When COVID struck the United States, I thought it would be a unifying force. I naively reasoned that the pandemic would bring people together. I believed that the bitter polarization that began with the crash of the Stock Market in 2007-2008 would finally end. I was wrong. COVID has caused a further rupture in society. It has brought health care workers closer but few others.
It has socially distanced society even further. The political divide, which used to be a significant crack, has become a huge chasm. The children once again have suffered the most.
Various elements on the Left have used COVID as “cover” to foist their agenda upon the general population. There should be one and only one goal, and that is to get people better.
Unfortunately, COVID sparked a great deal of violence. It should not be happening, but truth be told, it is.
I cannot get the graphic and disturbing scenes of the summer of 2020 out of my mind. After the tragic death of George Floyd, Minneapolis erupted. Fires were set at a local Auto Zone, a Japanese restaurant, and an Office Depot, to name a few. Looters ransacked a Target store and many other businesses. A police precinct headquarters was set on fire.
In Portland, Oregon, a section of the town was besieged by protesters for more than 100 consecutive nights. A man by the name Aaron “Jay” Danielson, age 39, was shot and killed as he walked on a sidewalk.
In Chicago, “car caravans” of looters took over the streets. The police commissioner called it “pure criminality.” Occupants in a vehicle opened fire on police, who were arresting a man who stole a cash register.
Perhaps the worst riots in the country broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A car dealership was torched. It is estimated that at least $50 million worth of damage was sustained by private businesses. A state of emergency was declared on August 23, 2020, and the National Guard was called in.
All in all, 200 American cities had imposed curfews. Thirty states and Washington, DC, had activated 62,000 National Guard personnel.
It is with this background and context that it bears repeating the Seven Laws given by G-d to Adam and to Noah and his children, that, if not kept and followed, would make it impossible for humanity to live in harmony on Earth.
Maimonides regarded anyone who observed these laws as “assured a portion in the world to come.”
The Noahide Laws are (albeit simplified) as follows:
- Do not curse G-d.
- Do not worship idols.
- Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
- Do not murder.
- Do not steal.
- Do not eat the flesh of a living animal.
- A justice system, which preserves law and order, must be set up.
These laws apply to all of humanity. The most critical law is number seven, “law and order,” since it subsumed the previous six.
In the summer of 2020, law and order did not prevail. It was at the height of the “Defund the Police” movement.
I have seen riots in my lifetime, but nothing like the summer of 2020. It is a chapter of history that seems to have been shoved under the rug.
It is time to take the Seven Noahide Laws seriously. Law and order must prevail.
Dr. Joe Frager is Chairman of the Israel Advocacy Commission for the Rabbinical Alliance of America; Chairman of the Executive Committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim; Dean at Kollel Ayshel Avraham; Executive Vice President of the Israel Heritage Foundation; and a physician in practice for 41 years.