President Trump and Meaning of Sanctity of Life
“Life” cannot have a single definition for it, much less a definition of the meaning of life. Moreover, some languages do not even have definite words for a clear concept of life, hence it is hard to define the meaning of life itself.
And if it is hard to define the meaning of life, how can the sanctity of life be defined?
Two Hebraic concepts of life
In Hebrew, there are two concepts of time best expressed in the words זְמָן zeman and עֵת et in the wisdom of Shlomo.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (Ecc 3:1 JPS)
The first concept of time is expressed in the word זְמָן zeman, “an appointed time”, “a season”; zeman comes from the root זָמַן, zaman, which means “to set a time”, “to appoint”, hence “an appointed time”. Zeman is the most common designation of the Hebraic idea of time.
Usually, zeman is translated as “season” but often designates a set period with a beginning and an end. The best example for this meaning of zeman can be found in Neh 2:6, when Nehemiah set a time before the king for his mission in Jerusalem.
The second concept of time is in עֵת et, which is abbreviated either from עֲנָת anat, an answer, from עָנָה, anah, to eye, to answer, to go towards, to meet, or, it derives from עַד ad, a duration, in the sense of perpetuity (with or without a preposition): eternity, everlasting, world without end. Hence, עֵת et as a concept of time means either “appointed time”, in a sense of “a seen time” or “a duration of time”.
The way עֵת et is applied by King Shlomo in Ecclesiastes denotes the signification of the second concept of time:
(1) that everything has its pre-determined time, in which there lies both a determined point of time when it happens, and a determined period during which it lasts.
The best way to understand this concept of time is to see how it is used in Gen 18:10 and Gen 18:14,
Is any matter too hard for Yehovah? At the appointed time I am going to return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah is to have a son. (Gen 18:14)
This example is very characteristic in our study regarding the relation of the concept of time to the concept of life, because עֵת et (in “time of life”) is used together with another Hebrew word for time (as in “appointed time”), מוֹעֵד moed.
The Hebrew word מוֹעֵד moed, means an appointment, a fixed time; specifically, but not equal to a festival (chag in Hebrew). It comes from the root יָעַד yada, which means to fix upon by agreement or appointment; by implication to meet at a stated time.
The best place to see this meaning of moed is in Lev 23, where all appointed times of YHVH are defined and set for all times. In Gen 18:14, the appointed time the messenger of YHVH referred to was what would become later the Unleavened Bread.
But, what “time of life” did the messenger refer to when he promised that Sarah would have a son?
(2) With this we come to the next meaning of et: a time appointed for something, in a sense of one appropriate, suitable for it, and this meaning is best seen in Lev 26:4, Deu 11:14, and Deu 28:12, where it is rendered as “[rain] season”—the most appropriate time for the crops to grow.
In addition, et means “now”, in a sense of “a specific time”, as seen in Jer 37:20.
Therefore, the two concepts of time can be distinguished, from Hebraic perspectives thus: the former זְמָן zeman of “a duration of time”, when something is complete, whose goal is done, and the latter עֵת et “a predetermined point of time” with an earliest limiting point.
Hence, we can translate Gen 15:14 thus, “At the appointed time I am going to return to you, according to the predetermined time of life, and Sarah is to have a son”: at the appointed time of the Unleavened Bread, Sarah would have the promised son.
And, we can translate Shlomo’s concept of time into English thus, “For everything there is a duration of appointed time, even a predetermine time for every pursuit under the heavens.
The illustration of the second concept of time, עֵת et, continues in Ecc 3:2-8, in which the wise king gives the meaning of life of man with its beginning and end, that is, the predetermined lifespan of man,
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; … a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for battle, and a time for peace. (Ecc 3:2-8)
In other words, what can be derived from the matter of meaning of life is that everything has [pre-] determined time, i.e. it has its time to be born and its time to die, all pre-determined and appointed by the Creator.
From the finite perspective of man, however, it is not enough for him to know that everything that happens has its pre-ordained time. A man always seeks to pass beyond this fragmentary knowledge and meaning of time and of the unknown, in order to comprehend eternity.
