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This week's Torah reading is Behar-Bechukkotay, a double reading for non-leap years.  The Torah reading is Leviticus chapter 25 through to the end of Leviticus.  The Haftarah, the reading from the Prophets, is Jeremiah 16:19 to 17:14.

Chapter 25 of Leviticus is one of the most remarkable and progressive readings from the Bible. But, to set the stage, let me introduce this D'var Torah with the words of Congressman William Jennings Bryan, spoken on the floor of the House of Representatives on August 16, 1893:

On the one side stand the corporate interests of the United States, the moneyed interests, aggregated wealth and capital, imperious, arrogant, compassionless.   On the other side stand an unnumbered throng, those who gave to the Democratic Party a name and for whom it has assumed to speak. Work-worn and dust-begrimed, they make their mute appeal, and too often find their cry for help beat in vain against the outer walls, while others, less deserving, gain ready access to legislative halls.
When Congressman Bryan rose in the House of Representatives to deliver this speech, we were in the heart of what Mark Twain called the Gilded Age, the age of the Robber Barons, the age when most of the nation's wealth was concentrated into the hands of a few wealthy people - the J. P. Morgans, the Jay Goulds, the John D. Rockefellers, the Andrew Mellons, while the great masses of people sweated for mere pennies 12 and 14 hours a day, many workers and their children suffered from malnutrition and early deaths from diseases such as tuberculosis, as they were crowded into lightless tenements, while their attempts to form unions were supressed.  The nation's leading politicians, Bryan aside, said it was all for the best, God favored the wealthy, and government could and should do nothing to alter the natural scheme of things.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Beginning with the reforms of the Progressive Era and spurred by the New Deal, the economic life of the average American gradually improved, but since about 1980 the real incomes of most American have stagnated or gotten worse, while the wealthiest have increased their wealth almost exponentially.  A recent article in Time Magazine reported:

It is sadly all too easy to find statistics that show the rich are getting richer while the middle class and poor are not. A September study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington noted that the median annual earnings of a full-time, male worker in the U.S. in 2011, at $48,202, were smaller than in 1973.  Between 1983 and 2010, 74% of the gains in wealth in the U.S. went to the richest 5%, while the bottom 60% suffered a decline, the EPI calculated.
And what have our brave Congressmen done about this?  They have imposed mandatory budget cutbacks, slashing hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to Meals on Wheels, with the result that this year Meals on Wheels will serve needy seniors somewhere between 4 million fewer meals - that's according to White House estimates, to 19 million fewer meals - that's according the the National Meals on Wheels Association.  And starting this May, the unemployed will see their unemployment benefits slashed by an average of 11 percent, thanks to sequestration.  But don't worry, these congressman will be now be able to fly home to their gerrymandered districts without delays, at the cost of slashing most airport construction and maintenance projects.  But the Congressmen can't be delayed at the airports, they are too busy flying home, where they spend most days of the year being paid for not working.

In contrast to the dire political and economic system of William Jennings Bryan's day, and its encore that we are experiencing today, we have this week's Torah reading, specifically chapter 25 of Leviticus. Every 50 years all land is restored to its original owners, and those who have sold themselves into a form of slavery to pay off their debts are freed.  Those buying and selling land do not buy and sell in perpetuity, rather, the land is merely leased until the next Jubilee year, with the price adjusted accordingly.  We are commanded to lend money to the needy to provide for their basic necessities, and not to charge them interest.  These debts are forgiven every seven years.

