Remind those who judge Israel that they are also being judged:
In the Talmud “Sanhedrin” (98.b), Abaye asked Rabbah, “Why do you not want to see the Messiah’s arrival?”
“Is it because you fear the travail of the Messiah?”
Rashi explains that “the travail” is referring to the anguish destined to be inflicted by the foreign army that invades Israel at that time (Talmud Shabbos, 118a).
Rabbi Elazar was asked, “What can a person do to be spared the “travail”
(which Rashi compares to the pain of a man giving birth) accompanying the arrival of the Messiah?”
Rabbah and Ulla both chanted “May He Come but (may I) not be there to see Him”.
Apparently, even Rabbah was afraid, that despite his diligence in following the Law, perhaps he had inadvertently sinned, thereby forfeiting his merits.
A central tenet of all Western, Judaic-derived religions, is the belief that all humanity will eventually stand before the Creator to be judged.
Biblical terms such as “Oath”, “Testament”, or “Law”, all refer to the eternally binding contract ancient man forged between ancient man and the Creator.
Furthermore, since He owns this universe, and is not time-limited, humankind cannot escape this judgment, even in death.
Theologians accept that the Seven Laws given to Noah after the flood are perpetually in effect.
The Book of Genesis contains relics of the narrative of Noah, the Flood, and the Oath taken between G-d and man.
The perpetuity of this tradition later appears in other biblical sources such as the Talmud and Midrash.
The oath taken between Noah and the Creator following the Flood provides a code of conduct, ancient but eternally relevant, guiding humankind towards a life of morality.
Hindu scripture, in the Upanishads, agrees that “The Law” is a crucial feature in the creation of the Universe: “He created the most excellent Law (dharma). Law is the power of powers; therefore, there is nothing higher than the Law. Thereby even a weak man overpowers the stronger, as if receiving the help of the King”. (Robert O. Ballou, Editor, the Bible of the World.Viking Press, New York, 1939, page 41)
Theologians generally agree that the seven categories of Noahide Law not only maintain civilization, but also demonstrate “obedience to a Creator”.
For instance, the Gaon, Nisim, in the introduction to the Talmud tractate Berachot, makes it clear that an integral part of believing in G-d requires the obedience to Seven Laws.
Another source is the renowned seventeenth century scholar, Hugo Grotius, who notes:
“In Hebrew we find that `the pious ones of the gentiles` were bound to observe the Laws that had been given to Adam, and Noah. We find that the Law was given to the human race by G-d after the creation of man and a second time with the renewal of humankind after the Flood”.
“The Jewish teachers themselves declare that the pious ones of the gentiles will need to have observed the laws given to Adam, and Noah”.
The Law requires all of mankind to abstain from idols, murder, and other things that will be mentioned…” (Hebrew Union College Annual, Volume II, pages 381-417, Translated by F.W. Kelsey, London, and published by Wildy and sons, 1964).
In “Margolioth Hayam”, Rabbi Reuben Margolioth, asserts that Noahite Law obligates all humanity to believe in G-d (Mosad Harav Kook, 1958, volume II, page 18). He derives this ruling from the Talmud (Tractate Sanhedrin, 56a).
To quote “That principal principle, the most fundamental of fundamentals: the belief in the existence of G-d! It is the belief in G-d which must serve as the foundation for all the Commandments and Prohibitions….”
The contempory halachic authority Rabbi Moshe Feinstein derives from Maimonides, that only when the Seven Laws are observed because they are G-d`s commands, can they be regarded as properly observed (Laws on Kings, Chapter 8).
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein adds that when the Seven Laws are observed without the belief in their Divine origin, the observer cannot qualify for inclusion amongst “the pious people of the world” (Igroth Moshe, 1964, “Orach Chaim”, Vol. II, Responsum 25).
Aaron Lichtenstein, in his Scholarly rendition on the “Seven Laws of Noah” (1981 &1986), brings Noahism into modern history by relating the story of a French Roman Catholic named Aime Palliere (1875-1949):
Born into a strong Catholic atmosphere, Palliere sought priesthood as his career. Having learned Hebrew, he decided to read the Old Testament in its original form.
He delved particularly into those verses upon which important Catholic dogma rests.
He writes that his “beliefs concerning the advent of the Messiah suffered a decisive blow from which he never recovered” (The Unknown Sanctuary, Aime Pallier, Bloch Publishing, 1928).
During his ideological wanderings, Palliere turned to Rabbi Elijah Benamozegh who encouraged him to convert to Judaism. However, the rabbi to whom he was sent educated him instead in the Laws of Noahism.
This background is relevant since it allows a profound debate regarding the Divine origins of Universal Law within the life-narrative of two ethical scholars using excerpts from letters left by Benamozegh ” (The Benamozegh Epistles).
In one letter, he responds to Palliere saying, “You ask why I would direct you from the teachings of 1900 years of Christian Gospel to a rudimentary set of Laws instituted after the Flood”.
“Is it not possible that you have failed to see the value of perpetuity? The immutability (of truth) is that it could not exist, save that it also existed in the past”.
The Benamozegh Epistles propose that antiquity (in general, and in particular regard to Noahism) is the most infallible sign of truth. “The further back it goes, the more it should appeal to us”.
