This is an article in progress. In the meantime, please consider this:
One: The great liberation movement that comes out of the Bible, Torah and Sinai is deeply, essentially revolutionary.
How is liberating? How is it revolutionary?
It makes a complete break with mankind's old "traditional" ways - which are pagan ways. The God of Sinai, of the First Covenant and the Hebrew Revolution is the God of freedom. People speak of this religion as ethical monotheism: what it is, rather, is historical monotheism. God, HaShem, is the God Who acts in history, through history, to set man free. History itself shows this to be true. Stagnancy, idolatry, tribalism, racism, sexual immorality, the oppression of the weak by the strong, gluttony, addiction, helplessness, heedlessness, death fixations, blood drinking, witchery, self-mutilation, lewdness - all these, and more, are the pathologies of idolatry. God has lovingly given us His Law in order to free us from them all - to make a complete break with idolatry - to make us holy, to make the world holy, to bring us closer to Him.
When the Law of Sinai came into the world, freedom came into the world. - Mishnah Torah, Pirke Avot 6:2
Pursuant to God's will (See Universal Torah), Israel has introduced and continually pressed on humanity the revolution's doctrines: These include:
*The oneness of His Creation;
*The oneness of humanity;
*The sanctity of human life;
*The sacredness and dignity of the human personality and human free will;
*The uniform application of law, proportional justice, and due process;
*The Sabbath - the day that means freedom - and the seven-day week;
*The efficacy of prayer;
*The immortality of righteous souls;
*And the promise of wordly redemption in the coming Messianic age (that is, the world will get better before it ends).
The Rainbow Covenant: Torah and the Seven Universal Laws refers to this phenomenon as the Hebrew Revolution. That's because it's so closely associated with the people of Israel - the Hebrews. But one might just as well call it (The Rainbow Covenant calls it this too) the Righteousness Revolution. That's because it's bigger than any one people: it goes 'way beyond the Hebrews or Jews. Just as God's Law is for everyone, this great revolution is for everyone. And the essence of the revolution is righteousness.
Mankind cannot rise to the essential principles on which society must rest unless it meets with Israel. And Israel cannot fathom the deeps of its own national and religious tradition unless it meets with mankind. - Rabbi Eliyahu Benamozegh (Israel and Humanity, c. 1912)
Two, another feature of this great revolution is the work that you are involved with now: this foundation, the book The Rainbow Covenant, everything written here, arises from and owes its existence to the Hebrew Revolution. Further, what you see here is a revolutionary paradigm - a model - of the First Covenant, the larger part of the great revolutionary movement described above.
For centuries, many students used to believe that the Universal Law verged upon the primitive. Based on an old view, they conceived of it as consisting solely of seven simple, almost banal precepts. But we now know, based on compelling new research and growing scholarly consensus, that it's astoundingly rich and deep. God inscribed it in the Torah, which is uniquely connected to the people of Israel, but the Torah teaches further that both Jew_and_non-Jew live under the same moral_Law.
Please understand, none of this is "new" in the sense of never being recognized until modern times. The principles that we're advancing here were recognized, centuries and millenia ago. But they weren't necessarily part of the thinking of the mainstream; they weren't joined together as they are here; and they weren't in the forefront of the consciousness of most people, including even scholars.
Now, this should be obvious: God never abrogates His covenants. This First Covenant, or Universal Covenant, is eternal - it still binds everyone. As Bible-readers should know, Israel is further bound by the Covenant of Sinai, but nothing in that later covenant cancels out the First Covenant. In fact, the Torah of Sinai is where we learn about the First Covenant. God revealed the Torah to the people of Israel and put it into the custody of Israel - but He did so for a larger reason than just the good of Israel.
God gave the Torah to the Jewish people so that all nations might benefit from it. - Midrash Tanchuma, Devarim 3
We also know today that the Seven Commandments of the Universal Law serve, like the Torah's Ten Commandments, as headings or broad categories of law. Let us illustrate how this works in regard to the Noahide "dietary commandment," the so-called Law of the Torn Limb (in Hebrew, "eyver min ha'chai").
It forbids eating any piece of meat torn, cut, or otherwise removed from any living creature. People need to kill their food before they eat it, in other words. That proposition seems simple enough. Further, as the Noahide or Universal law against anarchy - the so-called Justice Commandment - requires, people must make this a matter of enforceable law. Every nation is divinely obligated to outlaw violations of the bare-bones Universal Commandments. So every nation is required, by God, to criminalize or outlaw such a vile gastronomic practice as this one. (Naturally. God didn't put humanity at the top of the earth's food chain and give us dominion over earth's lesser creatures so that we could eat them alive.) To violate the Law of the Torah limb is subhuman - and every human society is obligated to condemn it by outlawing it. However, there is more to God's Way - His Law, the Universal Torah - than the mere avoidance of criminality.
A righteous person should always endeavor to do righteousness, beyond merely avoiding commiting crimes. A righteous person tries to do the opposite of whatever the Universal Law forbids. How can one discover what that is? By going to the Torah. The Torah tells us that God condemns the person who eats or drinks blood. Even though this is part of the explicit, bare-bones Universal Law, one who seeks to refine himself and please God will refrain from eating or drinking blood. He will also look into the other statutes and ordinances of the Torah, concerning eating, drinking, and the kind treatment of animals: they exist to raise Israel to holiness, but God calls everyone to holiness.
Israel's prohibition against eating pork is a good example of where holiness may take one. Certain animals, the Torah teaches, are kosher or fit to eat. If they are mammals, they must be animals that 1) have cloven hooves and 2) chew their cud. This includes goats, sheep, oxen and cows, giraffes, buffalo, antelope and deer. These animals are all vegetarians, they are all herd animals, and they all can be slaughtered - according to the Torah's rules for the humane slaughter of animals - practically painlessly. They are all relatively unintelligent animals and they can all be directed to the slaughterer without frightening them. They don't smell or sense the coming of death and, even if they smell blood that's spilled from the animals that precede them, it doesn't scare them or particularly put them off. Neither do they react badly to the sight of their fellow animals being slaughtered.
They are slaughtered by a single quick sweep of the slaughterer's razor-sharp sword, causing a horizontal, more or less complete cut across both the air- and food-pipes. This causes the animal to lose consciousness instaneously, due to the tremendous loss of blood pressure; the heart continues to pump out blood but the animal is already dead.
To kill any of the non-kosher mammals - a pig, a rat, a cat, a horse, or a dog, say - in this manner would be practically impossible. Except for horses, they are not herd animals and wouldn't do well being herded to a slaughtering pen. They all smell and react strongly to the smell of blood, even when it's not the blood of their own kind. They are all sensitive to death's sights and sounds; they all react badly to the sight, sound and smell of the death of their own kind. People who claim to know say that these animals sometimes even seem to "smell" the coming of death. So they can't be slaughtered painlessly, in any practical context: they can't be slaughtered economically, as the kosher animals can, without terrifying them. Neither can they be killed painlessly in any other manner, because it's necessary - for the sake of holiness, according to the Torah - to remove as much as possible of the animal's blood, and the only way to do that is through kosher slaughter. (If one aspires to purity or holiness, the Torah teaches, one should endeavor not to eat or drink any blood.)
The main body of the Torah is contained in the Seven Commandments with their details. - Rabbenu Menachem ben Shlomo Me'iri (c. 1270)
This is important knowledge. This is how the Universal Law, however bare-bones it may seem to be on first impression, leads to Torah. And this, we insist, is a revolutionary paradigm - and the truth.
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