The 'Golden Rule.' What if... - Liberal Resistance

The ‘Golden Rule.’ What if…

Jewish, Judaism, Hebrew

My middle son, Hillel, sent me a text message, asking if his namesake was the first to express the ‘Golden Rule.’ I texted him back this answer: “Boychik, this rule, often called the ‘the ethic of reciprocity’ is found in many cultures/religions reaching as far back as the Code of Hammurabi during this Babylonian king’s reign in the 1700’s B.C.E. In the Jewish tradition, its first formulation is in the third book of the bible (Leviticus 19:18): “You shall love your fellow human being as yourself.” Hillel the Elder (there’s a junior, too) who lived from 110 B.C.E. to 10 C.E., put it in its negative form: “What is hateful to you do not do to your fellow human being.” Jesus – also a practicing Jew, by the way – who was born after Hillel (by a few years), put it in a positive form. Though Christians have often said this is a superior form, both formulations actually have the same meaning; both forms are found in many cultures. This ‘rule of reciprocity’ may actually go even further back than Hammurabi. It seems that civilized peoples, the world over for ages and ages, realized this is right way to live if you want to avoid conflict of any kind.

Can you imagine Trump being compelled to live by that rule?