Seven Things You Can Do for America
Seven Things You Can Do for America
by Mendy Hecht
September 11, 2001: Terrorists tear serenity from Americaôs soul. Our sense of safety and security is gone. Our towering twin symbols of superiority are gone. And over four thousand moms and dads, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, among them our finest and bravest, are gone.
We feel shock. Pain. Rage. A thirst for revenge, a ventless anguish. And maddening powerlessness.
What can we do? What direction do we take? Where do we put our passion?
We all want to take action. We all want to do something anything Ē to strike back. Something real. Something powerful. Heres seven ways to guarantee that good has the last laugh:
1. Have Faith in G-d
‚ÄúIn G-D We Trust‚ÄĚ is right on the money. Itôs in our courthouses, our Congress. And its in our blood. From George Washington to George Dubya, faith is what has made America great. Lets keep it going. Lets show the world what faith is all about. We need to have faith, live faith, teach our kids faith faith in the One Indivisible G-d discovered by Abraham, father of monotheism, over 4,000 years ago. Now, today, and every day. It‚Äôs the healthiest thing we can do. And the firmest response to the destroyers of faith.
2. Dont Lose Trust
Why do bad things happen to good people? But if we trust G-d, we trust G-d. We trust theres a plan. Even when it hurts. Even when we dont understand. On that dark day, September 11, 2001, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani asked for strength from G-d. President Bush expressed trust in G-d. Congress sang ‚ÄúG-d Bless America.‚ÄĚ Join them. Talk to Him. Speak your mind. Open your heart. Pour out your pain. Tell Him where it hurts and why. Request serenity, courage, willpower ‚ÄĒ whatever you need. He‚Äôs always there, and He always knows what He‚s doing. Even when it seems senseless. Never let go of your trust in G-d.
3. Be Humane
We all know the rule: never take life except in self-defense. It‚Äôs absolute. But every murder and massacre begins with one thought: I write the rules. Our new enemies deserve death, but they teach us a lesson about life: thought leads to action. Let‚Äôs make sure our thoughts are leading us in the right direction. There‚Äôs never been a better time to search our souls and reenergize our regard for human rights. There‚Äôs never been a better time to entrench this absolute value in society. Permanently. Because if we don‚Äôt, we‚Äôre no better than they are.
4. Build a Good Family
Your values: many came from outside you. From the media, from pop culture, from books, from teachers and friends. But Mom and Dad gave you more. They were your role models.
Now it‚Äôs your turn.
We‚Äôre not talking about traditional family values. We‚Äôre not talking about American values. We‚Äôre talking about a family with values.
We‚Äôre talking about doing the right thing. And having kids to teach to do the right thing. If you live alone or lead an alternative lifestyle, you can choose your values. But if you die alone, your lifestyle and values die with you. That‚Äôs why the family is the brick that builds society.
So take a stand. Make a statement. Make a family.
A child is forever. A family perpetuates values. Your child, and your family, perpetuates your values forever. Show your kids the right way, just like your parents and grandparents showed you. We need it now more than ever.
5. Respect the Property of Others
Almost as infuriating as the attack itself were reports of volunteers making off with victim‚Äôs wallets, looters ransacking abandoned businesses, and citizens at their worst scamming citizens at their best. September 11, 2001 turned most of us into angels. But some of us turned into animals, following our basest instincts.
It‚Äôs a blunt reminder of the choices we face every day. Snatching office supplies, or getting something for free when we know we should pay, is infinitely less outrageous than taking advantage of a donor‚Äôs patriotism via internet emergency donation scams. But it‚Äôs no less wrong. Stealing anything, no matter how small or insignificant, is just plain wrong. In the days and years ahead, let‚Äôs never forget it.
6. Be a Good Citizen
As the horrible news spread, good citizens in the thousands turned out across the city and country, doing everything they could to maintain law and order. They‚Äôre still out there. But the wave of good citizenship that overtook America did not rise from a flat sea. It built up from small things like courtesy, concern and looking in on neighbors; and larger things like community service, political activism, civic duty and speaking up for justice. It sprung from a sense of obeying the law at all times. From respect for police officers and court decisions. From taking a role in the democratic process at all levels.
Good citizenship is a 24/7 commitment. Law and order, justice and freedom are for the people‚Ä¶ and by the people. They are everyone‚Äôs responsibility. Their future is in our hands.
Here‚Äôs where you can make the biggest difference. Get active, write, call. March. Vote. Volunteer. The greatest things happen when ordinary people like you take action.
