Noahide Seven Commandments Torah classes
© 2016 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner
BLOODSHED 12/The Rainbow Covenant/ELoKiM’s Wing
“And YHVH smelled the good aroma”
Like a train of thoughts, the Heavenly Court passed by Noah as he unloaded his heart through his burnt offering. First spoke YHVH, addressing his worries about the bloodthirsty nature of the human heart. Man’s heart is evil, She said, at his youth. A day is coming, and Man would mature and become more accessible to the Compassion, Love and Mercy of YHVH. You, Noah, She was inferring, have already progressed in that direction, in comparison to your generation. Keep observing the Sabbath, She said, dedicate the day to the study of my values, and your heart would be more able to overcome evil.
As YHVH voice was fading away, ELKM stepped in and told Noah the following words:
ELOKIM’S RESPONSE TO NOAH
1: The text
For your convenience, here are the two Wings of the Heavenly Court as they appeared to Noah on Mt. Moriah:
2: The Two Wings of the Heavenly Court
“And YHVHsmelled the sweet aroma, and YHVHsaid to His heart,
I shall not again curse the ground any more for Adam,
For the drive of Adam’s heart
Is evil from his youth,
Neither shall I smite
Noah and his sons and said to them,
Be fruitful and multiply, and filled the earth,
And surely the blood of your life shall I require from the hands
Of every beast, and from the hands of man, from the hands of man I shall
Require the blood of man, whoever shed blood of man, by man will his blood be shed
For in the image of ELoKiMHe made the Adam… ”
“And ELoKiM told Noah and his sons saying: And I, MY SELF, shall establish my Covenant with you and your seeds after you…and I shall maintain my Covenant with you so that never again shall all flesh be destroyed by the water of the Flood and never again there shall be another Flood on Earth….
Let’s focus on ELKM’s Wing (above, in red)
After blessing Noah to be fruitful and multiply, ELKM presents Noah with the BLOODSHED Laws in details. By this He addressed Noah’s hesitation about resuming procreation. You, Noah, ELKM was inferring, will be a new Adam.
And to help Noah and his children overcome their drive for BLOODSHED, as Noah had requested, ELKM presented him with the Laws of BLOODSHED in details.
Since we still live under the Rainbow Covenant of Noah, it behooves every person to be familiar with the details of Noah revelation and the BLOODSHED laws.
Otherwise, how would we hope to see the eradication of BLOODSHED and MURDER in our world?
Similar to the Wing of YHVH, that speaks in six lines,
ELKM too presents the BLOODSHED Laws in Six Lines or categories, as follows :
ELoKiM’s BLOODSHED Laws Given to Noah
The following BLOODHSED Laws are given in ascending fashion: from slaying animals, to slaying people: indirectly, or directly.
(1) “But a flesh with blood in it you shall not eat…” (No consuming blood or a limb torn from a live animal)
(2) “Surely the blood of your life shall I require…” (No suicide!)
(3) “From the hands of every beast… (No killing by indirect methods!)
(4) “And from the man…” (No murder by mercenaries)
(5) “And from the hands of man’s brother I shall require…” (No Merciful Killing)
(6) “Whoso shed blood of man, by man his blood will be shed…” (No Abortion, no other direct killing)
Noah’s Bloodshed Law 1:
No consumption of a limb torn from a living animal
No consumption of blood
“Of all that moves upon the ground and of all the fish of the Sea,
Into your hands they are delivered,
every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.” (9:2-3)
ELoKiM begins His BLOODSHED Laws by addressing slaying animals and consumption of flesh. It would not make Adam’s heart more bloodthirsty. A prof: Look at Cain. Being vegetarian (as tradition holds) did not stop him from killing his brother. ELoKiM permits Noah to consume flesh, as long they would NOT consume its blood, or a meat torn from a living animal.
Later on Sinai ELKM would add to Israel another restriction of eating meat: only from those species that Noah had brought to his ark in samples of seven.
The Seventh Commandment of Noah:
This new prohibition to consume a limb from a living animal, or its blood, comprises new, Seventh Commandment of Noah; one above Adam’s Six given in Eden.
Hence, Noah’s Seventh came to support Adam’s Third, BOODSHED. It teaches Mankind to curtail killing, even for our livelihood.
Noah’s BLOODSHED LAW 2:
“But your blood which belongs to your souls I will demand.” (9:5)
From slaying animals, ELoKiM moves to discuss Man slaying Man. And the first is a person who kills “his own soul,” committing Suicide. In ELoKiM’s eyes, this person is a murderer and his punishment would be sever, in the hands of Heavens, as it says: “I shall demand…” ELoKiM would demand retribution. But where? When? The person who has committed suicide is already dead!
