Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Oh, this is great!  Israel has principles and the world doesn’t know how to react.  A principle doesn’t change depending upon to whom you are speaking.  The principle is simply this… you are a friend of Israel or you are not.  The “door” through which everyone must enter Israel is open to those who are friends and closed to those who are not.  That, my friends, is Israeli sovereignty (and I figured out how to spell sovereignty all by myself without the assistance of the internet).

So, let me ask you a question.  If there are US elected officials (at any level) who are vocal and have demonstrated to the world their dislike, distrust and disgust (that’s a lot of “dis”-ing), then why should Israel willingly give them a platform from which to denounce Israel?  

That would be self-defeating.  And Israel figured out a while ago that it is in its own self interest not to do that.  We’re still pretty good at it in the United States though.  Yes, we have Americans who abuse the very freedom that  others have fought and died to defend.   They “take a knee” in protest of the freedom that allows them to “take a knee.”  How hypocritical.

I’m going to change gears here to that other interesting conundrum I just mentioned.  Foundational to the employment law of the United States has what is called “employment at will.”  Basically, it means as long as both parties (the employer and the employee) are willing (the employee to work and the employer to pay) then there is agreement and work for pay is established and continues.  If either party decides at any point not to agree, then work for pay stops.  The employee cannot be forced to work and the employer cannot be forced to pay.

Notwithstanding, that there are other parts of the law to prevent discrimination.  In other words, if the employer becomes unwilling, it has to be for a lawful reason.  The “gold standard” for a lawful reason is if the employer can prove that to continue to employ a person would harm the business.  

It takes more than talent and technical competence to have a job.  You have to be able to get along with people who are frequently called customers, guests or patrons.  Many businesses recognize both internal (employees) and external (patrons) as customers.  

Watch this… when your expression of free speech while working for a business hurts the image of the business, then the employer is justified to sever employment.  This is what happened to the 5 employees at Burger King.  https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ne8wyd/five-burger-king-workers-fired-after-allegedly-drawing-cartoon-pig-on-cops-burger

I had to laugh though.  The officer complained about the quality of his burger.  “When Rosenthal unwrapped his meal, he was shocked to discover that the burger looked burned too.”  My question is how did he know, aren’t they all burned?  If Burger King is going to fire employees over burned burgers, it’s no surprise they have a bronze plaque at the entrance that says “now hiring.”  

Where is the spiritual application?  Here you go… 1 Peter 2:13 For the Lord’s sake, submit yourselves to every human authority—whether to a king as supreme, 14 or to governors sent by him for the punishment of those who do evil and the praise of those who do good.

15 For this is God’s will, that you silence the ignorance of foolish men by doing good. 16 Live as free people, but not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Rather, live as God’s slaves.

17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 18 Slaves, with all respect submit yourselves to your masters—not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh.

19 For this finds favor if, for the sake of conscience toward God, someone endures grief from suffering undeservedly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and get a beating, you endure? But if you endure when you do good and suffer for it, this finds favor with God.

21 For you were called to this, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you might follow in His footsteps: 22 “He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” 23 When He was abused, He did not return the abuse. While suffering, He made no threats. Instead, He kept entrusting Himself to the One who judges righteously.

24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we, removed from sins, might live for righteousness. “By His wounds you were healed.” 25 For you like sheep were going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

And there you have it.  Shabbat Shalom (again).