On The Pittsburgh Massacre

  • Religions have rules. Those rules curtail people's freedoms. That can engender a great deal of hostility towards religions.
  • In the secular world there are also fanatics who are against religion. The murder in Pittsburg was by one of these secularists claiming white supremacy.
  • Moderation and tolerance is the remedy for tragedies like the Pittsburg massacre.

There are many reasons to hate Jews and Muslims for people living in a Free World and who love freedom because Judaism and Muslim religions are against freedom.  Even Orthodox Christianity or Protestantism are also against freedom even though Jesus their God was the champion for freedom.  In all religions there is racism.  Judaism was the first of these religions and made a Jewish religious state in an age when the whole world was filled with paganism and lawlessness.  There wasn’t in those days another choice for the leaders of the Jewish people other than to make a dictatorship with a King.  All the other Pagan nations living in the world at that time were dictatorships with a King . The Jewish people under the leadership of Moses and Joshua made also a dictatorship with a King but the nation of Israel was governed according to justice the law of God which influenced other nations in the Modern World to adopt laws not to kill, not to steal. not to commit adultery people are considered innocent until proven guilty.  However Jewish law did not include in it freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of speech like in democracy.  The nation had to protect their people from the evil influences of the pagan cultures around them.

Judaism continues the laws and customs which governed their nation in Israel which stood for over four hundred years until 70 CE.  These laws continue to consider the whole world as pagans the way it was in days of old.  In those days they had a very good reason to be racist living amongst lawless nations determined to conquer the other nations surrounding them. Judaism based on the laws and commandments in which the Jews lived 3000 years ago certainly are extreme for today’s times.  However to change the law threatens the solidarity of the nation.  Recently the establishment of the State of Israel a free state was a new concept to Jews and against the Jewish tradition.  The Orthodox Jewish leaders opposed the establishment of Israel.  Today these Orthodox leaders have mixed feelings about the existence of the State of Israel as a free state.  There are many good reasons for people of the modern society to hate Jews because their culture is racist but to understand the history of the Jewish people can be understood that the Jewish people have brought law and order to the world.  They have also been influential in the foundations of other religions in the world including Christian and Islamic religions.

Islam religion was established by Mohammed who was a descendant of Ishmael the son of Abraham.  Abraham was told by God to circumcise his son Ishmael.  Ishmael was blessed by God to become a great nation which they are today.  Their religion like Judaism prefer to make a dictatorship which enforces strict observance of their law Sharia derived from the Koran.  The goal of Islam is to unite the whole world with Islam the nation of God. Islam unlike Judaism strives to convert other people to Islam to become part of their nation through observing the Koran.  Judaism does not seek for all people to become Jews but encourages all of mankind to follow the seven laws of Noah which includes not to kill, not to steal, not to commit adultery.  Only people who lived in the Old Nation of Israel were forced to keep these laws.  Jews living in their nation in the times of the holy temple were forced to practice the commandments for Jews from the Torah 613 commandments.  Other people in the Nation of Israel had only to accept the seven commandments of Noah.  Jews in the Nation of Israel or their converts where citizens of the nation, other people were called settlers without full rights.

The Jewish people and Islam consider themselves the sole nation of God on earth.  Moses founded the Nation of Israel and Mohammed who is called the last prophet established the Nation of Islam.  There is a conflict between these two faiths.  They also conflict with Christianity.  Christianity began as a faith which opposed the strict dictatorship of the Nation of Israel.  They objected that Judaism excluded people who did not have Jewish lineage.  Judaism has a hierarchy of priestly Jews, Levites, and children of the family of the king.  The first Christians preached equality a new concept.  Many people living in Israel and also people who had been dispersed from Israel when the nation of Israel living in the North was conquered by Sancherib of Assyria joined the Christian movement whose leader they claimed was the Messiah.  The Christian movement grew after the destruction of the second temple in Israel by the Romans.  Later the Romans believing in a Pagan faith who convicted and killed Jesus adopted Christianity as their national religion.  When the Romans adopted Christianity as their nation religion it became also a National Orthodox Christian dictatorship.  God gave the children of Esau living in the western world a new Monotheistic religion Christianity.  He gave the children of Ishmael a new faith through Mohammed.  The Jews were the first Monotheistic religion the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob their prophet is Moses.

Orthodox religion whether Islam, Jewish, or Christian commands their followers to observe their laws without giving free choice.  Naturally there are people who rebel against the strictness of Orthodox religion.  They are called sinners and told that they will go to hell by the Orthodox struggling to follow strictly the precepts of their religion.  Hatred is created on both sides.  There is a good reason to hate your fellow man, your fellow Jew, your fellow Muslim who has become reformed, or your fellow Catholic or Protestant.  Christians believe in their religion.  Muslims believe with truth faith in their religion.  Judaism doesn’t believe in any other religion except Judaism.  Muslims may have good reason to hate Christians.  Christians may see a good reason to hate Jews who don’t believe in Jesus. Jews may hate secular Jews who are Zionists and their government which contradicts the whole Torah.  Toleration is the only way and non-violence. This means that you may have to break away from the mainstream.

In the secular world there are also fanatics who are against religion. The murder in Pittsburg was by one of these secularists claiming white supremacy from the Klu Klux Klan.  Christianity which preaches peace also has its fanatics.  They are for sure not Christian. The claim that President Trump has ignited hatred in America is not true.  He has taken a very strong and firm stand against immigration which is discriminatory but his policies have only instigated violence in the Mid-East but not in America. Trump is far from a right wing extremist but for sure he is not left wing in any way. President Obama was passive and cautious about initiating changes in American policies which President Trump has been aggressive for changes and improvement of America.  His aggressiveness could cause Americans to become aggressive but he doesn’t have to fear the results of his actions since he considers these changes important. The people of Pittsburgh should have welcomed Trump’s visit rather than to demonstrate against him.  It wasn’t his fault and he can over the long run help to prevent these terrible tragedies through providing federal help for security of places of worship and for providing education.

Pope Francis has been working toward bridging the gaps between religions.  He recognizes the dangers of extremism in religion which can only be mellowed out through gathering together leaders of the different religions to meet and speak about their differences which is called interfaith dialogue.  See my website at: www.worldunitypeace.org to see how I am trying to unite religions in peace.

Religions conflict and there is no way of changing their beliefs since they are based on doctrines which have conflicting interests.  White human beings may conflict with blacks only because they have different colors.  There are political conflicts within America and abroad which the United Nations is trying to solve. Orthodox Muslim and Jewish doctrines conflict with Christian ideology.  King Solomon in chapter 7 in the book Ecclesiastes commented on the conflict of ideologies he said God created opposite spiritual beliefs one opposing the other.  His advice is don’t be extremely religious but also not to be wicked.  Moderation and tolerance is the remedy for tragedies like the Pittsburg massacre. Don’t be afraid to be called a sinner because you are interested in peace.

David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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