Ten Commandments Posted in Public Schools
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- This topic has 51 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated 2 days, 20 hours ago by Neville Chaim Berlin.
May 24, 2023 5:30 pm at 5:30 pm #2192848
The Texas state legislature tried to require public schools to post the Ten Commandments in every classroom. Would that be good for the Jews?May 24, 2023 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #2192959n0mesorahParticipant
No. Did I miss the question?May 24, 2023 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #2192961Amil ZolaParticipant
In some parts of the American South many folks post the 10Cs on their front lawns.May 24, 2023 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #2193001
The more godless public schools have gotten, the more the “traditional” crowd has started to consider religious schools.May 24, 2023 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #2193004GadolHadofiParticipant
Oh no, not the Ten Commandments! Aren’t they from the New Testament? Instead, the Woke Mandates should be posted and “dress as your authentic self” events should be encouraged.May 25, 2023 12:40 am at 12:40 am #2193018RBZSParticipant
Decades ago, that question was disputed between the Liubavicher Rebbe, who was for it, and Agudas Yisrael, which was against it.
The Rebbe was for bringing public schools closer to religion, while Agudah claimed that today it will be the Commandments which we all believe in, but tomorrow it will be strictly Christian beliefs which will return to discrimination against Jews as there was in Europe.May 25, 2023 12:45 am at 12:45 am #2193013akupermaParticipant
Given that very few Texans can read Hebrew (it hasn’t been a required subject in American schools since the 17th century), I suspect they are posting a work inspired by the עשרת הדיברות, written by some English civil servants in the 17th century. There is nothing Yidden should object (we can be tacky to point out translation errors, but that would be rude and in the 21st century, the Christians tend to our friends, so we should politely smirk, and remind them that we use the original version, not the civil service version). It might be a problem to persons from non-western religions (e.g. Hindus, who would find some of them to be quite offensive, such as the ban on idols and polytheism). And of course, the Democrats would be offended by a great many of them (since they tend to support
sex and crime, and don’t much like the idea of parents, and survive by pushing lying and envy).May 25, 2023 12:46 am at 12:46 am #2193023modernParticipant
These aren’t the Ten Commandments but a Christian renumbering of them, with a bad translation.May 25, 2023 7:55 am at 7:55 am #2193054mentsch1Participant
Would you care to elaborate on the “bad translation “
Are you referring to “you should not kill”?
Because ArtScroll gets that one wrong also (metsudah correctly translates that one)May 25, 2023 10:03 am at 10:03 am #2193063jackkParticipant
“רבונו של עולם, תורה שאתה נותן לי מה כתיב בה?
אנכי ה’ אלהיך אשר הוצאתיך מארץ מצרים.
אמר להן: למצרים ירדתם? לפרעה השתעבדתם? תורה למה תהא לכם”May 27, 2023 9:32 pm at 9:32 pm #2193174yaakov doeParticipant
Wouldn’t the Sheva Mitzvos B’nai Noach be more appropriate?May 27, 2023 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #2193080
Today that’s much better than bringing in people in drag to tell them to have gender reassignment surgeries and that their parents are bad for discouraging it… This is new York a Democrat degenerate cesspool.May 28, 2023 12:21 am at 12:21 am #2193308
Hashem offered Torah to various goyim and they objected to various of 10 comm. Isn’t this a good moment when a nation wants to post all of them?!May 30, 2023 10:27 am at 10:27 am #2193956
Well, only nOnesorah answered my question. Some others had worthwhile comments. The correct answer is as follows: No, a law (federal, state or local) requiring the posting of the Ten Commandments is not good for the Jews. Among other things, such a requirement violates the establishment clause of the US constitution. And it would set a precedent requiring the posting other laws , e.g., accepting a savior, accepting a single prophet, and lots of other things that violate, or are contrary to the teachings of, the Torah. So, no, a legal requirement to post the Ten Commandments would not be good for the Jews.May 30, 2023 10:46 am at 10:46 am #2193971Avram in MDParticipant
“In some parts of the American South many folks post the 10Cs on their front lawns.”
In what parts of the South? I’ve seen a lot of the South and don’t believe I’ve ever seen the 10 commandments posted in a private front lawn.
“Would that be good for the Jews?”
