rhu: (torah)
In yesterday's Torah reading, Lavan has chased after Ya'akov and his family. Among other things, Lavan charges Ya'akov with stealing his idols, and Ya'akov rashly responds, "Whomever you find with your gods, that one shall not live." And the verse concludes: "For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them." As Lavan searches, Rachel excuses herself from standing in her father's presence, claiming "the way of women is upon me" when, in fact, she had hidden the idols in her saddlebags and was sitting on them.

Rashi's comment on "that one shall not live" is "And because of this curse, Rachel died on the journey." Which satisfies on a visceral level but doesn't seem to withstand scrutiny... )
rhu: (torah)
In yesterday's Torah reading, Lavan has chased after Ya'akov and his family. Among other things, Lavan charges Ya'akov with stealing his idols, and Ya'akov rashly responds, "Whomever you find with your gods, that one shall not live." And the verse concludes: "For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them." As Lavan searches, Rachel excuses herself from standing in her father's presence, claiming "the way of women is upon me" when, in fact, she had hidden the idols in her saddlebags and was sitting on them.

Rashi's comment on "that one shall not live" is "And because of this curse, Rachel died on the journey." Which satisfies on a visceral level but doesn't seem to withstand scrutiny... )
rhu: (Default)

The intersection of the sets of friends who will actually get this is probably quite small, but I can't resist.

PHONETIC DELETION (3 4, ה)
(Surprisingly, 3 4 is not M-W although a similar phrase is 11-C findable)
(ה is ^ and not M-W)

The people were lawless,
So God sent the HEH.
(The THREE FOUR was too much
Back in Noah's day).






[Edited to add: I should clarify on the enumeration: The transliteration of the Hebrew word has five letters, but the word in Hebrew has four.]

rhu: (Default)

The intersection of the sets of friends who will actually get this is probably quite small, but I can't resist.

PHONETIC DELETION (3 4, ה)
(Surprisingly, 3 4 is not M-W although a similar phrase is 11-C findable)
(ה is ^ and not M-W)

The people were lawless,
So God sent the HEH.
(The THREE FOUR was too much
Back in Noah's day).






[Edited to add: I should clarify on the enumeration: The transliteration of the Hebrew word has five letters, but the word in Hebrew has four.]

rhu: (Default)
[Adapted from a d'var Torah that I gave at the Zamir shabbaton 6 years ago.]

"And it was, the whole earth had one language and one vocabulary." ("Vay'hi khol haaretz safah echat ud'varim achadim (Br. 11:1)) -- These, the opening words of the last aliyah this Shabbat. The people decide "nivneh lanu ir, umigdal v'rosho vashamayim; let us build a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens." God decides this is a danger, and solves the problem by fragmenting their language and scattering the peoples.

We're so accustomed to this story, which most of us learned as children, that we don't even question whether the response was appropriate. Why did God choose to frustrate the builders of Migdal Bavel by fragmenting their languages? What a strange solution to an engineering problem! A more direct approach might be to make the rocks heavy, or slippery, or to have earthquake after earthquake swallow the structure. Perhaps after several attempts to erect their tower, the people would get the idea and give up.

More )
rhu: (Default)
[Adapted from a d'var Torah that I gave at the Zamir shabbaton 6 years ago.]

"And it was, the whole earth had one language and one vocabulary." ("Vay'hi khol haaretz safah echat ud'varim achadim (Br. 11:1)) -- These, the opening words of the last aliyah this Shabbat. The people decide "nivneh lanu ir, umigdal v'rosho vashamayim; let us build a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens." God decides this is a danger, and solves the problem by fragmenting their language and scattering the peoples.

We're so accustomed to this story, which most of us learned as children, that we don't even question whether the response was appropriate. Why did God choose to frustrate the builders of Migdal Bavel by fragmenting their languages? What a strange solution to an engineering problem! A more direct approach might be to make the rocks heavy, or slippery, or to have earthquake after earthquake swallow the structure. Perhaps after several attempts to erect their tower, the people would get the idea and give up.

More )
rhu: (Default)
This week we read Bereshit, the first pericope in the Torah. And this morning [livejournal.com profile] introverte and I went to our daughter's nursery school because she was "challah helper" and we listened to the teacher tell the story of the seven days of creation. And it got me thinking:

We often fall into the trap of saying that God created everything in six days, and on the seventh day God "rested" or "refrained from creation" or "didn't create anything." But the Talmud is quite clear that Shabbat itself was created on the seventh day. This goes beyond God setting the precedent of "resting" which we, in imitatio Deo are commanded to mimic.

During each moment of that first Shabbat, as I read the text and the commentaries, God was actively engaged in creating a sacred essence which is shared by all subsequent holy days. I don't honestly understand what the attribute of kedushah is or how it adheres to objects, words, and times; but I accept the concept, and I have to conclude that the Ur-kedushah was created from evening to evening of the seventh day.
rhu: (Default)
This week we read Bereshit, the first pericope in the Torah. And this morning [livejournal.com profile] introverte and I went to our daughter's nursery school because she was "challah helper" and we listened to the teacher tell the story of the seven days of creation. And it got me thinking:

We often fall into the trap of saying that God created everything in six days, and on the seventh day God "rested" or "refrained from creation" or "didn't create anything." But the Talmud is quite clear that Shabbat itself was created on the seventh day. This goes beyond God setting the precedent of "resting" which we, in imitatio Deo are commanded to mimic.

During each moment of that first Shabbat, as I read the text and the commentaries, God was actively engaged in creating a sacred essence which is shared by all subsequent holy days. I don't honestly understand what the attribute of kedushah is or how it adheres to objects, words, and times; but I accept the concept, and I have to conclude that the Ur-kedushah was created from evening to evening of the seventh day.

Profile

rhu: (Default)
Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags