«Brit Shalom» – a guide to practical Noahide daily life, brief version

Chapter Eleven. Worship of Gоd

And you shall serve the Lord your Gоd (Exodus 23:25).
To love the Lord your Gоd and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 11:13).

This is a brief version.

To get a full version The seven Noahide laws are the basis of serving Gоd. The appropriate way of serving Gоd differs from one person to the next and from one society to the next. No binding laws were made concerning this important matter in order to allow development of paths of divine service in keeping with the needs of each individual. What follows are some fundamental principles within the Torah that can serve as a template for this service:

[hide] 1. A proclamation of faith in Gоd and His Oneness346 is upheld by recital of the “Shema,” that is, by reciting the verse “Hear O Israel, the Lord our Gоd, the Lord is One”347 every day. This is known as “accepting (upon oneself) the yoke of heaven.”348 The “Shema” may be recited in any language.349

2. One of the most praiseworthy ways, for every individual, of serving Gоd350 is through prayer, in which a person turns to Gоd with a request to fulfill his needs,351 and it also includes praises and thanks to Gоd.

3. Prayer is “service of the heart.” The sages said:352“What is service of the heart? It is prayer.”

4. Prayer is carried out in two forms: individual prayer and public prayer.353

5. It is especially appropriate to pray during difficult times.354

6. Ever since the destruction of the Holy Temple, prayer has taken the place of sacrifices.355

7. It is good to pray and beg for heavenly mercy every day.356 How is this done? A person begins by praising

Gоd and then asks for what he needs by making requests and supplications and afterwards gives praise and thanks to Gоd for His favors, each person according to his own strength.357

8. A person should endeavor to pray in a clean place, while dressed in his clothes.358

9. Noahides are not required to pray in a formalized, codified manner. The sages of Israel fixed the precise words, manner, and times by which Jews should pray.359 Noahides are welcome to take inspiration from these practices and to adapt them to their own needs.

10. There are a number of prayer books available today that have been composed specifically for Noahides.360

11. Offering of sacrifices, whether from animals or plants, is not done these days. Nevertheless, Noahides may offer burnt offerings to Gоd on an altar that they may build, but it is forbidden to sacrifice an animal lacking a limb.362 For details regarding this matter, sages of Israel should be consulted.363

12. It is fitting for the one bringing the sacrifice to select an especially fine animal with which to honor Gоd.364

13. In a time when the Holy Temple is standing, Noahides may bring burnt offerings to sacrifice there.365

14. Whoever says “This animal is for a sacrifice” has consecrated the animal to Gоd and is forbidden to use it for any other purpose.366

15. Making vows that forbid certain pleasures, such as a Nazirite vow367 and other vows of a similar nature, are not a practice of non-Jews.368 Nevertheless, it is proper for a person to be careful about standing by all of his words and any vows that he makes.369

16. The location of the Holy Temple, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, has a very great holiness, and thus there are many restrictions on entering this site. Non-Jews are permitted on the site up to the area once occupied by the Temple courtyard.370 Even in areas where it is permissible to enter, reverential honor should be shown, since it is a unique place set aside by the Creator to serve Him.371

Cleaving to Gоd

17. Any person whose benevolent spirit and understanding mind brought him to a place of separation, to stand before the Lord to serve and worship him, to gain knowledge of the Lord, and has walked in a straight path, as Gоd created him, and removed from his neck the yoke of human calculations, is consecrated as a most holy soul, and the Lord will be his portion and his inheritance forever and ever.372

18. Torah study conducted at fixed times and with self-sacrifice is among the supreme values of the Jewish people.373 Whoever is occupied with Torah for its own sake merits many things.374

19. There is a difference of opinion among the sages as to what is the appropriate extent to which a Noahide should learn Torah. There are those who restricted study to the parts of Torah with universal application which touch on the foundations of faith, morality, and law, that are meant especially for Noahides.375 And there are also those who distinguish between a non-Jew who did not take upon himself the seven Noahide laws – who would be limited as stated in his study – and a proper Noahide who was permitted to learn the entire Torah.376 This second opinion is the prevailing one.377

