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Conservative Lens

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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View from Central Park

Israel and Ferguson

I’m not one to make everything be about Israel. As CNN was covering the rioting in Ferguson, one of the newscasters, Sarah Sidner, had a rock thrown at her. She continued reporting until a few moments later Jake Tapper of CNN fame interrupted, asking her to stop reporting and reach safety, saying: “Obviously some really bad people near you...nefarious person throwing rocks at you...” I thought to myself, hmm, interesting, when rocks are thrown in Ferguson, the rock throwers are “really...
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View From Denver

Assisted suicide is not a slippery slope

REPORTEDLY, TWO Colorado legislators are drafting a physician-assisted suicide bill for debate and, they hope, passage in the upcoming session of the Colorado legislature. Physician-assisted suicide is not a slippery slope. It’s the bottom of the slope. Once the absolute, “thou shalt not murder,” is compromised, the fundamental line has already been crossed. The implications, the so-called slippery slope, are not for the future. They are here. In fact, they are here with or without a ...
Reflections

Ordinary can become extraordinary

She could do anything with her professional life that she wanted to do. Not many can boast of Sandy’s talents; she is a highly educated, talented musician, a wonderful teacher and a dedicated mother and wife. So when she told me what she does in a typical work day, I was stunned. Several days a week Sandy takes care of Ruth, an elderly, infirm woman to whom she is both care-giver and devoted companion. She does many of the things that a dutiful daughter would do — from driving her to doctor...
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View from Central Park

Bloody tallit

Just when I thought it not possible for my heart to be shattered any more, I heard it. I caught my breath when suddenly and unexpectedly a photo flashed on my computer screen, my eyes falling on the grisly scene: the blood soaked siddur, so thickly layered it was almost like a glaze; a meat cleaver at the side of a body, lying lifelessly; a blood-drenched tallit- and tefilin-wrapped, severed arm on the floor; pools and splatters of blood staining the floor all around. A life, moments ago a beat...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Israel’s football team wins first international game

Marcy Oster The Israelis defeated Spain, 28-20, in Madrid in a bid to qualify for the International Federation of American Football’s B-Group International Tournament in 2016. ... [Link]

Massive gas field discovered in Mediterranean off Egypt’s coast

Marcy Oster The field is significantly larger than Israel’s offshore Leviathan field, which had been considered the largest gas field in the Mediterranean. ... [Link]

Facing declining numbers and a bad economy, Italian Jews stay upbeat

Ben Sales High unemployment, a 50 percent intermarriage rate and growing numbers leaving for Israel would seem like worrisome developments, but the leaders of Italian Jewry are confident in the future. ... [Link]

Bernie Sanders closing gap on Hillary Clinton in Iowa, poll shows

Marcy Oster Clinton, who reportedly has lost a third of her Iowa supporters since May, led 37-30 percent over the Jewish Vermont senator in the survey of likely caucusgoers. ... [Link]

U.S. national industrial union endorses BDS of Israel

Marcy Oster The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers union accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and said it was the first U.S. national union to endorse the boycott movement. ... [Link]

Wasserman Schultz reportedly nixed Dems’ vote on backing Iran deal, praising Obama

Marcy Oster The Jewish chair of the Democratic National Committee has not taken a position on the agreement and her Florida district is heavily Jewish. ... [Link]

Iran hasn’t eased stance on Israel, key adviser to supreme leader says

Marcy Oster The comments were in response to Britain’s foreign secretary saying that Tehran had displayed a more nuanced approach on Israel than its predecessor. ... [Link]

2 million see video of Palestinian women swarming soldier to stop boy’s arrest

Marcy Oster The 11-year-old, who had a broken arm, was accused of throwing rocks at soldiers during a West Bank demonstration. ... [Link]

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