“Since the revelation of Sinai took place about 1300 years B.C.E., would G-d, who was so concerned about the moral conduct of the descendants of Noah, wait (from 2104 B.C.E.) until the appearance of Christianity, thereby abandoning the human race (for millennia) without moral direction or Law?
The Epistles then propose that the precepts given to Noah and his offspring given as a Covenant in the Book of Genesis, and subsequently recalled by Isaiah (54: 9) establishes a Universal Code of Law of pure monotheism.
“Not only is Noahide Law a Divine Covenant accompanied by a promise for the perpetuity of mankind, but it has never ceased to be in force”.
Benamozegh concedes that while Mosaic Law establishes a more elaborate scheme of laws for the Jewish nation at Sinai, there is a practical distinction:
Noahism serves the function of protecting the gentiles from sinking into pure rationalism by preserving the Monotheism of Moses and the Prophets.
However, it grants gentiles more freedom to explore diverse metaphysical and theological speculations (Aaron Lichtenstein: “The Seven Laws Of Noah”, Berman Books, New York, 1981).
According to the Midrash Rabbah, this prohibition was omitted from Adam’s Oath since he was already prohibited from eating meat (Midrash Rabbah, Vol. I, page 143, Grossman Publishing).
Let us now explain the words of Rabbi Eliezer HaKappar in the “Ethics of the Fathers”:
“Those who are born are destined to die. Moreover, those who die are destined to be revived”.
The Mishnah continues “And the living will be judged”.
(Seder Nezikin, Chapter 4, Mishnah 10).
This explains the original fear expressed by Rabbah and Ulla regarding their vision of the prevailing conditions preceding the arrival of the Messiah.
The Hameiri explains “the living” to include both those who are still alive, or have been specially revived for the purpose of judgment.
If this is indeed the case, one can understand Rabbah`s concern whether his merits would suffice to protect him from the war and other calamities predicted by the Prophets and discussed in the Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b).
What follows is a brief overview of the biblical references to the “Seven Noahide Laws”.
Maimonides writes that while Adam was given Six Laws (excluding the prohibition of consuming the Limb of a Living Creature), Noah was given this additional prohibition, for a total of Seven Laws (Laws on Kings, 9:1).
In practical terms, there are really seven broad areas of legislation, each consisting of specific statutes.
For instance the Law prohibiting “illicit intercourse”, bundles together specific prohibitions such as incest, adultery, and so on.
The prohibition against blasphemy prohibits all humanity from profaning or demeaning the Divine Creator to whom we are bound by an eternal Oath.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines blasphemy as denigrating the Divine Majesty:
“Using words concerning G-d calculated and designed to impair and destroy the reverence and respect due to Him as the intelligent Creator, Governor, and Judge of the world” (Henry Campbell Black Dictionary, third addition, West Publishing).
In 1928, Philip Biberfeld published a book listing the Noahic laws according to their serial arrangement in the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 56a (“The Bible and the Ancient Code Laws” -appendix, Universal Jewish History, New York, Spero Foundation, 1948):
1. Justice: (There is an imperative on the nations not only to set up Just Courts of Law; and a prohibition against the miscarriage of social and civil injustice).
2. Blasphemy: (There is a prohibition against speaking about G-d in a profane way).
3. Idolatry: (There is a prohibition against worshipping idols, monuments, or celestial bodies).
4. Illicit Intercourse: (This is the prohibition against bestiality, sodomy, incest, and adultery).
5. Homicide: (This prohibits both murder and suicide).
6. Theft: (This is the prohibition against the wrongful removal of another’s goods).
7. Limb of a living Creature: (It is prohibited to eat meat severed from a living animal).
If the Noahide laws provide the virtue required to safeguard all humankind from our present travail, it behooves ethicists of all denominations to disseminate them.
In conclusion, centuries of discussion regarding the Seven Noahide Laws appear to
· Impose on all of mankind an eternal moral code of truth based on antiquity
· Have Midrashic and Talmudic sources
· Constitute an enduring legal and moral authority on all mankind
· Provide a legitimate reference for international Law
Their goal is to elevate humanity above the whims of personal desire and destructive impulse, making this world an abode in which man and G-d can co-exist.
As Maimonides concludes, that at the end of days, the Supreme King will reveal His presence which will be apparent as the water that fills the oceans” (Maimonides Code of Law: Kings, Chapter 12).
Dr Trappler`s original research, as well as case reports and letters to editors have been published in various peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Psychiatry and the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
His various clinical research findings have been presented at National Conventions, including the American Psychiatric Association and the American Geriatric Psychiatric Association.
. He has served as a Journal Referee for the following journals:
· Journal of Clinical Psychology
· Journal of Traumatic Stress
· Annals of Pharmacotherapy
· Acta Scandinavia.
Until now Dr Trappler has limited his activities to the academic environment but has now developed a Website where patents and clinicians alike have the opportunity to read his material in the form of short articles or blogs, subscribe to articles or e-books, or get his opinion about a trauma-related problem.
See: “A Professional Perspective on Terrorism”http://www.israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=4041&q=1