holiday visit

26 Nisan 5775 Yer.

Over the Passover holiday, I did something I have only done once before I think; visit my Rabbi over the holiday. There is a notion of doing that.

I went to visit Rabbi Yoel Schwartz in his home in Ma’alot Dafna. When I arrived, he and his wife were having lunch with their daughter’s family who was visiting for the day from the North. They invited me to join them and filled up my plate. The Rav, in a blue robe, was talking about how things are getting better in Israel in terms of observance. I helped explain to his grandson how the US Congress works, which came up as the Rav always touches on politics.

After his relatives left. I sat for an hour with the Rav talking about Noachide matters, including the Noachide prayer book I am working on. The RAv asked me to write something short in English, which could be printed on a small handout and given to tourists or in similar situations. Below is an attempt to fulfill that request. Glad to hear feedback and suggestions.

Human Values 

a short compilation for seekers of God

A voice called out then,
And a voice calls out now.
To Adam and Eve, to Noah
and to I and Thou.
Seek the laws of life
Ways to act and be,

So you should be worthy of the soul

The Creator entrusted unto thee.

———————
Dear Fellow Human:
How does one know what is right? By what standards should one live? Cultures answer these questions differently.
From the Hebrew Bible the Jews understood that God indeed taught norms for the world, through the Fathers of Humanity, Adam and Noah. Here is a short sample of such values.
Human life has at least two sides, the inner side and the outer side. The outer side is how we relate to others. The Hebrew Bible relates that the first people, Adam and Eve, had two children at first, named Cain and Abel. Sadly, Cain killed Abel, his younger brother. Much of human history, and our personal history, is learning how to treat others properly; how to be proper brothers.
Every human being should:
– respect the life of every other human being
– not endanger or distress others
– not steal or harm others’ property
– should cooperate with society in enforcing these norms, through a court system and police.
Also, humanity should seek to live according to Family Values, whereby husbands and wives are loyal to each other, and raise children together as a loving family.
Furthermore, as the family is preserved by keeping the husband-wife relationship private and special, modesty becomes a value for us in all we do; how we dress, how we talk and socialize, etc.
Children also, contribute to the strength of the family, by honoring their parents. Honor means showing respect and care. It does not mean older children must do everything their parents think they should do. For example, children should not listen to their parents if they urge them to do something wrong. Children when older can choose for themselves what schools they want to study in and how to use their lives. Children should care for their elderly parents who need their help.
Man also has obligations to his fellow creatures who are not people; the animals. Animals should be treated with compassion. When it is necessary to use them for food, they must be shown the respect of first being killed in the least painful way.
The second main side to human life is our inner side, our inner life. Part of this is our relation to God. When one contemplates the Creation, one should seek to see its Unity; realizing it comes from One source. As part of this Creation, our relation to it should be one of respect, love, and humility. Gratitude for your life is gratitude toward the Creator. Using your life for good is service of the Creator.
Should one pray; and prayer is indeed of benefit to Man and the World, one should pray only to the One Creator.
Living in concert with true human values makes the Creation worthwhile. Seek and you shall find.
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