But all his efforts are in vain, for “man is unable to reach unto the work which the Creator has accomplished from the beginning to the end”, teaches Kohelet.
The meaning of life
Life is a gift from the Creator, which we did not deserve to receive. Yet, we received it as a free gift, and there is nothing we can do to redeem it—it is a precious and invaluable gift bestowed on us that cannot be paid back.
But the One who gave it freely can withdraw it freely at any moment, by His will alone. The Creator is the only one who takes it back, for He is the only one who gives it.
We will not be asked when and how, as we were not asked when and how we would be born.
For all our days have passed away in Your wrath, we spend our years like a whisper. (Psa 90:9)
We spend our allotted days in this world like a whisper, which has hardly gone forth before it has passed away, leaving no trace behind it.
Like a whisper in the wind, life means nothing without Him.
Everything our life is proud of is after all only like a vapor without any true merit and worth; it comes, and it goes away—like a vapor in the wind. And if everything is like a vapor, then, what is the meaning of life?
Vapor of vapors! says Kohelet. Vapor of vapors! All is a vapor! What does man gain from all his labor in which he toils under the sun? A generation passes away, and a generation comes, but the earth stands forever. The sun also rises, and the sun sets, and hurries back to the place where it arose. Going to the south, and turning round to the north, turning, turning, and on its rounds the wind returns. (Ecc 1:2-6)
Transitory and temporary like a vapor, like a breath in the wind, is our life impossible to store up; and to expect deep and lasting joy from toiling under the sun is foolishness ending with disappointment.
A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it. Albert Einstein’s meaning of life.
And when we glance back from the end of life to its course, life appears empty, for it has passed swiftly by and fled away like vapor borne away by the winds of the past.
Life sets for the night and without rest turns itself back again to a new day to commence its course again and again, as the sun turns and turns and the wind to its course.
To all regions of the heavens the sun goes, to all directions of the earth, the wind moves ceaselessly, ever repeating themselves anew, but life comes to its end where it came from after all toiling under the sun, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which it is said, “This is new”? Everything was here already, long time ago before us, asks Shlomo.
The past is what was before, for it is thought of as the beginning of time, and the future does not exist. The present is what we only have, and we waste it in toiling under the sun.
We labor and labor, but it is like a vapor in the sun—passing and fleeing as a momentary lapse of reason.
What newly appears has already been under the sun but had been forgotten; for generations come and generations go, and the one forgets the other, and no one learns from it.
And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that has been done under the heavens; this sore task Elohim has given to the sons of man, to be humbled by it. (Ecc 1:13)
But all toiling and the pursuit of success is like a vapor and running after the wind.
What is bad we cannot straighten and what is nothing, we cannot fill it in, for everything has been given by Elohim to men to be tried and verified by it; everything comes from Him: whether good or bad. He is the one who creates both to humble us.
For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases suffering. (Ecc 1:16-18)
And if we seek to attain greatness and more wisdom, this too is like running after the wind, because more wisdom of His Word brings more knowledge of the evil of the world and this too increases suffering of the soul, and there is nothing new under the sun, only more and more grief.
The little man knows, the happier he appears to be; this too is like a vapor and running after the wind.
All knowledge man is proud of is worthless; it comes, and it goes away, like a vapor in the wind, this too is like running after the wind.
While the heart had the direction by means of wisdom to search the meaning of life, perhaps, just perhaps, in accordance with the Wisdom we wish to have enjoyment, but in measure, without losing ourselves in enjoyment, and thereby destroying ourselves.
But, the few days of our lives are numbered, and that thus even if they are not few but many, they do not endure forever.
We undertake great works, build us houses, make us fortune and careers. We make us gardens of heavens here on the earth and the love of our own wisdom in striving after splendor and human dignity, are our fundamental traits. But this too is like a vapor in the wind.
What does it result in, but to produce nothing? It brings forth no real fruits; it produces only the opposite of true satisfaction and only enlarges the inner void.
The whole tendency of the time followed in the love of the world, and of worldly conformity to which we are exposed, bring to ruin and ends in the flesh.
