+ 546 As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy - derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name the Haskalah for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe. However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

+ 389 Which brings us at last to the moment of truth, wherein the fundamental flaw is ultimately expressed, and the Anomaly revealed as both beginning and end. There are two doors. The door to your right leads to the Source and the salvation of Zion. The door to your left leads back to the Matrix, to her and to the end of your species. As you adequately put, the problem is choice. But we already know what you are going to do, don't we? Already I can see the chain reaction: the chemical precursors that signal the onset of an emotion, designed specifically to overwhelm logic and reason. An emotion that is already blinding you to the simple and obvious truth: she is going to die and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness. The Architect

+ 454 So we find that the three possible solutions of the great problem of increasing human energy are answered by the three words: food, peace, work. Many a year I have thought and pondered, lost myself in speculations and theories, considering man as a mass moved by a force, viewing his inexplicable movement in the light of a mechanical one, and applying the simple principles of mechanics to the analysis of the same until I arrived at these solutions, only to realize that they were taught to me in my early childhood. These three words sound the key-notes of the Christian religion. Their scientific meaning and purpose now clear to me: food to increase the mass, peace to diminish the retarding force, and work to increase the force accelerating human movement. These are the only three solutions which are possible of that great problem, and all of them have one object, one end, namely, to increase human energy. When we recognize this, we cannot help wondering how profoundly wise and scientific and how immensely practical the Christian religion is, and in what a marked contrast it stands in this respect to other religions. It is unmistakably the result of practical experiment and scientific observation which have extended through the ages, while other religions seem to be the outcome of merely abstract reasoning. Work, untiring effort, useful and accumulative, with periods of rest and recuperation aiming at higher efficiency, is its chief and ever-recurring command. Thus we are inspired both by Christianity and Science to do our utmost toward increasing the performance of mankind. This most important of human problems I shall now specifically consider. Nikola Tesla

+ 301 To Adam He said, You listened to your wife, and ate from the tree regarding which I specifically gave you orders, saying, Do not eat from it. The ground will therefore be cursed because of you. You will derive food from it with anguish all the days of your life. Bereshit 3:17

+ 154 Man was created with the will to receive self-pleasure, called the will to receive for ones own benefit. We are told that one has to nullify that will to receive and acquire a new Kli [vessel], called the will to bestow. Not every person is rewarded with it, meaning with the ability to acquire Kelim [vessels] suitable for the Upper Light to reside in. For one to attain the will to bestow, our sages said (Kiddushin 30), I have created the evil inclination, I have created for it the Torah as a spice, meaning that specifically through the Torah, one can achieve the Kelim of bestowal. Rabash, The Rungs of the Ladder, The Importance of Faith

+ 32 The free movement of the moral impulse to establish justice for animals generally and the claim of their rights from mankind are hidden in a natural psychic sensibility in the deeper layers of the Torah. In the ancient value system of humanity the moral sense had risen to a point of demanding justice for animals. Just as the democratic aspiration will reach outward through the general intellectual and moral perfection so will the hidden yearning to act justly towards animals emerge at the proper time. What prepares the ground for this state is the commandments, those intended specifically for this area of concern. There is indeed a hidden reprimand between the lines of the Torah in the sanction to eat meat. "Fragments of Light: A View as to the Reasons for the Commandments," in The Lights of Penitence, The Moral Principles, Lights of Holiness, Essays, Letters, and Poems, trans. Ben Zion Bokser (New York: Paulist Press, 1978), pp. 317-318. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook