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An Entity Observes All Things

While business owners and entrepreneurs form a limited liability entity in order to operate the business, some fail to appreciate that simply forming the correct type of entity does not guaranty the liability shield on an ongoing basis.

An Entity Observes All Things

Accordingly, it is essential that following formation of a company, owners and their corporate counsel ensure that the entity observes all corporate formalities in order to demonstrate its separateness and preserve the liability shield. These steps include:

A Greek philosopher of the late 6th century BCE, Heraclitus criticizes his predecessors and contemporaries for their failure to see the unity in experience. He claims to announce an everlasting Word (Logos) according to which all things are one, in some sense. Opposites are necessary for life, but they are unified in a system of balanced exchanges. The world itself consists of a law-like interchange of elements, symbolized by fire. Thus the world is not to be identified with any particular substance, but rather with an ongoing process governed by a law of change. The underlying law of nature also manifests itself as a moral law for human beings. Heraclitus is the first Western philosopher to go beyond physical theory in search of metaphysical foundations and moral applications.

Thus, Heraclitus does not hold Universal Flux, but recognizes a lawlike flux of elements; and he does not hold the Identity of Opposites, but the Transformational Equivalence of Opposites. The views that he does hold do not, jointly or separately, entail a denial of the Law of Non-Contradiction. Heraclitus does, to be sure, make paradoxical statements, but his views are no more self-contradictory than are the paradoxical claims of Socrates. They are, presumably, meant to wake us up from our dogmatic slumbers.

In a tacit criticism of Anaximander, Heraclitus rejects the view that cosmic justice is designed to punish one opposite for its transgressions against another. If it were not for the constant conflict of opposites, there would be no alternations of day and night, hot and cold, summer and winter, even life and death. Indeed, if some things did not die, others would not be born. Conflict does not interfere with life, but rather is a precondition of life.

As we have seen, for Heraclitus fire changes into water and then into earth; earth changes into water and then into fire. At the level of either cosmic bodies (in which sea turns into fiery storms on the one hand and earth on the other) or domestic activities (in which, for instance, water boils out of a pot), there is constant flux among opposites. To maintain the balance of the world, we must posit an equal and opposite reaction to every change. Heraclitus observes,

Speaking with sense we must rely on a common sense of all things, as a city relies on its wall, and much more reliably. For all human laws are nourished by the one divine law. For it prevails as far as it will and suffices for all and overflows. (DK22B114)

The laws provide a defense for a city and its way of life. But the laws are not merely of local interest: they derive their force from a divine law. Here we see the notion of a law of nature that informs human society as well as nature. There is a human cosmos that like the natural cosmos reflects an underlying order. The laws by which human societies are governed are not mere conventions, but are grounded in the ultimate nature of things. One cannot break a human law with impunity. The notion of a law-like order in nature has antecedents in the theory of Anaximander, and the notion of an inherent moral law influences the Stoics in the 3rd century BCE.

Evidently the world either is god, or is a manifestation of the activity of god, which is somehow to be identified with the underlying order of things. God can be thought of as fire, but fire, as we have seen, is constantly changing, symbolic of transformation and process. Divinity is present in the world, but not as a conventional anthropomorphic being such as the Greeks worshiped.

MosheIdel observes that the motif of incorporation of the righteous into asingle aeon recalls the idea of the righteous as the cosmologicalfoundation or pillar of the world reflected in some Jewish mysticalwritings. The idea of the righteous as the foundation of the worldseems also present in 2 Enoch 66 where the final aeon is setin parallel with the protological foundation of the created order -the aeon Adoil.

23Igor Tantlevskij observes that in 3 Enoch 8, Enoch-Metatronhas qualities by which, according to b. Hag. 12a and Avotde Rabbi Nathan A 27:43, the world was created and is sustained.I. R. Tantlevskij, KnigiEnoha (Moscow/Jerusalem: Gesharim,2000) 185 [in Russian].

