Thursday, November 29, 2012

Parshat Vayishlach, 5773/2012 thoughts

Basics here.

  • New thought #1, for your amusement:
Genesis/B'reshit, chapter 32

יד וַיָּלֶן שָׁם, בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא; וַיִּקַּח מִן-הַבָּא בְיָדוֹ, מִנְחָה--לְעֵשָׂו אָחִיו. 14 And he lodged there that night; and took of that which he had with him a present for Esau his brother:
טו עִזִּים מָאתַיִם, וּתְיָשִׁים עֶשְׂרִים, רְחֵלִים מָאתַיִם, וְאֵילִים עֶשְׂרִים. 15 two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,

טז גְּמַלִּים מֵינִיקוֹת וּבְנֵיהֶם, שְׁלֹשִׁים; פָּרוֹת אַרְבָּעִים, וּפָרִים עֲשָׂרָה, אֲתֹנֹת עֶשְׂרִים, וַעְיָרִם עֲשָׂרָה. 16 thirty milch camels and their colts, forty kine and ten bulls, twenty she-asses and ten foals."

Yaakov (Jacob) sent Esav (Esau) "milch camels."  Camels are not kosher, therefore camel's milk is not kosher.  If I hear one more rabbinic statement that our ancestors obeyed the entire Torah even though most of the laws hadn't been given yet . . .

DovBear and his commenters had fun with this, too.

  • New thought #2:
Genesis/B'reshit, chapter 35

יא וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אֱלֹ-ים אֲנִי -ל שַׁדַּי, פְּרֵה וּרְבֵה--גּוֹי וּקְהַל גּוֹיִם, יִהְיֶה מִמֶּךָּ; וּמְלָכִים, מֵחֲלָצֶיךָ יֵצֵאוּ. 11 And God said unto him: 'I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;"

A bit slow, isn't G-d?  All but one of Yaakov's children had already been born.

My oldies:
" . . . the story of the rape of Dinah simply cries out for “kol isha,” a woman’s voice. For me, as a committed Jewish woman, this is one of the most difficult texts in the Torah/Bible, not only because Dinah was raped, but, even worse, because, while we know how her father and brothers felt, we have no idea how she felt (or, for that matter, how her mother felt), nor do we know what, ultimately, became of her. Unfortunately, we can only speculate, because the voice of this woman named Dinah was silenced."
A highlight of the post itself:

"•Much has been made of the fact that Dinah went out alone, but much of the blame has been placed on Dinah herself. I'd flip that blame on its head: If it was dangerous for a female to go anywhere unescorted, why the heck could none of Dinah's 10 older brothers--or any of Yaakov's servants, if the boys were too young--find a free minute to accompany her? As my husband speculated, did Yaakov and/or his sons expect this poor girl/woman with no sisters to be content never to have any contact with other girls/women of her own age?"

Saturday, December 1, 2012, 11:09 PM update
I forgot to link to my Book review:"Esau's Blessing," by Ora Horn Prouser (Thursday, February 02, 2012) and mention this thought:

"The biggest surprise, though, was Dr. Horn Prouser's theory that Jacob/Yaakov, after having been injured by, er, whomever or whatever wrestled with him all night, was changed for life, and not just in name. Whatever happened to the guy who conned his brother out of his birthright and blessing, and managed to outsmart his exploitative uncle and strip him of most of his wealth? . . .  with his newly-acquired limp, he can't keep up, and doesn't want to admit it. . . . what happened to that brave fellow who stood his ground against Lavan? When his daughter Dina is raped, he won't even say anything until his sons get home. And when Shim'on and Levi take their revenge against Dina's rapist and kill all the men of Shechem, Yaakov's only complaint is that they've made the neighborhood unsafe for him?!"

When Avraham's nephew Lot was captured, Avraham sent an army to free him.  When Yaakov's daughter Dina was raped and abducted, Yaakov did . . . nothing, and then complained that his sons had taken matters into their own hands in a manner that endangered him.  Yaakov doesn't come out of this story looking particularly good.  :(


Blogger Maya Resnikoff said...

I'm leyning this week, so I've been getting immersed in the details of the parsha. (I find that for me, there's nothing like leyning to help me pay real attention to the parsha.) What struck me this year is the many repetitions and little details that happen twice- differently each time- once by the angel/man he wrestles with, and once by God. Yaakov has his name changed twice, and Esav both is Edom and is the father of Edom. Source critics probably have a field day. Me? I wonder what it says about the nature of what it takes to make names "stick"...

Thu Nov 29, 05:37:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Maya, I hadn't noticed that Yaakov gets renamed twice--I'll have to keep my eyes peeled and my eyes open during the leyning/k'riat haTorah/Torah reading tomorrow.

" . . . Esav both is Edom and is the father of Edom."

That might mean that Esav is the "founding father" of the nation of Edom.

Fri Nov 30, 10:56:00 AM 2012  
Anonymous Garnel Ironheart said...

> Camels are not kosher, therefore camel's milk is not kosher.

Yaakov Avinu sent male and female animals. There is no distinct Hebrew word for female camel, hence the term "milch camel". And besides, we already know Eisav didn't keep kosher.

> All but one of Yaakov's children had already been born.

Read Rashi. It refers to Binyamin, Menashe and Ephraim.

Sun Dec 02, 04:37:00 AM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Garnel, thanks for the dikduk/grammar lesson. But who's talking about Esav? According to the rabbis, *Yaakov* was supposed to have kept kosher. Which I obviously don't believe.

Rashi's counting Menashe and Efraim, Yaakov's grandchildren, as Yaakov's children because Yaakov "adopted" them as separate tribes even though they were both the sons of Yosef/Joseph, and therefore, technically the single Tribe of Yosef. That's sneaky. :)

Sun Dec 02, 08:51:00 PM 2012  
Anonymous AnDat said...

I'm not sure what basis the translators had for that translation. The word used is מֵינִיקוֹת.* I read it as nursing - the mothers of the colts in question. A מנקת is a nursemaid - להניק is still used in modern hebrew for suckling and nursing (and milking is חליבה, though I don't know how old that word is). What part of this requires that Ya'akov be drinking this milk?

* (that's not a dictionary of biblical hebrew, but it generally mentions older usages of the word, even if no longer in use or literary only.)

I presume this is the point Garnel was making as well - this is a description of the state/type of camel, not their function in Yaakov's household.

Mon Dec 03, 12:04:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"this is a description of the state/type of camel, not their function in Yaakov's household."

Thanks for the clarification, AnDat. That makes sense.

Mon Dec 03, 12:17:00 PM 2012  

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