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" לא תגנבו ולא תכחשו ולא תשקרו איש בעמיתו You shall not steal , nor
obyo yon ms Saan arby mun on pyynns deny another what is
apa yy ynx 730 his, and not lie. Thou shalt keep nothing back of thy neighbour's property, and not rob ; and thou shalt not keep the pay of a day-labourer by thee, till morning.” (Lev. 19 ch. 11 v.)
92. What else is comprehended in this commandment ?
Every species of deception and falsehood, by which a man may deceive his neighbour even in thought only, and induce him to adopt a false opinion of any thing : as by such conduct a person shows himself different outwardly, from what he is and thinks at heart. Such a one is called in Holy Writ a thief of the heart. Dip57 binov vam by non D'l'o 903 “ Just like an earthen vessel
yubo covered with silver-leaf, are lips burning with love, when the heart is bad.” (Prov. 26 ch. 23 v.)
13189 OJIDN 'Wypo now 'n nayin “ False lips are an abomination to the Eternal; but those, who act uprightly, are pleasing to him." (Prov. 12 ch. 22 v.)
93. Who can be said to give false evidence, against doing which we are warned in the ninth commandment?
That man, who when questioned, and called upon to tell the truth conscientiously, yet speaks after all differently from what he knows to be true. .
•778° D'I1J n'o'i opus'op my “A lying witness will not escape unpunished, and he, who spreads fraudulent assertions, will be lost.” (Prov. 19 ch. 9 v.)
94. What further is included in this precept?
That we shall neither backbite our fellow-man nor speak ill of him.
.qpya 5937 hoxes “ Thou shalt not walk about, as an informer, in thy people.” (Lev. 19 ch. 16 v.)
95. Who deserves the name of backbiter ?
The one, who from motives of malice speaks ill of his neighbour in his absence ; and it is almost needless to mention him, who perverts the truth, and spreads false and evil reports about others.
•70NV'XI' yun p'73 X30pw 137 “ The pious man hates a lying word; but the wicked slanders and abuses others.” (Prov. 13 ch. 5 v.)
96. Is there any case, where we are permitted to tell the evil, which we know of our fellow-men, to another person?
Yes, as, for instance, if the public well-being or justice demand it, then it is our duty to disclose the evil ; silence under such circumstances were sin. And we are told : (Lev. 5 ch. 1 v.)
• 131 xv3i 72°NS ox “ If he tell not, he will have a sin to atone for.”
Or even when the sinner himself can be bettered by it, or others receive warning to guard against the evil intentions of a designing man. In either case, however, it must be done without bitterness of feeling, without scornful derision or joy, at the suffering of the sinner.
unos 10" odian O'NI D5 sonbonsu nhi.“ The folly (or the evil deeds of others) causes pleasure to the heartless ; but the man of understanding will rather point out the just path.” (Prov. 15 ch. 21 v.)
97. What does the Tenth commandment enjoin? That we should always endeavour to remain masters over our wishes and inclinations, and thus guard against being drawn from the path of right by our desires and passions ; much less should we ever desire the good things which others may have, or envy them for their possessions. On the contrary, we should wholly confide in the wisdom and goodness of God, who will apportion at all times to every man what he deserves, and what is the most beneficial to him.
lyon 5 yngd 489 735 hou 'n be 003 6 Trust in the Eternal with
all thy heart , and do not בכל דרכיך דעהו והוא יישר ארחתיך •
confide in thy own knowledge. In all thy actions look up to him, and he will make thy paths even." (Prov. 3 ch. 5-6 v.)
• O'n mayin won y 735 med noen har “Be particularly watchful over thy heart (that thy desires and inclinations may not become too strong); for this is the source of life” (i. e. the foundation of all prosperity). (Prov. 4 ch. 23 y.)
98. In what light ought we to view this precept?
We can with justice regard this commandment as the foundation of all moral law, and the chief means to promote the observance of the greater part of the divine precepts. For he, who accustoms himself always to govern his desires, and never to envy another man, will find it an easy task to do his duties on every occasion with cheerfulness and tranquillity.
annab ngyn y's 108 vix noin 7"x 7800 ny " But the man, who cannot confine his desires within bounds, is like a city which is open and has no walls.” (Prov. 25 ch. 28 v.)
All passions and sins have then free access to his heart. He will hate and envy his fellow-men, and be at the same time dissatisfied with his own station, and the duties which are demanded of him. And whereas he is himself thus a prey to his passions, he will be quite unfit to make any sacrifice for the promotion of virtue.
79 DTX DX 1'*'818 713201 Dirhmi nxjpn “Envy, unbridled pas.
obiyn sions and ambition, will soon destroy a man, and deprive him of bliss hereafter.” (Aboth, iv.)
99. Does God also demand, that we should sacrifice our life rather than transgress any of his precepts?
This is not necessary with all, but is only the case with a few.
100. And which are these?
Idolatry, adultery and murder; of these three capital sins it is said, that we should sacrifice our lives, rather than commit either of them.*
9739 589 2907' Dinn ni'bui niny 9520791073y For it is better to let our body die a few years earlier, since it cannot possibly escape death, than to injure our soul everlastingly by the commission of such crimes.
* It would require too much room, to enumerate here all the circumstances and cases, when and how far we should-according to the doctrines of our wise men-sacrifice our property and our blood for the preservation of the religion of our fathers.
OF THE TRADITION.
101. Has Moses written down all the precepts and ordinances quite clearly, so as to require no explanation?
No; we believe, that God communicated some laws orally to Moses, which he in his turn was only permitted to communicate orally to others; and we explain in this manner the verse in Exodus (chap. 34 27 v.):
Write * down these » כתב לך את הדברים האלה כי על פי הדברים
Servei nsi nina ynx innanhan words alone, for according to the meaning and intent of these words, I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.”
102. Are there no other passages pointing out the existence of a tradition?
Yes; a great many others; amongst the rest the passage in Deut. 12 ch. 21 v.:
.70'18 7083 TIRSD) Tipan nman “ And thou shalt kill from thy cattle and thy sheep, in the manner I have commanded thee."
Now, whereas there is no one amongst the scriptural regulations, which prescribes the mode of killing, we must presuppose an oral tradition, to which this verse refers, and which tradition gives a more complete account of this and many other commandments. Nay, without this oral law we could not know, how to observe the greater part of the ordinances of our religion.
* The passage cited above, 362, is also applicable here.