit for a person or society, is permitted for non-Jews to perform. But his does not apply for any commandment that does not have a logical, natural benefit, but instead is a sign for the Jews, as for example wearing tzitzit[4] or phylacteries.

Additionally, the commandment of wearing tzitzit was specifically given to the Jewish people[5] to remember the 613 commandments[6]

This adding of mitzvot that should not be adopted falls under the prohibition of creating a new religion. This is called in Hebrew Chiddushei daat. It finds its equal in what is called in Hebrew Bal Tosif. The prohibition for Jews to add anything to the mitzvot. Consider, for example, the Four Species, Dalet Minim, that are taken on Sukkot for the lulav. Adding a banana to the other four would be a violation of Bal Tosif.

Just as non-Jews are not allowed to depart from the 7 Commandments, Jews are also not allowed to depart from their 613 commandments. If a mitzvah is not performed fully, or at all, it is called that in Hebrew. Bal Tigrah. Staying with the previous example of the 4 Species would mean using the lulav with 3 Species.

A false prophet is one who says G-d told him that something about the 7 Commandments has changed. Rabbi Moshe Weiner writes[7]:

A Jew or a Gentile who claims that G-d sent him to add, remove or change a Commandment from those that G-d gave through Moses (the 613 Jewish Commandments and the Seven Noahide Commandments), is a false prophet.

It is forbidden to arrange a discussion or a debate with one who prophesies in the name of idols.

Now not everyone who says that may be subtracted or added from the mitzvot will immediately be a false prophet. People sometimes follow leaders who teach certain things or inadvertently draw wrong conclusions themselves when studying texts independently. It is natural to point this out to people who err However, the advice not to engage in discussion or debate seems to me personally very wise even in these situations.

In a personal conversation, you can usually sense when it is better to stop the conversation. If the atmosphere becomes negative, it is better to stop, because whatever is going to be said will not be in honor of G-d’s Name. On the internet, this applies even more.

The best tip I ever got is, as long as people only talk and don’t ask questions, they are just open to another opinion or view. It is then a waste of time to start wasting a lot of words on that.

By Angelique Sijbolts


[1] The Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner 4e edition p. 33
[2] The Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner 4 edition p. 51
[3] The Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner, 4e edition p. 61
[4] Rambam, Laws of Tzitzit 3:9
[5] Deuteronomy 22:12
[6] Menachot 43b -7
[7] The Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner, 4 e edition p. 53

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