And Joseph would bring evil reports about them to their father—Bereishis 37:2
There is a Midrash that explains the “evil reports” were about Joseph telling his father (Jacob) that his brothers were slaughtering an animal and eating from it before it stopped moving. Although this is halakhically legal in Judaism, it is not so under Noahide Law. For the Noahide, the method of slaughter is not important (it does not have to be kosher slaughter), but the animal must be completely dead; meat cannot be removed and consumed from the animal if it is still twitching.
The problem with this is that it makes the Noahide law more strict than Jewish law. The problem with this problem is that, according to Chullim 33a, Noahide law cannot be as strict or exact as Jewish law. So, in order to comply with this ruling, the rabbis decided that Noahides were, in fact, allowed to eat meat slaughtered by kosher methods even if it technically violated Noahide law.
Keep this in mind as we explore another concept.
There are two methods for deducing halakha, pilpul and sevarah. The Amoraim describe them as “the uprooter of mountains” (pilpul) and the “master of Sinai” (sevarah). As I explained in my book:
“The determination of halakha is not some random guessing game. There is a complex and ancient system of interpretation used by the rabbis to determine halakha using two different modes of analysis: sevarah and pilpul. Pilpul is the dialectical approach, ‘deducing positive from negative and vice versa; drawing inferences from what was omitted and from ostensibly superfluous material.’ The other approach is sevarah, or ‘discovering the reason behind the halakhah, which enables us to compare and contrast different cases.’ Pilpul is a system that takes intensive training as well as an ‘insiders’ understanding of Torah; to determine the fine points of halakha using pilpul is difficult for even the most learned Noahide, and, although certain principles can be applied to Noahide Law, pilpul should be left to the rabbis. Severah, on the other hand, is the logical understanding of halakha, and is certainly within the scope of the Noahide. The Noahide Law is not meant to be as exact or as strict as Jewish Law, so there really is no need to wrestle every conclusion to the finer points of law using pilpul.” —Secular by Design, p. 426.
So we see that using pilpul to work out the details of Noahide law is not something a non-Jew should attempt. As far as Noahides working out the details themselves, here is another footnote from Secular by Design:
Now we come to the problem. If Noahide law is not to be as exact or as strict as Jewish law, and Noahides are best to work out the details of halakha using sevarah, then why are the rabbis putting out books of picky details on Noahide law using pilpul?
Think about it. Working out the details of each of the Seven Laws is a job for the Noahides themselves, and the method that should be used is sevarah. And in order for these details to be of any use, we would have to have Noahide courts, which means we would have to have not only a new Constitution but an entirely different legal system than we have now. With books such as The Divine Code, the rabbis are focusing on problem number 482. We’re actually on problem number three. We have a long, long way to go before the details can be of any use in a Noahide beis din.
So why are the rabbis determined to be teaching Noahides unnecessary details about the Noahide law? I’m sure there are many reasons, but the one that comes to mind is control. The rabbis want to run the Noahide movement, and so far, they’ve run it right into the ground. All of these particulars about “Noahide halakha” the rabbis are spewing out, the “positive and negative” aspects, none of these things really have any significance to what the Noahides should be focusing on. The message the rabbis are sending is, see how you ignorant goyim with your animal souls cannot mine the Torah for these laws. This is why we should be running the show. This is why the rabbis refuse to teach Noahides about how to use sevarah to determine halakha for themselves. This is why the rabbis are so focused on Rambam and the Rye-vid. This is why the rabbis ignore the view of Ramban and other Torah scholars as to the importance and true nature of the law of Dinim.
The reasons the rabbis give for not teaching Noahides the right thing are many. Among my favorites are because it has never been done, No-no Hides aren’t allowed to read primary sources, and we are afraid that Noahides, if left to their own devices, will turn the Noahide law into a religion. What is sad is that it is the rabbis who are turning the Noahide Code into a religion.
And I need to point out: I am not anti-rabbi in the least. I have studied under them, learned from them, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their wisdom and teaching. For nearly 2000 years the rabbis have performed a miracle in preserving the Torah and Israel. This puts them in the rare company of saviors of civilization, as Herman Wouk would say.
But the time has come for the Noahides and the rabbis to part company. We have learned “the fundamentals.” The details we can work out for ourselves once we get to that point where we need them.