Bleich, Tradition 33:1 (Fall 1998) pp. 131-133. Our reading of these sources suggests otherwise and reaffirms that Maimonides only meant to prohibit divinely binding religious innovations. Thus, while Yad Rama himself indeed seems to agree with Rashi, he admits that Maimonides differs. Turning now to Radbaz, both R. Menahem Mendel Kasher, Torah Sheleima, Genesis 8:22, note 114, and R. Meir Dan Plotski of Ostrova, Hemdat Yisrael, Kuntres Ner Mitsva, sec 58, s.v. “u-le-Fi zeh”, beginning with line 5, consider R. Bleich’s understanding of Radbaz. R. Kasher accepts this reading of Radbaz, but finds it forced (“dahuk”), preferring instead Yad Rama’s reading of Rambam. R. Polocki, on the other hand, feels compelled to reject R. Bleich’s understanding of Radbaz based on what Maimonides and Radbaz themselves write explicitly (“ve-khen me-vuar le-hedya,” in Melakhim 10:10; see, as well, R. Jehiel Jacob Weinberg, Resp. Seridei Esh, II, secs. 90 and 92). Logic would dictate that Rambam could not have intended to forbid all religious innovations, for this would require us to ban all minhagim (customs). In fact, as we have stated in the text, most commentaries concur that Rambam disagrees with Rashi and requires that the innovation be divinely binding before it is considered violative. See: R. Samuel Eliezer Edels, Hidushei ha-Maharsha, Beitsa 57a, Hidushei Halakhot, s.v. “Sham, I hakhi” and Hidushei Aggadot, s.v. “Lo lianshu;” R. Moses Schick, Hidushei ha-Maharam Schick (Makhon Yerushalayim, 5747) Sanhedrin 58b, s.v. “u-le-Fi aniyut da’ati;” R. Barukh ha-Levi Epstein, Torah Temima, Genesis 8:22, sec. 17 at end; R. Isaac Arieli, Einayim la-Mishpat, Sanhedrin 58b, sec. 9/10; R. Gershon Arieli, Torat ha-Melekh, Melakhim 10:10; R. Yoel Schwartz, Or la-Amim, p. 111, note 3 and p. 138, sec. 12; Encyclopedia Talmudit, III, “Ben Noah,” p. 358 at note 362. R. Gershon Arielli (ibid.)Beit ha-Behira, Sanhedrin 59a, Ralbag Edition, p. 178, note 198. This also appears to be the opinion of R. Simeon ben Zemah Duran, Resp. Tashbez, III, sec. 132, and R. Akiva Eger, Resp. R. Akiva Eger, sec 121, s.v. ve-Derekh gerara.
Even were we to accept R. Bleich’s suggestion - that Maimonides agrees with Rashi that Noachides are forbidden from innovating a Sabbath day even if the motivation is merely for relaxation - one cannot generalize this to all rituals. R. Moses Feinstein, Resp. Iggerot Moshe, Y.D., II, sec. 7, has forcefully argued that the Talmudic prohibitions (Sanhedrin 58b) against a Noachide keeping a Sabbath and learning Torah are unique, with their own separate source, and are thus independent of motivation. However, there is no prohibition to institute other new rituals unless it is suggested that they are mitsvot, i.e., divinely binding. See also saveinu moreinu R. Moses Zev Kahn, Resp Tiferet Moshe, sec. 43, s.v. ve-Hinei devarav and following.