Public Law 102-14 and the Jewish Noahide Laws
Public Law 102-14 is an American federal law which states that the “Seven Noahide Laws” (Laws from the Jewish Babylonian Talmud) are the principle on which the United States was founded, and that it is the responsibility of America to transmit these “ethical values” to future generation both in the United States and the world. But what are these so-called “ethical values” known as the “Seven Noahide Laws” and what implications do they have for non-Jews?
WHAT IS PUBLIC LAW 102-14?
Public Law 102-14 is an American federal law passed in 1991. It can be found in the American Library of Congress. It was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush. The law asserts that congress recognizes the “Seven Noahide Laws” as the “historical tradition of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great nation was founded”. The law asserts that “without these ethical values and principles the edifice of civilization stands in serious peril of returning to chaos” and that “society is profoundly concerned with the recent weakening of these principles”. The law asserts that it is the nation’s “responsibility to transmit these historical ethical values from our distinguished past to the generations of the future”. The Lubavitch Movement (a.k.a Chabad-Lubavitch) is recognized for promoting the ethical principles of the “Seven Noahide Laws” throughout the world. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch Movement) is “respected” and “revered” on his 89th birthday. “In tribute” to Rabbi Schneerson, the law states “we [will] turn to education and charity to return the world to the moral and ethical values contained in the Seven Noahide Laws”. The law states that this promise to return the world to the “Seven Noahide Laws” will be “reflected in an international scroll of honor signed by the President of the United States and other heads of state”
“Whereas Congress recognizes the historical tradition of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded; Whereas these ethical values and principles have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws; Whereas without these ethical values and principles the edifice of civilization stands in serious peril of returning to chaos; Whereas society is profoundly concerned with the recent weakening of these principles that has resulted in crises that beleaguer and threaten the fabric of civilized society; Whereas the justified preoccupation with these crises must not let the citizens of this Nation lose sight of their responsibility to transmit these historical ethical values from our distinguished past to the generations of the future; Whereas the Lubavitch movement has fostered and promoted these ethical values and principles throughout the world; Whereas Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, leader of the Lubavitch movement, is universally respected and revered and his eighty-ninth birthday falls on March 26, 1991; Whereas in tribute to this great spiritual leader, `the rebbe’, this, his ninetieth year will be seen as one of `education and giving’, the year in which we turn to education and charity to return the world to the moral and ethical values contained in the Seven Noahide Laws; and Whereas this will be reflected in an international scroll of honor signed by the President of the United States and other heads of state: Now, therefore, be it“
– Public Law 102-14, Library of Congress Website (Please Google “Public Law 102-14, Library of Congress”)
WHAT ARE THE SEVEN NOAHIDE LAWS?Why did Public Law 102-14 never state what the “Seven Noahide Laws” are? How can we know what the law is saying without understanding the “Seven Noahide Laws”? The Law “respects” a Jewish Rabbi, one Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Is it possible the “Seven Noahide Laws” have something to do with Judaism? To find out if this law has anything to do with Judaism, we need to turn to a respectable Jewish source for some information.
THE 1906 JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIAThe 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia is an English language encyclopedia originally published in New York between 1901 and 1906 by Funk and Wagnalls, under the full title “The Jewish Encyclopedia; a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day”. It contains over 15,000 articles in 12 volumes on the history and then-current state of Judaism and the Jews. (See “The Jewish Encyclopedia”. New York Times. August 16, 1902) The entire 12 volumes of the Jewish Encyclopedia has been uploaded online by “The Kopelman Foundation” According to their website, one of the Kopelman Foundation’s missions is to “advance a deeper understanding of Judaism–its traditions, values and history–and help Jewish organizations make a positive contribution to contemporary life. ” (See http://www.kopelman.org/mission.html) The Kopelman Foundation was founded by Josh Kopelman and his wife Rena Cohen. Josh Kopelman is an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and philanthropist most noted for founding the website www.half.com which he sold to ebay in 2002. Josh Kopelman also professes to be of the Jewish Religion. Seeing that Josh Kopelman is a professional business person, it is safe to assume that his digital version of the 1906 Jewish encyclopedia is authentic and worthy of quoting. You can access all 12 volumes of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia at http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/
“NOAHIDE LAW” – 1906 JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA”
THE “SEVEN NOAHIDE LAWS”: JEWISH RELIGIOUS LAWS THAT APPLY TO ALL
According to the “Seven Laws” section of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, all human being are the descendants of a man named Noah who alone with his family survived a worldwide flood. “Noahide” refers to “Noah”. The encyclopedia entry states that Jewish Rabbis have determined that since we are all the children of Noah, and the Noahide Laws were given to him, they are binding upon all of humanity, not just “Israelites”. The section states that these “Seven Noahide Laws” are not found in the Old Testament of the Bible (Torah). They were introduced later in a book called The Talmud (A Jewish holy book).
