Jun 1, 2016

A Peek at Biblical Times

I just finished reading a book about a slum in India.  The extreme poverty in which millions of people live is quite awful.  However, what struck me about what I read, is how the people the author describes regularly transgress the sins of idol worship, sexual immorality, murder, theft, corrupt courts - that's five out of the seven Noahide Laws!

There is a scene in which a person is seen lying on the roadside, badly injured.  The author describes various people who pass by and do nothing to help, being busy with their own lives.  The hours pass.  More people see the weakening man whose cries become fainter.  By the end of the day his corpse is carted away and the wrong cause of death is deliberately written down in the records. 

That is when it struck me - this is what Avrohom Avinu had to contend with, a world of idolatry, murder, immorality, and corruption, the likes of Sedom, the people of Canaan, of Egypt.  Through India, we get to see the revolution Avrohom brought to the world.  Monotheism! Kindness! Loyalty!

And we can see the inroads that the message of Avrohom and subsequent generations of Jews has made in the world.  America, in particular, has championed the Bible and has promoted Torah morality and values.  It is known as a malchus of chesed which is unprecedented in the history of the world.  And where does this value of the sanctity of life and the desire to help others come from? From Avrohom and the Jewish people.

There are many Americans threatening these values today, those who equate the life of a gorilla and a human, those who seek to legalize immorality, those who support legalizing the murder of babies.  But although this is terribly harmful, the bedrock was laid and we won't be going backward to barbarian times.  Truth, justice, and the supremacy of one G-d will hold sway.

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