The Halachot Of Rabbis Teaching B'nei Noach
Shared by Rabbi Shlomo Nachman August 20, 2020

There are solid halachic requirements for teaching Noahidim:

Consider some quotes from the opening and closing pages of J. David Bleich's, "Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical Literature: Teaching Torah to Non-Jews" (Tradition, 18 (2), Summar 1980.

The prohibition against teaching Torah to non-Jews is well known to students of Jewish law. Equally well known is the role of Abraham as the "father of the multitude of nations," entrusted with the sacred task of carrying the teaching of monotheism to idolatrous peoples. A person unfamiliar with the extensive rabbinical literature devoted to this topic may perceive a certain tension, and perhaps even contradiction, between a recognized need to disseminate religious truths and an almost xenophobic reluctance to share the greatest repository of such truth—the Torah. Yet even a cursory examination of the relevant sources dispels the notion that while the community of Israel jealously guards its spiritual wealth, it refuses to share these riches with others. On the contrary, it is unique among Western religions in its willingness to share its teachings without seeking to impose its observations. This necessarily involves a vocation of teaching despite the stricture against teaching Torah to non-Jews. The latter, while based on substantive philosophical considerations and of definite halachic import, admits of sufficiently broad exclusions to assure that Israel remains true to its role as a lamp unto the nations (p 192).

In the medieval period no less a personage than Rambam entirely [exempted] Christianity from this prohibition, while in the last century Rabbi Israel Salanter, the acclaimed founder of the Mussar movement, actually mounted a campaign for the incorporation of talmudic studies in the curricula of European schools and universities (p 193).

It seems to this writer that, while there exists no obligation to volunteer information (although it may well be laudable to do so), there is an obligation to respond to a request for information. Jews are commanded to disseminate Torah as widely as possible among their fellow Jews, but there is no obligation to seize the initiative in teaching the seven commandments to Noachides. Nevertheless, when information or advice is solicited there is a definite obligation to respond. When the non-Jew take the initiative in posing a query, the Jew must respond to the best of his ability (p 203)

Despite the absence of a specific obligation to influence non-Jews to abide by the provisions of the Noachide Code, the attempt to do so is entirely legitimate. Apart from our universal concern, fear lest “the world becomes corrupt,” as Rambam puts it, is also very much a matter of Jewish concern and self-interest. Disintegration of the moral fabric of society affects everyone. Particularly in our age we can not insulate ourselves against the pervasive cultural forces that mold human conduct. Jews have every interest in promoting a positive moral climate.

Accordingly, Jews should certainly not hesitate to make the teachings of Judaism as they bear on contemporary mores more readily accessible to fellow citizens. That is the most direct means available to us for exercising a positive influence in improving the moral atmosphere in which we all live (p 203)

I would add that the Torah does establish the Jewish people as the Nation of Priests (Exodus 19:6). This being so, we are obligated to share the Light of the Torah with the other nations (Isaiah 49:1-7). Through Israel all the nations who choose to stand with Israel are and will be blessed through Israel. We can't isolate ourselves and do our job.

Click Here For Our Content Page

Click Here For Our Beit Emunah Shul Page

Got Questions or Comments?
Let us know in Exile

Be the Blessing you were created to be
Don't let the perfect defeat the good

index sitemap advanced
search engine by freefind
index sitemap advanced
search engine by freefind