Anyone who lives by these rules, acknowledging
that they are what G-d wants of us, is considered by
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 same words every day, we will see
a different world very soon. Sooner than we can imagine.
Here is a phrasing of the 'Creed of Noah', according
to ancient tradition, with a touch of elaboration:
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
1. I will not worship anyone or anything other
than the 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
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
6. I will not cause needless harm to any living
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 courts of truth and justice in
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
*Excerpted from a speech delivered by Tzvi Freeman (TFreeman@chabadonline.com)
before the 18th International Peace Conference, held in Munich
in Fall of 1999.