Dialogue with a Swedish Student: When are Thoughts Sinful?
In part one, Dennis talks with a 26-year-old Swedish woman to find out how most young Europeans think today. In part two, Dennis disputes the common notion that bad thoughts are equal to bad actions.
Major Points of the Lecture:
1. Yanna, the Swedish student, thinks it is silly to believe in God. Instead, she believes in humanity. However, she cannot name three individual humans that she believes in.
2. She sees Americans as fearful people who lock their doors and keep guns because they don’t trust anyone.
3. She believes that just as people should mind their own business, America should butt out of international issues. The Middle East she sees as a never-ending problem that nobody else should get involved in. Likewise, she is proud of Sweden for remaining neutral in World War Two, not seeing a need for other nations to oppose Hitler.
1. A price is paid for the preoccupation of sins of thought. But we can’t ignore bad thoughts, either.
2. The only time the Torah concerns itself with thoughts is in the Tenth Commandment, prohibiting coveting. It is the desire for something that belongs to someone else that leads to the other forbidden acts. All actions are the result of a thought.
3. Judaism is a middle-road religion. Behavior is paramount.