Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Practical Monotheism

The following lines are quotes from the  book " The Jewish religion ethically presented" written by Rabbi Hayim (Henry) Pereira Mendes in New York, 1904. 

"You shalt not have any other gods before Me.

"This commandment teaches us that there is only one God. He is our God and we do not believe that there are any other gods. Therefore to worship any being except the one and only God, is a sin. It is called idolatry".

"Self-Conceit, to give way to violent outbursts of passion, etc., are declared by our sages to be tantamount to idolatry. For the former shows that self, and the latter that passion, is a greater power with us than God is".

"If we believe in the one true God, we can prove it by not neglecting or disobeying Him for the sake of anything. Many neglect Him for the sake of business, or pleasure, which is as much as saying that business or pleasure is a greater power than God".

The descendants of Abraham Abinu are called to be "a blessing to the nations of the earth, preserving for mankind the knowledge of God... Our ten Commandments are recognized as fundamental among all civilized nations. The wisdom of our Torah is recognized universally. The ideals of our Bible are the ideals of humanity. And our Psalms are read and sung in worship in countless cathedrals and churches- while they comfort and inspire countless hearts and homes."

"We will continue to be a source of "blessing to all the families of the earth"... by showing through the lives we lead, the wisdom and beauty of our Torah, and the ethical value of our religion and its ceremonies; by our loyalty to the ideals of our Bible- and by our standing at all times for God and Justice. When Jewish life means honor, when Jewish homes mean love, and when Jewish citizenship means righteousness- then Jewish example becomes a source of blessing to "all the families of earth."