Think. In the 1910’s IBM developed a popular motto – Think. Just that. It is easy to accept the status quo and go with the flow. IBM’s motto gained enormous popularity – that it still uses today – apparently by breaking from just accepting something because society or one’s value system leads them to think that way. Apple took a variation – Think Different. Both mottos’ philosophy come from Judaism. To lead a productive and meaningful life one uses the gift G-d gave us – our mind. Judaism is open to questions and challenges. It answers them satisfactorily.
The point of this site is for a person to think. It geared to the open-minded that can appreciate thought and logical analysis of contemporary issues – leading to a better life.
Two Ways to View Laws
There are two ways of looking at laws. I value their existence – even though occasionally, I don’t necessarily understand them or follow them. Or my opinion or lifestyle is different so I will change the laws based upon my values.
For man made laws – either is acceptable. The attitudes will not necessarily lead to a moral law – but laws will follow the level of morality of the strongest or most vociferous political supporters or voters.
Divine Law vs. Man-Made Law
Torah law is different – for Torah is the only Divine Law given to a nation of millions of people who heard G-d themselves. Thus Torah law is G-d’s view of morality. G-d’s law is true morality.
People cannot arrive to true morality through vote. There were times in which child sacrifice was the vogue. Abraham protested and taught about the immorality of sacrificing children. Now, it is obvious that child sacrifice is immoral. But at one point in history it was acceptable. If one were to vote before Abraham’s time about child sacrifice – they would have voted it moral. The Nazi’s would have voted that killing innocent people is moral. But obviously, it is not moral. Thus, morality cannot stand by the opinion of people.
Only G-d’s morality is true morality.
I taught a person about the 7 Noahide laws.
The Seven Noahide Laws
They are seven major categories – that with their details consist of 30 laws.
1) Respecting G-d – Not to blaspheme.
2) Being Faithful to G-d – Not to Commit Idolatry – which prohibits worship to any physical object, animal, person or energy (like fire or wind) or spiritual being. (G-d is not Physical, nor spiritual. Anything that can be destroyed cannot be G-d – because it has a weakness – the fact it can be destroyed. Physical and spiritual entities can be destroyed – thus they cannot be G-d.)
3) Respecting Human Life – Not to Kill.
4) Respecting One’s Fellow’s Property – Not to Steal.
5) Respecting the Integrity of the Family – Not to commit forbidden relations – which includes prohibitions of adultery, incest, bestiality and homosexuality.
6) Respect of Life – Not to eat a limb taken from a living animal.
7) Law and Order – Establishing courts of law to enforce these laws.
He didn’t appreciate it. Apparently because he condoned one of the above.
Open mindedness is accepting ideas based upon their value to society.
This is very different than one who accepts any idea because someone in society holds of it. This attitude leads to leads to degradation of society’s values. Because a person kills, because he has a reason does not make it right. It is prohibited to kill.
Abortion is killing. In Jewish law – if the Mother’s life is in danger – G-d forbid – by the child – an abortion is permitted. This is only because the child is considered as a rodef – one that may cause the death of another. Thus Torah permits abortion in the case where a respectable Doctor says that the woman’s life is in serious danger if she completes her pregnancy. (Obviously, one must consult a respectable Orthodox Rabbi – to determine if this is the case for the final – decision of halacha / Jewish law.)
Balance in World
G-d made a balance in the world. This is for the purpose of freedom of choice. G-d wants a person to exercise their freedom of choice.
Once idolatry was prevalent in the world. Today it is less popular. The reason – once the Rabbis prayed that the Yetzer HaRa’ / Evil Inclination (the thoughts and desire that pushes us to do bad) be reduced. G-d removed the desire for physical relations and for idolatry. Whe He removed the desire for the opposite gender – reproduction (ie, births) dwindled. G-d thus restored this desire, but tempered it by removing the desire for one’s family members. G-d removed the desire for idolatry – but at the same time G-d made a balance that – people did not fully understand the idea of animal offerings. Today, people don’t understand or may be a bit pushed off by the idea of offering animals. This feeling is the result of G-d creating a balance in the world – removing the desire for idolatry – He balanced it by removing the comprehension of animal offerings in the Beit Hamikdash / Holy Temple.
Once my wife’s Grandfather felt badly that the works of many Moroccan Torah sages were lost. When he read something that Rebbi Yoel Teitelbaum – the Rebbi of Satmar – wrote – he was comforted. He wrote that there is a balance in the world. Sometimes Holy Torah books are lost. The reason – is that they contain – tremendous wisdom and boost greatly belief in G-d. If these were published – G-d would have to allow works of Apikorsut – Heresy into the world to counter them. Thus to avoid the negative works to be published – G-d hid away these great Torah works.
If there are too many works of Torah value – many people will be drawn to Torah – which might have disturbed the balance of freedom of choice.
The point of this site is to get people to think. It is not to push a point of view. Each one has a mind and can decide, through proper thought and consulting the Torah view of things what is right or wrong.
Provided there is this concept – of balance and freedom of choice – we can ask the following question –
Does Liberalism cause extremism? Liberalism basically says everything is ok. Extremism says everything is not ok. Does one causes the other? I don’t know.
The Middle Road is Complete
What is the solution? The middle road – Judaism. Which states that things in their proper measure or place or time are ok. G-d gave us the golden rule – whatever is hateful to yourself, don’t do to others. Even that law must be used with proper thought as well.
I don’t believe in the denominations of Judaism. There was only one Jewish nation when we received the Torah. There is still only one Jewish nation. When the Jews received the Torah – it was halacha / Jewish law – given by G-d that guided us.
Thus, the thinker will say – in terms of Jewish law – it might be a challenge – but I still accept it as law. I might not do it fully, but I accept it as law. This is much more logical than saying I will change the laws – that were divinely given. Although we humans are intelligent – we still cannot fathom the wisdom of Hash-m and thus to tamper with perfection of Divine law is detrimental – to us and society – as history and current events have shown.