Sunday, October 07, 2018

Kayin and Kavanaugh

I've been reading the weekly Torah reading nearly every week for over 40 years, but every now and then, I still spot something that I've never noticed before.

B'reshit/Genesis, Parshat B'reshit, chapter 4, verses 8-15

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן, אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו; וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה, וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ.8 And Cain spoke unto Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
ט  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-קַיִן, אֵי הֶבֶל אָחִיךָ; וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא יָדַעְתִּי, הֲשֹׁמֵר אָחִי אָנֹכִי.9 And the LORD said unto Cain: 'Where is Abel thy brother?' And he said: 'I know not; am I my brother's keeper?'
י  וַיֹּאמֶר, מֶה עָשִׂיתָ; קוֹל דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ, צֹעֲקִים אֵלַי מִן-הָאֲדָמָה.10 And He said: 'What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground.
יא  וְעַתָּה, אָרוּר אָתָּה, מִן-הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר פָּצְתָה אֶת-פִּיהָ, לָקַחַת אֶת-דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ מִיָּדֶךָ.11 And now cursed art thou from the ground, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.
יב  כִּי תַעֲבֹד אֶת-הָאֲדָמָה, לֹא-תֹסֵף תֵּת-כֹּחָהּ לָךְ; נָע וָנָד, תִּהְיֶה בָאָרֶץ.12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.'
יג  וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן, אֶל-יְהוָה:  גָּדוֹל עֲוֺנִי, מִנְּשֹׂא.13 And Cain said unto the LORD: 'My punishment is greater than I can bear.
יד  הֵן גֵּרַשְׁתָּ אֹתִי הַיּוֹם, מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה, וּמִפָּנֶיךָ, אֶסָּתֵר; וְהָיִיתִי נָע וָנָד, בָּאָרֶץ, וְהָיָה כָל-מֹצְאִי, יַהַרְגֵנִי.14 Behold, Thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the land; and from Thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth; and it will come to pass, that whosoever findeth me will slay me.'
טו  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יְהוָה, לָכֵן כָּל-הֹרֵג קַיִן, שִׁבְעָתַיִם, יֻקָּם; וַיָּשֶׂם יְהוָה לְקַיִן אוֹת, לְבִלְתִּי הַכּוֹת-אֹתוֹ כָּל-מֹצְאוֹ.15 And the LORD said unto him: 'Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.' And the LORD set a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him.

What do you mean, "My punishment is greater than I can bear"?  You just killed your brother, and this is the only thing you have to say?

Kayin (Cain) expressed no remorse, no sense of guilt.  The only thing that upset him was that he'd been caught.  And then had the unmitigated chutzpah (gall) to complain that he was being punished.  Did he expect not to be punished?

And why was he punished with exile?  Later in the Torah, it is written (quote approximate), "A person who sheds another person's blood, by another person will that murderer's blood be shed."*  Evidently, G-d believes in capital punishment, but G-d doesn't necessarily inflict it G-dself.  Why, then, did G-d mark Kayin's forehead to prevent any human from avenging Hevel's (Abel's) blood?

Apparently, nothing's changed in over 5,000 years--perpetrators of violence are still getting away with a slap on the wrist from the powerful.

*Monday, October 15, 2018 update:

Genesis Chapter 9 בְּרֵאשִׁית

[Parshat Noach/Noah--sorry about extra space that I can't seem to delete]

ו  שֹׁפֵךְ דַּם הָאָדָם, בָּאָדָם דָּמוֹ יִשָּׁפֵךְ:  כִּי בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים, עָשָׂה אֶת-הָאָדָם. 6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made He man.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what horse crap. There was zero evidence. Even Ford's friend who Ford had said was at the party said she had never met Brett Kavanaugh. Your political acumen is as faulty as your parshanut.

Mon Oct 08, 01:42:00 PM 2018  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I believe it's possible that Kavanaugh was too drunk to remember. I *don't* believe that Dr. Ford would have risked her reputation and possibly her safety and that of her family to commit perjury before the Senate.

As for my parshanut, you're welcome to check out someone's else blog (or Facebook posts) if my approach does not reflect your haskafah (religious perspective).

Tue Oct 09, 12:15:00 PM 2018  

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