Thursday, January 16, 2014

Parashat Yitro, 5774/2014 edition

I got nothin'. Check out my Yitro post from last year, with links.

Conservadox gets political.

Rav Shai Held says there's a reason why Yitro's story comes right after Amalek's.

On second thought (and further rereading) . . .

כב  וְלֹא-תַעֲלֶה בְמַעֲלֹת, עַל-מִזְבְּחִי:  אֲשֶׁר לֹא-תִגָּלֶה עֶרְוָתְךָ, עָלָיו.  {פ}
22 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto Mine altar, that thy nakedness be not uncovered thereon. {P}

Is this the Torah’s/Bible’s first mention of tzniut/modesty?

Saturday, January 18, 2014, 9:15 PM correction:
The following are all from the next weekly reading, Parashat Mishpatim, and should have been saved for my next parashah post.  Apparently, I got carried away.  Well, a little extra learning can't hurt.

י  אִם-אַחֶרֶת, יִקַּח-לוֹ--שְׁאֵרָהּ כְּסוּתָהּ וְעֹנָתָהּ, לֹא יִגְרָע.
10 If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her conjugal rights, shall he not diminish

The short version:  Polygamy is expensive.  :)  And wives have rights.

כב  וְכִי-יִנָּצוּ אֲנָשִׁים, וְנָגְפוּ אִשָּׁה הָרָה וְיָצְאוּ יְלָדֶיהָ, וְלֹא יִהְיֶה, אָסוֹן--עָנוֹשׁ יֵעָנֵשׁ, כַּאֲשֶׁר יָשִׁית עָלָיו בַּעַל הָאִשָּׁה, וְנָתַן, בִּפְלִלִים.
22 And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow, he shall be surely fined, according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

I assume that this is the origin of the rabbinic opinion that abortion is not murder.

א  אִם-בַּמַּחְתֶּרֶת יִמָּצֵא הַגַּנָּב, וְהֻכָּה וָמֵת--אֵין לוֹ, דָּמִים.
1 If a thief be found breaking in, and be smitten so that he dieth, there shall be no bloodguiltiness for him.

Self-defense is permissible . . .

ב  אִם-זָרְחָה הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ עָלָיו, דָּמִים לוֹ: 
2 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be bloodguiltiness for him . . .

. . . but if there’s a way to defend oneself that doesn’t involve killing, then killing is not permissible.  Once the sun’s up and you can see that the thief is on the way out of the house and you’re not in mortal danger, you can’t just shoot to kill.

לא  וְשַׁתִּי אֶת-גְּבֻלְךָ, מִיַּם-סוּף וְעַד-יָם פְּלִשְׁתִּים, וּמִמִּדְבָּר, עַד-הַנָּהָר:  כִּי אֶתֵּן בְּיֶדְכֶם, אֵת יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ, וְגֵרַשְׁתָּמוֹ, מִפָּנֶיךָ.
31 And I will set thy border from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness unto the River; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.
לב  לֹא-תִכְרֹת לָהֶם וְלֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, בְּרִית.
32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.
לג  לֹא יֵשְׁבוּ בְּאַרְצְךָ, פֶּן-יַחֲטִיאוּ אֹתְךָ לִי:  כִּי תַעֲבֹד אֶת-אֱלֹהֵיהֶם, כִּי-יִהְיֶה לְךָ לְמוֹקֵשׁ.  {פ}
33 They shall not dwell in thy land--lest they make thee sin against Me, for thou wilt serve their gods--for they will be a snare unto thee. {P}

Ouch.  What do we do with this?  Kahane to the contrary notwithstanding, Israel can’t just expel the Palestinians.  I don’t think that’s the kind of behavior that a compassionate people, followers of a compassionate G-d, can justify.


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