These are called the Noahide Laws because they are the heritage of humanity from our oldest ancestors. Since all humanity are descendants of Noah, who survived the Great Flood, all people today are Noahides.
Jewish tradition tells that six of these laws were given to the first human being, Adam. A seventh law, the prohibition against eating the limb of a living animal, was given to Noah when humankind was permitted to consume meat.
These seven principles are general ones. Many other teachings, all intuitive to the upright human mind, branch out from these.
These include the practice of charity and acts of kindness, honoring and respecting parents, prayer to G‑d and contemplation of His wisdom and greatness.
This also means not acting recklessly towards the magnificent creation that has been entrusted to our stewardship.
Nobody needs to convert or join a particular church or temple to keep these principles and laws. But it is important to keep them because this is what the supreme G‑d wants of every one of us, and not only because they are wise and good laws.
Anyone who keeps these basic rules for that reason—regardless of race, nationality or culture—is considered a righteous person and granted eternal life upon leaving this world.
In our times, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, described tikkun olam as the mission of every human being. He spoke with a voice of urgency, with the conviction that in our times, one small deed could bring the world to the resolution for which it has yearned since its creation.
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