"God is good to all, and His mercy is upon all His works" (Psalms 145:9). This verse is the touchstone of the rabbinic attitude toward animal welfare, appearing in a number of contexts in Torah literature. At first glance, its relevance may be somewhat obscure. It speaks of God, not man. However, a basic rule of Jewish ethics is the emulation of God's ways. In the words of the Talmudic sages: "Just as He clothes the naked, so shall you clothe the naked. Just as He is merciful, so shall you be merciful..."[1] Therefore, compassion for all creatures, including animals, is not only God's business; it is a virtue that we, too, must emulate. Moreover, rabbinic tradition asserts that God's mercy supersedes all other Divine attributes. Thus, compassion must not be reckoned as one good trait among others; rather, it is central to our entire approach to life. The Unity of All Things A fundamental premise of Judaism is belief in the absolute and encompassing Oneness of the Creator, Who brings all things into being.[2] In addition to defining our view of the Creator, this premise informs our view of Creation. Since Creation in all its diversity flows from the Divine Oneness, it follows that in its Essence, all Creation is one - a mystical concept that has profound spiritual and ethical implications. If all Creation constitutes a unitary whole, then all things, from the highest to lowest entity in the hierarchy of Creation, share a spiritual affinity with one another. Not that the universe is Divine; the identification of nature and God is pantheism, a belief inconsistent with the doctrine of God's incorporeality. Pantheism also disputes the concept of free choice (bechirah chofshis) through its implicit moral determinism. Rather, the spiritual affinity of which we speak exists by virtue of the Infinite One Who produces and encompasses all things, while at the same time transcending them. As the verse attests, "How worthy are Your works, O God; You have created them all with wisdom" (Psalms 104:24). For this paramount reason, it is natural and proper for human beings to feel kinship with animals, despite the physical and spiritual differences between them. Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (1522-1570) states: "Although God transcends Creation, He sustains all living beings, from the highest to the lowest, and does not disparage any creature - for if He were to reject any creature due to its inferiority, none could exist even for a moment. Instead, He watches over and shows mercy to all. Similarly, a person should be benevolent to everyone, and no creature should seem despicable to him. Even the smallest living thing should be exceedingly worthy in his eyes."[3] Kindness Toward Animals Benevolence entails action. Thus, Judaism goes beyond the subjective factor of moral sentiment and mandates kindness toward animals in halacha (religious law), prohibits their abuse, praises their good traits, and obligates their owners concerning their well-being. As we shall see, even man's self-serving use of animals can bring about their spiritual benefit. Certainly, this should be part of our conscious intent in using animals, as well as in using any of the world's resources. By example of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, the Torah describes the ways of right action. Abraham personifies the Divine trait of chesed (kindness). Thus, the Midrash cites a dialogue in which Abraham tells Noah and his sons that they survived the flood because of the faithfulness with which they cared for the animals on the Ark.[4] In the Book of Genesis, Abraham's servant Eliezer determines that Rebecca is a worthy bride for Isaac when, after serving him water, she voluntarily gives water to his camels. This act of kindness, both to strangers and animals, proves her worthiness to enter the family of Abraham, and thus to become one of the mothers of the Jewish people. Jacob, too, is distinguished by an act of kindness toward animals. Rabbi Chaim ibn Attar (1696-1743) proposes that Jacob may have been the first person to build animal shelters out of compassion for his flocks.[5] Not only are animals deserving of our compassion, but we may learn a number of good traits from them. The Talmud attests that, had the Torah not been given, "we might have learned modesty from the cat, honest labor from the ant, marital fidelity from the dove, and consideration of one's mate from the rooster."[6] To be sure, Judaism asserts that the world with all it contains is not an end unto itself, but serves as a backdrop for man - in particular for man's exercise of free will.[7] In the phrase of Chassidic master Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), "Everything you see in the world, everything that exists, is for the sake of free will."[8] This is the central challenge of our lives; for by choosing the path of belief in God and Torah observance (or, in the case of non-Jews, by heeding the Seven Universal Laws of Noah), a person can achieve intimacy with the Creator. This is not true of a master-slave relationship, which is devoid of the element of choice. Nevertheless, if man is the main performer on the stage of Creation, this does not mean that the "supporting cast" is of small consequence. Indeed, the Divine call to venture beyond the ego and develop a sense of compassion for the rest of Creation is a key part of the cosmic test. "One should respect all creatures," asserts Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, "recognizing in them the greatness of the Creator Who formed man with wisdom. All creatures are imbued with the Creator's wisdom, which itself makes them greatly deserving of honor. The Maker of All, the Wise One Who transcends everything, is associated with His creatures in having made them. If one were to disparage them, God forbid, this would reflect upon the honor of their Maker."