Bnei Noah, the Sanhedrin's relationship with non-Jews
The Biblical, Monotheistic, Abrahamic faith, that was common among non-Jews who lived in or around Israel for hundreds of years until the destruction of the second Temple, is called in Rabbinic literature "the Covenant of Bnei Noah" or the "Noahide" faith. This system of belief is thought by some scholars to be the root of Christianity and Islam, as it is referred to both in the New Testament and the Qur'an.
Judaism does not view itself as a universal religion, instead it sees itself as a national faith. This is understood within the context of the Jewish teaching that there are seventy nations or groups of people in the world. Each group of people must develop its own form of worship, unique to its own character. There is however a basic minimum common to all proper faiths, and this is the Noahide teachings. The Sanhedrin is required to play a role in helping to clarify these most basic teachings, and each group of people in turn must set up its own religious court to expand, develop and adapt these laws to fit the needs of its community of believers.
The history of the Noahide movement is difficult to trace outside of the Ger Toshav of the Tanach. The movement, which seemed to be thriving before the destruction of the Second Temple, was nearly non-existent after the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire. Rabbi Bindman mentions that a memorial tablet was found in a synagogue in Turkey that "has two separate groups of names: one is of Jews, but the other is of Greeks ... and it [the list of Greeks] is headed with the words, 'and also these Fearers of the One...' A similar inscription has also been found in the synagogue of Sardis, this time with three groups of names: born Jews, full converts to Judaism, and observers of the Seven Laws. The 'Fearers' are mentioned many times by the Roman commentators and historians." Deuteronomy Rabbah (II:24) attests to the existence of G-d Fearers in general, and a particular G-d Fearer in the Roman Senate. Domitian, son of Vespasian complained that the city of Rome was full of Jews. It seems possible that many of those he believed to be Jew were in fact G-d Fearers. According to Gedaliah Alon, Josephus also attests to the presence of G-d Fearers, who were said to have absorbed the Jewish love of work.
More history of the Bnei Noah can be found here.
"Friends of the Sanhedrin's" Forum on Bnei Noah
The contact for Bnei Noah matters for the Sanhedrin is Roger Grattan. Any e-mail concerning the Bnei Noah and the Sanhedrin should be sent to him at email@example.com.
Jerusalem Court for Issues of Bnei Noah
Rabbi Schwartz is the Deputy Chancellor, Segan Av Beit Din, of the Sanhedrin. He is also the Chief Justice, Av Beit Din, for the Special Court for Matters Concerning Bnei Noah, Beit Din L'inyanei Bnei Noach. This court has been set up to serve the needs of B'nei Noah worldwide. At this point, the council will not serve as a adjudicating body.
The Special Court for Matters Concerning Bnei Noah website can be found at http://www.thesanhedrin.org/en/courtbneinoah/
"It is our sincere hope that in years to come, the knowledge of the halakha, Torah law, of the Seven Laws of Noah will grow to such a degree that there will be true Noahide judges," A justice on the court said. "One of the goals is to delineate clearly the seven laws and their applications according to the Mishneh Torah of the Rambam... Never before in recorded history have B'nei Noah come together to be ordained by the Sanhedrin for the purpose of spreading Noahide observance of laws... This is the first critical step of bringing about the ultimate flowering of the brotherhood of mankind envisioned by Noah, the father of mankind."
The Seven Laws of Noah are:
- Shefichat damim - Do not murder.
- Gezel - Do not steal or kidnap.
- Avodah zarah - Do not worship false gods/idols.
- Gilui arayot - Do not be sexually immoral (engage in incest, sodomy, bestiality, castration and adultery)
- Birkat Hashem - Do not utter G-d's name in vain, curse G-d or pursue the occult.
- Dinim - Set up righteous and honest courts and apply fair justice in judging offenders and uphold the principles of the last five.
- Ever Min HaChai - Do not eat a part of a live animal.
Questions to this court can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
People who visit the nascent Sanhedrin's website, also often visit these sites They represent some initiatives to restore a Biblical hertitage and culture to the Jewish People. They are often of interest to English speaking visitors to this site. Disclaimer: They are not in any way related, approved or endorsed by the nascent Sanhedrin, and may contain information contrary to the position of the nascent Sanhedrin.
WikiNoah.org Everything worthwhile to know about the Bnei Noah movement. The first online encyclopedia about the Noahide movement. Complete list of Noahide Websites | Maillists | Publications | Leaders
1st Covenant Foundation Michael Dallen, a longtime writer and attorney, Jack E. Saunders, who began his professional career as a Baptist pastor, and Rabbi Michael Katz provide a wide variety of information on the Noahide Covenant, which they also call the Rainbow Covenant or Universal Covenant. Michael Dallen's book can be found here
AskNoah.org Welcome to AskNoah.org and United Noahide Academies, associated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement. In the Internet section of the United Noahide Academies project, students have an opportunity for in-depth learning of selected kosher material based on quality resources that are already available on-line. A student may enroll in one or two courses per session.
Noahide Nations The Noahide Nations web community sponsored and created by Torah Centered Noahides, and is dedicated to Torah Centered Noahides as well as those who wish to become Torah Centered Noahides, providing many articles as well as virtual online study courses.