No, a strong protection of the First Amendment is extremely important for American Jewry. Unfortunately both major political parties have been amping up to destroy it.May 30, 2023 11:32 am at 11:32 am #2193991Reb EliezerParticipant
The most important to us is the separation of church and state.May 30, 2023 11:46 am at 11:46 am #2194021
Separation of church and state isn’t a constitutional amendment. Ten commandments in a school isn’t establishing a religion. Religion can be expressed in schools just like they celebrate various Christian and Muslim holidays.May 30, 2023 1:11 pm at 1:11 pm #2194043
“Separation of church and state isn’t a constitutional amendment. Ten commandments in a school isn’t establishing a religion.”
These are both untrue statements.
“Religion can be expressed in schools just like they celebrate various Christian and Muslim holidays.”
I sure hope they don’t. If you just mean giving days off so that people can either celebrate, or do whatever they want in private, then surely you see the difference.
The only holiday that might be explicitly celebrated in public schools would probably be Halloween due to the fact that nobody in America other than Jews view it as a religious holiday anymore.May 30, 2023 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #2194161
ten comm are coming pretty close to what we are supposed bnei Noach to believe. I understand concern for church/state separation, but it is hard to take a position against your own religion for the sake of a constitutional principle. At least, suggest some modification to the stature but just arguing against 10 commandments is plain backwards. Especially, from posters who find some other bill of rights provisions, like 2nd amt, questionable.May 30, 2023 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm #2194197Amil ZolaParticipant
Avram, TN, WVA, AL, GA, MS, LA off the top of my head.May 31, 2023 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #2194487n0mesorahParticipant
Ten Commandments as lawn pieces was al over the place when I was in Alabama. From upper class mansions all the way to mobile homes. They can be found up north as well. They just are not so obvious.May 31, 2023 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #2194503
Neville separation of church and state is based on a letter Ben Franklin wrote that the courts used to destroy religion in the US. True statement.
Expression of religion isn’t establishment. Also true statement. Expression of religion is protected by the first amendment. Both of these have been destroyed by the Democrats you probably vote for.May 31, 2023 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #2194504
Separation of church and state” is a metaphor paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson and used by others in discussions regarding the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Not ben FranklinMay 31, 2023 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #2194540
The origin of the expression “separation of church and state” is found in a letter from Thomas Jefferson written to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. The Danbury Baptist Association had written a letter to the president voicing their concern that their state constitution lacked specific protections of religious freedom.
The Danbury Baptists wrote in the letter, “what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. And these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen.”
Jefferson responded to the Danbury Baptists by referencing the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State,” Jefferson said.
The metaphor of a “wall of separation” was not intended to say that religion should not influence opinion on government issues. Rather, it was used to affirm free religious practice for citizens.May 31, 2023 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #2194585
“Rather, it was used to affirm free religious practice for citizens.”
That includes not being forced to observe another religion. Obviously it would be unconstitutional for the government to ban people from putting up religious signs on their private property. To most of us sane people, it’s also pretty clear that it would be unconstitutional for the government to force people to put up religious signs.
“Expression of religion isn’t establishment. Also true statement.”
Not categorically. There are absolutely ways in which expression COULD be establishment if the government is the one doing the expressing. This isn’t that hard to imagine.
“Both of these have been destroyed by the Democrats you probably vote for.”
Agree with your stance on the Democrats. I’m a Constitutional literalist even when it inconveniences me, unlike some people…May 31, 2023 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #2194652
Note that 1st amendment applied to Federal Gov. States could, and did, have official religions. Not sure how comfortable we are with that idea, but it does make sense. If we are bothered by a NY religion, we can move to Montana and get enough votes to make it into an Uganda or a Birobidjan. So, under this system, there would be no problem having 10 comm in a state school.
Only later expansion of right to state governments created a current system. It also, I think, hallowed out state governments and lead to the current, unhealthy, state where democracy is hinging on an election of all-powerful President who is the head of an all-powerful Federal machine.
If we were to still have strong states, people would stop freaking out about federal elections.
As to 10 comm in public schools – just give everyone vouchers and the problem will be solved.June 1, 2023 7:17 am at 7:17 am #2194735
You’re taking courts/Democrat interpretation of the constitution. It might look like it but it isn’t.June 1, 2023 7:18 am at 7:18 am #2194736
AAQ correct about states rights. That’s why we can have dry counties in Utah and if a Mormon is chalishing for a drink, he can head over to Nevada and overindulge himself.June 1, 2023 9:26 am at 9:26 am #2194770
@Always Ask Questions
Your theory of state funded schools being exempt from the First Amendment is false.
Every public school in the USA receives federal funds, which is why they are BOUND by the guaranties and restrictions of the US Constitution.
