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Chapter 35 - The ninth and tenth commandments.
35,1. Said Helias: “O Lord and Master, with the ninth and tenth commandments I have right from the start a truly not small problem, and it consists in the fact that we New-Jews now have a ninth and a tenth commandment, while Moses concluded his basic legislation with only a ninth commandment. The complete ninth commandment says: ‘Do not desire your neighbours’ house, do not desire your neighbours wife, nor his servant, nor his maiden, nor his ox nor his donkey, nor anything your neighbour owns!’
35,2. With that the basic legislation came to an end; since immediately afterwards, according to the story of Moses, the people fled in fear from the lightening and thunder, before the sound of the trumpets and from the tremendous smoke of the mountain and begged Moses, that he should talk to God alone - since, if they were to listen any longer to the devastating voice of God, the trumpet sound and to keep looking at the tremendous smoke of the mountain, then all the people would die from too great a fear and fright -, whereupon Moses calmed and consoled the people. But there is no particular mentioning anymore about a tenth commandment.
35,3. But with us, the ‘Do not desire your neighbours wife!’ has been omitted from the ninth commandment, and from that a tenth commandment was made, while some people refer to this as the ninth commandment and everything else the tenth commandment. The question remains: Did Moses receive from God ten or only nine commandments?”
35,4. I said: “In the beginning, my dear Helias, really only nine; later, when he was forced to replace the first broken stone boards containing the law with new ones, did he himself divided the last law into two separate laws, in order to emphasise the adulterous desire for the neighbour’s wife - which became quite common practise among the Jews in Egypt and which led to ongoing quarrels and continuous discord resulting in people becoming mortal enemies, and in the end he even ordered the physical capital punishment for adultery, since the otherwise so wise words had no effect on the Jews who had sunken into complete sensuousness.
35,5. And now you know, when, how and why from the last, ninth commandment a separate tenth commandment was formed. Anyway, the number is of no importance, but only the subject, and therefore you can refer your criticism to only the complete ninth commandment or to the separate tenth commandment on its own. This depends solely on yourself how you prefer this. And now you can start to speak!”
35,6. Said Helias: “O Lord and Master above all! To speak is rather easy for my agile tongue since birth; but I can see already now, that I will have spoken completely in vain. Since who can out of his great stupidity tell You anything, which You could not immediately refute in a thousand ways! But if so, why still speak?”
35,7. Said I: “Yes, see, you My otherwise very dear daughter, you also would like to be right for a change, as it is the case with nearly every woman; this here has nothing to do with futile dogmatism, but concerns the greatest seriousness of life, and there you must bring into daylight your old misconceptions, so that you can recognise them in My most true light to a much more complete extend! And therefore I let you speak for all, since I only know too well, that you have a good and sharp memory, in addition also a very agile tongue, and that you through your old Rabbi have the best knowledge about the gaps and shortcomings of the law and the prophets. And thus keep on speaking openly just as before, about what you regard as not in the best and most complete order with respect to the law!”
35,8. Said Helias: “Lord, if one does what You want, one does not commit a sin and supported by that, I must completely openly confess, that I can not in the least agree at all with the whole ninth commandment, since everything which is forbidden therein makes a pure mockery of any clear reasoning, - firstly, since everything which is contained therein is already sufficiently contained in the sixth and seventh commandment anyway, and secondly, since it substantially prohibits people to think, feel and wish!
35,9. What is it then, if a poor person, who has been sentenced from birth throughout his whole life to serve and work hard for little food and for a meagre wage, so now and then thinks and even longs to own as a property a house or a dear wife or an ox or a donkey?! Since his devout wish will anyway never be fulfilled! If he is not allowed to even imagine such things, then one must first completely take away his ability to think, feel and sense.
35,10. Verily, this silly commandment appears to me, as if Moses prohibited the people to use their senses and also their hands and feet, but what would have been much more modest, than prohibiting them their inner life functions, which surely no person can help, if they are by all kind of circumstances and conditions awakened and aroused to become active.
35,11. I do not want to once again remark, that this commandment is very specifically discernibly given for the man; the reason for that has already been explained, and with the greatest surety one can accept that each law applies just as well to the woman as to the man, and hence, it also states for the woman: “You should not desire your neighbours husband!” Thereby in the law everything is in order; but that a person should not think, not feel, not wish and also not sense, - that is too much!
35,12. It is true that in us all kinds of thoughts, also all kinds of wishes, desires and finally also ambition and deeds, some good and some bad, arise; but without the preceding thoughts, from which quite often, of course, bad actions arise, also no good decisions and deeds can appear. This must be very clear and comprehensible to every angel and every only fairly reasonable person. And therefore I say, that this last law, insofar as it forbids people to commit bad actions, is completely in order, although in my opinion superfluously, because, as mentioned earlier, that is already done in the sixth and seventh commandment. But it is absolutely not in order, if it forbids people to think, to feel, to sense and from this also arising a little wishing, wanting and desiring.
35,13. As an example, I, my parents and my brother have lost our fortune and property completely without our fault and have nothing left except our naked life and through Your mercy, o Lord, good friends. If we, in our great poverty, saw the rich and famous revel in abundance, - have we sinned if we felt the desire in us to call only the very tiniest part of their abundance our own?! If it is not even in our hunger allowed, to only once satisfy ourselves by thought from the overfilled bowls, then that is the limit.
35,14. In addition an important question arises: Should not all people who have been placed in this world without their fault, at least have so much of a natural right to own of everything the earth carries, of which the land actually belongs to God, to take care of the necessities of their body. Why must some people call so much their own, and this under all possible legal protection, but the greatest majority have nothing and in the end must be pleased with the divine law, which tells them that they should not carry a desire for the abundance which the rich and famous call their own? By doing this, one takes nothing from them anyway; but if one is not allowed to have necessary desire for the surplus of the rich, you are also not allowed as a beggar to beg! Since begging assumes an inevitable greediness forced by suffering, after a part of the property of the rich neighbour.
35,15. Therefore the poor are only allowed to go to the property owners and beg them for work and even be completely content with a meagre casual worker’s wage, since every further desire after what the rich neighbour calls his own, is regarded as an unlawful greed. O Lord and Master, this can never ever be the will and law of a most loving Creator! This could only be the will and product of ancient acquisitive people under the title of the providence of God, so that we poor people should not even bother them with our thoughts for their property.
35,16. O Lord and Master, who is so very wise and omnipotent, - what do You say to that? Since I have spoken and explained what I have found according to my human mind to be severe shortcomings of this last basic law, of course based on what I have learned from my rabbi. O, give us all a right light regarding this matter; because I believe that this law which is impossible to follow, has led people to commit all kinds of sins and other crimes, since I know only too well, that this last law is nearly by all more sensible Jews not recognised as of divine origin! O, open Your holy mouth and let us know Your will!”
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