I don’t think I have written on this topic before. I want to thank a Facebook friend, Christopher for the inspiration for this blog.
Those that have stepped out of the religions of this world onto the pathway of the Creator for the non-Jewish nations can experience a variety of struggles. One of them, is the lack of rituals found within the Sheva Mitzvot.
First let’s take a look at the Sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach/ Noahide Laws.
- Prohibition of idolatry.
- Prohibition of blaspheme – cursing the Creator.
- Prohibition of theft.
- Prohibition of forbidden sexual relations
- Prohibition of murder.
- Prohibition of eating meat taken from a live animal.
- Setting up a just court system.
For those just learning, this list is categorical. Each mitzvah/command, law and instruction is a category of its own, each one contains many sub rulings and obligations under each one and it takes time to study and learn what we are commanded and obligated to do in our walk with the Creator.
With that being said, when one studies the Sheva Mitzvot and their detail you will find that the Creator did not give us, the people of the nations any sacred times, foods, rituals or religious rites. The walk with the Creator that we have is void of such things. Our walk with the Creator has to do with the settling and the day to day operations of the earth and its many societies.
As a non-Jewish son or daughter of Noah, it is our responsibility to study these laws and their details in order to live a righteous life before God and man.
As one delves deep into their study and application one will find that they are not void of ritual. Our rituals by the nature of our laws take on a very different and non-religious appearance.
When delving into the Sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach, there are at least two areas that emerge from within them that become our Noahide rituals.
One of the definitions given for the word ritual is “A series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.”
By very definition, the Sheva Mitzvot are instructions for our behavior towards the Creator and mankind. As we can see, our actions and behavior is a form of ritual.
b. Righteousness, acting in accord with what is morally due.
In preforming these rituals, they need to be done with a heart of passion not mere rote as if to do them because one has been commanded. The Sheva Mitzvot are to become who we are, thus kindness, giving, and morality are the rituals we do on a daily basis, they do not require sacred times or religious occasions to perform them.
As Bnei Noach/Noahide, if your life feels void of any ritual or religious expression, go out a do an act of chesed or tzedakah, for these are our rituals and our religious expressions.
Terry W. Hayes
Photo Credit: Tom Parsons on Unsplash