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    As old as Adam – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why do we need the Seven Laws of the Sons of Noah when we already have the Ten Commandments?

    globeA. The Seven Noachide Laws came first. Rabbinic discussion even includes the view that six of the seven were given to Adam in the first instance, making this a universal code meant from the moment of Creation for all mankind (Gen. R. 16:6, 24:5).

    A great deal of attention is given to whether there are differences in applicability between Jews and gentiles. One opinion is that ancient pre-Sinaitic commandments which are not repeated at Mount Sinai apply only to Jews. Some post-Sinai commandments also devolve only upon Jews, such as, for example, laws that arose out of Israelite history (such as eating matzah on Pesach and blowing the shofar on Rosh HaShanah) which are not obligatory on gentiles.

    It should be noted that the Sinai versions of laws which are repeated in the Revelation are generally much more extensive than the Noachide versions.

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