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View Diary: D'Var Torah - Vayishlach (20 comments)

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  •  Jacob was 20 years with Laban (2+ / 0-)
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    Mortifyd, BlueJessamine

    and for the first seven, remained unmarried.  Then he wed Leah, and contrary to popular belief, wed Rachel a week later, though he had to work another seven years for her bride price.  Say a year before his first son was born, and we have Reuben being about twelve years old when they all left Laban.  So if Simeon and Levi were twelve and thirteen at the time of Shechem, a few years must have passed - for after all, how old would Dina have been at the time?

    I never thought of the numbers here, but I somehow think of Jacob's children being older.  Strange, isn't it?

    As for the wrestling match, I think Jacob saw a man, but afterwards considers it an angel, and that he has seen the face of God in his messenger.  I always think of it as Jacob wrestling with himself, for he is angry at himself for his treatment of Esau, and therefore earns his new name.

    Personally, I always think of this before Yom Kippur, since when I do Yom Kippur right that's what I am doing - wrestling with myself to release that better self I know is there somewhere.

    Of course if these two are identical twins - and things like the age at which they hit puberty can be different in identical twins - they are closely in tune with each other.  Jacob and Esau could both have spent that night in the same way without physically being in the same place...

    I think we should explain that during the Torah service, the reading is divided into seven parts, with a blessing before each part, and sometimes with different readers as well, for those not familiar with the Shabbat service.

    Also, could you put D'var Torah in the title as well in the tags? That is how some people find them.

    Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

    by ramara on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 10:28:50 AM PST

    •  for a proto chassid, I'm not very woo woo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ramara

      when it comes to things like this.  I think that the important lesson of Jacob is that people can change - he spent his whole life being a dick until the night of wrestling - and then he tried to be less of a dick.  Not always to say modern standards of not being dickish, but for his day, he made a remarkable change of habit.

      But sometimes the parsha really means what it says - and this is one case where I think that is the case and other people see woo woo.  

      I agree about how we tend to think about them as older - I do it too.  I was kind of WTF they were 12 and 13?  Not cool, bloodthirsty little dudes.  While I understand their anger and appreciate the desire to revenge their sister - I kind of have a problem with the whole woman = virginity with legs thing in general.

      I will point out there is no victim blaming in this story though - at no point did Jacob or her brothers say anything about why she was outside or how did she let this happen - it was all let's get that mofo that hurt Dina.  There you have a "biblical" view on rape - the rapist is going DOWN.  That should probably be pointed out more.

      But can you see why I didn't mix so well with the uber frum yeshiva and was asked to leave?  You should see my Little Bunny Foo Foo giving of the Torah one - it's best live though.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 10:45:21 AM PST

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      •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

        Dina was probably at the palace - rape was one way to get married; another was kidnapping, another was having sex.  And after all, the consequence of rape to the rapist was marriage, which fits with all this. No one asked the girl what she wanted, this was a deal between men.

        Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

        by ramara on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:21:58 PM PST

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        •  yeah it says that they recovered her (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ramara

          which would support that.  I had a really hard time with this - I just could NOT write a more standard dvar - they just don't come out.  So I compressed a bit where maybe I shouldn't have there.

          They did make a point of getting her back and then looting the city and taking all the livestock, women and children - I like to think it was because she was a pretty awesome sister rather than property they could sell twice.  But then they are Jacob's sons.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:37:55 PM PST

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    •  it's funny, I did this whole intro about aliyahs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ramara

      explaining it all and then deleted it because I felt like I might be preaching to the choir.  My bad.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 10:51:39 AM PST

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      •  Some of our most avid readers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mortifyd, Navy Vet Terp

        are not Jewish, and some of them have also started writing for us.  And even some non-practicing or even some Reform, don't know a full Torah Service except from Bar and Bat Mitzvah attendance.

        Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

        by ramara on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:24:49 PM PST

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        •  well, not that I expect to get asked again :P (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ramara

          but I will keep that in mind if I do.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:38:43 PM PST

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          •  You absolutely (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Navy Vet Terp

            will be nagged by a Jewish mother if you don't volunteer again!

            Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

            by ramara on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:07:35 PM PST

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            •  I didn't volunteer. (0+ / 0-)

              I was asked.  I don't volunteer for things like this.

              And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

              by Mortifyd on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:26:17 AM PST

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              •  I'm Kosmailing you. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

                by ramara on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 11:43:58 AM PST

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              •  I learned in the Navy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ramara

                When they say "All volunteers take one step foward" you take one step back.  But I did volunteer for the Navy because if I hadn't I would have been drafted into the Army and likely sent to the rice paddies in Nam to dodge VC bullets.  So sometimes volunteering is for your own good, as well as others' good, so I do hope you "volunteer" again.

                "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

                by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:33:14 PM PST

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                •  I wasn't saying it as a negative thing. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Navy Vet Terp

                  I simply do not do these kinds of things without prompting.

                  And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                  by Mortifyd on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:59:02 PM PST

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