Sunday, August 18, 2013

Parashat Ki Tetze, 5733/2013 thoughts

Basics here.

Just wanted to post a quick thought, slightly after the fact, regarding the ben sorer u'moreh, the stubborn and rebellious son, about whom we read yesterday.  (See D'varim/Deuteronomy 21:18-21.)  I've read a few commentaries regarding this rule, and what I find most interesting is that, even before the rabbis made this law almost impossible to enforce, the law as written had two unusual features.  One is that it removed from the father the life-and-death authority that was typical in that time and place--he needed to take the rebel to the elders to have the city residents stone his son to death.  The other, even more unusual, is that this is one of the rare instances in the Torah, to the best of my recollection, in which a woman--in this case, the rebellious child's mother--shared legal authority over just about anyone or anything.


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