The Sages of the Talmud had a mnemonic for remembering the ‘sheva mitzvot bnei noach’, and its explanation was recorded in the Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 56b and in the Kuzari 3:73, which are quoted below:From The Kuzari (3:73)The Rabbi said: “Let us present another two possibilities. Either they utilized an esoteric tradition of how to interpret Scripture - using the thirteen methods of derivation - whose methodology is now hidden from us, or they utilized Scripture as an asmachta, meaning that Scripture is used merely as a device to help them remember an oral tradition.*
“They did this, for example, with the verse (Bereishis, 2:16), ‘The Lord G-d commanded man saying, [from all the trees of the garden you may surely eat].’ They explained that this verse is a reminder of the seven Noachide laws:
These laws obviously are very far from the subject of the text, yet our people have a tradition that we may rely on this verse to help us remember the seven commandments.
* Before the advent of the Mishnah, it was prohibited to write down any of the Oral Tradition. To prevent a particular tradition from being forgotten, therefore, the Sages used a verse from the Torah whose words would mnemonically remind them of the halachah, but which really had no direct relation to it.
From the Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 56b (English translation by Soncino)Whence do we know this? R. Johanan answered: The Writ saith: And the Lord G-d commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. And [He] commanded, refers to [the observance of] social laws, and thus it is written, For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. The Lord is [a prohibition against] blasphemy, and thus it is written, and he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death. G-d is [an injunction against] idolatry, and thus it is written, Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. The man refers to bloodshed [murder], and thus it is written, Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. Saying refers to adultery, and thus it is written, They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and became another man's. Of every tree of the garden but not of robbery. Thou mayest freely eat but not flesh cut from a living animal. Notes:
An alternative mnemonic for the noachide commandments*:
Starting with the first four letters of the Hebrew alphabet:
The final three commandments are the three cardinal sins for which a Jew is expected to give his life rather than commit:
* by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan.
A method for remembering the Seven Noahide Commandments
from the first seven letters of the Hebrew alphabet
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