For the rabbis, Chapter 25 of Leviticus proclaimed the obligation of the community to care for the needy, not just to ensure their survival but to do what is necessary so the needy can again become productive members of society.  In Shabbat 63a we read:  

Rabbi Abba said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish (Resh Lakish), "He who lends to the poor is better than he who gives them charity.  And he who sets them up in a business so they can earn a living is greater than all."
And, in Baba Batra 9b:
Rabbi Eleazar says, "A person who gives charity in secret is greater than Moses our Teacher."
And in Leviticus Rabbah's commentary on Behar, we are warned that:
God will punish those who have money who ask the needy, "Why don't you go out and find a job, make some money, and put your own bread on your table?"  Or who say, "Look at those hips, look at those legs, look at that fat body.  This person can work.  Let him work and take care of himself."  These people who mock the poor will bring evil on themselves, because they do not honor others who likewise are made in the image of God.
And from Gittin 61a:
Our rabbis have taught, "We support the poor of the gentiles along with the poor of Israel, and visit the sick of the gentiles along with the sick of Israel, and bury the poor of the gentiles along with the dead of Israel, in the interests of peace.
Skipping ahead 1,700 or so years, the late Israeli Rabbi Pinchas Peli, whose column "Torah Today" before his death in 1989 in the Jerusalem Post was widely read, wrote in one of his columns that today parshat's text on the sabbatical year for the land and the Jubilee year was
One of the most advanced social reforms in history. They protect society against the evils of feudalism and totalitarianism, assuring an inherent "liberty to all the inhabitants of the land" and the right of each individual to return to his home and to his family.
May the words of the Torah, specifically chapter 25 of Leviticus, and the words therein inscribed on the Liberty Bell, inspire us to make this land, and this planet, a better place.  Shabbat Shalom.

Originally posted to Elders of Zion on Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (34+ / 0-)

    "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 Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:30:08 PM PDT

  •  Verses 44 - 46 are pretty hard to take. (6+ / 0-)
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

    by HugoDog on Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:46:49 PM PDT

    •  Agreed (8+ / 0-)

      Hence the need for later authorities to smooth out these rough edges.  These verses were used during the Civil War by some Southern rabbis, and even one northern one, to justify slavery.

      "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 Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:03:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so all the rest of it is worthless? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheFatLadySings, eru

      Because you don't like the fact that we decided we couldn't hold our own relatives as slaves indefinitely in a time when slavery was common?

      Nevermind it hasn't been practised by Jews in over 1000 years?

      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 May 03, 2013 at 08:56:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He didn't actually say the rest is worthless, (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JDsg, Mortifyd, kyril, Wee Mama, Navy Vet Terp

        although I appreciate your sensitivity. Many anti-semites or folks who just don't like the Bible will pick out a passage they don't like and use it as a pretext for labeling all of Judaism a troglodyte religion. I don't see any evidence that this commenter is doing that. I think s/he's just pointing out a passage that causes personal consternation.

        Asking questions about difficult passages is very reasonable. I like to think of Judaism as an evolving body of wisdom about justice. The laws and our understanding of the laws have improved as we've matured.

        And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah! -Leonard Cohen .................@laurenreichelt

        by TheFatLadySings on Sat May 04, 2013 at 12:07:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Given that the US practised slavery (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eru, kyril, Mgleaf

          less than 300 years ago - and has people today still trying to justify it as "not that bad" - I think it's dickish.

          Christian misuse and inability to read Torah is often laid at the feet of the Jews - and that's some bullshit.  We didn't ask for our cultural jewel (the Torah) to be "borrowed", "amended" and twisted - nor have we ever as a people forced others to agree with or join our beliefs. Unlike Christians - who have done both and assume they get to frame Jewish culture and texts through their illiteracy.

          We didn't ask anyone else to hold up Torah as infallible - even we don't.  So why should we take the rap and the fingershaking from outsiders who 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 Sat May 04, 2013 at 06:32:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  who said anything about the rest being worthless?? (0+ / 0-)

        "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

        by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 08:07:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you completely ignored all the points made (0+ / 0-)

          by the diarist and went for a couple verses you personally find difficult.  So - how much value do you believe the actual point of the diary and the key of the entire parsha has, based on your comment?

