Written by Rabbi Lazer Gurkow
We live in an era of evolving values. Principles held dear only years and even months ago are being discarded for new ideas.
Values and principles should be eternal and unchanging. They are the bedrock of society and when our bedrock shifts, our foundations are weakened.
Fortunately, the eternal G-d provided a code of seven unchanging values for all of humanity known as the Noahide Laws.
These values, taught to Moses by G-d at Sinai, form a framework for universal morality, safety, peace, stability, and unity, enabling us to share our beautiful planet.
Here, we present these seven values. They are not seven laws, but seven categories from which many codes of conduct emerge.
Belief in G-D
While the ancients embraced mythology and paganism, Judaism taught monotheism—the belief in a single Almighty G-d, Who created the universe, conducts its affairs, and is intimately invested in our lives.
- An Almighty G-d Who loves us, watches our behavior, scrutinizes our hearts, and rewards goodness.
If we raise our children with a belief in Almighty G-d, they will feel beholden to Him and responsible for their behavior. The world will be a safer, kinder, and gentler place.
If our children see us bowing to idols, whether they are of stone, greed, lust, or fame they will follow our example and do the same. The world would then be selfish, apathetic, and cruel.
Using our words constructively and correctly is critical to our integrity. When our words turn against our Creator, our deeds follow.
Moreover, when we take our anger out against G-d, we build a wall that severs the relationship. It begins with ideas, moves to words, and transitions to action.
- If you believe in the Creator, don’t profane Him or cut away from Him.
On the contrary, laud Him, pray to Him, thank Him, and revere Him and all that is holy in life.
G-d created the world for us to populate. Taking a life goes against our very grain and against the very purpose of our existence.
Every human is created in the image of G-d. Taking a life, desecrates G-d’s image. Moreover, A soul is a spark of G-d. If you believe in G-d, don’t murder His spark.
- The sanctity of human life is critical to the proper function of any society. If I believe your life is infinitely valuable and sacred, it will always trump my interests and needs.
If your life’s value is negotiable, my needs, and even interests, will trump your life. The sanctity of life impels us not only to prevent murder, but also to save lives.
Judaism teaches that a single human life is equal to the entire universe. To destroy a life, is to destroy the entire world. By the same token, to save a life, is to save the entire world.
Theft is a violation of the boundaries that are integral to human relationships. If I invade your space and confiscate your possessions, I destroy your independence and sense of self.
Relationships are based on trust and respect. Helping myself to your property, information, ideas, or possessions, undermines the very fabric of society.
- If I claim what is yours, I deprive you of your very right of being.
Rather, we are enjoined to respect our fellow and the integrity of their property. To pay our employees fairly and on time. To repay our loans honestly and with integrity. If entrusted with another’s valuables, to discharge our custodial duties with honor and rectitude. And if a fellow is in need, it is ethical to respond charitably and generously.
Don’t use your libido as a weapon of destruction. Our ability to form relationships and forge family units is a sacred Divine gift that must be enshrined and cherished, not violated.
A family unit is a closed circle of love and trust; it is the bedrock of life.
- Children raised in its loving bosom, absorb sacred life values.
When the unit is invaded and the circle is destroyed, its innocence, warmth, and sanctity are drained.
Human intimacy is a powerful tool; its force can be unleashed for the good or the bad. We can use it to forge healthy beautiful families that contribute to society and our future or we can use it to destroy families and society.
- Each family unit is integral to the whole.
To destroy a family is to destroy a sliver of society and a segment of our future.
Cruelty to Animals
G-d created our planet and populated it with life. He then created humanity and appointed us its stewards.
- We are responsible for the welfare of all animals, both domesticated pets and animals in the wild.
They belong to G-d, and we must treat them as G-d would; responsibly and with respect. We must never show cruelty to animals as cruelty is heinous and shunned by G-d.
Beyond animals, this value enjoins us to cultivate compassion and concern for the environment and for all forms of life therein.
As the crown of creation, we have the ability, and therefore, the responsibility to care for the world around us.
Establish a Judiciary
If there is injustice in society, we are each responsible; we cannot look the other way. The only way to address injustice is to establish an ethical and unbiased judicial system.
- Lawful societies are harmonious and peaceful.
When judicial and police systems are dismantled, society itself is dismantled leaving our lives to be ruled by chaos and dictated by our lowest denominators.
This responsibility, critical to the function of society, rests on each of us individually and on all of us collectively.
Taken together, these laws are a formula for a stable moral society able to withstand tests of time and winds of change.
History is not a cyclical system that reverts to its chaotic beginnings. It is a linear pattern of growth that progresses and improves until it reaches perfection.
By distributing this material to all your acquaintances, you will help to create a perfect society in line with its Creator.
You can help to usher in the messianic era foretold by the Jewish prophets.
The era of global redemption from vice, weakness, and divisiveness. The era when all of humanity will embrace the unchanging values and eternal teachings of monotheism.
The era when all nations will unite in peace.