7. Respect the value of all life
Believe it or not, animals have a big part in this. Character is measured by what you do away from people. Someone who shoots BB‚Äôs at birds for kicks, who cruelly chases cats or hunts deer with a blood lust doesn‚Äôt have an animal problem ‚ÄĒ he‚Äôs got a people problem. Someone who hunts and fishes responsibly, takes animal life humanely, and is never reduced to dismembering a live animal maintains the dignity not just of animal life, but of human life too. Respect for life that cannot fight back is the measure of respect for life that can.
* * *
You have just read the Noahide Code‚ÄĒthe oldest set of rules known to man. Older than the Bible ‚Äď older than Ancient Anything.
These laws have been the bedrock of civilization since the dawn of time.
Societies that protected them flourished. Societies that flouted them fell: historical fact.
‚ÄúBut can I really make a difference? Do I make a difference?‚ÄĚ Look to New York City‚Äôs skyline for the answer: one man named Osama did that. And if one human being, just one, can do so much evil, then one human being‚ÄĒjust one‚ÄĒcan do equal good.
Imagine the power.
Now stop imagining. That one human being is you.
Osama wasn‚Äôt born yesterday. It takes a village to raise a child. But if the villagers are maniacs, that child is lost. And when he grows up‚Ä¶ you get the picture.
We all live in the global village now. We all create that world of justice and good around each other. So get caught doing the right thing more often. Your one act may just be a child‚Äôs lifetime inspiration.
Pass it on.
It won‚Äôt be the same without you.
* * *
The Noahide Code is the Jewish message to the universe. For more information, contact your local branch of Chabad, the biggest Jewish outreach organization in the universe.
Written by Total Text Writing Service
Lets make this world better by doing act of goodness & kindness!
We Want Moshiach Now!
The Seven Noachide Laws
The Seven Noachide Laws ‚ÄúThe future Redemption will apply not only to Israel, but to the whole world as well. In preparation for this Redemption, therefore, action needs to be taken so that the world at large will be ready for such a state. This is to be achieved through the efforts of the Jewish people to influence the nations of the world to conduct themselves in the spirit of the verse that states that G-d ‚Äėformed the world in order that it be settled‚Äô (Isaiah 45:18) in a civilized manner, through the observance of their seven mitzvot.‚ÄĚ
The Seven Universal Laws
The Seven Universal Laws, also known as the Seven Noahide Laws, are the minimal observance for non-Jews. All of these laws are derived from specific passages in the Torah, which G-d gave to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. By learning from the Jews and performing the mitzvos (commandments, laws or good deeds), non-Jews have a crucial role in completing the Creation. However, Hasidic Gentiles ("Noahides") are also encouraged to perform additional mitzvos, such as giving to charity, praying regularly, and studying Torah.
Further information about the Seven Universal Laws and the proper relationship of gentiles with the Jewish people can be found in The Path of the Righteous Gentile‚ÄĚ by Chaim Clorfene and Rabbi Yakov Rogalsky, or click here for a online version.
The Seven Laws of Noah are the following:
Prohibition of Idolatry
Prohibition of Blasphemy
Prohibition of Murder
Prohibition of Illicit relations
Prohibition of Theft
Prohibition of Failing to establish courts of justice
Prohibition of Eating live meat
The Seven Universal Laws actually encompass numerous details and applications that are not explained here (by one opinion, 66 laws, but even these are only a very basic guide). One should also keep in mind that these laws are only the minimal observance for Hasidic Gentiles, since there are many Jewish mitzvos that we are encouraged to adopt to attain a greater level of spiritual refinement and increased blessings for ourselves and the rest of Creation.
Jews & non-Jews: Dual Roles in Preparing the World for Moshiach
In this age of egalitarian and liberal thinking, how can Jews still promote what is to many intellectuals a shameful and vainglorious sentiment of being the chosen nation? How can Jews preach to the world that they are better than everyone else?
Understanding the concept of chosen nation as arrogant behavior on the part of the Jews is a gross misrepresentation. On the contrary: it is a humbling motif. The Jews were not merely chosen as G-d‚Äôs special people, as if the Almighty was playing favorites. They were chosen for a mission. And that mission was to spread the knowledge of the creator and His expectations of man to all nations. Thus, G-d‚Äôs choosing the Jewish people was a calling that would forever remind them that alone they are insufficient. If the Jews wanted to believe for even a moment that so long as they served G-d justly and lovingly, G-d would be satisfied, He made the purpose of their being on this earth to tell the other nations that they arc important, too. G-d is not satisfied with the contribution of the Jews alone, but desires the service and participation of all nations.
This is what being chosen means and the responsibility it entails. Can anyone think of a greater humbling device than a nation whose whole existence is dedicated to teaching the other nations that G-d loves and needs them, too?
