Other Religions & Beliefs
In some respects Jews may find it easier to relate to other faith groups than to other Jewish groups.
According to the Talmud, after the flood, G-d made an agreement with Noah and his sons. This is called the Noachide Code and is based on the text of Genesis.
Judaism teaches that any religion which keeps the laws of the Noachide Code is an acceptable way for non-Jews to serve G-d:
1. Do not worship images or idols 2. Do not commit blasphemy or curse G-d 3. Do not commit murder 4. Do not steal 5. Do not commit adultery 6. Do not eat a limb of a live animal 7. Set up a legal system and promote justice.
The Rabbis taught: ‘seven precepts were the sons of Noah commanded: social laws; to refrain from blasphemy, idolatry; adultery; bloodshed; robbery; and eating flesh cut from a living animal’ (Sanhedrin 56a).
Therefore, Judaism discourages converts because this teaching is that non-Jews who follow the code are already serving G-d as G-d wants.
Many Jews are, however, concerned about the number of young people who are ‘marrying out’ – that is marrying non-Jews who themselves are not converting to Judaism. They fear that this will mean more people leaving the practice of the faith and so weaken the community. There is a continuing increase of people who may describe themselves as ‘Secular Jews’. They recognise their heritage but are not religious.