We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
They make it clear that this passage is a restatement of the 10 commandments - further undermining the "scholars" who claim the Bible was stitched together from various sources.
19:10 "strip your vineyard bare" is literally "orphan your vineyard". And it's not "fallen" grapes, but "singletons" or small clusters, that must be left on the vine for the poor.
19:11 deal falsely is simply "deny/contradict", and "to one another" is literally "a man to his neighbor". It's a word between "neighbor" and "companion"
19:12 "profaning" comes from a root that means "hollow". In modern Hebrew the same word is used for "secular" in general.
19:13 "defraud" is really "oppress" and the word used for "steal" here means actively swiping something by force (in verse 11 the word used means taking by stealth or deceit - each verse has its own emphasis.)
There is no "keep for yourself" in the original - it just says "let not the wages of a worker lay with you until morning".
19:14 "revile" is "curse" - in parallel with the stumbling block before the blind, the deaf cannot hear your calumny. Therefore "you shall fear G-d" - who does see "who did it".
In other words - morality is not relative or situational.
19:15 The root used for "unjust" literally means "crooked"
19:16 "slanderer" is just a "gossip" - literal translation is "don't go round like a peddler" - peddling stories - and "do not stand over your neighbor's blood."
19:17 Mistranslated at the end. Should be:
Do not hate your brother in your heart, surely rebuke your neighbor, and do not leave him to continue burdened in sin.
19:18 "bear a grudge" literally means "watch, guard" - nurturing a sense of grievance.
"Love your neighbor as yourself, I am G-d" - and if you don't love your neighbor as yourself, it demonstrates lack of faith.
Our sages say that this last verse summarizes the whole Torah.
In a famous story, a man came before the sage Hillel and said, "I'll convert if you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot."
Hillel answered with this verse, and converted him.
Are you familiar with the Revised Common Lectionary?
The author is not choosing these passages based on his/her own preferences. This was today's 1st reading at Sunday services for a great many denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church as defined in the RCL. There's a 3-year cycle of what passages are read. Blame the RCL's editors.
Howdy Ben David
My faith in God comes from the very lesson you describe: the two Great Commandments. I wasn't literally standing on one foot but it was close enough to that.
All of the ten commandments (or sometimes nine) can trace directly to these two Great Commandments.
Now I'm about to challenge you a bit: the ordinances above, the ten (or nine) commandments and the two Great Laws are silent on sex that does not touch on marriage. They are also silent on the issue of homosexual sex. I know other scriptures apply, but the major statements of the law rarely address sex and never as a major topic unless it threatens marriages.
My faith in the two Great Commandments means that anything someone asks me to believe has to fit with them. And I can't make a hatred of homosexual conduct fit into the Great Commandments.