Vouchers are also in part funded by federal dollars which presents additional problems and opens the way for more lawsuits. (I filed one in CT against a charter school taking public funds that starts the day with the Lord’s Prayer).June 1, 2023 9:29 am at 9:29 am #2194772
Regarding Danbury Baptists and their letter to the federal government seeking redress.
CT (my home for almost 70 years) like most of New England was settled by the Puritans (Congregational Churches). Each village had a parish and the minister served as head of government and tax collector. This continued to the middle of the 1800s, long after the USA was a country and the US Constitution in force.
My small town has 4 distinct neighborhoods, each was a parish and still has an active Congregational Church bearing the name.
Until the early 1900s, any religious institution wanting to operate in CT had to get a Charter from the State of Connecticut. My shul received its charter in 1881. My FIL is buried in a local Jewish cemetery that received its charter in 1918.
This issuing of charters (and requirement thereof) established State approved religions in direct violation of the First Amendment.
BTW, males who wished to vote in the State of CT before approx 1850 had to be members of the Congregational Church in their Parish and current with tax obligations. Another violation of the First Amendment.June 1, 2023 9:32 am at 9:32 am #2194774
The 21st Amendment of the US Constitution specifically recognizes the rights of states and territories of the USA to prohibit the transportation into, importation into or possession of intoxicating liquors in violation of the laws of the state or territory.
It cannot not be a States Rights argument as it applies to territories as well as states.
This is NOT States Rights as you claim in error. States Rights is a function of the Tenth Amendment which specifically reserves to the states or the people those rights not specifically assigned to the federal government in the constitution (such as foreign relations, coining money, etc.).
Please don’t give up your day job, and remember that mine is the practice of law.June 1, 2023 10:48 am at 10:48 am #2194824
“I filed one in CT against a charter school taking public funds that starts the day with the Lord’s Prayer”
Because you’re a Democrat who takes the wrong position on every issue.
You’re day job is supposed to uphold the laws of the constitution but you use it to destroy it and replace it with a Democratic agenda.June 1, 2023 10:51 am at 10:51 am #2194816
There were “Blue Laws” in CT with regards to the selling of liquor until very recently. These laws might have originally had religious motivations, but that’s a perfect example of something that isn’t a violation of the First Amendment. The law can be motivated by religion without establishing a religion.
Making a public school explicitly Christian is slam dunk establishing a religion. I don’t get how that’s even being questioned.
For those talking about the good old days when the Constitution wasn’t enforced and it was just the Wild Wild West (literally), that’s not a good proof that it’s OK. They were just doing a bad job of being a Constitutional Republic back then. Don’t romanticize it.June 1, 2023 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm #2194837
The CT Blue Laws had far more to do with business activity and public displays of affection on the Sabbath, then liquor sales.
They were done away with starting in 1909, 1979 did away with ban on Sunday retailing and 2012 allowed Sunday liquor sales.
When I was a kid, my family’s retail stores were open Sunday and closed Saturday in compliance with the laws.
CT Liquor store owners opposed Sunday openings, as we have no chains, mom&pop didn’t want to work 7 days per week.June 1, 2023 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm #2194844
My filing the suit against the Charter school, has nothing to do with my political affiliation, I was asked to do so by a group of Jewish Republican Conservatives who do not wish to have tax dollars paying for this prayer to be recited.
Charter schools are not the same as vouchers. Every time a child is enrolled in a Charter school the school gets the amount of money the municipality would fund the public school for educating that child. BUT, they are for profit with large corporations taking 15% profits (in our area). The also (unlike public schools) can turn down special needs or troublesome children that require additional resources and expenses.
BTW>>>>My day job is NOT to uphold the laws of the Constitution. I affirmed that I would support and defend the Constitutions of the United States and State of Connecticut, that is not the same thing.
Going after violators of the Constitution is SUPPORTING and DEFENDING it.
Also, you do not know my position on every issue, so your accusation is both laughable and false.June 1, 2023 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #2194865
“Because you’re a Democrat who takes the wrong position on every issue.”
He’s a lawyer. Are you really so childish that you think lawyers should have to only take cases they personally agree with? Would you accuse a serial killer’s lawyers of condoning murder? You know you’re not arguing in good faith when you cause CTLawyer and Neville Chaimberlin to be on the same side.
“The CT Blue Laws had far more to do with business activity and public displays of affection on the Sabbath, then liquor sales.”
