Is Violent Speech a Right? CASS SUNSTEIN SUMMER 1995 Advocacy of illegal violence to kill people is not necessarily constitutionally protected speech. This spring, talk-show host G. Gordon Liddy, speaking on the radio to millions of people, explained how to shoot agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms: “Head shots, head shots… Kill the sons of bitches.” Later he said, “Shoot twice to the belly and if that does not work, shoot to the groin area.” On March 23 the full text of the Terrorist’s Handbook was posted on the Internet, including instructions on how to make a bomb (the same bomb, as it happens, that was used in Oklahoma City). By the time of the Oklahoma bombing on April 19, three more people had posted bomb-making instructions, which could also be found on the Internet in the Anarchist’s Cookbook. On the National Rifle Association’s Internet “Bullet ‘N’ Board,” someone calling himself “Warmaster” explained how to make bombs using baby-food jars. Warmaster wrote, “These simple, powerful bombs are not very well known, even though all the materials can be easily obtained by anyone (including minors).” After the Oklahoma bombing, an anonymous notice was posted to dozens of Usenet news groups, listing all the materials in the Oklahoma City bomb, explaining why the bomb allegedly did not fully explode, and exploring how to improve future bombs. Fifty hate groups are reported to be communicating on the Internet, sometimes about conspiracies and (by now this will come as no surprise) formulas for making bombs. On shortwave radio, people talk about bizarre United Nations plots and urge that “the American people ought to go there bodily, rip down the United Nations building and kick those bastards right off our soil.” A few months ago Rush Limbaugh, who does not advocate violence, said to his Read more…

Dear Ziskeit (sweetie in Yiddish) As you know I love you, which is why I am sharing with you, what I wish was shared with me. Our two most important jobs in life is the type of parent and husband or wife we will be. For if nothing else the one thing that is guaranteed – really whether we like or not – to change the future, is both these jobs. I don’t know why, but as Rabbi Dr. Twesrki says, there must be education, instead of allowing us to go into the greatest responsibility, with zero training. As in everything, Hashem is the one who creates these wonderful opportunities of love, growth, giving, and of-course our ultimate meaningful purpose; and for those who seek the information it is there. So let’s begin: Starting with parenting; A child first and foremost needs security – obviously in the most formative months and years, the security provided comes from the mother; yet it is the father who provides security for the mother (no words can underestimate this symbiotic fact.) At the same time a family is not the place to practice democracy – democracy was instated in order for people who were being abused – people who were mature in their thinking and had a way of life they considered holy (the Pilgrims) to ensure that no others, would force one out of their noble way. However Democracy has morphed into the mistaken notion that anyone can do what they want. Obviously if that is the case, then I can steal or insult etc. etc. The first obligation after providing a child with love and safety, hence security and self-esteem, is to impose upon them a value system. As the Rebbe teaches, that even making mistakes with what is right and wrong Read more…

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Coveting Prohibition 266 Translated by Berel Bell Prohibition 267 The 266th prohibition is that we are forbidden to occupy our thoughts with our desire for someone else’s property and to develop a craving for it, and dwell upon it, since this will lead us to carry out a plan to acquire it. The expression used for this prohibition is G‑d‘s statement,1 “Do not desire (lo sisaveh) your neighbor’s house.” These two prohibitions [lo sach’mod and lo sisaveh] do not have the same goal.2 The first prohibition, lo sach’mod, forbids buying someone else’s belongings, whereas the second, lo sisaveh, prohibits even having the feeling of desire and envy. The Mechilta says, “Here it says ‘Do not envy [lo sach’mod] your neighbor’s house,’ and later it says, ‘Do not desire [lo sisaveh] your neighbor’s house.’ This makes the desire and the envy separate prohibitions.” It also says there, “How do we know that a person’s desire will lead him to envy? Since the Torah says ‘Do not desire’ [lo sisaveh] and ‘Do not be envious’ [lo sach’mod]. How do we know that if he is envious he will ultimately commit robbery? Since the Torah says,3 “They envied fields and robbed them.” The explanation of this passage is as follows: If one sees a fine object that belongs to his brother, and allows his thoughts to gain control over him, and develops a desire for it, he transgresses G‑d’s statement (exalted be He), “Do not desire” [lo sisaveh]. Then his love for the object will become stronger and he will carry out a plan to acquire it — coaxing him and pushing him to sell it or to trade it for something better and more expensive. Should he reach his goal, when he acquires it, he also transgresses the prohibition, “Do not be Read more…

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