Torah and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: is there a connection?

 by Elze Erwteman


After Israel was voted in the United Nations to have her own State in May 1948 it is an interesting fact, that at 10th of December that same year the United Nations accepted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We believe this is not by accident, but it is in essence a shadow of Gods will for humankind. It is known that the people who worked hard on this document wanted this connection made known, but others did not want this. One of the gifts from God through his people Israel to all of humanity is the Bible. Constitutions in democratic nations have their roots in the Torah of the Bible. However mankind chooses not to acknowledge this fact.


Only rights?
In the Declaration of Human Rights we read only about rights.
In the Bible we do not only read about rights. In the Bible we are held also responsible for our own actions. God gave us His Torah and teachings to live by. There are many commandments that we have to obey with our free will. This requires some discipline. Freedom is the will of God for us as we see in the freeing from  Israel out of the house of slavery: Egypt. This was some 3500 years ago! How tragic we have not learned much as we can see for example in the situation of Darfur.


Some articles from the Declaration of Human Rights
The Declaration of Human Rights in article 3 speaks about the right to liberty and security.We also read in article 4 that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.In article 5 we read that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


The Declaration of Human Rights in the light of God
The Declaration for Human Rights is a great document that helps us to see the situations where groups or nations are transgressing these precious human rights. We have women and men taking responsibility to act against situations as:
Darfur, child-labor, child-soldiers, oppressed women, people with faith in the God of the Bible are killed and tortured, only because they believe. People enslaved to do forced labour.


However it is very sad, that the Human Right Council, Richard Falk – who recently (2008) likened Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis – was just apponted special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories. His appointment is just the latest anti-Israel outrage perpetrated from Geneva. Since its inception, the Human Rights Council has passed twenty resolutions…nineteen singling out Israel and none on Darfur.


In this folder of the e-magazine we want to support groups and people who act for oppressed women and children. In case you have ideas and know of other situations that are also important to this folder: women in oppression please contact us, at