How to Accept the 7 Noahide Laws
People often inquire about how to become a Noahide.
The question should be how I become a MiChasidei Umos HaOlam, a Pious non-Jew… because anyone descending from Noah is a Noachide, or in better words, anyone who is not Jewish should adhere to the Seven Noahide Laws.
Knowing that any personal or private acceptance of Seven Mitzvot is sufficient is important. It’s a personal moment between you and G-d.
While there exists an obligation to adhere to the Seven Noahide Laws as G-d imparted them to humanity through Moses at Mount Sinai, thereby designating those who embrace them as MiChasidei Umos HaOlam (the pious of the nations) with a share in the World to Come, those who refrain are considered Chakhmei Umos HaOlam (the wise of the nations). However, there is no requirement for this acceptance to occur before a Jewish court (Beit Din – this court consists of three orthodox rabbis and aims to ensure compliance with Jewish laws and regulations -), or any other assembly of people, however, many people feel the need to make this commitment publicly and it is advisable to verbally declare this acceptance in the presence of witnesses.
The most beautiful place to do this is, of course, in Jerusalem or another place in Israel. However, this is not possible for everyone. In that case, it’s possible to do it, for example, via Zoom. Sukkat Shalom offers this opportunity once a year around Shavuot.
It’s an appropriate time for a non-Jew to publicly undertake the Seven Mitzvot, as Shavuot is a Jewish holiday celebrated to commemorate the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, which also marks the moment when the Seven Noahide Laws were confirmed.
During the affirmation, whether personal, public or before a Beit Din, the individual acknowledges the Seven Noahide Laws as divinely given and confirmed at Mount Sinai through Moses.
The individual confesses belief in the unity of G-d, affirming the oneness of the Creator and His Kingship.
The Seven Noahide Laws are:
1. Prohibition of idolatry
2. Prohibition of murder
3. Prohibition of theft
4. Prohibition of sexual immorality
5. Prohibition of blasphemy
6. Prohibition of eating flesh torn from a living animal
7. Establishment of a system of justice
These principles form the foundation of ethical conduct for all humanity.
In the PDF at the bottom of this blog, you will find the text as recommended by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and as stated on the website of AskNoah.org.
My Path to Accepting the Noahide Affirmation
I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience all three of the aforementioned possibilities.
The first time, I made the promise in a personal prayer to G-d. I remember the days leading up to it, walking through the woods and conversing with G-d about whether I should truly let go of my old religion and embark on this new path. It was a struggle. Despite having little connection to my old faith and always feeling like an outsider, it still felt daunting. What if I was making a mistake? I made a deal with G-d, asking for a sign. If I saw a Star of David that day, I would know I was on the right path. I didn’t encounter it in the woods, but when I returned home, my son had ordered a pizza, I don’t recall exactly how it happened, but the pizza had a Star of David… truly bizarre. I had never seen a Star of David on a pizza before and never did again afterward. I found it to be a good joke from G-d. The next day, when I was home alone, I decided it was the right moment. I always wear one necklace. When I was Christian, it had a cross; when I was Messianic, it had the Messianic seal. I had decided on the necklace I would wear for this occasion. I took off the necklace, promised G-d that I would embark on this new path, put on the other necklace, and threw the wrong necklace in the trash. That was the “official” moment for me when I left Christianity for good, although I didn’t yet know anything about the Noahide Code.
Things changed immediately. I met people like Tovia Singer, Rabbi Wim van Dijk, and Dr. Michael Schulman who pointed me in the right direction. I discovered books and places where I could learn and study and one day, I realized that I was a Noahide—a term I had despised and seen as devilish during my Christian life.
But I had a problem. When I was Christian, I consciously chose to be baptized at 13. I had to fight hard for it at the time because the minister initially thought I was too young. My testimony was that I wanted to follow G-d and was grateful for “my brother Jesus.” It was a deliberate choice because I didn’t want to express belief in the Trinity, and the minister agreed with this formulation. Anyway, I had made that promise publicly, and even though I had turned away from Christianity, that Christian promise still haunted me. For me, being able to say the Noahide Affirmation via Zoom was an opportunity to nullify this Christian promise and publicly embrace the Noahide Affirmation. I was able to do this during a Zoom meeting with Tovia Singer, Rabbi Moshe Perets, and Dr. Michael. Schulman. It was a nerve-wracking moment, and I found it valuable because people could hold me accountable to that promise.
The third time, I was blessed with the opportunity to undergo the Affirmation before a Beit Din in Jerusalem. A year after the pandemic ended and travel resumed, I had the privilege of undergoing the Affirmation before a Beit Din in Jerusalem. For me, this Affirmation was a pledge to the Jewish people that I would remain faithful to the Seven Noahide Laws and, although the status of Ger Toshav does not currently exist, I would align myself with the Jewish community. I saw this confirmed when I was allowed to become a teacher at a Jewish primary school and was entrusted with the profound responsibility and privilege of imparting knowledge and values to the next generation. Note that this doesn’t entail conversion to Judaism, as there is a significant distinction.
People sometimes ask which experience I found the most meaningful or important. I believe the most significant moment occurred in the woods, not during any of the three vows. It was the moment when I truly turned to G-d and sought guidance to embark on the right path. That was the real turning point. However, each of the three vows holds its value. The first marked the beginning of a new journey. The second was the nullification of a previous commitment. The third served as a testimony to the Jewish People and, for myself, reinforced my initial promise.
By Angelique Sijbolts
With thanks to Dr. Michael Schulman director of AskNoah.org
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