Magazine article Tikkun

Moral Lessons from an Assassination

Magazine article Tikkun

Moral Lessons from an Assassination

Article excerpt

The first and most obvious lesson from this heinous deed is that Kierkegaard was resoundingly wrong: There is no teleological suspension of the ethical. However much we may trust in God's goodness, we may not use any divine commandment -- little less any human interpretation of a divine commandment -- to override the fundamental moral and Jewish values of human life and dignity. If God is heard to demand or even sanction a violation of those values, then God has been heard incorrectly.

Second, we learn that individuals may not trust their own individual moral judgment to wreak havoc on others. Nobody is omniscient like God. Communities may make mistakes, but communal judgment is the best we can do in discerning God's will, especially when people's lives are at stake. It was not for naught that Jewish law placed the right to declare war and peace in the hands of the government.

Third, we learn that linguistic flourishes like "Kill Rabin" are all too easily taken literally. "Sages, be careful of what you say, lest ... the Name of Heaven be profaned" (Avot 1:11).

Fourth, we learn that isolating oneself into one small segment of the Jewish people and vilifying all others is mortally dangerous. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.