Tools of Lawlessness

22482971.jpgSimeon and Levi are a pair/Their weapons are tools of lawlessness. Let not their person be included in my council/Let not my being be counted in their assembly. (Parashat Vayehi, Genesis 49:5)

In my commentary on these verses last year, I suggested that Simeon and Levi represent the Torah’s paradigm for unchecked, unmitigated violence. This past week, we received the good news that our nation had made one small step toward alleviating Simeon and Levi’s legacy from our midst.

On Wednesday, Congress passed the first major piece of legislation to reduce gun violence in over a decade. The “National Instant Check System (NICS) Improvement Amendments Act of 2007” (HR 2640) was passed by unanimous consent in the House and Senate and will now go to President Bush for his signature. You may recall that this legislation was passed in response to the Virginia Tech massacre last year. (It was widely reported that the VT gunman was able to obtain a firearm because the court order that should have blocked his gun purchase was not reported to the national background check system.)

In the spirit of this week’s Torah portion which disavows “tools of lawlessness,” let’s call President Bush at 202.456.1111 and urge him to sign the NICS Improvement Act immediately.

Chazak, chazak, Ve’nitchazek: May our shared resolve strengthen us to create a world of justice, safety, and peace.

2 thoughts on “Tools of Lawlessness

  1. Naomi Feldman

    OK, you have made me into an instant fan. What a treat – and to think I’m doing good at the same time; this is truly a win/win situation. Thanks!

  2. Ruth Rosen


    Thank you for your important words on the NICS Improvement Act of 2007. Taking action with President Bushs’ phone no. helps too. I am participating in a LIE IN at UCLA on April 16th, the anniversary of the Virginia Tech Massacre. There will be similar LIE INS nationwide. Our president let the assault weapon ban expire as congress yawned.


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