606 Down; 7 More to Go

Unlike traditionally observant Jews, I do not fulfill many hundreds of the 613 commandments of Moshe ben Maimon  (Moses Maimonides). He penned his words for the faithful and hopeful. I am, at least, still among the faithful, but definitely among the hopeless.

My grandson is a chozer b’teshuva (a Jew who had little observance, but who returned to traditional Judaism), albeit in the extreme.

He quotes to me from portions of the Talmud which he is studying, none which excite nor interest me but I feign to show some degree of interest out of courtesy to him.

Of the 613 commandments, including those in the Mosaic law,  only one has real meaning for me.

“V’ahavta l’rayacha kamocha. Zeh klal gadol b’Torah.”

Love your neighbor as yourself. It is the great rule of the Torah.

Of course it doesn’t mention an answer to the question: what if you don’t love yourself?

In my impoverished reasoning, it appears to me that if all of us could be loyal to that one commandment, it would be as if we were fulfilling the remaining 612.

We are taught to love our enemies. How is such a thing possible when we daily pray for their destruction and annihilation from off the earth upon which our feet tread? Can we love the Gazans, the members of Hamas and Hezbullah, the monsters of Iran who delight in the dream of our demise?

130 member nations in the UN General Assembly have voted to support a resolution condemning Israel for war crimes against the Palestinian civilian population. But only the United States has defied the resolution by turning it around to condemn cowardly Hamas for the lives of women and children thrust like human fodder at the border fence behind whom wicked Hamas terrorists hide.

We Jews are a compassionate people, a people of mercy. But I think our compassion and mercy toward those who only seek our deaths is an absurdity.

An absurdity just as gross as tolerating Arab anti-Israel members of our Knesset. In other civilizations they would be tarred and feathered and confined to a stockade where passers-by could mock them and gloat at their downfall. Why must we have an Arab delegation in the parliament of the Jewish State?

One or two elected representatives would be quite sufficient. There is one Jewish member in the Iranian parliament and in pre-war Poland where Jews consisted of approximately 15% of the population, there were two Jews in the Polish sejm.

In a topsy-turvy world where an American president continually threw insults after insults at the “fat rocket-man” of North Korea, an historic moment has been reached and agreements have been signed ending the 1953 Korean Peninsula War.

Voices can now be heard crying out for an American truce with the Islamic “Republic” of Iran.  I think none of us will live to see it.  Whereas North Korea had no religion, there was never a chance of a religious war.

Iran, on the contrary, eats, thinks and sleeps the Khameini version of the Quran and twists the Prophet’s words regarding the “ikhla al-kitab”. The people of the Book. Us. The Jews

In antiquity Iran, then called Persia, played an important role in the freedom and development of the Jewish people in its national homeland. Cyrus and Darius, two great Persian kings, are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.

Today’s Iranian people are not our enemies. Only their deranged and misguided leaders.

Without the Islamic fundamentalism enforced upon a people who face imprisonment or death for violation of sharia law, the people of Iran could enjoy free and happy lives.  Hopefully the masses of the people will find the occasion and will and strength to rise up and to overthrow the Islamic regime which holds them captive.

Tzarich lichyot b’tikvah. One must live with hope. The opposite is devastating.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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