The lash of a bitter wind-driven rain on his bare legs was not the only reminder to Antonios “Fat Tony” Mokbel, aka “Mr Ice,” that the Sabbath was not a good day to wear shorts when returning to wintry Melbourne from a long sojourn on the Mediterranean.
Within minutes of taking up semi-permanent residence in the Barwon correctional facility near the sleepy hollow of Geelong, his mum was on the phone to give him an earful.
She reminded young Antonios (who was born in Egypt) of the vows that he took during his confirmation as a Maronite Christian many moons ago in suburban Moreland: they were written by God in stone and handed-down to Moses on a mountain top in the middle east and are a list of religious and moral imperatives that accord to Judeo-Christian tradition of what is right and what is wrong.
Here is how they were reported in Exodus:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; Do not have any other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work — you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.
Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or Ferrari, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.
You shall not wear bad wigs when ordering coffee at Athenian cafes.
You shall not import two kilos of cocaine from Mexico and expect to get away with it.
You shall not allegedly manufacture methylamphetamine (ice) and allegedly sell it to our kids.
You shall get a fair trial.