Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q12.15 TOC Q12.17 >

Question 12.16:
Why do Jews need organized religion or Jewish laws? Isn't it good enough to be a good person? How about gentiles?


Traditional Jews believe in absolute morality backed by G-d's authority, and liberal Jews tend to hold similar moral principles, even if doubting their divine origin. Thus, "good" implies "observes those moral principles that one is obligated to follow."

According to Judaism, gentiles have seven categories of mitzvot that they must follow, and do not need Jewish law or organized religion. But it's their privilege to organize to worship, should they so choose. See the answer in Section 12.19 for more information on these categories.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>