20. Among the ways of cleaving to Gоd is to become attached to Torah sages through learning from their upright conduct.378

21. For any question or doubt a person has regarding Torah law, his Rabbi should be consulted379 and the person should do as his Rabbi says even if there are other opinions.380 But, if there is explicit proof that his Rabbi erred, the person should not act according to his Rabbi’s words.381


343 Deuteronomy 23:10-14. Yerushalmi Terumot 1:4.

344 Hasagot HaRamban to Sefer Hamitzvot, Shichechat Ha’Asin, Mitzva 5; Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Melachim 6:7.

345 Deuteronomy 24:5

346 Rashbach Gaon, Genesis 34:12.

347 Deuteronomy 6:4.

348 Mishnah Berachot 2:5.

349 Mishnah Sotah 7:1.

350 Kings I, 8:41-43; Isaiah 56:6-7; see Igrot Moshe, Orach Chaim, Siman 2, 25; Yerushalmi Berachot 9:1; Hakdamat Rabbeinu Nissim Gaon LeTalmud, Klal ‘Leovdo’; Rashbach Gaon, Bereishit 34:12; see Rav Sa’adia Gaon, Al HaTorah, Rav Kapach edition, on Genesis 4:1, footnote on pp.170-1.

351 Moshe Bar Yosef Mitrani, Beit Elohim, Gate 1, Chapter 1 (beginning).

352 Bavli Ta’anit 2a.

353 Kuzari 3:17-19.

354 Yerushalmi Berachot, 9:1; Ramban on Sefer HaMitzvot of Rambam, Positive Mitzvot 5.

355 Hosea 14:3; Bamidbar Rabba, Korach, Parasha 18, Siman 21.

356 According to the language of the Mishneh Torah, Tefilah 1:1-3.

357 Ibid. 1:2.

358 Ibid. 4:1.

359 Ibid. 1:3-8.

360 Through the kindness of HaShem, we merited to write the “Brit Olam” prayer book, in which the liturgy (prayer text) follows the instructions of Rav Yoel Schwartz, shlita, as well as an expanded liturgy parallel to the Jewish version.

361 Among the sages of Israel, there is a difference of opinion regarding thanksgiving, minchah, and peace offerings of Noahides (Sifra Emor, Parasha 7 [beginning]).

362 Bavli Zevachim 116a.

363 Mishneh Torah, Ma’aseh HaKorbanot 19:16; see Peirushei Rav Sa’adia Gaon, ibid.

364 Genesis 4:4.

365 Mishneh Torah, ibid. 3:2.

366 Deuteronomy 23:22-24; Mishnah Terumot 3:9.

367 Numbers, Chapter 6.

368 Mishnah, Nazir 9:1; Mishneh Torah, Nazirut 2:16; Tosafot Nazir 61b, ד”ה הניחא .

369 Meshech Chochma on Exodus 20:7; see Sheva Mitzvot HaShem, Part 1, p. 226, footnote 68.

370 Mishnah Kelim 1:8.

371 Leviticus 19:30.

372 Language of the Mishneh Torah, Shemittah VeYovel 13:13.

373 Deuteronomy 6:7, 11:19; Mishnah Pe’ah 1:1; Bavli Kiddushin 40b.

374 Mishnah Avot 6:1.

375 Tosafot, Hagigah 13a, ד”ה אין; see Yam Shel Shlomo on Baba Kamma, Chapter 4, Siman 9.

376 Chatam Sofer, Chidushei Chulin 33a, ד”ה ועיין, with an explanation of Rambam’s opinion.

377 See the reasons for this opinion in Responsa, Rambam, Siman 149; Meiri on Sanhedrin 59a and on Avodah Zarah 3a; Rav Yichiel Ya’akov Weinberg, Responsa, Seridei Aish, Part 2, Siman 56; see below Chapter 13, Paragraph 2.