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February 20, 1987 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-02-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

BioomFiald Elactronic5

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12

Friday, February 20, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

v.

MasterCard.

851-1125

ith the announce-
ment that Reader's
Digest has con-
densed the Bible to 60 percent
of its original length, one wit
said that he was eager to see
which four commandments we
don't have to worry about
anymore.
In our time, we should worry
about all of the Ten Com-
mandments more than ever be-
fore. The contemporary moral
attitude does not strongly sup-
port the observance of these
time-hallowed precepts.
It is not generally known
that there is no Hebrew ex-
pression for "Ten Command-
ments." These are described as
Aseret Ha-Devarim, the "Ten
Words," translated as the Ten
Commandments because of
their positive and negative
formulations.
Until modern times, there
was little controversy about
the validity of the Divine
commands. True, there were
those who rejected God's dic-
tates, but they were prepared
to accept the consequences. Be-
cause the Almighty was re-
garded as the absolute
authority. He had the right to
command that we abide by His
moral code. Did we not accept
His sovereignty at Sinai?
Then the mood of modern
man changed this traditional
conception. Sophisticated and
educated people questioned
whether God, or anyone for
that matter, could issue com-
mands without our veto. They
preferred to replace the Ten
Commandments with ten

Irwin Groner is rabbi at Cong.
Shaarey Zedek.

suggestions. Let the individual
decide for himself if he wants to
follow the biblical code, or any
code.
These modernists brought
up their children in the same
atmosphere of relativism.
These would not command
them to do anything. They
would only suggest and employ
gentle persuasion at best.
These elders remembered only

Shabbat Yitro:
Exodus
18:1-20:23,
Isaiah 6:1-76,
9:5-6

too well that when they were
told that God commanded, or
when their parents imposed
prescribed behavior, they re-
sented the restrictions and
promised themselves they
would do nothing more than
suggest without being
authoritative. They would
want their children to enjoy
freedom and latitude in mak-
ing up their own minds on
moral issues. This, they be-
lieved, is how true respect is
gained.
Unfortunately, the results
have not been altogether
encouraging. Those who grow
up without clearly defined
rules and respect for authority
encounter great difficulty.
Some become delinquent,
others do not internalize
standards of right and wrong.
Many are confused, lacking
clearly defined goals and a
sense of discipline.

Meanwhile, the statistics on
crime and violence continue to
mount in all the countries of
the free world. The streets of
our major cities are no longer
considered safe as night falls.

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