- Published: January 1, 2014
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces.
You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.
— Leviticus 19:27
INTERVIEW WITH A RABBI
Reporter Rabbi, are you in favor of posting the Ten Commandments in public schools?
Jesus In Hebrew or English?
Reporter I’m assuming English.
Jesus Pity, they would lose something in the translation. But I am not in favor of such a posting anyway.
Reporter Why, may I ask?
Jesus In Hebrew tradition the Torah is very sacred. The law is made into little packets and bound to our head, our hands, our heart … not posted on a wall next to the Pep Rally poster and fire drill instructions.
Reporter But if they could be posted in a tasteful manner?
Jesus I’m still against it. To be honest I’m not all that keen on the Ten Commandments. Take the Fourth Commandment for instance.
Reporter Keep the Sabbath holy?
Jesus Exactly. I broke that commandment numerous times. And the Fifth Commandment.
Reporter You’ll have to refresh my memory…
Jesus Honor your father and mother. I’m not sure my mother ever forgave me for the line, “Who is my father and mother?” But if you’ll recall she was trying to get me declared mentally incompetent at the time.
Reporter So you’re saying …
Jesus Another thing. They’re far too lenient.
Reporter The Ten Commandments?
Jesus Take murder and adultery. They really don’t get to the heart of the matter. It’s much harder to legislate against anger and lust than legislate murder and adultery.
Reporter But wouldn’t you say that the Ten Commandments form an important part of the American jurisprudence system?
Jesus Come again?
Reporter Our legal system …
Jesus My point exactly. Legislatures will choose law over love every time. The law is easier to market. The problem with the law is that there is no end point. You end up creating laws about laws about laws. Precisely what the Pharisees did with the Ten Commandments. You go from “Keep the Sabbath” to “a tailor cannot carry a needle in his lapel on the Sabbath for it constitutes work.” And given enough time they will argue over the definition of “needle” and “lapel.”
Reporter But in light of school violence and the disintegration of our societal fabric, isn’t there something you would post in our schools?
Jesus Love God. Love your neighbor. Love yourself. Just don’t post it next to the fire extinguisher.
209 Depot Street. My father’s barbershop was directly across from the Long Branch Cafe. He had two chairs, but it was a one-man operation. My father charged $1.25 for a haircut and to be honest I don’t think my dad was a good barber. One time he cut my hair and I cried for two days and refused to go to school. I think the reason men got their haircut from my father was because he was a good listener and an incredible storyteller. $1.25 is cheap entertainment and very cheap as far as therapy goes.