Creed of Noah;
Here is a phrasing of the Creed of Noah, according to ancient tradition, with a touch of elaboration:
Anyone who lives by these rules, acknowledging that they are what G-d wants of us, is considered by our tradition to be righteous. That person is a builder with a share in the world as it is meant to be.
The Creed of Noah is a sacred inheritance of all the children of Noah, one that every person on the face of the earth can recite every day. And if enough of us will begin to say these words every day, we will see a different world very soon. Sooner than we can imagine.
I, child of Noah,
caretaker of our precious Planet Earth,
Accept upon myself the responsibility for peace and oneness in our world,
as accepted by Adam and by Noah,
transmitted by Moses and his people over the ages:
1. I will not worship anyone or anything other than he One Creator, who cares for the creatures of our world, renewing the Act of Creation at every moment in infinite wisdom, being life for each thing.
In this is included prayer, study and meditation.
2. I will not show disrespect for the Creator in any way.
This may be seen to include respect for the beauty and life of the Creation.
3. I will not murder.
Each human being, just as Adam and Eve, comprises an entire world.
To save a life is to save that entire world. To destroy a life is to destroy an entire world.
To help others live is a corollary of this principle.Every human being that G-d has created is obliged to provide for others in need.
4. I will respect the institution of marriage.
Marriage is a most divine act.The marriage of a man and a woman is a reflection of the Oneness of G_d and His creation.
Dishonesty in marriage is an assault on that Oneness.
5. I will not take that which does not rightfully belong to me.
Deal honestly in all your business. By relying on G_d, rather than on our own conniving, we express our trust in Him as the Provider of Life.
6. I will not cause needless harm to any living thing.
At the outset of His creation, Man was the gardener in the garden of Eden to "take care of it and protect it."
At first, Man was forbidden to take the life of any animal. After the Great Flood, he was permitted to consume meat-- but with a warning: Do not cause unnecessary suffering to any creature.
7. I will uphold court's of truth and justice in my land.
Justice is G_d's business, but we are given the charge to lay down necessary laws and enforce them whenever we can. When we right the wrongs of society, we are acting as partners in the act of sustaining the creation.
May the nations beat their swords into plowshares. May the wolf lie down with the lamb.May the earth fill with wisdom as waters cover the ocean floor. And may it be very soon in all of our lifetimes, sooner than we imagine.
Excerpted from a speech delivered before the 18th International Peace Conference, held in Munich in Fall of 1999
Rabbi Yakov D. Cohen
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