          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 May 04, 2013 at 09:11:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Huh??? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Navy Vet Terp

            BAsed on what I wrote, I didn't make a value statement on Navy Vet Terp's diary one way or another. In fact, I very much appreciated his incite. But, given the topic of the diary, I do think the issue of slavery needs to be addressed.

            So, do you not find those 3 verses personally difficult, or do you think it is better to just ignore them?

            "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

            by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:17:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  why does it need to be addressed when no Jew (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Navy Vet Terp

              has held slaves in over 1000 years - other than some possible asshats in the Confederacy - and that wasn't Torakdik - there's no record of southern Jews freeing slaves for Jubilee, is there? If there is - I would be very interested to see it.  

              There's no Torahdik slavery going on in any Jewish community in the world. So really - why completely ignore the point of the diary to discuss something that hasn't happened in 1000 years or more?

              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 May 04, 2013 at 09:31:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  the author was commenting on a set of texts (0+ / 0-)

                based on social organization far more than just 1000 years ago. I'm not allowed to comment on those same texts?

                And you didn't answer my question.

                "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

                by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:41:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The author will have to take that up with you (0+ / 0-)

                  not me.  

                  But since the diary was about the progressiveness of the concept of the Jubilee year - I don't think slavery 2000 years ago was the point, or the issue s/he was addressing, which seems to be why your comment was pretty much ignored.

                  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 May 04, 2013 at 09:46:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  the author agreed with me. (0+ / 0-)

                    "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

                    by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:50:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you call that agreeing. (0+ / 0-)

                      S/he certainly didn't geel the need to get in a big old discussion about it - and frankly, neither do I.  Slavery sucks.  That's why Jews gave it up WAY before anyone else did.

                      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 May 04, 2013 at 09:52:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes, saying "I agree" is agreeing. (0+ / 0-)

                        There was no need to get into a big discussion about it. It's just important, when discussing this particular part of the Torah, in a world where some people are saying the 19th century American slaves didn't have it so bad, people who claim to hold this text above all others in guiding their lives, that the section discussing slave owning sucks.  

                        "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

                        by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 10:06:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  because it's all the Jews fault because it's in (0+ / 0-)

                          the Torah.  Yeah, I get it. If it weren't for us pesky Jews - no one would have ever thought of it.

                          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 May 04, 2013 at 10:09:01 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  How dare you! (0+ / 0-)

                            That's not what I'm saying, and you damn well know it.

                            "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

                            by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 10:14:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  name ONE other ethnic group that is required (0+ / 0-)

                            in perpetuity to apologise for things their ancestors wrote 3500 years ago. ONE.  No one else is held to that.  It is NOT our fault other people decided our book was so awesome that it was literal truth. So why do we have to continually apologise for it?

                            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 May 04, 2013 at 10:53:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Are you saying I'm asking for an apology (0+ / 0-)

                            about Biblical history? Or that I'm blaming anybody about how somebody else understands those books. No. Not once did I do or say those things. Since I didn't do those things, why are you attacking me with this?

                            "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

                            by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 11:22:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not attacking you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Navy Vet Terp

                            I'm asking why Jews have to justify something written 3500 years ago when no other culture is expected or asked to do that.  Think about it.  Why is what one culture wrote held to a higher standard - ie we have to explain why it's there and assure people it's not done anymore and how our culture dealt with it when it was -  all because OTHER people have decided it's the words of the One True Deity?

                            I don't see anyone asking the Greeks to justify sex between men and boys, but they have writings praising it.  Or the Scandinavians having to justify Viking raids because the Eddas mention them... but Jews have to constantly apologise for things other people find offensive on casual reading of our texts in perpetuity.  

                            We have to apologise not only for the words being committed to parchment and being related to the writers, but also for what Christians do having taken the texts for their own purposes that have nothing to do with us.

                            So why do we have to answer for you having a problem with some words written 3500 years ago that bug you, but no one else does?

