14 April 2016

Freedom and Equality Are Not Jewish Values

7 Nisan 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parshat Metzora - HaGadol

In a news article today about one of the current US presidential contenders, it has been reported that last year he "...proposed a U.S. Department of Judeo-Christian values that would promote Western ideas...."

This same US presidential contender was filmed lecturing a bunch of Yeshivish Jews in a pompous and condescending manner during a visit to Boro Park on Tuesday. Of course, the die-hard Xians believe they are way more enlightened than the "blinded" Jews, so why not? I mean, they have that additional revelation that they call the "New Testament", and per their man-god's instructions they abhor the "traditions of men" known to Jews as the Oral Law. So, of course, their vision and their values which only pays lip service to the "Judeo" part of "Judeo-Xian" should hold sway in the public arena, don't you think?

But, are the so-called "freedom" and "equality" touted as supreme values by the Western world really in any way Jewish values? 

It's a good question, really, coming as it does in the lead-up to the Jewish Festival of Freedom - Pesach.

Liberal, westernized (assimilated) Jews like to equate our Pesach experience with every "freedom" movement that has arisen in the modern world and they encourage the gentiles to see it that way, too. But, it's far from the truth.

When you say "freedom", Westerners think - no restrictions, I can do whatever I want, no one can tell me "no". On the face, Jews might also look back at Egyptian slavery when we could not choose the type of work we did, when we could not even protect our own infant sons, or take a three-day vacation to the desert, and think "sure" -- freedom means being able to do whatever you want. But, in our case, that would be very wrong.

The Jews in Egypt were liberated from slavery to Pharaoh in order to become slaves to God. Our freedom meant having the choice of whom we would spend our lives serving.

Fifty days later, at Har Sinai, we accepted the Torah and all its 613 restrictions (some of which are really very liberating). But we traded one form of servitude for another. And that's how life really is. Even the Westerners who believe they have liberated themselves from the restrictions of morality are not free since they serve the interests of the Satan without even being aware of it. And they suffer the natural consequences of the laws they unwittingly break without even understanding why.

Ok. let's take "equality". Despite the pretty words of the US Constitution, "all men are not created equal". We aren't created equally, we aren't judged equally and we are not rewarded equally. 

In the Jewish commonwealth, only those who are qualified from the tribe of Judah and the line of David HaMelekh may become king. Only Kohanim, the descendants of Aharon the Kohen, may become priests and only those of a certian age and without blemish may serve in the Holy Temple. Only a virgin may marry the Kohen Gadol. Only a born-Jewish woman - virgin or widow - may marry a Kohen. A mamzer may not marry a born-Jewish woman. A man can divorce his wife, but a wife can not divorce her husband. A man can take a second wife, but a woman can not take a second husband. There are other examples. 

Of course, all are deserving of equal protection under the law - but those who put themselves above the law (of God), like LGBTQ or whatever other letter they wish to designate their sin by, will not have their "right to sin" recognized or upheld by any Jewish court.

So, no. "Freedom" and "equality" as they are defined by the Western value system are not in any way "Jewish".