Rabbi Carvin Z. Putzopf
This was forwarded by a reader who inquired in response to our July, 1999, feature, “Which Ten Commandments?” The issue in question is, does the Seventh Commandment say “Thou shalt not kill” or is the word “murder”?
We changed the name on this piece, as the rabbi who had originally granted permission to use this letter renegged upon finding that ours is an atheistic web site. Go figure. This also required our rewriting the wording. However, we have taken great caution not to alter the message itself.
From: Rabbi Carvin Z. Potzaropf
Date: Friday, 16 July 1999
Subject: 10 Commandments
Catholics and most Protestants have differing versions of the Ten Commandments. One agrees very closely with ours and the other does not. This is mostly in regard to how they are numbered. I cannot remember which is which.
Regarding your question, lo tirtzach means “Do not murder,” not “Do not kill.”
I am The Lord, your God.
I hope this brings to you a clearer understanding.
Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.