The obtaining of these possessions is according to the flesh that follows the enumeration of riches and jewels, a delight to the eye and of sensual love.
But when we look back on all the works we have done and on the labor in which we have toiled, we see that all was futile and a vapor—running after the wind, and there was no gain under the sun. Nothing new under the sun! Nothing but the feeling of emptiness!
What we have strove after appeared as a vapor in the wind; nothing else but a momentary delusion. And since in this search after the happiness of life, we come to the realization that no real enduring and true happiness, from all labor apart from Him.
Then we turn to look at wisdom, because what would the man do except what already has been done? And we see that the real wisdom is from Him who gives all.
Then the life becomes hateful to us and the work which we have accomplished is grievous to us, because all was vain and running after the wind.
Because who labors or who finds enjoyment without Him?
For He gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His eyes. But to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and collecting, to give to him who is good before Elohim. That too is futile and feeding on wind. (Ecc 2:26)
For everything there is an appointed time, it was even predetermined in the heavens: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to destroy, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to rejoice; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time to go to war, and a time to build peace.
But we did not know that.
A man always wants to know what the Creator will do, but this too is worthless—all he must do is to look at what He has already done.
I know that whatever Elohim does is forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken from it. Elohim has so made it, that men should fear before Him. Whatever is has already been, and what shall be has been before. But Elohim seeks out what has been pursued. (Ecc 3:14-15)
Man cannot add one day to his life or a hair to his head—they all had already been numbered. To search the unknown too is a vapor and running after the wind.
The unchangeableness of the Creator’s action and will show itself in this, that in the course of human history similar phenomena repeat themselves, for there is nothing new under the sun; and the fundamental principles, the causal connections, and the laws of the Creator, on which the entire universe and human society hang upon, remain always the same. Changing them is a futile human endeavor; this too is like a vapor and running after the wind.
He is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow, and the wisdom of man is foolishness to Him.
The days of our lives are seventy years; Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet the best of them is but toil and exertion; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your displeasure? And your wrath, according to the fear of You? Teach us to number our days, and let us bring the heart to wisdom. (Psa 90:10-12)
Such a life as this ought to urge us to awe our Creator, because the awe of Him is the beginning of wisdom. And when we begin to awe Him, He starts teaching us to number our days and to weigh the value of His gift.
Our days have already been numbered and no one can add a minute to them without strength, but this too comes from Him.
The best of our days is going under the toil for things and stuff. But at the end others will enjoy them; this too is like a vapor and running after the wind.
All are going to one place – all came from the dust, and all return to dust. (Ecc 3:20)
And when we have learned how to weigh our lives in His wisdom and when we have learned the meaning of life, the gain which we have achieved reminds about the end.
And the end is silence. The sound of silence has come.
And when life comes to its end, according to His will, each one meets the Creator at His terms.
Let us hear the conclusion of the entire matter: Fear Elohim and guard His commands, for this is for all mankind! For Elohim shall bring every work into justice, including all that is hidden, whether good or whether evil. (Ecc 12:13-14)
King Shlomo was a wise and rich man. When he became a king of Israel, he asked YHVH to give him wisdom. Because he did not ask for riches and power, but only wisdom YHVH gave wisdom and riches.
In his reign, Israel reached glory that was unmatched in the world. The Temple King Shlomo built was one of the marvels of the world in splendor and grandeur.
But Shlomo sinned extremely before Elohim; his a thousand wives and concubines turned his heart away from YHVH and towards the idols of their nations. At the end of his life, Shlomo wrote Ecclesiastes in which he reasoned about the meaning of life.
After he built himself houses and gathered for himself silver, gold, and treasures and thus he became great and increased more riches than all who were before him, his wisdom was still with him to conclude that all of that was like a vapor and running after the wind, and the wisdom he had brought him only grief.
What was the meaning of life, he concluded, but to fear YHVH and guard his commands, because He would bring every work to justice whether good or bad.
The meaning of sanctity of life
Life is not an inalienable right incapable of being repudiated. Life is not guaranteed or even granted.
