Is Our Morality Consistent with the Torah?

This parashah Achare Mot begins in chapters 16 and 17 with the regulations on Yom Kippur for the Cohanim. It is to serve as a reminder to us of the death of the two sons of Aaron and as a warning about how important it is to follow the right way of doing things according to Scripture or we can lose our lives.

Chapter 18 is very hard for most people living in the Western world today. At the time of this message, California tried to pass a resolution to ban the Bible specifically due to what is written here. The saddest part is that it almost passed. They were going to censor the Bible because it goes against the beliefs of a certain group of people.  These are difficult times for those who dare to stand up for morality. The worst part is when the Creator gives us over to our desires telling us that if we want to have this type of lifestyle, go ahead, but there will be consequences.

We are moving from morality to immorality to the worst – amorality. This is when we can no longer distinguish between right and wrong. People are losing their conscience to the point that they are becoming amoral. To them, right or wrong depends upon how they think instead of what the Creator told us! It is my opinion that history teaches us that the greatest empires have fallen for three reasons: first, totalitarian governments led by dictators, second, a complete loss of justice accompanied by the desire to annihilate Israel and the Jews, and third, total moral bankruptcy.  These three are all linked: the totalitarian dictator believes that he has replaced the Creator; with a lack of justice, they try to destroy the people who bring with them the Creator’s message and the consequence of the lack of morality is to destroy the Torah that brings light into the darkness. When you lose all the boundaries of morality, to the point of immorality, you no longer think about light, rather you prefer the darkness in which you live and herald it as something to boast about. That’s when the world calls you a hero. That’s where we are now.

I recommend that you read the entire chapter of Leviticus 18 but let me just read the beginning: “1 The LORD spoke to Moses and said 2 Speak to the Israelites and say: “I am the LORD your God: 3 Do not behave as they do in Egypt where you used to live; do not behave as they do in Canaan where I am taking you, nor must you follow their laws.”  It cannot be any clearer.

Where are we as a society?  We are imitating the world that is so brainwashed right now that it celebrates as right the things that the Torah teaches us as wrong. Anyone who speaks against it is called antisocial, an enemy of humanity, or a bigot. My problem is not with those on the outside but with those who are among us. Sadly, I have spoken to people who have certain good moral values, but they have bought the lie. Sexual immorality is not OK no matter who is involved. Why?  Because the Torah says so!

As an Engineer and Professor of Thermodynamics, I taught the resistance of materials and the process of moving from elasticity to plasticity. An elastic can be extended to the point at which it bounces back when released. This can be compared with the person who does something immoral but because he still has a conscience he can go back to the Creator and make it right. He can still be pulled back onto the right track when his conscience prods him to do teshuva.  However, the next step in elasticity is to keep pulling it until it loses its elasticity and moves to the second stage – plasticity. Once you reach that stage, it can no longer return to its former shape. Your situation has been changed.

Many of us have moved to plasticity. We have accepted the lies of society, that the abhorrent sexual behaviour referred to in the Torah is okay. We are slowly accepting it as the norm due to popular opinion. Those of us who do speak out for what we believe according to the Torah are called people with no brains, religious fanatics. Believe me, I have often been insulted. It’s true that we have freedom of choice, bechirah chofshit, free will but there are consequences for our actions. Free will brings us to kavanah, intention and responsibility. This is the problem we are facing today, especially among our young people. They are open-minded and more flexible so when they are bombarded with false ideas, they begin to accept them as the norm. It is said that if you repeat a lie seven times, it becomes true to the listener.

Simply repeating that something is right, does not make it right. Simply agreeing doesn’t change the truth. Society is slowly becoming polluted. It’s very interesting that those so-called liberals and progressives allow freedom of speech to those who agree with them, but they censor those with opposing opinions to the point of hurling droves of insults. Do we not have the right to believe the Torah and speak out for what it says? Have you asked yourself, why isn’t it ok to walk naked down the streets? Other behaviours that are even more disturbing are applauded.

The Torah speaks for itself. Very few want to deal with this chapter, Leviticus 18 but I ask that you read it on your own. There is a very strong word for our behavior in Leviticus 18:22 תּוֹעֵבָה “toeva” which means “abomination”. Then verses 24 and 25 say 24 “Do not contaminate yourselves by any of these practices, for it was by such things that the nations that I am driving out before you made themselves contaminated.25 The land has become contaminated; hence I am about to punish it for its guilt, and the land itself will vomit תָּקִא out its inhabitants.”

People say that this is only for the land of Israel. If these words are true, it is no wonder that we are witnessing what is going on in the world today including the state of Israel.  This has to do with morality, with the principles of life for all humanity. These words are not the rules and regulations of men but are God’s words on how to live a full life. God is warning us how we destroy humanity.

What can we do? We can accept what man tells us but there is a greater law than the law of the land – the principles that were handed to us by the Creator. No matter how much the world wants to turn the Word of God upside down, the Creator has spoken. We may be afraid to speak out due to the repercussions but we need to speak out.

At this time, most of the great religions have accepted the immorality of this world instead of being leaders teaching the morality of the Torah. They are changing the Word of God in order to be popular. They tell you that it was only for that time and the people didn’t know what they were doing. It was the Creator speaking to the people and He does not change! Do I have the right to believe what I believe according to what the Scriptures say? Why is it that people who believe the wrong thing have that right and I do not?

This is the story of spiritual pollution, tahor (clean) and tamei (unclean).  People who are holier than thou are more worried about the physical pollution of the planet but they don’t deal with the spiritual pollution of our souls. As we accept values that are contrary to the principles that the Creator gave us, we are destroying our souls and the soul of our planet. They tell you that these principles are obsolete.  Man has enthroned himself saying I don’t need God because I am god;  I can now choose my own destiny.

Whether we like it or not, nothing has changed since Adam and Eve. The Bore Olam who created us male and female, doesn’t make mistakes but we have dedicated our children to the god Moloch. How? We teach them lies about moral values, thus offering them to false gods. We are destroying them. The other way we do that is through abortion on demand.  (When rabbi spoke about this in 2019, he said)…Last week they arrested a woman who wanted to have a midwife deliver her baby at home and forced her to deliver at the hospital, stating that it was a danger to the life of the “fetus”, a term used to dehumanize the baby. Yet at this same hospital, they have an abortion clinic. How crooked has our way of thinking become yet we don’t see it. It is frightening that we are being blinded by spiritual pollution to the point that we cannot see.  There are groups of people who cry out about the plastic that we throw into the sea causing it to die but we are throwing plastic into our souls and minds. There may still be time to reverse the direction of this world’s trajectory if each of us finds the courage to speak the truth when called for.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Netanel Ben Yochanan (Ranebi)