Monday, June 6, 2011

SHABUOT: Becoming the chosen People (Part 2)

Today is the 4 of Sivan, 5771. 48 days of Omer (6 weeks, 6 days)

As we saw last week (Click Here), to be the chosen people is not about having more rights but more obligations. After all, we are the sole witnesses of God's existence. The case of God existence does not rest on evidences but on our testimony.

Maimonides in one of his letters (Igeret Teman) explains that the first thing a Jewish parent should teach his child is what happened in Shabuot. When we witnessed God's revelation, when we stood at the feet of Mt. Sinai. This is how our children become witnesses of God themselves.

The worst offense in Judaism is Chilul haShem, desecration of God. Which happens when a Jew--one of God's witnesses--misbehaves in a public context. If one makes a personal mistake in judgment, then it is a private matter to be resolved (and absolved) between a Jew and God. But when a member of the Jewish people acts inappropriately in public or when his misbehavior becomes public knowledge, then his act is considered Chilul haShem, a desecration of the name of God.

Why?

In a court of law a witness could be disqualified for a questionable immoral conduct. Some unethical acts will affect the credibility of the witness and his or her testimony will be inadmissible.

If a Jew acts with dishonesty, cheats, misbehaves, offends, then his character as a witness is affected and his testimony is rejected.

It is a desecration of the name of God because one disqualified witness for the case of God, definitely weakens the case for God.

Being a Jew is a huge responsibility. It implies the permanent awareness to live as a credible witness.


(I would like to thanks my friend, Mr R.A. for inspiring me these ideas).



ISRAEL TODAY

Click HERE to read a refreshing and surprising article about Israel, the Palestinians and the Arabs neighbors.

Written by Mudar Zahran, a Palestinian writer and academic from Jordan, who now resides in the UK as a political refugee.