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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q12.42 TOC Q12.44 >

Question 12.43:
I understand that for a gentile to be considered righteous by a Jew, he/she must worship and honour G-d and obey the 7 laws that were given to Noah. Would such a gentile not also be obligated to keep the Sabbath?


He would not. The bible is quite clear on the point: "It [the Shabbat] is a sign between Myself and the Children of Israel for eternity..." (Ex. 31:17) Unless you're claming membership in the covenant, there is no duty implied by the bible to keep the Sabbath. At most you can say it's a good idea. But as for making it mandatory, the Children of Israel are specificied explicitly.

For what it's worth, in Jewish law, a non-Jew's observance of the Sabbath in the exact manner as traditional Judaism (which goes well beyond the literal resting on the day) is tantamount to either theft or adultary. However, most non-Jewish observations of the Sabbath is not to the same degree.

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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