The U.S. Congress
Filed under: The Seven Universal Laws The Seven Laws In Depth The Path of the Righteous Gentile‚ÄĒ Admin @ 4:23 pm
The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Noahide Laws in legislation which was passed by both houses. Congress and the President of the United States, George Bush, indicated in Public Law 102-14, 102nd Congress, that the United States of America was founded upon the Seven Universal Laws of Noah, and that these Laws have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization. They also acknowledged that the Seven Laws of Noah are the foundation upon which civilization stands and that recent weakening of these principles threaten the fabric of civilized society, and that justified preoccupation in educating the Citizens of the United States of America and future generations is needed. For this purpose, this Public Law designated March 26, 1991 as Education Day, U.S.A.
Filed under: The Seven Universal Laws The Seven Laws In Depth The Path of the Righteous Gentile‚ÄĒ Admin @ 12:18 pm
Proclamation 5463 ‚Äď Education Day, U.S.A., 1986
April 19, 1986
By the President of the United States of America
From earliest colonial days, Americans have always known that education is the golden key that opens the door to achievement and progress. This Administration has placed renewed emphasis on excellence in education, and already the results are encouraging. By setting high standards we challenge the young to stretch their mental muscles and strive to achieve the best that is in them. Such an education succeeds because it makes learning an adventure.
Education is like a diamond with many facets: it includes the basic mastery of numbers and letters that give us access to the treasury of human knowledge, accumulated and refined through the ages; it includes technical and vocational training as well as instruction in science, higher mathematics, and humane letters. But no true education can leave out the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life and human striving. Only education that addresses this dimension can lead to that blend of compassion, humility, and understanding that is summed up in one word: wisdom.
‚ÄúHappy the man,'‚Äô Scripture tells us, ‚Äúwho finds wisdom. . . . Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who come to possess her.'‚Äô
The Congress has sought to call attention to these durable values by adopting resolutions that pay tribute to the example of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a man who has dedicated his life to the search for wisdom and to guiding others along its pathways. He exemplifies the rich tradition of the Seven Noahide Laws, which have been the lodestar of the Lubavitch movement from its inception.
In recognition of Rabbi Schneerson‚Äôs noble achievements and in celebration of his 84th birthday, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 582, has designated April 20 as ‚ÄúEducation Day, U.S.A.'‚Äô and authorized and requested the President to issue an appropriate proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Sunday, April 20, 1986, as Education Day, U.S.A., and I call upon the people of the United States, and in particular our teachers and other educational leaders, to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:26 a.m., April 21, 1986]
The 7 Laws of the Children of Noah
Chaim Clorfene and Yakov Rogalsky
Applicability of the Seven Laws, permission to observe other laws of the Torah, permission and prohibition to learn Torah; proper intention concerning performance of Seven Laws; honoring parents; charity; interbreeding animals; grafting plants; circumcision; creating religions or new religious ritual observance; having children; burial
1. With respect to God‚Äôs commandments, all of humanity is divided into two general classifications: the Children of Israel and the Children of Noah.
2. The Children of Israel are the Jews, the descendants of the Patriarch Jacob. They are commanded to fulfill the 613 Commandments of the Torah.
3. The Children of Noah comprise the seventy original nations of the world and their branches. They are commanded concerning the Seven Universal Laws, also known as the Seven Laws of the Children of Noah or the Seven Noahide Laws. These Seven Universal Laws pertain to idolatry, blasphemy, murder, theft, sexual relations, eating the limb of a living animal, and establishing courts of law.
4. All Seven Universal Laws are prohibitions. Do not wonder at this. Negative commandments are of a higher order than positive commandments, and their fulfillment, which takes more effort than positive commandments, earns a greater reward.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
His depth of wisdom, knowledge and understanding is an eternal source of spiritual and moral sustenance for all people.
His belief in, and compassion for each individual illuminates the world with loving kindness.
He continues to inspire, motivate and guide our path to the ultimate Redemption.
Prohibition of Eating Live Meat
Genesis 9:3-4: ‚ÄúEvery moving thing that lives shall be food for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with its life, which is its blood, you shall not eat.‚ÄĚ
This commandment forbids the eating of meat that has been removed from an animal while it was still alive. For non-Jews, this means that the limbs of the animal must have stopped moving by the time the first cut is made. It also prohibits the eating of meat that still contains the blood within it.
Prohibition of Murder
Genesis 9:6: ‚ÄúWhoso sheds man‚Äôs blood by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of G-d made He man.‚ÄĚ
G-d created man in His image in order for us to accomplish His divine purpose in the world and spiritually connect to Him. Therefore, human life is very sacred, and its protection is far more important than anything else to be accomplished. Thus G-d gave us the mitzvah prohibiting murder in order to preserve human life and its value.
