The Respect for Life is the Third Universal Commandment
Modern democratic societies struggle to reconcile the concept that everyone is endowed by their Creator with “certain unalienable rights,” which are associated with individual freedoms, with the evidence that the Creator commanded certain boundaries that neither an individual nor a society is free to disregard. The perfectly balanced answer to this dichotomy between mankind’s essential rights and essential obligations is found in the Noahide Code of Seven Universal Commandments. Among these commandments, the prohibition of murder and mayhem (serious personal injury) is probably the most obvious and, on the surface, the most straightforward. The specific commandment prohibiting Gentiles from committing murder can be found in God’s communication to Noaĥ (Gen. 9:5-6), “… of man for his brother, I will demand the soul of man … Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God, He made man.” God reinforced this commandment when He transmitted the Torah from the heavens to Moses on Mount Sinai.
by Michael Schulman, Ph.D.
in the Divine Code
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