Jew and Non-Jews: The Seven Noahide Commandments

The Seven Principles of Divine Service for Righteous Gentiles

 The Nature of the Soul
 The Seven Noahide Commandments
 
The Seven Principles of Faith
 Love–Continual Re-creation
 “All is in the Hands of Heaven Except for the Fear of Heaven”
 Mercy–God Performs Miracles
 Victory (Trust)–Self Transformation
 Sincerity–“I am Abraham’s Servant”
 Truth–Divine Providence
 Lowliness–A Home for God
 Summary Chart

 

As we said, the seven Noahide commandments correspond to the seven emotive powers of the soul. These, in turn, correspond to the seven major parts of the body.

Sefirah

Commandment

Body part

chesed
“loving kindness”

prohibition against
adultery

right
arm

gevurah
“might”

prohibition against
murder

left
arm

tiferet
“beauty”

prohibition against
theft

torso

netzach
“victory,” “eternity”

prohibition against
idol worship

right
leg

hod
“splendor,” “acknowledgment,” “thanksgiving”

prohibition against blasphemy

left leg

yesod
“foundation”

prohibition against eating flesh torn from a live animal or drinking its blood

organ of procreation

malchut
“kingdom”

establishing a legal system

mouth

That adultery is a perversion of love and murder is a perversion of might is obvious. Theft is a perversion of beauty, since beauty is the trait that enables one to relate to another with concern and consideration.

True faith in one G-d represents man’s ultimate victory over evil (whose only real power is its ability to misdirect one’s faith), and the gateway to eternity. The perversion of faith is idol worship. Blasphemy, the “partner” of idol worship, is a perversion of the soul’s acknowledgment and expression of thanks to G-d.

While the first five and the last one of the Noahide commandments were given to Adam at the outset of creation, the sixth was first given to Noah after the Flood. The Torah refers to Noah as the tzadik (“righteous one”), the “foundation” (yesod) of his generation. The first 10 generations of mankind had been instructed by G-d to be vegetarian. After the Flood, G-d permitted Noah and his descendants to eat animal flesh in general, but forbade them to eat limbs amputated from a living animal, or to drink blood from a living animal.

The seventh Noahide commandment is the only positive one. It is the commandment to establish a legal system in order to judge those who transgress the previous six commandments, and in this way to regulate and rectify society. This commandment corresponds to the power of malchut (“kingdom”), for law is the foundation of any kingdom. As our sages say, “the law of the kingdom is the law to be obeyed.” Malchut receives input from the other powers of the soul, as it is said: “All the rivers [the six powers] flow into the sea [malchut].” In the body of man, malchut corresponds to the mouth, whose function is to direct and control society.

When these seven commandments are arranged in the sefirotic structure familiar to students of Kabbalah, we have:

 

Gevurah
“Might”
Murder

Chesed
“Loving kindness”
Adultery

Tiferet
“Beauty”
Theft

Hod
“Eternity”
Blasphemy

Netzach
“Victory”
Idol worship

Yesod
“Foundation”
Eating amputated limbs from a live animal

Malchut
“Kingdom”
Establish a
legal system