Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Friday, January 23, 2004


This is coolbert:

Much has been said about the Patriot Act.

About since 9/11, how our "rights" have been diminished. Clark, running for Pres, just yesterday said that we must not diminish our rights, even in the current war, or the terrorists have "won"!

Well, what does one of the ancient sages have to say about this?

Rabbi Akiva lived 2000 years ago. While the Jewish people of ancient Israel were rebelling and at war with the Romans, here is what he said to say: "during time of war, all laws may be set aside, except for apostacy [changing your religion], or murder". What the Rabbi specifically had in mind was the Jewish precept of not "working" on the sabbath. "Working" as interpreted by the rabbis of the time meant not fighting at war, even when attacked. The Jews would not even defend themselves when attacked by the Romans. The Romans knew this at took advantage of this. Akiva's pronouncement applies not only in a narrow sense, but in a broad one too. There is sound reasoning behind what Akiva had to say. If you do not fight the war to win, and win, all those rights and laws may just not exist anymore. Especially if the enemy is one who desires not only your defeat, but your annihilation.

Now, since almost all of our legal ethics and code and such is based upon the Judeo-Christian ethic and the Bible, I would have to think that the teachings of the Rabbi would hold true now as well as then. Personally, I don't think the actions taken by the U.S. gov or the Patriot Act are not one whit in not keeping with our Constitution or our laws or legal concepts. This war, the anti-terrorist war, will be a long and hard fight, and could last for decades. But to say that our "rights" as citizens have been diminished is just not correct.

Akiva's fate was very sad. Captured by the Romans, he had the flesh peeled slowly off his body with red hot tongs. But he kept the faith and died for his cause.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home