Sunday, July 27, 2008


Weekly Parsha Blogging

I've already discussed the notion of essential vs. existential threats and the question of why the commanded war against Midian was such a danger. I'd like to add -- the real threat is not the person who tries to fight you but the one who tries to seduce you into sin. We should think about this in considering "Jewish loving" right and their siren song of seduction.

Some other points --

(1) why did Moses issue such a stern command? The Eitz Chaim Humash points out that Moses might have been concerned about being seen as partial toward the Midianites given his marriage ... this is kinda like how some people in the media who really do think themselves to be liberal (and it shows, thus lending credence to conservative claims about a liberal media) go out of their way to be "objective" by skewering liberals and promoting conservatives.

(2) was the command of genocide ever carried out? what are we to infer from the Torah's silence on this?

(3) assuming the Torah is not historical -- what does it mean that the Torah should describe this "event" and not history? what lesson are we to take?

(4) should we follow the Torah and be better about having "purification rituals" to help soldiers reintegrate into society? even as we are generous toward are veterans (perhaps not enough, but still), we still don't give them perhaps what they need to become civilians again -- I know too many scarred veterans ... OTOH, we do celebrate militarism (see Rev. RMJ's latest post) -- we cheer soldiers who return but we don't really give them rituals of return besides some empty cheering. this is what patriotism is?

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