The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Friday, February 16, 2007

Of Venezia and World Peace

Picture of the Week Nine:

I took this picture in Venice, Italy in the summer of 2005.

A bit of a rush, so if there are any mistakes . . .

This week's Torah portion speaks about the mishpatim of the Torah -the logical precepts of the Torah.

It is well known that the Torah is divided into three parts:

  1. Mishpatim: Those commandments could be understood even had the Torah not been given.

  2. Eidus: Those commandments which commemorate events in our past such as Shabbos, Pesach and the like, that though we would not have thought of them on our own, but after G-d has given them to us we can rationally relate to them.
  3. Chukim: Those commandments which transcend the realm of understanding and we have come to fulfill only because G-d has told us to (eg. Not mixing milk and meat)
In light of this fact, we find a very surprising Rashi -that despite the commandments of this weeks Torah portion being common sense shared by all of mankind, should a dispute come up we must take it to a Jewish court and not a secular one (For the exact ramifications of this law, one needs to consult his local competent Orthodox rabbi).


Because despite the superficial similarity between our laws -that stealing and murder are wrong, that the poor and the destitute are deserving of compassion and care- in essence the two laws differ greatly. For a person may have reached this conclusion based on his own human intellect -and being a human, he is subject to err. We, however, do not draw our logical and moral guidance from our own minds, but from Al-mighty G-d.

This is why the laws damages and disputes of this week directly follow the giving of the Torah . . . for the same G-d who revealed himself in his infinite essence on Mount Sinai, is the same G-d who dictates to us how we should bring justice to the oppressed.

/>We fulfill the logical not because it makes sense to us, but because it is the will of G-d.

On a far deeper level, why is it that these basic laws do make sense, that they are universally understood? Because G-d so willed it. Meaning, that since G-d set about the precepts in the Torah, the blueprint of the world, and wanted that we should be able to relate to this ideas on a rational level, that we should have an appreciation of them, he made it that they can be logically understood -by all the nations of the world.

Because it is the will of G-d, it makes sense to us.

In the past mankind has always spoken of the need to uplift the oppressed and to end conflict

. .
Yet until this generation it has existed in the realm of speech alone -nations spoke of peace while preparing for war.

In this day and age, however, in the advent of only the last decade or so, we have begun to actualize this dream . . . We find great nations speaking about means to bringing peace (I speak of efforts to bring real peace, not meaningless handshakes) , of using money set aside for war to help the needy, to end terror in our midst.

Where do these desires and goals come from? Since everything is in the Torah, then these ideas exist there as well. Because we are in the last moments before redemption as the world prepares itself for Moshiach, our actions to make G-dliness manifest by spreading Torah and Chassidus, helps to reveal the inner meaning behind the facade of the nature . . . just as the inner meaning of those rational laws is the essence of G-d.

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

A few examples from Wikipedia:

* Radar was initially developed for detection of incoming bombers, now used in commercial airliners. The microwave oven is also a consequence of this technology

* Public key encryption was claimed to have been developed by the NSA for military communications. Now strong encryption is in general use, such as for financial transactions

* Jet engines were developed for fighter craft by Britain and Germany during the Second World War

* The Space Race was based on technology, in particular rockets, designed for nuclear warfare

* The first computers, Colossus and ENIAC were developed for codebreaking or the calculation of ballistic trajectories

* Roman roads were designed for the rapid transport of troops, but were used by civilians for millennia afterwards

* The Global Positioning System was developed under the United States Department of Defense for military navigational purposes. The system has been released for free civilian use, e.g. in land, sea and air navigation, cartography and land surveying.

* Cyanoacrylate was developed as a replacement for World War II airplane gun sights, but was too sticky to be useful. It is now commonly sold as super glue.

* Active sonar was developed during World War I to facilitate the discovery of enemy submarines, which led to medical ultrasonography.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,


tikkunger said...

Nice Composition

Mottel said...