                            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 May 04, 2013 at 11:33:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  There's no record of any Southern Jew (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mortifyd, JDsg

                freeing his/her slaves for the Jubilee.  However, there were very few Jewish plantation owners - to the best of my knowledge only 4 have been identified, one of whom was Judah Benjamin who never walked into a synagogue or did anything else Jewish in his life after age 14, and the other was the president of the Charleston synagogue.

                Before the 1848 German Revolution, there were about 15,000 Jews in the United States, about half in the south, and most of those owned Jews.  However, just about all of these slaves were household slaves in towns and cities, which was considerably better than being a plantation slave.  You got to sleep in a bed in a house and eat the same food as the white owners and, most important, you could usually get permission to work outside the home and keep some if not all of your earnings and eventually buy your freedom.  And quite a few of these Southern slave owning Jews did allow their house slaves to buy their freedom.

                Over 100,000 German and Austrian Jews came here between 1848 and the Civil War and none of them owned slaves.

                "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 Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:46:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Personal Note (13+ / 0-)

    This was my bar mitzvah parsha and Haftarah - 50 years ago (hate to reveal my age).

    "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 Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:04:06 PM PDT

  •  The sabbatical year and Jubilee (9+ / 0-)

    were amazing social inventions.  

  •  Just a procedural question: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, TheFatLadySings, kyril, Wee Mama

    How are the original owners of land determined?  in order to return the land every 50 years?  it seems like this is actually close to a typical life-span......

  •  I was not happy when they (7+ / 0-)

    restored FAA funding. I agree funding needed to be restored but this illustrated Republicans will find a way to restore the funding to programs that benefit well to do people but retain permanent cuts to programs that impact people of modest means.

    I agree with your take on what's happened since 1980 and I really can't wait for it to begin to reverse.

    As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

    by joedemocrat on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:15:39 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for making this ancient (8+ / 0-)

    writing relevant today. It's wonderful that it was your Bar Mitzvah reading and that you still love it. That's what Judaism's all about: Keeping the past alive in the present; honoring ancient wisdom but having the flexibility to build a just future.

    And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah! -Leonard Cohen .................@laurenreichelt

    by TheFatLadySings on Sat May 04, 2013 at 12:01:35 AM PDT

  •  Wonderful drosh. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mortifyd, kyril, Wee Mama, Navy Vet Terp

    Thanks. And the forgiving of debts. And letting the land lie fallow. Taking care of each other and of the earth.

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

    by ramara on Sat May 04, 2013 at 12:59:11 AM PDT

  •  If all Scripture is Divinely inspired by YHWH (5+ / 0-)

    then these verses prove the Prosperity Doctrine, of which politically active Fundies are so enamored, is an invention of Man (and yes, I'm associating gender with that) or else of some other Guy from an even darker place....

    Radarlady

  •  Well, if the land is to be returned to its (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exMnLiberal

    original owners every 50 years, then Israel is overdue in its obligation to the Palestinians and the Arabs whose lands were taken to create Israel in the first place.

    Another example of why using old mythological texts and trying to apply them to modern problems is meaningless.

    •  This is a legal text, not mythological (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      livosh1, Wee Mama, Mgleaf

      It's not the Jews who call for unquestioning belief.  

      And it took only 16 comments to attract an anti-Israel comment.  Go away, hater.

      •  A legal text? That makes it even worse. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        exMnLiberal, HugoDog

        It seems it only took one comment to be called an "Israel hater".   What? No accusation of anti-semitism to go with it?

        I see questioning these texts and questioning the application of their laws to the historical and day to day reality on the ground in Israel is verboten. Nice way to dodge the issue of land rights.

        •  begone troll. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          livosh1

          At least you advertise yourself as such.

          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 May 04, 2013 at 09:12:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let's just review the point of this diary. (0+ / 0-)

            In short, it was an exercise in taking a look at modern day economic problems and analyzing them in terms of the text called Leviticus.  This phrase was presented in the diary..."Every 50 years all land is restored to its original owners.."  So I took this text and analyzed today's economic/land problems between Israel and the Palestinians and pointed out that Israel is not exactly living up to its texts. Ancestral lands of non-Jews were confiscated in the process of creating the state of Israel and continues to be taken settlement by settlement. This also flies in the face of this quote from the diary..

