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View Diary: Dvar Torah - Toldos (49 comments)

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  •  I'm just relaying what I was taught, I didn't say (2+ / 0-)
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    ramara, RiveroftheWest

    at any point it was emes.  But it IS a legit school of thought within orthodoxy itself, like it or not.

    And no there is nothing at all to suggest that Rivka wasn't an idolator herself. At all.

    •  So much legend (2+ / 0-)
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      RiveroftheWest, mettle fatigue

      it's hard to keep up.

      I would say it is part of the whitewashing of Rebecca, the way the stories of Abraham's childhood (some of which, in Genesis Rabbah, rival that of Jesus) make him into something beyond the possible. I don't like this, though many of the stories are interesting in themselves.

      For me, it's important that these ancestors of ours are imperfect and human - I don't think I could belong to a religion where the people we were supposed to emulate were perfect. If we are to struggle to be good, I want to read about other people who had to struggle and sometimes failed.

      Rebecca never thought of just talking to her husband about why she thought Esau was the wrong son to receive the blessing, and why Jacob was the right son. That was not part of their relationship - it's almost as if each son had only one parent.

      Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

      by ramara on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 07:21:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's great legend, don't get me wrong. (3+ / 0-)

        I love it.  But I don't think it's literal 99% of the time, written in order and not edited to sing better.

        Minor niggle - Abraham came first.  Just saying.  He has to be beyond the impossible, G-d talks to him firsthand - the Only G-d, not just any old ghod.

        They are very imperfect and human, which is awesome - but there is a tendency to idolize (and I use that word deliberately) them and explain away their humanity.  Particularly now.  Like this whole mishigas about how they kept the mitzvos before they were given.  A lot of the interpersonal mitzvos are given because of the stupid and evil shit they did to one another.

        G-d totally wanted her to jack up her sons inheritance through deceit.  Talking to her husband? Who does that? Just flat out scheme and lie and cheat!  G-d says it's cool!

        It's very much a dysfunctional family - I think that is part of the point of it.  This to me is a warts and all story, not a look how awesome they are story.  Which in some ways is awesome itself because not very many other cultures idolize warty people.

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