Opinion

America needs to relearn the seven Noahide laws

Law and order must prevail.

Multiple buildings burn during riots in Minneapolis, May 29, 2020, four days after the death of African-American George Floyd. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Multiple buildings burn during riots in Minneapolis, May 29, 2020, four days after the death of African-American George Floyd. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
(Twitter)
Joseph Frager
Dr. Joseph Frager is a lifelong activist and physician. He is chairman of Israel advocacy for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, chairman of the executive committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim and executive vice president of the Israel Heritage Foundation.

When COVID-19 struck the United States, I thought that it would become a unifying force. I naively reasoned that the coronavirus pandemic would bring people together. I believed that the bitter polarization that began with the crash of the stock market in 2007-08 would finally end.

I was wrong. COVID has caused a greater rupture. It has brought health-care workers closer together, but few others. It has socially distanced society even further. The political divide that used to be a significant crack has become a huge chasm. It has also sparked violence. And the children have suffered the most.

Various elements on the left have used the pandemic as a “cover” to foist their agenda upon the general population. There should be one and only one goal: to get people better.

I cannot get the graphic and disturbing scenes of the summer of 2020 out of my mind. After the tragic death of African-American George Floyd, Minneapolis erupted. Fires were set at a local auto zone, a Japanese restaurant and an Office Depot, to name a few. Looters ransacked a Target store and many others. A police precinct headquarters was set on fire.

A section of Portland, Ore., was besieged by protesters for more than 100 consecutive nights. A 39-year-old named Aaron “Jay” Danielson was shot and killed while walking on the street.

In Chicago, “car caravans” of looters took over the streets. The police commissioner called it “pure criminality.” People riding in a car opened fire on police, who were arresting a man who stole a cash register.

Perhaps the worst riots in the country broke out in Kenosha, Wis. A car dealership was torched. It is estimated that at least $50 million worth of damage was sustained by private businesses. A state of emergency was declared on Aug. 23, 2020, and the National Guard was called in.

All in all, 200 American cities had imposed curfews. Thirty states and Washington, D.C. had activated 62,000 National Guard personnel.

It is with this background and in this context that the seven laws given by God to Adam, to Noah and his children bear repeating. These laws, if not kept and followed, would make it impossible for humanity to live in harmony on Earth.

Maimonides regarded anyone who observed these Seven Laws of Noah as “assured a portion in the world to come.”
The Noahide Laws (albeit simplified) are as follows:
1. Do not curse God.
2. Do not worship idols.
3. Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
4. Do not murder.
5. Do not steal.
6. Do not eat the flesh of a living animal.
7. A justice system that preserves law and order must be set up.

These laws apply to all of humanity. The most critical law is number seven—”law and order”—since it subsumed the previous six.

In the summer of 2020, law and order did not prevail. It was at the height of the “Defund the Police” movement.
I have seen riots in my lifetime, but nothing like those in the summer of 2020. It is a chapter of history that seems to have been shoved under the rug.

It is time to take the Seven Noahide Laws seriously. Law and order must prevail.

Dr. Joseph Frager is a lifelong activist and physician.  He is chairman of Israel advocacy for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, chairman of the executive committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, and executive vice president of the Israel Heritage Foundation.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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