Oklahoma B'nai Noah Society

Home  About  Events  Freebies  Torah Study  Halacha  Bookshelf Links  Contact


Rabbi Yechiel Sitzman


Rabbi Yechiel Sitzman was born in Germany before World War II, and grew up in the United States. He studied in Yeshivot in the US, England, and Israel.

He is on the teaching staff of The Jerusalem Academy of Jewish Studies (Yeshivat D'var Yerushalayim). He has been active in advising Noahides and has assisted Rabbi Yoel Schwartz in his communications with them.


The Noachide Theology as the world oldest religious Faith dates all the way back to Adam. To understand this properly, one has to also consider the following:

The Oral Tradition for Jews and Gentiles

© 2003 Rabbi Yechiel Sitzman

According to the simple Biblical narrative, the only commandments that G-d gave to Adam were to prohibit him from eating from the Tree of Knowledge and that he should have children. The Bible does not mention of any other laws given. The narrative continues with the story of Cain and Abel. When was the commandment not to murder given? Who told Cain that it was wrong to murder his brother? Prior to the flood, there was no written Biblical injunction of law. If not, how could G-d consider any human action to be bad and thus accountable for punishment? Without having knowledge of law and morality, how could the generation of the flood have known their actions to be evil before G-d?

Some might wish to say that everyone knows deep down the difference between right and wrong. But this is not always true. Different cultures hold different values. What one culture may hold as perfectly acceptable another culture might find repugnant. Modern logic claims that everyone knows the difference between basic right and wrong; and that even without the giving of such laws, the pre-flood generations should have known better, even without being told. While this logic might sound good to us today, it does not have any value by Biblical standards.

According to the Bible, (ref. Lev.), ignorance of the law lessens a violator's punishment, or exempts him entirely. Therefore, if punishment came, as we see with regards to the flood, then we can logically conclude that certain laws were given (and violated) even though the Bible does not out rightly record the giving of these laws. The holy Rabbis teach us a point that is essential for any student of the Bible to learn and to learn well. Not everything was written in the Bible.

As with every ancient culture, the nation of Israel held a very rich Oral Tradition that fills in many of the blanks in the Biblical narrative. Over the many years, the great majority of these Oral traditions have been written down and this is how we know of them today.

Before the Flood

The Jewish Oral Tradition teaches us that indeed, Adam and all his descendents were commanded to observe certain universal commandments. Numbering only six, these universal laws were given to Adam so that his progeny (offspring) would learn how to create and establish a society based upon morality, righteousness and human rights. The six universal laws given to Adam are as follows:

1. No idolatry

2. No blasphemy

3. No murder

4. No sexual immorality

5. No theft

6. To establish just courts

Short, simple and direct to the point. It is these six principles that human society was originally commanded to observe. The Bible does not overtly record this, yet the Bible does record mankind being held accountable for them.

After the flood

G-d repeated these laws to Noah and all his children with the addition (Gen. 9:4) of the forbiddance of eating part of a living animal. None of these universal laws are recorded outright in the Bible as having been given before the flood. Even though G-d punishes Cain for murder and later destroys an entire generation for similar sins, nowhere is there recorded the giving of the laws that defined such actions as sin. The Bible does delete many important facts, which for whatever reason known to G-d, He chose not to include. For example, where did Cain and later Seth and others find their wives? The Bible does not record their wives’ births. Where did they come from?

The Bible also doesn't mention the names of any of the pre-flood matriarchs and mothers with the exception of Eve (and one or two other women). Are we to assume that the other fathers of old were born without mothers simply because the Bible doesn't mention any mothers? Obviously such type of thinking is quite insulting to human intelligence. We take it for granted that although certain things are not clearly mentioned they, nevertheless, are still there.

Jewish tradition and religion, since its Sinai foundations, have been built upon a two-fold type of knowledge. The first being the absolute written Word of G-d and the second, equally important and authoritative, that the Oral Tradition that provided the comprehensive meaning and official interpretation of the written Word. Only with the proper combination of the two can the Bible ever be properly understood.

In addition, every human being is expected to follow principles of action that can be deduced by unadulterated common sense that is based upon the axioms evident from the above mentioned seven laws. Examples of this are the obligations of giving charity to the poor and hospitality to travelers, as well as not displaying disrespect toward one’s parents.

The chain of tradition of these universal laws was broken for most people. At the revelation at Mount Sinai it was revealed again to Moses. There were also some minor changes in some of the laws at that time. From then onward, all non-Jews are expected to observe these laws as they were given to Moses because they were revealed (a second time) to him. Thru out history there have been individuals who were committed to this way of life.

In recent years Noachides have begun to organize themselves into communities and have been establishing contact between them using modern communication methods.

Noachide theology is the same as the theology of Judaism. However, non-Jews are not required to accept all the details of this theology to the extent that Jews are. Observant Noachides are the Non-Jews in Judaism. Just as the Priests, Levites, women etc... have particular Laws given to them at Sinai, so do Noachides have particular Laws and together we all make one True Universal Religion, walking in the Ways of our Creator.

And just as Noahides have the Seven Universal Laws to follow, they also must have an oral tradition that encapsulates how to observe them.


Newest updates: the week of 02/9/2016

Home  About  Events  Freebies  Torah Study  Halacha  Bookshelf Links  Contact

©2006-2016 Oklahoma B'nai Noah Society

Website Hosting and Layout by Grands Web Services