Audio Roundup 2017:33

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by Joel Rich

The Minchat Chinuch discusses from time to time whether a mitzvah is applicable to Bnai Noach or not. If it is not one of the classic seven, might it be subsumed under dinim (laws)? If not, where is its force grounded? Does the Bnai Noach king have unlimited power to make his own law as long as it doesn’t contradict the seven? Who would be eligible to be on a Bnai Noach court and how much interpretive independence would they have?

Rashi (Bamidbar 27:13) states that the Torah’s continual pointing to Moshe’s and Aaron’s punishment (an earlier demise) for not being mkadish sheim shamayim (sanctifying HKB”H’s name) was at Moshe’s request so that no one think they were punished for not being believers but rather the lack of Kiddush hashem was their only sin. Rashi compares it to ( see Yoma 86b ) two sinners being lashed, one for adultery and one for eating unripened shivit fruits.[the exact nature of the sins and lashes is subject to debate]

Two questions: (1) How does this analogy (or the statement of sin) ensure that repetition would communicate that this was their only sin? (2) If the punishment for two sins is equal, why is one considered worse?

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About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.

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