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You can kill, but not murder

Ask almost anyone to recite the commandment in the Ten Commandments that prohibits taking a life and you will be told, “Thou Shall Not Kill.”

That is the King James translation of the sixth commandment. It is a magnificent translation, but one that has led to much moral confusion.

You would think that of all the Ten Commandments the one that needs the least explaining is the sixth, because it seems so clear. In fact, it is probably the least well understood of the Ten Commandments.

The reason is that the Hebrew original does not say, “Do not kill.” It says, “Do not murder.”

Both Hebrew and English have two words for taking a life — one is “kill” (harag in Hebrew) and the other is “murder” (ratzach in Hebrew).

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When Republicans win, it’s ‘dysfunctional’

Since the Bolsheviks inaugurated the first edition of their party newspaper Pravda (the Russian word for truth), the left has shaped truth to serve its goals. On an individual level, there are plenty of progressives who are honest and plenty of conservatives who aren’t. But truth is just not a left-wing value. Rather, feminism, environmentalism, material equality, and fighting racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia are more important. The myriad falsehood-based hysterias unleashed by the...
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The media are much scarier than Ebola

WHY do some things scare people more than others? One reason is that people engage in a rational assessment of risk and conclude the appropriate level of fear. For example, people feel free to walk alone at midnight in Times Square but not in Central Park because they have made a rational assessment: Times Square, which at midnight is almost as bright as day and filled with people — usually tourists — is safer than Central Park. A second reason is that emotions rather than reason cause peo...
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Islamic State (ISIL) is ‘non-Islamic’?

PRESIDENT Obama declared in his recent address to the nation that “ISIL is not Islamic.” How does he know? On what basis did the president of the US declare the group of Muslims that calls itself “Islamic State” is “not Islamic”? Has he studied Islam and Islamic history and concluded that ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Jamaat-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Taiba (the group which slaughtered 166 people in Mumbai, most especially guests at the Taj Hotel, and which to...

Last Updated ( Sunday, 28 September 2014 02:56 )

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On losing a parent

My father, Max Prager, died last week. Here are some thoughts on the death of a parent. 1. Longevity Parents who live long are very lucky. Not only for their longevity, and not only because they get to see their children grow into adulthood, and not only because they may see grandchildren, but for all those extra years to reconcile with their children. Had my father died when I was a teenager, we would not have had the decades since then to get closer.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 August 2014 06:22 )

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