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    The human race – No’ach

    God appears to Noah, by James Tissot, c. 1896

    In the beginning there was no human race, only an individual male (Adam) who was later joined by a female (Eve).

    Only in Parashat No’ach is there such a thing as a human community. Only in Parashat No’ach does God make a covenant with humanity, with both sides accepting obligations towards each other.

    God undertakes not to destroy all mankind provided man undertakes to observe God’s laws. There are seven such laws, known in later generations as the Seven Laws of the Children of No’ach.

    They are spelled out in the Talmud; in the Torah itself the only one specifically laid down is the prohibition of murder (Gen. 9:6). The Torah says that if man commits murder, he transgresses the Divine image in which man is made. Murder on earth thereby injures God Himself.

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