What Does a Noahide Actually Do?

December 1, 2017

3 min read


I grew up a believing Christian but after years of research I have come to believe in the God of Israel. I view myself today as a Noahide. (There are several reasons why it wouldn’t be feasible for me to convert.) My greatest desire is to know God and live in accordance with His word. But my question is, what do I actually do? The Noahide Laws are very basic, and they are almost all things not to do. I want to serve God, but as a Noahide what is there for me actually to do?

The Aish Rabbi Replies

Before all, it's nice to hear from someone so sincere in his beliefs, and I wish you continued spiritual growth.

You are right that the Noahide Laws are only very basic, and beyond the negative prohibitions, they leave the Noahide with almost nothing to do. But the most important thing to realize is that observance and connection to God do not end with the Noahide Laws. Rabbi Abraham Twerski observed the same regarding the Torah. People make the mistake of viewing the 613 Commandments as the sum total of Jewish observance. But in truth, that is where Judaism begins, not ends. The 613 provide only the basic framework and starting point for spiritual growth. But God wants us to go far beyond the minimum. We can go infinitely higher – and this is what truly defines us as great human beings.

The same is true of the Seven Noahide Laws. They provide only the bare framework of civilized living - not to kill, steal, commit adultery, etc. If all a person does is that, he does have some degree of connection to God – even if all the rest of his time is spent drinking beer and watching TV.

But in truth, there is so much more a person can do – to develop himself as a human being and make the world a better place. God gave each of us our unique set of skills and talents to make our own contribution to the world – such as working in a worthy profession, giving charity, volunteering for worthy causes, raising a family with good values, offering others counseling and advice, Israel activism, etc. Every one of us needs to look into himself to see what special gifts he can use to improve the world (and himself) and what opportunities are available to him. And needless to say, our portion in the World to Come is directly proportionate to how much we labored for God - to improve both ourselves and the world.

In addition, although a non-Jew is not obligated, he can voluntarily keep most of the commandments of the Torah, although he should have in mind that he is doing so as “extra credit” and not as a regular obligation. There are several exceptions to this – such as Shabbat and holidays, Tefillin, Tallit and Mezuzah. He may also study Torah, although he should study only the parts relevant to him – such as the written Torah, the Seven Laws, and basic matters of belief and ethics.

Finally, there are several large Noahide organizations today. They have websites with guidance in this and many other related issues, which I'm sure you will find helpful. See this past response about the Noahide movement:


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