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Magna Carta more commendable than Commandments

Martin Frack writes: “Some 3,400 years ago Hashem delivered to our Jewish forefathers the Torah which we are assured by our rabbis is an accurate description of the events handed down unchanged for millennia.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Martin Frack

It is self-evident that the events described which even today we regard as gospel, took place according to the moral standards of the times and have no relevance to modern circumstances.

Obviously we do not today need an instruction as to how to treat our slaves and in war our leaders would never enjoin their commanders to massacre our enemies or to “kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman known a man by lying with a man, but all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him” to keep for themselves; in short, an invitation to debauchery. (Numbers 31:17 – 20).

It’s a common notion today, to think of the Ten Commandments as a standard of virtue. What is not said of the Ten Commandments, is its insistence on absolute obedience and what the penalties were for disobedience. Actually there was only one penalty under Mosaic law: death! (Numbers 15: 30 – 31 and Numbers 15: 35 – 36).  

Three Commandments warn us to be faithful to Hashem or else, while only seven enjoin us how to conduct ourselves with regard to our parents and neighbours (such as, don’t murder, steal, mess around with your neighbours wife and property etc) and are simple matters of natural justice which even the most primitive societies do not require to be cast in stone.

As standards of conduct to be admired, I suggest The Ten Commandments do not hold a candle compared to say The Magna Carta or The American Declaration of Independence.

In short, the Torah as a standard by which we should conduct our lives, today is woefully obsolete.

Whereas Hashem has remained studiously silent for these past 3 400 years in response to our assurances of loyalty and requests for help in the face of the disasters which have befallen us for three thousand years, I suggest that it is high time that Hashem issues a second edition of the Torah in accordance with today’s standards of virtue and behaviour.

I therefore respectfully request the rabbis to do everything within their power to endeavour to ensure that this comes about.

 

Martin Frack
Fairvail, Johannesburg

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David

    Apr 21, 2015 at 8:31 am

    ‘Philosophy and ‘change for the sake of change’ seems to be the presumption of the above article.

    Personally I am and will likely always be a non-religious Jew in the true terms of the word ‘ Frum\”.

    However to me the 10 Commandments still are, and will always be, the initial and all encompassing basis of a good and righteous life. This is unlikely with any perceivable event, to change.

    the Magna Carta and the American declaration of independence, are simply secular additions to the premise of Righteousness, that is umbrella’d by the Ten commandments, as the original and unquestionable text and foundation, encompassing the The Jewish Religion and traditions.’

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Letters/Discussion Forums

“Clearly you’re a Zionist, going around demanding shit”

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I’m so sad that I came across this terrible article (“Professor of propaganda” by Howard Sackstein, SA Jewish Report, 3 June 2021).

First, I’m a Wits-trained doctor, and I admire doctors like Professor Shabir Moosa who are able to step outside their comfort zones and challenge the minds and beliefs of their younger doctors. South Africa needs more doctors that stand up for what’s right. Israel is an apartheid state. Please stop denying it! You’re basically killing Arabs and jailing innocent kids. You have no humanity as a Zionist.

Second, he posted his article on this group, and that made interns feel uncomfortable! Oh please, grow up! It’s a bunch of white men trying to bully us into acting in a way suitable for them. Imagine, a bunch of privileged white men felt uncomfortable for the first time in their life!

Third, screw the author! That he thinks he has any authority to report and demand “action”. Who do you think you are? Clearly, you’re a Zionist. Going around demanding shit. When you deserve nothing.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Why seek citizenship of murderous Lithuania?

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“Most of our ancestors were forced to flee Lithuania in terrible circumstances, and restoring our citizenship will go a long way to address the wrongs of the past.” I find these words by the national vice-president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies to be shameful and incomprehensible. To claim, as Zev Krengel does, that ex-Lithuanian Jews have an ancestral right to citizenship is an insult to the G-d of Israel. The only country to which any Jew has an ancestral right is the land of Israel.

When the Nazis marched into Lithuania in 1941, the government and people (with a handful of exceptions) didn’t lift a finger as Jews in more than 200 shtetls were humiliated, tortured, and ultimately murdered by Lithuanian collaborators. Which Jew with pure emotions would now wish to seek citizenship of that country, or any European country which willingly aided and abetted Nazi murderers?

The yizkor (remembrance) prayer that Jews recite in synagogues four times a year includes one for martyrs: “May G-d remember the souls of the holy and pure ones who were murdered, gassed, burned, strangled for the sanctification of the name through the hands of the German oppressors and their collaborators. (Yemach s’hmom v’zichron – may their name and memory be obliterated.) No, Mr Krengel, no amount of time will “restore the wrongs of the past”.

The most tragic event in Jewish history – the Holocaust – has taught the Jewish people that it’s forbidden for us to derive any benefit from countries that persecuted our people. (Hilchot Sanhedrin 15:9). How can any Jew with pure emotions associate with these places, much less seek citizenship?

With all due respect to Krengel and all those who seek citizenship of these murderous countries, may I humbly suggest that you rather seek citizenship in your one and only true ancestral homeland – the land of Israel. Seeking citizenship anywhere but Israel, after 2 000 years of bitter exile, is scorning G-d’s most precious gift to His people.

Further, I believe that to fulfil the commandment of “may their name and memory be obliterated”, no Jew should ever set foot in or associate with these countries in any way. It’s with dismay that one sees influential Orthodox groups spending money on resurrecting Judaism in these murderous countries instead of obliterating their names.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

None of us are angels, but condemnation of Israel is truly sick

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I’m appalled by prominent members of our government, even one of our own – Ronnie Kasrils – who has the gall to speak out against Israel, Zionism, and the Jews for what happened recently in Gaza, even to the extent of mentioning a Jewish policeman or soldier with his knee on a dead Palestinian child. This isn’t the way Jews behave. We are very conscious of our Judaism and families, and kindness is in our genetic make-up.

The photo I’m referring to was taken years ago, in a completely foreign country, and it incites hate where it doesn’t belong.

Sick people have caused anxiety and fear during the pandemic by publishing pictures of COVID-19-related crimes and other lies on Facebook and WhatsApp, and by publishing old photos and leading us to believe that they are fresh situations.

None of us are angels who never sin. But can anyone truly believe that no action should be taken against 4 000 rockets fired at a country indiscriminately? Does any other army in the world advise the perpetrators that they should evacuate because they don’t want to hurt or kill innocent people when they retaliate?

Well, Israel does.

In conclusion, Israel isn’t fighting Gazans, it’s fighting Hamas. The people who run Gaza are Hamas, not the Palestinians. They made the fatal mistake of allowing Hamas to run their country. It uses them as shields and doesn’t give a damn about their safety or well-being.

So, wake up South Africa, and all who condemn Israel for defending its citizens – you would do the same!

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