Are the Commandments of Judaism, Demands , I Would Expect from an Omnipotent Creator?
Pavlov: You made me think of a new point.
Are the commandments of Judaism commandments , I would expect from an Omnipotent Creator?
For example, Christians are constantly reciting the motto Love thy Neighbor as Thyself . Do Jews also believe in this principle?
Yes, but not in the same way that Christians understand the idea.
Pavlov: Does Love thy neighbor apply to non-Jews?
Dovid: The reason we usually display kindness to non-jews is not connected to the commandment of Love your Neighbor.
“Most important, everything has a season – there is a time for mercy and a time for such traits as cruelty, all in keeping with G-d’s commands and definitions. Whoever emulates G-d’s attributes properly brings kindness and goodness to the world. This is the point of the Mishna (Berachot 54A): ‘Love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart’ (Deut. 6:5): With your two impulses, good and evil. From the holy lips of Rabbeinu Yona emerged the following Divine words:
We can say that the good impulse is for such traits as mercy and that the evil impulse was created for cruelty. When one shows the evildoers no pity and is cruel to them, he does a great mitzvah, serving G-d with his evil impulse.
How great Rabbeinu Yona’s words! How opposed to ideas of the sons of the alien culture of our times!
Pavlov: I could see why Love your Neighbor might bring social benefit, but what about other commandments? Are all the other commandments this logical?
Dovid: For someone who thinks they come directly from Hashem, the commandments are perfect. Under this premise, even the commandments that are not readily understood will be accepted as brilliant, even if this means changing our previous human standards.
Sometimes, after extensive effort, we will find reasons for previously hard to understand commandments and sometimes we’re not successful. In any case, once you get accustomed to perform the easy commandments, you’ll most probably gain the faith needed to trust Hashem on the hard commandments.
Pavlov: I believe, that if Hashem gave commandments, he would only give commandments that immediately made sense to human beings.
Dovid: If, let’s say, I showed you a prophecy that showed you the exact history of the next decade and it came true, would you then be willing to change your standards of right and wrong when they conflicted with the biblical standard?
Pavlov: The prophecy would have to demonstrate that the author of the Bible was a genius, far greater than me or my peers. It would have to show me that it pays to follow the Bible when making decisions, rather than my own common sense. It would have to be as detailed as the televised news.
Dovid: What if I could only show you a seven year prophecy that came true in full detail?
Pavlov: I’d still accept.
Dovid: What is the minimum of prophecy, that I would have to show you in order to influence you?
Pavlov: I don’t know. I’d have to hear the prophecy, and then decide.
Dovid: Let’s then take a look at the book of Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah, chapter 30:
The word that came to Yirmiyahu from Hashem saying, thus speaks Hashem, the L-rd of Yisrael, saying, Write all the words that I have spoken to thee in a book. For, lo, days are coming, says Hashem, when I will bring back the captivity of my people Yisrael and Yehuda, says Hashem, and I will restore them to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
And these are the words that Hashem spoke concerning Yisrael and concerning Yehuda.
For thus says Hashem, A sound of quaking we have heard, fear, and there is no peace.
Ask now, and see whether a male gives birth? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned greenish. Ho! for that day is great, so that none is like it: and it is a time of trouble for Yaakov and from it, he shall be saved. And it shall be on that day, says the L-rd of Hosts, I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and I will disconnect thy bands, and strangers shall no more enslave him: but they shall serve Hashem their L-rd, and Dovid their King, whom I will raise up for them.
And you, fear not, O my servant Yaakov, says Hashem; neither be dismayed, O Yisrael, for behold I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Yaakov shall return, and shall be quiet and at ease, and none shall make afraid. For I am with thee, says Hashem, to save thee: for I will make a full end of all the nations where I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will bring sufferings on you, in accordance to justice, and will not utterly purge you from existing.
Pavlov: You can stop right here. I can tell you right now, the prophecy is too vague to impress me, even if nuclear war or something else happened to make the prophecy correspond to reality.
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