Register Now

Login

Lost Password

Enter your email to reset your password.

BY Author

Increased responsibility when a person declare himself as a Ben Noah

Question
If we bear witness before Beth Din that we accept upon ourselves the observation Seven Commandments, than from such a minute our responsibility for their transgression increase a lot. If we are in a state of ignorance, without clearly formulated Commandments, we can make a serious violation of Commandments.
For example, I am a store administrator. Workday ends at 18.00. If there are no people in a store, I close a store at 17.55. That is, 5 minutes of working time I stole from my employers. One of the Seven Commandments, which is a full obligatory for Bnei Noah, is a prohibition of theft. Conclusion: closing a store five minutes earlier, I have stolen them, namely above Commandment – i.e. above prohibition. Punishment for transgression any of Seven Commandments is the death penalty (of cause, in the time of the Temple). As far as I know, today the punishment is kareth. Tell us please, what should we do?

Rabbi’s answer:

1. Responsibility with all its consequences is more preferable then irresponsibility with all its freedom. Responsible person has a sense in his life, thou even in some moments he have to suffer for his ideals.

2. It’s necessary to study our obligations – and it’s a debt of each person, even if he doesn’t declare the Commandments before Beth-Din yet.

3. There is no too much details of the Bnei Noah Commandments. There are a lot of details of details but they are different in a different societies. So, for example, in law of theft there is a law of forgiveness. Namely if the person from whom something was stolen, forgive a theft or neglects a stolen, this makes the crime of a theft invalid. A part of a Jewish wisemen believe that the society which sets a fine for theft, thereby, in a sense, forgives the thief, and therefore in such cases there is no punishment by death, God forbid.

The death sentence in Beth-Din in Israel, of course, was connected with the existence of the Sanhedrin, which was located in the Temple, but this is not related to the Beth-Din of Bnei Noah. At the same time, some authorities believe that Beth-Din does not have a direct obligation to enforce the death penalty, but there is only the authority to do so if such a need arises. Actually, the task of such a Beth-Din is to monitor the observance of the Bnei Noah commandments, despite the fact that the law enforcement function itself is in the hands of the state. And since there is no Bnei Noah state, then this question is practically irrelevant.
And besides, it is not true that for such a crime there is a punishment of kareth.

Leave a reply