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Please clarify.

Reader comment on item: El Al, "Goy" Airline?
in response to reader comment: Practicing the Religion

Submitted by Yaakov Watkins (United States), Jan 2, 2007 at 16:42

What gives you the intellectual perogative to make a distinction between moral rules and religious rules? Starting a fire on shabbes (an incandenscent lamp is white hot metal, which halacha says is a fire) and killing are both forbidden by torah law. I recognize G-d as the source of moral/religious law. Not Issac. Both are moral laws.

Also please understand, I am not imposing my beliefs on anyone. I did not invent these beliefs. I am merely recognizing them and applying the distinction therein. As for the term "fundumentalist," I have some questions about it. Can someone be a fundumentalist mathematician? Capitalist? Socialist? Democrat? Physicist? Evolutionist? What characteristics does a belief system have to have to qualify as fundumentalist?

As for Jewish national identity, I am not arguing that people who's mother was Jewish stop being Jewish if they don't believe in G-d. On the contrary. They still are Jews.

I disagree about the Hareidim's feeling for El Al. The ones I know passionately love the Jews who run El Al. Your problem is that you and the Hareidim disagree about the effects in this world of breaking shabbes. The effects on the particular shabbes breakers and the effects on the rest of Klal Yisrael whether or not they break shabbes. You don't see any significant bad effects and we (the Hareidim) do see detrimental effects on them and all Jews. When any Jew breaks shabbes, it is deleterious to all of us.

Comparing religious Jews to Moslems is particularly inappropriate. Judaism intentionally puts barriers against conversion, In fact some Sephardi rabbis refuse to recognize any conversions. That is the opposite of Islam.

This in some ways is similar to the second hand smoke argument. At one point many people believed that second hand smoke didn't hurt anyone. Now we know better. Some people also believe that smoking is evil. But that doesn't change the fact that it is bad for everyone around. I understand that you do not agree. But your lack of agreement doesn't change the facts.

So we disagree. We knew that. What would you have me do? If I understand, based on years of study, that people I love will suffer less if I can discourage or forbid breaking shabbes, should I try to stop them? If someone asked me to pour salt into his open wound, should I?

Issac. Jews are all cousins. Family. We are responsible for each other. If you find being loved "religious totalitarianism," then something is missing.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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