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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Excerpts from the secular bible

Jameel posts here about the response of MK Oron to criticism of his perverted legislation proposing to outlaw Jewish outreach to minors.

I will not be posting about the actual content of the letter. Rather I want to focus on the concluding sentence of the letter:

אני מבין שאתה לא מסכים עם דעתי זו ולכן איש איש באמונתו יחיה

I understand that you disagree with my viewpoint, and therefore, "[every] person in his own faith shall live"
The last portion of the sentence איש איש באמונתו יחיה is often used by secular Israelis to connote the ideal of freedom of conscience for all. They often quote it in a ‘biblical’ manner and I am pretty sure that many are convinced that this is actually a biblical verse. In truth, it is a prime example of the appropriation of a biblical concept by secular Zionism and turning it into a slogan either ambivalent or hostile towards religion.

In our holy literature, the phrase which closest approximates the above form is found in the book of Habakkuk 2:4
הִנֵּה עֻפְּלָה, לֹא-יָשְׁרָה נַפְשׁוֹ בּוֹ; וְצַדִּיק, בֶּאֱמוּנָתוֹ יִחְיֶה.

Behold, his soul is puffed up, it is not upright in him; but the righteous shall live by his faith.
Traditionally, this concept has been used in our writings to teach the importance of being faithful to our God and His Torah. Of being true to our traditions and living a life of faith and goodness. It is a shame that instead of learning about our beautiful heritage, there are MKs who would rather legislate laws in order to keep large segments of society ignorant of it – and using corruptions of biblical verses no less!