“Before the start of the Persian gulf war,” reports Shepherd, Kohut and Sweet, “Israel’s Chief Rabbi Mordechi Eliyahu ruled that ultra-Orthodox Jewish men could break Jewish law forbidding men from shaving in case of an Iraqi chemical attack so gas masks could fit properly over their beards. Eliyahu urged bearded men to carry scissors in their pocket in case they needed to shave quickly.” They continued, that “although Jewish law regarding the Sabbath forbids even simple physical activities, such as turning on the radio, the threat of Iraqi missile attacks . . . sent Israel’s chief rabbis scrambling to the Scriptures for a loophole so Orthodox Jews could listen to the news for warnings. The rabbis ruled that leaving the radio on during the Sabbath was permissible— provided it was on low volume."
“If there is a real alarm, you can turn up the volume, explained Religious Affairs Minister Avner Shaki, “but in a nonconventional manner, with a stick or with your elbow. Controlling the volume in a different manner still marks the Sabbath as different from the rest of the week.”
This story begs the question, why would God give Israel Sabbath laws that make her vulnerable to the threat of attack? The answer is that these laws were never intended to operate outside the divine protection promised in the Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 28-30). According to this contract, as long as Israel walked in faith and obedience, she need not fear her enemies.
How about you? How are you doing with the faith part of the journey of faith? Do you believe that God will take care of you so long as you obey and trust in HIm? Or, do you, out of fear and uncertainty, search for loopholes?
For example, when Jesus asks you to offer your enemy the "other" cheek, is that what you do? Or, do you look for a loophole that allows you to take matters into your own hands?
Rather than search for loopholes, we would all do better to search our hearts and make sure we are walking by faith.
"But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matthew 5:39).