According to the entry, the “Seven Noahide Laws” are:
- Do Not Worship Idols (we will prove this includes Christianity).
- Do Not Blaspheme (the Jewish Talmudic god)
- Establish Courts of Justice (we will prove these are Jewish Talmud courts)
- Not To Kill (we will prove Jews may kill non-Jews)
- Not To Commit Adultery (we will prove this includes LGBTQs)
- Not To Rob (we will prove Jews may rob non-Jews)
- Not To Eat Flesh Cut From Living Animals
According to Judaism, the Noahide Laws against blasphemy, idolatry, adultery and the command to set up “courts of justice” are mandatory upon non-Jews just as they are Israelites. Why have Jewish religious laws been recognized by the American federal legal system? The above mentioned laws would impinge on the rights and freedoms of non-Jews. Blasphemy? Are non-Jews not allowed to question or disparage the Jewish religion or Jewish god of the Talmud? Idolatry? Are non-Jews not allowed to worship in ways forbidden by the Jewish Talmud? Adultery? Are non-Jews commanded to follow Jewish morals as defined by the Talmud? “Courts of Justice”? Are these Jewish Talmud based courts? There are already many questions that need to be answered about Noahide Law and Public Law 102-14.
The Seven Laws.
Laws which were supposed by the Rabbis to have been binding upon mankind at large even before the revelation at Sinai, and which are still binding upon non-Jews. The term Noachian indicates the universality of these ordinances, since the whole human race was supposed to be descended from the three sons of Noah, who alone survived the Flood. Although only those laws which are found in the earlier chapters of the Pentateuch, before the record of the revelation at Sinai, should, it would seem, be binding upon all mankind, yet the Rabbis discarded some and, by hermeneutic rules or in accordance with some tradition (see Judah ha-Levi, “Cuzari,” iii. 73), introduced others which are not found there. Basing their views on the passage in Gen. ii. 16, they declared that the following six commandments were enjoined upon Adam: (1) not to worship idols; (2) not to blaspheme the name of God; (3) to establish courts of justice; (4) not to kill; (5) not to commit adultery; and (6) not to rob (Gen. R. xvi. 9, xxiv. 5; Cant. R. i. 16; comp. Seder ‘Olam Rabbah, ed. Ratner, ch. v. and notes, Wilna, 1897; Maimonides, “Yad,” Melakim, ix. 1). A seventh commandment was added after the Flood—not to eat flesh that had been cut from a living animal (Gen. ix. 4). Thus,the Talmud frequently speaks of “the seven laws of the sons of Noah,” which were regarded as obligatory upon all mankind, in contradistinction to those that were binding upon Israelites only (Tosef., ‘Ab. Zarah, ix. 4; Sanh. 56a et seq.).
While many additions were made to these laws by some of the tannaim—e.g., the prohibitions against eating the blood of a living animal, against the emasculation of animals, against sorcery, against pairing animals of different species, and against grafting trees of different kinds (ib. 56b)—so that in one place thirty Noachian laws are mentioned (Ḥul. 92a; comp. Yer. ‘Ab. Zarah ii. 1), the prevalent opinion in the Talmud is that there are only seven laws which are binding upon all mankind. In another baraita (Tanna debe Menasseh) the seven Noachian prohibitions are enumerated as applying to the following: (1) idolatry, (2) adultery, (3) murder, (4) robbery, (5) eating of a limb cut from a living animal, (6) the emasculation of animals, (7) the pairing of animals of different species (Sanh. 56b).
PUNISHMENT FOR BREAKING THE SEVEN NOAHIDE LAWS
The section “Laws Before Sinai” states that with few exceptions, the breaking of the Noahide Laws is punishable by death by decapitation. The Noahide Laws sets up a two-tier legal system, one for Jews and one for non-Jews. “Noachids (who are non-Jews, children of Noah) are subjected to a different and less fair legal system than Jews. A non-Jew (Noachid, child of Noah) can be sentenced to death with only one witness and by one judge (Jews are required more judges and witnesses to be condemned to death). Also, unlike Jews, non-Jews (Noachids) are not entitled to an official warning for their first transgression of the law. Non-Jews (Noachids) may be executed if they blaspheme even using a substitute for the name of the Jewish Talmudic god, but Jews must use the full official name of god when blaspheming to be condemned to death. There is an obvious inequality before the law, non-Jews are put at a disadvantage under the Noahide Laws in regards to trial and execution.
