Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's hard to be a בן נח

I started thinking about how hard it is for a בן נח to properly observe theז' מצות בני נח. Where is their shulchan aruch? Who paskins for them?

Believe it or not there are many disputes about the ז' מצות בני נח. Here are a few examples:
1. Is pikuach nefesh דוחה one of the ז' מצות בני נח? It is a machlokes the Chazon Ish and the Minchas Chinuch.
2. Is there divorce? The Pnei Yehoshua claims that divorce is a chiddush and therefore doesn't apply to בני נח, others argue that they don't need divorce, if either party wants they can just leave and that ends the marriage.
3. When does a בן נח become a גדול? The Minchas Chinuch claims that shiurim are a הלכה למשה מסיני and therefore don't apply to בני נח, he postulates that whenever they have דעת they are a גדול.

What we see from here is that there are fundamental disputes about major issues with no resolution. What is a בן נח to do? They have no poskim and can never have poskim as they are not allowed to learn torah and in fact are חייב מיתה if they learn torah. It is a little strange that they are obligated to keep these mitzvos but there is no framework for them to do so.

1 comment:

SF2K01 said...

It's important to note that they actually do have one. My Rav got a copy for the noahides he's had to deal with on a somewhat regular basis.

It's called שבע מצוות השם and they are working on an English translation called The Divine Code.