The Ten Commandments of Love – The wisdom of the Bible for a fulfilling partnership
From the introduction (reading sample) from the book by Dr. Elias Rubenstein
Since the majority of the readers of this book live in the West, it is necessary in the preface to examine the essential difference between the religious path of the East and the West. This difference is mainly due to the way of life as well as the social background. The content of this book is, therefore, at first glance, rather irrelevant to people living in the East. It is written especially for the people of the Western cultural area and therefore deals with the traditional Western tradition. If we compare the spiritual paths of life in the West and the East, we find that there are very clear differences here.
In the East, spiritual man lives in a monastic ashram of like-minded people separated from worldly tasks and challenges. The Western student, on the other hand, finds himself in a multi-faceted environment of work, family, friends and acquaintances.
In the East, vegetarianism is obligatory, whereas in the West the consumption of meat is even part of some religious celebrations such as the Jewish Passover. Further differences can be found with alcohol. In the East, alcohol consumption is strictly forbidden and is regarded as a vice, but in the West, alcoholic beverages are consumed even during religious rites, for example at the Christian supper. The most serious contrast can be found in the debate on the subject of sexuality. The Eastern aspirant is strictly forbidden to have sex and lives in sexual asceticism. In the West, on the other hand, partnership with young people is an integral part of everyday life and thus a desirable goal. Sexuality is therefore of considerable importance. Moreover, in the West sexual union is assigned to the holy day of God, the Shabbat. These are some externally visible differences.
A closer look shows that one can regard the two paths as different phases of the sun’s course. The sun has always been a symbol of spiritual awakening. That is why the term light is related to enlightenment. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The Eastern path corresponds to the sunrise of the soul, while the Western path is comparable to the sunset. Sunrise is just as different from sunset as day is from night. It is the same sun, but there is a remarkable difference. At sunrise, the light rises in darkness. At sunset there is already light and the sun goes down. Western mysteries have a connection to life and death, so the mysteries of death are dealt with in concrete terms.