Get latest articles and videos with Jewish
inspiration and insights
An Israeli Air Force pilot examines his mission. An Aish.com exclusive.
They are not shouting “Death to the Israelis” on the streets of Paris. They are screaming “Death to the Jews.”
I spent three days in Gaza and was released to bury a close friend who was killed in action.
Hamas invests in its terrorist infrastructure instead of civil infrastructure for Gaza's residents.
Must-see video if you or somebody you know is critical of Israel.
A short video that puts the conflict in proper context.
“As the Jews go, so go the Christians.”
A fresh look at God’s hand in the war in Gaza.
With outrageous levels of insanity overtaking the world, we need him now more than ever.
The short life and heroic death of Max Steinberg.
It’s not just the Iron Dome we have to thank.
On rebuilding the shattered pieces.
Do something daily to identify with the pain Israelis are going through.
Have you ever complained about receiving too many wedding and bar mitzvah invitations?
How to best use this trendy food.
And how to control them.
From Yenta to the Bachelor, being a matchmaker isn’t what you think.
How to make the meantime meaningful.
So you think you know alot about Hamas?
The Jewish national period of mourning.
Foundations for attaining life-long recovery.
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
Advanced-level midrashic and Kabbalistic illuminations on the weekly parsha.
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids.
In Israel, my 4-year-old son was on a mission to see the Temple being rebuilt. We were all surprised when he found it.
An elegy to the Jewish people for the 17th of Tammuz.
An Auschwitz survivor shares her faith with the Next Generation.
Sometimes we are blinded by the light.
Here’s a sure fire tip if you want to be remembered for posterity: do something really embarrassing. Humanity promises not to forget.
Part 2 of the abbreviated dictionary of Jewish diseases.
What was the best deal you ever got?
Support Israel's efforts to stop the Hamas rocket attacks.
The Middle East conflict explained through school bullying.
The secret to a Jewish marriage is hidden in the wine.
October 6, 2013
October 9, 2013 7:13 AM
Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools
October 9, 2013 5:16 AM
...yea, but it wasn't 'yaharog v'al ya-avor'!
The philosophers & Torah teach that suicide is wrong because our bodies don't belong to us - they are the property of Hashem. Murder is NOT wrong unless the Torah says it is. The Torah gives us 3 (& only 3) instances where we are not permitted to violate the Torah, but rather, we are obligated to give up our lives.They are:1) Avodah Zarah (worship this idol)2) Shfichat Domim (murder him or I'll murder you3) Gilui Arayot (have a forbidden sexual encounter) The Torah also teaches, "One who saves a life... it is as if he has saved the entire world". This & other sources teach that the over-abiding directive is to ALWAYS save a life when it is at all practically possible to do so.Sorry guys, but I have been a Star Trek fan since the very 1st show in 1968, & the "Prime Directive" is NOT one of these 3 mandated reasons to give up your life, thus the clear Torah obligation would be to save Spock's life!(Were there, perhaps 10 "Nisyonot" given to James Tiberius Kirk too? lol)
October 9, 2013 12:38 AM
a rule may be broken when necessary.
The situation and the factors which are operative are always the determinants. Rules are important, but they are to be applied, embedded in real life. One cannot be so inflexible, that one states that a rule may never be broken. When there are overriding factors, one sometimes has to.
October 8, 2013 7:43 PM
To save a life is to save a world.
October 8, 2013 6:50 PM
They already did...
By stopping a volcanic eruption, they already interfered with the natural progression of life on that planet. Seeing the ship only added a bit to the mythos of the culture. And we have a long history of interfering with other species, everything from driving the passenger pigeon to extinction, to saving otters from extinction. In the Star Trek example, the only way they could honestly follow the prime directive would be to stand off and watch the effects of the volcano as it erupts and destroys the native population while repeating to themselves, "I'm glad I'm not involved."
October 8, 2013 5:06 PM
Bending or breaking of the rules
Penny, you said YOU believe no species should alter another species destiny, then point to teachings in the Torah. But you neglect the most obvious example. G-d gave us (Adam) dominion over the animals. We are to care for them, and yes, eat some of them. Is not protecting and saving a species altering their destiny? Sadly, when a species goes extinct, we didn't do a good job of it, but going extinct may be part of the destiny G-d has for it. So, the question should really be, how do we know WHEN we should break a rule/alter a destiny? One must seek His voice for clarity. Kirk and Spock were bending a rule (the prime directive) in attempting to halt the volcano, thus saving those people from extinction. The fine line they were walking was that if they could save them without their presence being known, then they weren't really interfering with their developement. So, Kirk broke the rule completely by revealing themselves to save Spock. The natives saw this huge apparition fly over the volcano and suddenly it stopped erupting. Kirk altered their natural developement. But he saved a life. Spock would have left Kirk in the volcano, thus saving the natives without altering their developement. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". Personally, that is not a doctrine I care to follow. Save a life, or help whenever you can. I would have done the same as Kirk.
October 7, 2013 6:43 PM
I believe no species should alter or affect another species destiny. Even when it could save a life. Our torah teaches that principle in a number of different biblical circumstances and Talmud. G-d is the only one who should make those decisions, but as compassionate humans we should offer our services when its appropriate to save a life. Every situation and circumstance will be different requiring G-d's guidance to follow His will and not our own.
October 8, 2013 9:12 PM
Saving their lives wasn't worshiping Avoda Zarah (although it may have led to a new form inadvertently). It wasn't murder or illicit relations either. I'd save the lives. I also would challenge "penny's" claim that the Torah tells us not to interfere in such a situation. That's not in any Torah I know.
October 9, 2013 1:22 AM
Altering world response to Penny
We humans have no right to chase a species too extinction just for folly! The Torah teaches that we, humans are to preserve the groves/land of food and to treat the animals in our care with respect and dignity... even the slaves one possessed were to be given clothing and housing and food; even education for the work they were too perform. The difference better compassion and dignity is very very slim. To be compassionate is to empathize with the sick/elderly and allow them be comfortable as they grow older and more infirm...dignity is when one is respectful of the elderly even if they are afflicted with dementia. Allowing the afflicted to have the basics of life like cleanliness, bathing, and care for their personal space.There is a huge difference between dignity respect and care of those around you even if you do not like them. That is the difference. We humans have no right to destroy what we cannot replace! And we can not make any new or replacement animals. Doing what you can to save an endangered animal is to have dignity for the animal, to make every effort too save them is the sign of compassion.
October 7, 2013 2:00 PM
Is this really fiction?
We are seeing the outcome, positive or negative of our behaviors every day- the millitaries of our small planet of choice becoming more millitant, threatening our democracies and revealing the shallowness of our negative thinking, as a world .. species 'Adam.' Each context is totally specific unto itself; the question you've asked, aish.com ... is too narrow, i'm afriad. (Now even our democracy experiencing crisis of democracy on all levels); the deep water of experience, conquest and problem solving is torah study and even human intuition and man/G-d partnership, ... no easy question here - i'm not a trekkie fan so i forget the gifts that Spock brought to the enterprise. ... It seems both situations bring the focus into the arena of what is demo-goding and what is 'cleaving unto the Lord G-d'.
Display my name?
Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.