Cal. Litig. 2014, Volume 27, Number 3

McDermott On Demand: The Rules of Procedure or the Rule of Law?

By Thomas J. McDermott, Jr.

There is a famous anecdote starring Hillel, the great Jewish scholar and philosopher, which goes like this: A Roman soldier approaches Hillel and says, "If you can teach me everything in the Torah while I stand on one leg, I will become a Jew." Hillel says, "Raise your leg." The Roman does. Hillel says, "That which is hateful unto you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah, the rest is commentary. You are now a Jew. Go forth and study."

The Torah (the Old Testament) and the Bible (the New Testament) both do say exactly that. There is more, of course, but most all going to the same end: Be decent to others so that they will be decent to you.

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