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Marking the Twenty-Seventh of Cheshvan

Q: Why exactly is 27 Cheshvan celebrated? Isn’t this “creating a new religion”?

Q: (1) What is the exact reason for celebrating the twenty-seventh of Cheshvan? Are the seven Mitzvot of Noach an integral part of the covenant between G-d and humanity which is symbolized by the rainbow? Or, alternatively, were the Mitzvot given at a later date, such that there is no reason to include them in a celebration of the day?

(2) Is there a “red line” that must not be crossed in celebrating in order to avoid the prohibition of creating a new religion? For example, is it permitted to give the day a name, such as “Noach Day,” and to light a candle?

(Note: The twenty-seventh of Cheshvan this year was on Monday, November 12, 2012.)

 

A: (1) Noach received the Seven Mitzvot on the day that he left the ark, the twenty-seventh of Cheshvan. Therefore, in some ways this can be considered as the day when the Bnei Noach “received the Torah.”

(2) The prohibition of creating a new religion mentioned by the Rambam is limited to an initiative by the Gentiles, as he writes: “The general rule is that we do not allow them [the Gentiles] to create a new religion and to make up new mitzvot for themselves” (Rambam, Laws of Kings, 10,9). This implies:

(a) There is no problem if the initiative is that of some rabbis.

 

(b) Note also that there is a difference between Gentiles and Bnei Noach, who have formally committed themselves in front of a Jewish court of law to observe the Seven Mitzvot. Bnei Noach are not included in the ruling of the Rambam.

 

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About Rabbi Oury Cherki

Rabbi Oury Cherki
Rav Oury Cherki was born in Algeria in 1959 and grew up in France, and he made Aliyah in 1972. He studied at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, which was founded by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook. He performed his military service in the artillery branch of the IDF. He studied with Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Rav Yehuda Leon Ashkenazi (Manitou), Rav Shlomo Binyamin and Achlag. Rav Cherki heads the Israeli department of Machon Meir, and he is the Director of Brit Olam - the Noahide World Center.He teaches in many places throughout Israel. Rav Cherki is the spiritual leader of the "Beth Yehuda" community in Kiryat Moshe (Jerusalem). He has written many books on Jewish thought and philosophy.

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