Laws Before Sinai.
With regard to the other laws which are mentioned in the Book of Genesis and which were not included among the Noachian laws, as, for instance, circumcision and the prohibition against eating of the “sinew that shrank,” the Rabbis laid down the following principle: “Every law that was enjoined upon the Noachidæ and was repeated at Sinai is meant to apply both to Israelites and to non-Israelites; laws that were enjoined upon the Noachidæ and were not repeated at Sinai apply to Israelites only” (Sanh. 59a; R. Jose ben Ḥanina; comp. Bacher, “Ag. Pal. Amor.” i. 430 and note). By this principle a number of the pre-Sinaitic laws were excluded from the Noachian laws, although it required a great deal of speculative reasoning to make this principle apply to all cases (Sanh. 59b).
In the elaboration of these seven Noachian laws, and in assigning punishments for their transgression, the Rabbis are sometimes more lenient and sometimes more rigorous with Noachidæ than with Israelites. With but a few exceptions, the punishment meted out to a Noachid for the transgression of any of the seven laws is decapitation, the least painful of the four modes of execution of criminals (see Capital Punishment). The many formalities of procedure essential when the accused is an Israelite need not be observed in the case of the Noachid. The latter may be convicted on the testimony of one witness, even on that of relatives, but not on that of a woman. He need have had no warning (“hatra’ah”) from the witnesses; and a single judge may pass sentence on him (ib. 57a, b; “Yad,” l.c. ix. 14). With regard to idolatry, he can be found guilty only if he worshiped an idol in the regular form in which that particular deity is usually worshiped; while in the case of blasphemy he may be found guilty, even when he has blasphemed with one of the attributes of God’s name—an action which, if committed by an Israelite, would not be regarded as criminal (ib. 56b; see Blasphemy).
“COURTS OF JUSTICE”?
According to the “procedure” section, Noachids (non-Jews of the world) are required to establish approved courts of justice in every city and province to judge people according to the Noahide Laws and warn them against transgression. A non-Jewish court would never judge people according to Jewish law from the Talmud, these are most definitely Jewish Talmud based Noahide courts. The section continues and further stipulations are made as to the second-class status of Noachids (non-Jews). Jews who murder other people indirectly (i.e. “starving him”) are not sentenced to death, but non-Jews are. Non-Jews are executed for stealing less than the smallest denomination of money while Jews are executed only for stealing larger amounts. Is this the kind of “justice” we are supposed to uphold in our courts? Do Jews have more rights than non-Jews?
The Noachidæ are required to establish courts of justice in every city and province; and these courts are to judge the people with regard to the six laws and to warn them against the transgression of any of them (ib.; “Yad,” l.c. ix. 14, x. 11; comp. Naḥmanides on Gen. xxxiv. 13, where the opinion is expressed that these courts should judge also cases other than those coming under the head of the six laws, as, for example, larceny, assault and battery, etc.). In the case of murder, if the Noachid slay a child in its mother’s womb, or kill a person whose life is despaired of (“ṭerefah”), or if he cause the death of a person by starving him or by putting him before a lion so that he can not escape, or if he slay a man in self-defense, the Noachid is guilty of murder and must pay the death-penalty, although under the same circumstances an Israelite would not be executed (ib. 57b; “Yad,” l.c. ix. 4; comp. “Kesef Mishneh,” ad loc.).
Only six cases of what would ordinarily be illicit connection are forbidden to the Noachid: (1) with mother; (2) with father’s wife, even after the father’s death; (3) with a married woman, whether married to a Jew or to a non-Jew; (4) with sister by the same mother; (5) pederasty; (6) bestiality. In these cases also there are differences in the punishment inflicted, dependent upon whether the offenses are committed by a Noachid or by an Israelite (see “Yad,” l.c. ix. 5-8). The Noachid is punished with decapitation for all kinds of robbery, whether from a Jew or from a non-Jew, even though the article stolen is worth less than a peruṭah (the smallest Palestinian coin, for less than which no case can be instituted against an Israelite). The Noachid is executed also if he eat of a limb cut from a living animal, even though the quantity consumed be less than the size of an olive (the minimum portion for the eating of which an Israelite may be punished; “Yad,” l.c. ix. 9-13).
