By Noam Laufer
Hillel Levin came to the Atlanta Jewish Academy on April 15 to discuss the U.S. Constitution with the seventh grade. He is a professor at the University of Georgia, where he teaches constitutional law.
He talked about when, how and where the Constitution was written. Then he asked the class: “What is the most important law?”
Students answered with many different suggestions, such as “don’t kill,” freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.
Professor Levin told us that before it is possible to make laws that forbid murder or protect freedom of speech, you need to designate the right people to make those rules.
He related this idea to the introduction of the Ten Commandments. Professor Levin said that G-d could be compared to the legislative branch of government and that the commandments could represent the rules that were made. Before laws could be passed in the United States, we had to know where, when and how these new rules would be made.
There must be a foundation to support laws so they can work. There is no legitimacy to laws unless there is a substantial source behind them. Like the Ten Commandments, what makes the laws so important and so powerful is not the laws themselves, but who created them.
As citizens, Professor Levin explained, it is our responsibility to form a more perfect union. We must continue striving for perfection in our laws, even if absolute perfection can never happen.
Noam Laufer just completed the seventh grade at Atlanta Jewish Academy.