            "One of the most advanced social reforms in history. They protect society against the evils of feudalism and totalitarianism, assuring an inherent "liberty to all the inhabitants of the land" and the right of each individual to return to his home and to his family."

            If you don't agree with my view, argue it, but please stop beating that old dead horse named "troll".

    •  Nice to see you're an equal opportunity kibbitzer. (0+ / 0-)



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Sat May 04, 2013 at 12:17:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is the Old Testament just fiction (0+ / 0-)

    I took the liberty of doing some biblical research ,the more research one do ,it will make one skeptical what is   written in the  Old Testament is  valid, from Adam and Eve to what is present ,no way could  present day   humankind spring from two people unless thier offspring had incestous   relationship with each others,then all of human kind would have the  same genetic markers ,which only blood kin share,explain this

    •  In the Jewish tradition (6+ / 0-)

      (and the Jewish Bible is different from the OT) there are 4 kinds of analysis - explication of the words of the text; a look  at the symbolic meanings; expanding the text - this includes midrash, stories that "fill in the spaces;" and the mystical meaning.

      Except for the very Orthodox, the text is not a literal history, but the beginning of a discussion.

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

      by ramara on Sat May 04, 2013 at 10:32:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not fiction exactly or entirely (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RainDog2, JDsg, eru, Navy Vet Terp, Mgleaf

      but it's not a history text either.  It's the story of the ancestors and formation of the Jewish people - it doesn't say that we are the only people - or that Chava and Adom were the only people created.  Just the ones that mattered to our ancestors get mentioned in our family history and mythos.  There are grains of truth, but there is poetic license and exaggeration as well.  Think of all the national myths of America - it's not an uncommon phenomenon at all.

      Nod was east of Eden - and Enoch built a city there - so there must have been people to populate it. Therefore not the only people, and incest is not required.

      There are variants of the Eden story that were common to many of the people of the levant, this is just our version.  To assume it's literal truth is ridiculous, only extremists and children would believe that - even orthodox Torah scholars know that literalism is not valid.

      But hey, if you want to look for reasons to not like Jews then you're going to start out with the assumption that you're justified and begin with insults.  

      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 May 04, 2013 at 11:53:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Adam and Eve (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mortifyd, JDsg

        The rabbis in the Talmud taught that the story of Adam and Eve was the greatest teaching of scripture, because it teaches us that we are all descendants of the same ancestors, hence we are all brothers and sisters - or at least cousins - and it is incumbant upon us to love all our fellow human beings because they are all our brothers and sisters.  

        This is an example of how our ancient forebearers drew additional meaning from a text that was, for them, already ancient.

        "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 May 04, 2013 at 06:02:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  seems some of our brothers and sisters (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JDsg, Navy Vet Terp

          could use a little reminding of that from time to time.  Instead they focus wrongly on which one of them got us "thrown out" of Eden and who gets to be on top.  sigh

          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 May 04, 2013 at 06:13:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So Here's a Progressive comment; (0+ / 0-)

    Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.

    Nice.

    Fuck You.

    •  and another troll. (0+ / 0-)

      whee.

      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 May 04, 2013 at 09:07:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not a troll; I'm quoting your own (0+ / 0-)

        Book to You.

        That's called the Truth.

        WHEE!!

        •  this is NOT an I/P diary. (0+ / 0-)

          So why do you need to be all up in here trolling?

          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 May 04, 2013 at 09:16:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  where did exMnLiberal say anything about I/P? (0+ / 0-)

            I don't see one word written by him/her on the topic.

            "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

            by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:55:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  uprating comments that do and giving a nice fat (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Navy Vet Terp

              fuck you?  Yeah, that's trolling.  So why exactly are we the only people require to apologise because other people revere our cultural mythos as literal truth and do shitty things because of their elevation and twisted interpretation of it ?