One who takes the life of another or of himself, even though he may justify it in his mind, is guilty of a most brutal and spiritually destructive act. On the other hand, one who works to save or improve the lives of others is accomplishing a very positive and beneficial mitzvah. The optimum condition of human life is when people cooperate and work together for good, revealing the G-dliness inherent in the world.
The mitzvah prohibiting murder corresponds to the sefirah of strength (gevurah). In the human body, gevurah is illustrated by the left arm, which signifies G-d‚Äôs power. It works together with the right arm of kindness to produce justice and harmony. This mitzvah is represented by the color red, which is a ‚Äúhot‚ÄĚ color of blood, power, and danger.
Prohibition of Theft
Filed under: The Seven Universal Laws‚ÄĒ Admin @ 4:57 pm
Prohibition of Theft
The ability to own property allows man to relate to G-d through the attribute of mastery, which is the power to use our resources to act in a G-dly way toward others. When we channel the use of our resources for G-dliness and help others, we have accomplished a very important positive mitzvah. Therefore, we must also have the right and ability to protect our property. This is the benefit of the law prohibiting theft that G-d gave us.
The forms of property to which the law refers include anything that can be assessed and transferred with money, such as movables or land. However, the prohibition against theft also applies to cheating, rape, slavery, kidnapping and intentional bodily harm. One who commits such acts has degraded his human identity and further separated himself from G-d.
The intent of the law prohibiting theft is to secure people‚Äôs property so that they can use it for G-d‚Äôs intentions. Naturally it is possible for one to squander his wealth or use it for selfish purposes, but this cannot be used as an excuse for stealing from him, which in itself destroys social order and produces disunity. Observance of this mitzvah results in the exact opposite: harmony, social justice and unity through diversity. The true value of property is therefore not in the materialistic nature of the property itself, but in how it is used.
The mitzvah prohibiting theft corresponds to the sefirah of beauty (tiferes). In the human body, tiferes is illustrated by the torso, which signifies the unity of kindness and mercy from the right arm and strength and power from the left, producing harmony and justice. This mitzvah is represented by the color yellow, which is the color of happiness, joy and beauty (as from the sun).
Prohibition of Idolatry
Deuteronomy 4:15-19: ‚ÄúTake therefore good heed to yourselves; for you saw no manner of form on the day that the L-rd spoke to you in Horev out of the midst of the fire; lest you become corrupt, and make a carved idol, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth‚Ä¶ and lest thou lift up thy eyes to heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, thou shouldst be misled to worship them, and serve them, which the L-rd thy G-d has allotted to all the nations under the whole heaven.‚ÄĚ
Deuteronomy 4:35: ‚ÄúTo thee [Israel] it was shown, that thou mightest know that the L-rd He is G-d; there is none else beside Him.‚ÄĚ
G-d is the Infinite Source of all of Creation. The created physical universe exists only as a concealment and manifestation of Him. Therefore, nothing merits praise and worship except for G-d, because in truth nothing exists apart from Him. The commandment prohibiting idolatry exists to affirm this truth, and to prevent us from separating ourselves from G-d by worshipping any part of creation, which would allow materialism to reign over spirituality.
One of the meanings of the word mitzvah is ‚Äúconnection.‚ÄĚ By doing the mitzvahs, we spiritually elevate ourselves and transform the world around us to connect with G-d, our life source. Since G-d is infinite and therefore the ultimate unity, connecting with Him by performing the mitzvahs is the means by which we work toward unity and receive G-d‚Äôs blessings. The practice of idolatry, however, detracts from this unity by focusing oneself toward the divisive and materialistic aspects of creation. This selfish foolishness is therefore spiritually destructive for both the idolater and the world around him.
Since we are to worship G-d and G-d alone, there are no legitimate partners with G-d or intermediaries between us and Him. Our souls, which are spiritual in nature and therefore closer to G-d than our bodies, are capable of connecting directly with Him, but can only do so if we recognize and worship G-d alone as our life source. Idolatry therefore deprives people of their ability to relate to G-d in a pure, unimpeded way.
The mitzvah prohibiting idolatry corresponds to the sefirah of eternity (netzach). In the human body, netzach is signified by the right thigh, which works along with the left (signified by glory, or hod) to support the rest of the body. This mitzvah is represented by the color purple, which is a royal color symbolizing honor and distinction.