[9] Because man is the central figure in Creation, he is responsible for the rest of the world. The Torah describes how God placed Adam and Eve in the center of Eden and commanded them to "tend" and "watch over" the garden. Symbolically, this defines humanity's continuing role as custodian of nature.[10] As a point of theology, it also has important ethical-halachic consequences: we must seek to relieve the suffering of animals; we must properly feed and attend the domestic animals under our care; our animals must rest on the Sabbath; we only may take the life of an animal to serve a legitimate human need; acts of wanton destructiveness are forbidden; and, according to the Sefer HaChinnuch (13th century c.e.), the prohibition of slaughtering an animal and its young on the same day teaches us that it is forbidden to bring about the destruction of any species.[11] Through our emulation of God, we become the instrument of God's compassion for the world that He created and pronounced "good." The Hallmark of Wisdom Compassion for animals is the measure of spiritual refinement. In his classic work of Jewish ethics, Mesilas Yesharim, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707-1746) asserts that it is one of the basic characteristics of a chassid, by which he means a person striving for spiritual perfection.[12] Indeed, the Midrash states that both Moses and King David were chosen by God to be leaders of Israel because of the compassion they had previously demonstrated toward their flocks.[13] There are countless tales of tzaddikim (righteous individuals) and their concern for the well-being of animals. As several stories in this volume demonstrate, this concern may extend even to wild creatures for which we bear no direct responsibility. Despite the apparent multiformity of the universe, there is an underlying spiritual connection between all things. Kabbalistic works speak of four elements: earth (afar), water (mayim), air (ru'ach), and fire (aish); in modern scientific terms, these are the four states of matter: solid, liquid, gas, and energy. The four elements, in turn, parallel the four levels of existence: "silent" things (domem), vegetation (tzome'ach), animals (chai), and human beings (medaber), as well as the Four Worlds, or levels of reality. The World of Action (Asiyah) includes the entire physical universe; the three higher "worlds" are those of Formation (Yetzirah), Creation (Beriah), and Emanation (Atzilus). Beyond these categories are transcendent levels of which we cannot even begin to speak. The universe is wondrously diverse; all things differ in form, intellect, and purpose. Nevertheless, there exists a commonality among all creatures in that everything reflects God's wisdom and is part of the Divine plan. This is not merely an abstract concept, but a potent subject of contemplation for anyone who seeks a more enlightened way of relating to the world. The Baal Shem Tov (R. Yisrael Ben Eliezer, 1698-1760), founder of the Chassidic movement, declares: "Do not consider yourself superior to anyone else... In truth, you are no different than any other creature, since all things were brought into being to serve God. Just as God bestows consciousness upon you, so does He bestow consciousness upon your fellow man. In what way is a human being superior to a worm? A worm serves the Creator with all of his intelligence and ability; and man, too, is compared to a worm or a maggot, as the verse states, 'I am a worm and not a man' (Psalms 22:7). If God had not given you a human intellect, you would only be able to serve Him like a worm. In this sense, you are both equal in the eyes of Heaven. A person should consider himself and the worm and all creatures as comrades in the universe, for we are all created beings whose abilities are God-given..."[14] Compassion and Enlightenment The Baal Shem Tov's words proceed from a deeply mystical perception: all things are animated by God, and thus constitute a "garment" for Him. As he observes, "All the worlds are garments, each one for the next, down to the lowest aspect..."[15] This concept is suggested by the verse that states, "He covers Himself with light as a garment" (Psalms 104:2). In Kabbalistic terms, this alludes to the Infinite Light of Creation (Ohr Ein Sof). The Infinite Light, in turn, is "garbed" through numerous acts of constriction (tzimtzum) that produce the various "worlds," culminating in the physical universe.[16] Thus, the universe may be conceived as the "outermost" garment of God, beneath which His Infinite Light is concealed. Although some elements may be primary and others secondary, all parts of the garment exist in symbiotic relationship with one another, and they possess meaning by virtue of the One Who fashioned the garment for His own purpose. Therefore, the Baal Shem Tov teaches us, the enlightened person will sense the comradeship of "man and the worm and all small creatures," and relate to all of God's works with love. As the Maharal of Prague (R. Yehudah Loewi Ben Betzalel, 1512-1609) observes, "Love of all creatures is also love of God; for whoever loves the One, loves all the works that He has made."[17] The realization of this truth is the central point of Jewish mysticism. And it is the root of the Jewish ethic of compassion for all creatures.


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