Noachide Laws #4 – Blasphemy

Aside from the 613 mitzvos that God gave the Jews, He commanded 7 things of all mankind. These are called the “sheva mitzvos b’nei Noach” – the seven laws for the descendants of Noah. Six, or possibly all seven, of these mitzvos were originally commanded to Adam; they were re-stated to Noah after the flood, to be passed down to his descendants, the entire population of the world.

Blasphemy is perhaps the most reprehensible thing there is. It is so unthinkable that this mitzvah is called “birkas Hashem,” blessing God, when, of course, we really mean the opposite (God forbid). Like Jews, non-Jews are not permitted to curse God. We see this throughout the Book of Job. When Job’s life goes completely down the tubes, he is advised to “curse God and die.” This does not mean that doing so would cause Job to be Divinely struck dead; it means that he would be liable of the capital crime of blasphemy–and Job was a non-Jew.

This mitzvah includes not only a prohibition against blasphemy but also against desecrating God’s Name. The obligation of non-Jews to pray also falls under the aegis of this category.