Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Parashat Shoftim, 5773/2013 thoughts

Basics here.

I’m quoting from a relatively-new old post of mine because the same thing caught my eye again this year (hey, at least I’m consistent J):

Another phrase that caught my eye here, which I’ve read in other parshiot, is “HaCohanim HaLeviyim/the Priests the Levites.” This could have two distinct meanings—either we could accept what I assume is the current interpretation, which is that all Cohanim were members of the Tribe of Levi, or this phrase might indicate that all the adult males of the entire tribe of Levi were priests, at some point in ancient Jewish history.

 More oldies but goodies, starting with three of my earliest posts:

 “ . . . concerns about assimilation go all the way back to the days of Joshua’s conquest. (So what else is new?) In this case, though, the solution seems more than a bit drastic to me, to say the least.”

“ . . . there was this gaping hole in the pursuit of justice or righteousness—there were those six indigenous peoples who were supposed to be slaughtered wholesale. This was not one of the Jewish people’s finer moments. Anyone who thinks that the Torah is a whitewash job ought to have his/her head examined.”

The rabbis’ interpretation of the prohibition against destroying fruit trees us (Deuteronomy, chapter 20, verses 19-20) was to forbid wastefulness. In theory, this is a fine basis for the modern environmental movement. In practice, though, this prohibition is honored more in the breach than in the observance. Once upon a time, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration was marked by the sponsorship of a kiddush for the congregation and, perhaps, a luncheon or dinner for the invited family and friends. How did we get from there to here? Now, there’s a buffet that’s more than sufficient for a meal, followed by the meal, followed by the sort of entertainment that used to be reserved for a wedding. 

Simcha inflation” is a serious problem in current Jewish life, in all denominations.”

More interesting than the post is Miami Al's comment:

Blogger Miami Al said...

. . .
Interestingly, while we claim that the Torah has no timeline and is eternal, 2 lambs/day in settled Canaan was no big deal... Not spread across the 11 land owning tribes...

However, during 40 years in the desert, the idea that 30,000 lambs were available for sacrifice as a non-food seems a little far fetched.
WED APR 11, 09:55:00 AM 2012

Here's Conservadox on Shoftim and writing as a memory aid.


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