SECONDARY STATUS OF NOAHIDES (NON-JEWS)
In the “Special Exception” category, it is further elaborated that a non-Jew (Noachid) is not executed if s/he commits a crime unwittingly, but ignorance of the law does not excuse him/her. A non-Jew (Noachid) who kills another non-Jew, practices adultery with another non-Jew, blasphemes or practices idolatry may be spared execution if they convert to full Judaism. However, they cannot escape execution even upon conversion of they killed a Jew or practice adultery with a Jew. It is also indicated that non-Jews are not permitted to learn all of the Jewish Law, thus keeping them ignorant. Those who willingly follow the Noahide Laws are regarded as “domiciled aliens”, “pious of the Gentiles”. Evidence that the Naohide Laws are to be implemented everywhere comes from the ending of the entry where foreign Babylon is chastised for not following all “Seven Noahide Laws”, a nation which existed on the other side of the Euphrates River and beyond the boundaries of Israel. Finally we are told that in the “Messianic Age”, the non-Jews (Noachids) will accept Torah and become Jews, but then rebel against it.
The Noachid is free from punishment if he commits a sin unwittingly; ignorance of the Law, however, does not excuse him. If he commits a sin under duress, even one for which an Israelite is obliged to undergo martyrdom rather than transgress (e.g., idolatry, adultery, or murder), he is not liable to punishment (Mak. 9a; Sanh. 74b; “Yad,” l.c. x. 1, 2; comp. “Leḥem Mishneh” and “Kesef Mishneh,” ad loc.). A Noachid who slays another Noachid, or worships idols, or blasphemes, or has illicit connection with the wife of another Noachid, and then becomes a proselyte, is free from punishment. If, however, he has killed an Israelite, or has had illicit connection with the wife of an Israelite, and then becomes a proselyte, he must submit to the punishment that is inflicted upon an Israelite found guilty of such a transgression (Sanh. 71b; “Yad,” l.c. x. 4).
A Noachid who wishes to observe any of the laws of the Torah is not prevented from doing so. With regard to the prohibition against a Noachid studying the Law or observing the Sabbath, see Gentile in Relation to Jews.
He who observed the seven Noachian laws was regarded as a domiciled alien(, ‘Ab. Zarah 64b; see Proselyte),as one of the pious of the Gentiles, and was assured of a portion in the world to come(Tosef., Sanh. xiii. 1; Sanh. 105a; comp. ib. 91b; “Yad,” l.c. viii. 11). In Talmudic times the non-Jews of Babylon were apparently sunk in the grossest immorality, so that ‘Ula, one of the earlierBabylonian amoraim, complains that out of the thirty laws (see above) which the Noachidæ accept they observe only three—they do not write a marriage contract (“ketubah”) for pederasty; they do not sell human flesh in their shops; and they show respect for the Torah(Ḥul. 92b).
In the Messianic age the Noachidæ will accept all the laws of the Torah, although later they will again reject them(Yer. ‘Ab. Zarah ii. 1).
Hamburger, R. B. T. ii., s.v. Noachiden;
Hirschfeld, Pflichten und Gesetze der Noachiden, in Kobak’s Jeschurun, iv. 1-19;
Levinsohn, Zerubbabel, ii. 74-87, Warsaw, 1878;
Weber, System der Altsynag. Paläst. Theologie, § 56, Leipsic, 1880;
Zweifel, Sanegor, pp. 269 et seq., Warsaw, 1894.
WHY DO WE WANT TO REPEAL PUBLIC LAW 102-14?
Public Law 102-14 states that the “Seven Noahide Laws” are the principles on which the American nation was founded, even though there is no evidence that the United States was founded on Jewish Talmudic Law. Public Law 102-14 also requires the United States to transmit the “ethics” of the “Seven Noahide Laws” to the next generation and encourage other nations to adopt the “ethics” of the “Seven Noahide Laws” through use of education and charity. The United States is not a vassal to spread Jewish Talmudic law and Jewish Talmudic supremacism. Noahide Law is not just Jewish Talmudic law, it is also very discriminatory against non-Jews. The law abolishes “idolatry”, “blasphemy” and “adultery” on pain of death, but these are Jewish Talmudic rules and not necessarily the rules of non-Jews. The Noahide Laws also require that all people of the world set up “courts of justice” to judge people according to these discriminatory Jewish Talmudic laws, these would be Jewish Talmudic Noahide courts, no non-Jewish court would ever judge people according to these rules. Beyond this, Noahide Law is extremely biased in favor of Jewish people, providing them with special dispensation and greater legal protection against intimidation, prosecution and execution than it does non-Jews (Noachids). Here at the “Stop Noahide Law” campaign, we are non-Jews who do not want to be subjected to Jewish Talmud law, that is why one of our objectives is to repeal Public Law 102-14.