A movement of Gentiles observing some aspects of Jewish law and teachings and usually coming from Christian or Messianic Jewish backgrounds, the Noahides are reported to be experiencing growth, as the Internet allows such believers to find information, interact and make their ideas known much more easily, reports Ben Harris of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (June 22).
In the past decades, Noahide individuals and groups existed, but it was not always easy for non-Jews interested in the Seven Laws of Noah to find likeminded people or Orthodox rabbis willing to help them. The Internet has changed all that: not only are a variety of books and websites available, but the Internet “also has helped foster a sense of community for Noahides,” who can much more easily locate groups around the world and participate in discussion groups. There is even a WikiNoha and a Noahide Online Association of Homeschoolers. However, the need is felt to go beyond the Internet as a primary means of connection.
There have recently been several conferences of Noahides, the last one near Dallas in early June. The efforts should now be focused on building communities, according to Harris, with rituals and ways to pass the teachings on to children, but there are limitations here, since Noahides are prohibited from creating a separate religion and must follow rabbinic instructions. Harris’ article also mentions another difficult issue for a relatively small and scattered group with unique beliefs: finding spouses who share the same views.
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency, http://www.jta.org)