Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thirty Three Murders

This article is copied from

Thirtee Three Murders

By Yanki Tauber

G‑d was murdered yesterday. Thirty-three times over.

No, this isn't my hyperbolic way of venting my sadness and rage. It's what the sages of the Talmud said more than two thousand years ago.

They pointed out that the Ten Commandments were inscribed by G‑d on two stone tablets, forming a correlation between one set of five commandments inscribed on the first tablet and the second set inscribed on the second tablet. Thus the first commandment, "I am the L-rd your G‑d" corresponds to the sixth commandment, "You shall not murder."

How so? Our sages offered the following parable: "A king entered a country and put up portraits of himself, and made statues of himself, and minted coins with his image. After a while, the people of the country desecrated his portraits, smashed his statues and defaced his coins, thereby reducing the image of the king. So, too, one who sheds blood reduces the image of the King, as it is written (Genesis 9:6): 'One who spills a man's blood... for in the image of G‑d He made man.'"

Murdering a human being is banishing G-d from our worldThere are those who would say that the problem with our murderous world today is that there's not enough religion. Others would posit that the problem is that there's too much religion. But this is not about religion--it's about G‑d.

G‑d attests that He created man in his image. The deeper meaning of this statement is the subject of much commentary and discussion. But on the most basic level it simply means that a human life is holy and divine because a human life is G‑d's way of making himself present in our world. Murdering a human being is banishing G‑d from our world.

If you believe in G‑d the way G‑d believes in Himself (is there any other way?) you don't wantonly destroy a human life. If you wantonly destroy a human life you don't believe in G‑d. It's that simple.

G‑d was banished from our world yesterday. And then banished again and again, thirty-three times in succession. It's now our job to bring Him back.

With every good deed, with every kind word, with every positive thought, we bring a bit of G‑dliness into our G‑d-depleted world. And if we do it for the sake of those whose lives were snuffed out yesterday, we resurrect something of the divine spark that was their life, in a small but deeply significant way.

It's the least we can do for them.


Freedomnow said...

Hi BK,

Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment at my place.

I like your blog and linked it.


Michael said...

Bar Kochba:
Good article; thans for posting it. For a good corrollary, look at the actions of Prof Librescu, the Holocaust survivor who told his students to go out the windows, and was then shot when he stayed behind to lock the door.

The students credit him with saving all their lives.

As it's written, "He who saves one life, saves the entire world."
You came by my blog the other day, and couldn't find your link; check the sidebar, "Zionist oriented links," 3rd from the bottom...

CTCB said...

185 Iraqis died a few days ago, and die daily because of the pre-emptive war on them. Their lives are as valuable as Jewish lives.

I was given this link by bar kochba when he/she visited my website, and feel free to visit mine:

Anonymous said...

I wish if all people have the same concept about the precious human life . But, it won't be our world , it would be Utopia !!