First the Ten Commandments, now this....

Just to beat a horse that's clearly already dead:

The reason they're called commandments are that the early Rabbis
knew that if they 'suggested' things, the primitive people of that time
would not follow their guidelines.

For example: The admonition against eating pork. That came about
because the Hebrews were the most advanced physicians of their time.
They noticed that many people that ate pork became sick. Of course,
now we know this is from trichinosis and we can cook it enough to
eliminate that danger.

The same for shellfish and the other seafood admonitions. The lack
of refrigeration and ice over two thousand years ago made seafood
spoil very rapidly. Again, the Hebrew physicians noted this and
'suggested' their patients did not eat said food. Also, remember that
there are other seasonal problems such as red tide that make certain
kinds of seafood poisonous that they didn't understand.

On the other hand, when someone says, "G-D says!" you shall not...
eat pork or clams or oysters... Then people don't do it. They're more
worried about being struck by lightning for eating pork than they are
not following their physicians advice. The power of an unseen being
or force that watches you all the time is frightening for a primitive
people that don't understand the world around them.
(Like the citizens of San Francisco, who voted for Cruz Bustamonte...)

Hence, they were commandments and not 'suggestions'.

On a different point, it would be more clear and correct to
call the incorrectly labeled 'Old Testament' the "Hebrew Scriptures"
and the 'New Testament' "Christian Scriptures". After all, they
both are very old. As well, it's a bit off-putting to Jews to use that
terminology since the use of the term 'New' implies that the other
has been superseded and/or outmoded. Have you ever seen a
label on a grocery store product that said "new and improved".
Who would ever want old and unimproved?
(There are a boatload of other theological reasons, including
accuracy in labeling, but I've already made the point, I hope.)

I applaud the accuracy of this discussion panel, understanding that
the commandment regarding murder does say, "Thou shall not murder"
and not 'thou shall not kill'. Very true and very important.

Last but not least. The admonition about observing the holy day or
Sabbath. Why was that put in the Hebrew Scriptures? Why that
and all of the rules behind it? Did you know that one is forbidden
from working? One cannot sew more than one stitch, or write more
than one letter. One cannot cause a spark to be made, either.

This admonition was that the ancient Rabbis realized that the difference
between a free person and a slave was that the free man had a day of rest.
Therefore, they felt that if you worked seven days a week, you were a slave
and not free. They wanted you to enjoy your family and spend time
reflecting on the meaning and direction of your life. They wanted you
to take time to 'recharge your batteries'. (I know there were no batteries
then.) Sounds like some pretty good advice to me.

I don't go to synagogue, I don't keep Kosher and I don't keep the Sabbath.
I am not telling anyone to do or not to do anything.
These are explanations for things that have come up during conversation
here at the SFLP discussion group, which I must say is far more interesting
than my local one.