Within my lifetime, only the liquor sales laws remained. Last time I was in CT, you were still only allowed to sell liquor until 5 PM on Sundays, which is confusing. If anything the morning should be excluded.
“as we have no chains”
Unfortunately, this is no longer true. Somehow Total Wine and Liquor made their way into CT, and I’m not sure how the mom and pops shops are going to keep up. It was the last business dominated by small, family run stores. When I go back in 10 or 20 years that will sadly probably no longer be true.
By the way, before the accusations roll in, I’m not saying the government should ban chains. I support the free market, but I’m still allowed to be sad about things changing from my youth.June 1, 2023 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #2194920
“Making a public school explicitly Christian is slam dunk establishing a religion. I don’t get how that’s even being questioned.”
Ten Commandments doesn’t make it establishing a religion; they’re values. They teach evolution too. You’re the one who’s moving the goalposts around by saying that it establishes religion when it doesn’t. Religious ideas or expression aren’t establishing a religion.June 1, 2023 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #2194973
Regarding liqour sales in CT
When I was a child, stores could be open 6 days a week from 8am til 11pm No one could own more than 2 stores. The mom&pop owners got the state to cut hours to 8am-8pm as they did not want to work so many hours.
in 2012 when Sunday sales were allowed, it was again the liquor store owners who asked that it only b 6 hours 11am-5pm to restrict how many hours these mom&pop operators worked in a week. The number of stores you can own increased to three. So for an eample, only 3 of the Costco locations in CT can sell booze.
You cannot buy wine in a grocery store, only beer.
Liqour store can n ow be open til 9, but most close at 8, with a few open Frioday and Saturday til 9.
The last vestige of the Blue laws, was that auto dealers could not be open on Sunday. The dealers fought this saying they were losing sales to NY, MA and RI. The law changed a few years back, but most dealers, not on the state borders remained closed on Sunday.
I was born and grew up in New Haven, where you still don’t find car dealers open Friday nights. Back then the dealers were almost all Jewish and Friday night was reserved for family, not business. Today, most dealers are not Jewish, but the closed Friday night tradition continues.June 1, 2023 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #2194974
How do mom&pops compete in CT Liquor business?
Easy, we have state minimum pricing on every alcoholic product, both at wholesale and retail level.
The mom&pop pays the distributor the same price as Costco or Total and sells at the same minimum price. The only advantage the big guy has is that he probably always buys at the case price, while a mom&pop may pay the individual minimum price on less than case purchases. This affects profit but not retail minimum selling price.
In CT, buying a liquor store is buying yourself a job, not a get rich investment. Only so many stores per thousands of population can open in a town and not within 1500 feet of another liquor retailer, church/synagogue/mosque, school or day care. My town of approximately 40,000 has 5 liquor stores and I believe it could have 7, but no one has bothered to apply for another permit in the past 7 yearsJune 1, 2023 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #2195040
“Easy, we have state minimum pricing on every alcoholic product, both at wholesale and retail level.”
As much as I root for the mom and pop shops, I think this policy is terrible and prices need to just be left up to the free markets. That being said, they might be behind enough on inflation that the state minimums are roughly on or below what the going price would be anyway.June 2, 2023 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm #2195153
To Neville Chaim Berlin: A “free market ” for liquor is an oxymoron. Liquor sales have been restricted since at least the Middle Ages.June 2, 2023 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #2195214Avram in MDParticipant
Amil Zola and n0mesorah,
Interesting! The swaths of the South I’ve been through don’t fully overlap yours, so perhaps it’s a regional thing. I don’t travel too often, so maybe it’s a more recent development as well?June 3, 2023 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #2195352
“Liquor sales have been restricted since at least the Middle Ages.”
“The swaths of the South I’ve been through don’t fully overlap yours, so perhaps it’s a regional thing.”
Avram is being very polite. I too have been all around the south and I’m going to go a step further: I think you’re flat out lying. There simply are not tablets with the ten commandments in anyone’s yards. You might have seen one and extrapolated it to the entire south.June 3, 2023 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm #2195359
CTLawyer, thanks for additional info. CT is a prime example of what I mentioned – it had a state religion. I understand that things changed by now, I am just illustrating that all these restrictions are not part of the original US ideas, so if some of the non-federal restrictions are rolled back in some way, it is not ruining the whole idea.
For example, for schools – there is no good reason for most school to depend on federal money. This should be part of the state responsibilities. As to charters, you might have a good case – except that your state will be better off giving voucher to population and let them use it for the school of their choice, and all problems will go away. It seems that many R- states are moving in this direction. It will be an interesting eperiment, but it will take some years before results will be in.June 4, 2023 9:14 am at 9:14 am #2195421
This is not the thread for a discussion of school vouchers (which I oppose, and for non-Jews are a way to pay for whites to attend private schools that are defacto segregated).
That said, the majority of special education funding for public schools is federal, not state money. The federal government did not saddle the states with an unfunded mandate in this case.
Local government has major problems with all the unfunded state mandates on public schoolsJune 4, 2023 9:45 am at 9:45 am #2195445
I understand the realities you mention. I am talking about an ideal view of how things should be. There are so many discussions on how to deal with side effects of over-centralization. This is like chinese government in Beijing issuing edicts about lack of healthcare beds in a remote province. Same happens even in Great Britain with a PM spouting number of new beds built in some town that the MP just inquired about – due to central ownership of the issue. These issues are intractable, and each “cure” creates additional “inequalities” that yet another government office will “resolve”.
Jewish educational system, as described in Bava Basra, suggests a local system with each town being responsible for hiring enough teachers. you are using a threat of segregated schools to oppose improved education of most of the country, including Jews – as if most of schools are not segregated anyway due to segregated housing. If you are so serious about the issue, and I respect that, then you should propose a limited solution for that without holding back millions of kids. for example, allow vouchers for schools that are in areas where there are no mixed areas, or where schools are not segregated. This would allow most of your state to move ahead in education. You yourself received wonderful religious and general education, how do you feel that others are not able to afford it?
I would say this affects even those who can afford it – can you open a Jewish school that will serve only rich children and hope to have good Torah and middos to happen there? From Gemora to Chofetz Chaim in 1920s Poland say that rich kids are not learning Torah well, talmidei chachamim will come out of poor children.June 4, 2023 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #2195477
“(which I oppose, and for non-Jews are a way to pay for whites to attend private schools that are defacto segregated)”
So what? It should be more important to you that people can afford to send their kids to yeshiva if you’re actually a frum yid.June 4, 2023 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #2195564
Neville, you can’t be that parochial. If you have a system that allows us to have better life at the expense of others, then you can, in a short term, have resentment, and, in a longer term, weaken the country where we are zoche to live. Jews who got freedom in Russia by destroying the wicked Czarist regime, got the short end of the stick.
We should always try to combine our own interests with the overall society.
So, in this case, CTL is right in arguing for the benefit of the society, I just do not agree with his evaluation of the benefit.June 4, 2023 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #2195646
I have always contended that tax dollars should not be spent to pay for private education. I don’t care if it is secular or religious.
I worked hard to send my children to day schools then Yeshiva for high school (that was the choice here at the time). I also made sure that they got an education. And a profession that would allow them to send their children for Yeshiva education.
I have donated to and raised scholarship funds to assist those who cannot afford the tuition.
I believe it is the Jewish people’s obligation to fund our children’s religious education, not the general population.
One of the things we saw OOT that you don’t see in the big cities is that the Jewish community (of all denominations) kicks in to fund the local day schools and Yeshivos. They are constituent agencies of Federation and receive funds. Local Jews, frum and non-frum donate and support these institutions because they are vital to the community. When I was a teen, my next door neighbor was President of the ‘Reform Synagogue’ in town. He was a tire dealer and his wife an attorney. They gave enough each year to the local Lubavitch Day School and its boys and girls high schools to pay the costs of 10 students’ tuition. They didn’t practice what most here consider Judaism, but they believed its continued existence was crucial for the local Jewish community. In the 50-70s money could be raised from the non-frum community using Holocaust guilt. By the time those who were adults during WWII were reaching their late 70s and retiring to Florida this source of funding started dying off.June 5, 2023 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm #2196188
it is fair to say that religious education should not be publicly funded according to US minhagim, but why we need to pay double for professional education? As we both seem to agree, it is proper for at least some Jews to have both just because we want our kids to be “separate but equal”. In the current system, poor chareidi parents are against a lot of odds – from the government that would not reimburse them for general education, and those in their community that do not value general education. And currently in the cases the government does pay in some roundabout ways (lunches, transportation), the funds empower the schools and not parents, so general education is not getting better off. And middle class educated parents are spending ridiculous amounts of money to afford day schools and have no time to spend with kids. No wonder such lifestyle is not attractive to the kids. Straight vouchers to parents would solve lots of these problems.
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