Prohibition of Illicit Relations
It is unfortunate that society today increasingly considers restraints on sexual relationships to be an unnecessary repression of our needs for intimacy and fulfillment. The reality is exactly the opposite: In order to healthily fulfill one‚Äôs needs for intimacy and show proper respect and love for others, there are boundaries that we must observe. These rules were given by G-d for non-Jews in the form of four categories of sexual prohibitions:
1. Prohibition of adultery:
The purpose of marriage is two-fold: (i) To provide protection for healthy intimacy and love between a man and woman, and (ii) to provide a stable, nurturing environment suitable for the rearing of children. Adultery (sexual relations by a married woman outside of her marriage) is highly destructive of the bond formed in marriage and therefore prevents the establishment of a healthy home environment. Although the adulterous couple may believe that theirs is a relationship of love and fulfillment, they do not necessarily realize the destructive consequences of their actions. Relations by a man outside of his marriage are not specifically banned by this law, but are discouraged because of his family‚Äôs needs to which he must attend.
Prohibition of Failing to Establish Courts of Justice
G-d intends for us to live in harmony with each other and with the rest of His creation. In order to ensure that all our efforts are channeled in a positive, constructive direction, He established a set of laws by which we are to live our lives. Unfortunately, there are those that selfishly choose to rebel against G-d and work toward destructive ends. Without having a means to enforce the Laws, we would be unable to maintain social order and provide for the good of humanity. Therefore, the existence of courts of justice is necessary to enforce G-d‚Äôs commandments.
It is a critical error to think that laws are oppressive and exist only to punish people. The Seven Laws are an intrinsic part of G-d‚Äôs blueprint for creation; they serve as the foundation of moral behavior that, when followed, promote the well-being of all. This fact has been recognized by the U.S. government. In March of 1991, President George Bush signed into law a Congressional resolution (H.J. Resolution 104, Public Law 102-14) stating that ‚Äú‚Ä¶ethical values and principles have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws; ‚Ä¶without these ethical values and principles the edifice of civilization stands in serious peril of returning to chaos‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ It goes on to state that Americans must not ‚Äúlose sight of their responsibility to transmit these historical ethical values from our distinguished past to the generations of the future‚Ä¶.‚ÄĚ The Seven Laws must therefore be the basis of our legal system, and we need courts to enforce these laws.
While we are currently unable to establish such courts to enforce the Seven Laws, we can meanwhile accomplish this mitzvah by teaching others of the Laws. Only when people have this knowledge can they act to fulfull their role in G-d‚Äôs plan for creation.
The mitzvah for establishment of courts of justice corresponds to the sefirah of kingship, or sovereignty (malchus). On the human body, malchus is signified by the feet, which in their humility support the rest of the body. This mitzvah is symbolized by the ‚Äúdark‚ÄĚ color of the rainbow, which is referred to as brown, an earthy color of humility.
Prohibition of Blasphemy
Leviticus 24:15-16: ‚ÄúAnd thou [Moses] shalt speak to the children of Israel, saying, Whoever curses his G-d shall bear his sin. And he who blasphemes the name of the L-rd, shall surely be put to death‚Ä¶ both the stranger [gentile], and he that is born in the land [Jew], when he blasphemes the name of the L-rd, shall be put to death.‚ÄĚ
Psalms 7:18-8:2: ‚ÄúI will praise the L-rd according to His righteousness; and will sing praise to the name of the L-rd most high‚Ä¶ O L-rd our L-rd, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth; Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.‚ÄĚ
This commandment prohibits the use of G-d‚Äôs name for cursing. One is neither to curse G-d nor to use His name to curse the Creation. The reason for this is obvious: G-d is the Creator of the universe, and therefore loves all of His Creation. We should be thankful to G-d for His providence rather than profane it, especially in His name. We owe Him our utmost awe and love. After all, G-d shows us incredible patience when we do wrong ‚Äď should we not have the same patience with G-d when things do not seem to be going our way?
Genesis 1:3: ‚ÄúAnd G-d said, Let there be light; and there was light.‚ÄĚ
A total of ten such divine utterances, which G-d used to create the universe, are found in the book of Genesis. We can therefore see that G-d used speech for the creation process. Being made in G-d‚Äôs image (Gen. 1:26), man also has the faculty of speech. We were given this ability for use to praise and honor G-d, not to curse Him. While the negative mitzvah prohibits the misuse of speech, one accomplishes a very honorable positive mitzvah when speech is used to praise G-d, such as through prayer.
The mitzvah prohibiting blasphemy corresponds to the sefirah of glory (hod). In the human body, hod is signified by the left thigh, which works along with the right (signified by eternity, or netzach) to support the rest of the body. This mitzvah is represented by the color orange, which is a warm color symbolizing love and thankfulness.