The rabbis therefore said: IN THE AFTER LIFE.
There are exceptions to the prohibition of Suicide. Take these examples:
Samson who killed himself along with the Philistines.
King Saul who fell on his sword, rather than be captured alive by the philistines.
Rabbi Nehuniah the son of Tradion who story goes like this: When the Romans forbade learning Torah (Third Century AD) rabbi Nehuniah was arrested for violating the law. The Romans sentenced him to die by fire. They wrapped his body with a Torah scroll, soaked with water, to prolong his death and agony. The fat Roman ‘centurion’ solider, who turned the fire, asked the rabbi: “would you like me to increase the fire so that you’d die fast?”
The rabbi answered: (his words were recorded by his disciples): “if I’ve asked you to do this for me, I would be considered one who has committed suicide, which is forbidden!”
The Roman Centurion then said: “if so, rabbi, take me with you!” And he jumped into the fire. They said that the fire that came out of his burning fat was so intense that both of them died fast. A voice then came from Heavens saying: “Welcome rabbi Nechunyah and Centurion! Both of you are going to share the world to come!”
So there is a judgment in the afterlife, and there are circumstances under which suicide is not punishable.
Noah’s BLOODSHED LAW 3:
No Killing by Indirect Methods
“From the hand of every beast will I require it.” (9:5) )
From discussing Suicide, ELoKiM steps on the ladder and discuss killing people by indirect methods; like placing a victim before vicious animals. The perpetrator may claim that his responsibility is limited since after all it was the beast which has killed the victim.
Here are several sub categories (discussed by the Talmud)
(1) A beast that may or may not devour the victim, like a lion
(2) A beast that most likely kills, like a snake.
(3) A beast that would certainly kill, like killer bees.
The liability of the perpetrator changes accordingly.
The above beasts stand for different killing methods such as:
1. Starving people to death, is tantamount to placing him before a lion (that may or may not devour)
2. Denying people essential medications is tantamount to placing him before snakes (more likely to kill)
3. Disconnecting life-supporting breathing machine (the victim would surely die.)
ELoKIM’s Law is that the perpetrator in all these cases would be punished by the HEAVENLY COURT, but NOT executed by the human court! (A government may add its own punishment for peace)
Noah’s BLOODSHED LAW 4:
No Killing by Mercenaries
“And from the hands of Man shall I seek the blood...” (9:5)
From killing people by indirect methods like by ‘beasts,’ ELoKiM moves on to discuss killing by ‘another Man,’ mercenaries. The mercenary would be considered a murderer, and so would the person who had hired him, yet that person should NOT be executed by a human court.
Noah’s BLOODSHED LAW 5:
No Killing in MERCY
“And from the hands of man’s brother
I shall require the life of Adam.” (9:5)
From killing other people by mercenaries, ELoKiM moves to forbid the killing people intentionally, directly. The first case that ELoKiM discusses is one who kills “his brother,” referring to ‘merciful killing,’ euthanasia. Note that such a case is earthshaking. For the killer acts in passion, with mercy.
Yet ELKM says here that one who kills in mercy is subjected to punishment by the Heavenly Court. He is a murderer. Yet the perpetrator should not be executed by a human court (a government may decide otherwise for the sake of public order and peace.) This sensitive topic should be discussed farther, beyond the scope of this class.
Noah’s BLOODSHED LAW 6:
Abortion is Murder!
“Whoever shed blood of ’Man in Man’ will his own blood be shed.” (9:5)
Here ELoKiM moves to discuss a direct, intentional killing of ‘Man in Man,’ or abortion. The perpetrator is to be executed by human court! The embryo should be at least 40 days old (Talmud.)
The verse can be read as “whoever kills a man, by man his own blood should be shed.” This means that the Torah sanctions the execution of a killer who has committed his crime intentionally, in front of witnesses. The Torah Court consists of 23 or 71 experienced judges.
Abortion and murder are the same.
The reason: “For in the image of ELoKiM he made the Adam.”
An exception: if the embryo threatens the mother’s life, it can be aborted.
YHVH spoke first, then ELoKiM. Each Attribute spoke its own perspectives on BLOODSHED, each addressing Noah’s concerns.
YHVH spoke about the human heart
ELoKiM gave the BLOODSHEDH Laws in details.
Noah’s burnt offering was answered in full:
There would be a change in the Heavenly Court’s heart, seeing more Mercy and less harsh Judgment,
And there would be a change in the human heart, as Mankind matures.
Hence the next Flood, if it comes, it would NOT return so fast as before!
Noah therefore should consent to procreate and start civilization again.
All that should be sealed by a new treaty between G-d and Man: the Rainbow Covenant.
END OF BLOODSHED CLASS 12