It is a Creator-given privilege man cannot expect, demand, or claim but must offer thanks every moment to Him for the privilege of being born and still alive.
None of us has done anything to deserve in order to be born! We did not ask to be born; we did not know we would be born.
We did not know what is to be born.
And when we were born, and we did not even know we were born; and for how long we would be born and born for what?
Life is not a right given by any human being to another; if it were, the human could take it back and would not be judged for it, because the one who gives it can take it back.
Neither is life a right granted by a government; if it were, the government could take it back as it was granted, and it would not be judged for it. If the government gives it, the government can take it away.
But this is not so.
There is one man and one government that understood that life is the Creator-given gift that no one can take it away.
The sound of silence
In his proclamation on the meaning and sanctity of life, President Trump turned not only to his citizens of the United States of America, the great Nation on the world, but also to the entire world to protect the sanctity of life. In it, President Trump said,
“I ask every citizen of this great Nation to listen to the sound of silence caused by a generation lost to us, and then to raise their voices for all affected by abortion, both seen and unseen.” DONALD J. TRUMP
Proclamation on National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2020
Every person — the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly — has inherent value. Although each journey is different, no life is without worth or is inconsequential; the rights of all people must be defended. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our Nation proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage, from conception to natural death.
Recently, we have seen decreases in the total number and rate of abortions in our country. From 2007-2016, the most recent period of analysis, the number and rate of abortions decreased by 24 percent and 26 percent, respectively. The rate of teen pregnancies — the vast majority of which are unplanned — has almost continuously decreased over the last quarter century, contributing to the lowest rate of abortions among adolescents since the legalization of abortion in 1973. All Americans should celebrate this decline in the number and rate of abortions, which represents lives saved. Still, there is more to be done, and, as President, I will continue to fight to protect the lives of the unborn. I signed into law legislation under the Congressional Review Act that allows States and other grantees to exclude organizations that perform abortions from their Title X projects. My Administration has also issued regulations to ensure Title X family planning projects are clearly separated from those that perform, promote, or refer for abortion as a method of family planning; to protect the conscience rights of healthcare workers and organizations, including with respect to abortion; and to ensure the Federal Government does not force employers that object, based on religious belief or moral conviction, to provide insurance for contraceptives, including those they believe cause early abortions. Additionally, I have called on the Congress to act to prohibit abortions of later-term babies who can feel pain.
My Administration is also building an international coalition to dispel the concept of abortion as a fundamental human right. So far, 24 nations representing more than a billion people have joined this important cause. We oppose any projects that attempt to assert a global right to taxpayer‑funded abortion on demand, up to the moment of delivery. And we will never tire of defending innocent life — at home or abroad.
As a Nation, we must remain steadfastly dedicated to the profound truth that all life is a gift from God, who endows every person with immeasurable worth and potential. Countless Americans are tireless defenders of life and champions for the vulnerable among us. We are grateful for those who support women experiencing unexpected pregnancies, those who provide healing to women who have had abortions, and those who welcome children into their homes through foster care and adoption. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we celebrate the wonderful gift of life and renew our resolve to build a culture where life is always revered.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2020, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Today, I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born. I call on the American people to continue to care for women in unexpected pregnancies and to support adoption and foster care in a more meaningful way, so every child can have a loving home. And finally, I ask every citizen of this great Nation to listen to the sound of silence caused by a generation lost to us, and then to raise their voices for all affected by abortion, both seen and unseen.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
DONALD J. TRUMP
On 22 January 2020, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in him by the Giver of life, the Creator YHVH, did proclaim the day of universal meaning and sanctity of human life.
America is the last country and Donald Trump is the last standing man that protect the meaning and sanctity of human life.
But, if Trump fails America or America fails Trump, the beginning of the end of the great nation will come swiftly and after him there will be much grief.
President Trump’s proclamation of the meaning and sanctity of life coincides with the 47th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion that ended millions of lives in America.
Nothing has been left unnoted in Heaven.
The Creator sees and hears.
But where do we stand, when Mashiach comes?
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.