              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 May 04, 2013 at 10:59:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  What's with all the name calling? (0+ / 0-)

        "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

        by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:21:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  a troll is a troll is a troll (0+ / 0-)

          and it's not "name calling" to point out someone is being a dick and intentionally twisting the point and subject matter of a diary to a Jew bashing fest - which is what I/P is around here.

          As the diarist said, this is NOT an I/P diary, it was written about America - and has nothing to do with Israel as a modern nation other than they read the same parsha as everyone else.

          I'm not having any of it today.

          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 May 04, 2013 at 09:25:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Diary is about Chapter 25 of Leviticus. (0+ / 0-)

            As diaried by the author.  

            No one has mentioned I/P-whatever that means- but You.

            After which you accuse everyone of being a troll.

            Seems you are looking in the mirror.  We are asking legitimate questions of a very questionable book of laws that wouldn't stand in a present day court of law.

            •  Um, no. (0+ / 0-)

              This diary, as stated by the author - is not about Israel/Palestine - since you're playing like you don't know what I/P is, I'll spell it out for you.

              I seldom accuse people of being trolls  - unless of course they ARE being trolls trying to start an I/P pie fight in a parsha of the week diary.  So if you want to pretend it's totally ok to do that - you go right ahead.

              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 May 04, 2013 at 09:44:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Am I correct (0+ / 0-)

            in inferring that you think those of us who you choose to attack in this diary are anti-semitic?

            "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

            by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:48:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm perfectly capable of spelling that if I deem (0+ / 0-)

              it necessary to say - so no, not automatically. But I'm curious why Jews are required to apologise for what our ancestors wrote 3500 years ago when no other culture is.

              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 May 04, 2013 at 10:56:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You've asked this question 3 times. (0+ / 0-)

                Is it coming from some place other than this thread? While I can't speak for you, in my family, when the holidays come around, we celebrate  what was written 3500 years ago. Doesn't mean we ignore the nasty stuff, though.

                "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

                by HugoDog on Sat May 04, 2013 at 11:41:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I want an answer (0+ / 0-)

                  And I'm not ignoring the fact that it's in there - but I also know that it's not literal, not the word of the One True Deity - and sick and tired of being expected to make other people feel better about my cultural mythos because they want to be able to judge us based on it and the fucked up uses other people have put it to.

                  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 May 04, 2013 at 11:58:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  What I really don't get (0+ / 0-)

                is why you think I'm asking for you to apologize for anything. I'm not asking you to apologize for the actions of Brazilian slave owners 250 years ago. Why would I ask you to apologize for somebody who lived 3500 years ago? Yes, some of my older relatives have told me stories of crap they had to deal with around Easter,  but why you think I am acting in a similar way, I really, really, don't understand.

                "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

                by HugoDog on Sun May 05, 2013 at 12:01:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I don't understand the attack (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JDsg

              Unless you think income inequality is a good thing and we should have more of it.  

              Jews did not own foreign slaves in Talmudic times, nor since, other than about 5,000 or so Southern Jews out of an 1860 Jewish American popultion of over 150,000.  The text of the Bible is construed and commented upon by numerous rabbis who compiled over 6,000 pages of the Talmud from about 200 to 500 CE.  We Jews read the text through their lens, not yours.  If you have a complaint with their lens, as I summarized in the diary, you can state it.  

              "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 Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:56:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Navy Vet Terp
                We Jews read the text through their lens, not yours.
                ...I think a lot of people have a basic inability to understand various things (e.g., religions, other cultures) outside of their own reference point.  They seem to either lack empathy or have the inability to place themselves in the other person's shoes.  And there's usually little or no interest in understanding the logic or rationale as to things are the way they are; more frequently, it's "our way is the best way" or even "the only way."  Too bad they don't realize that to be able to understand the thing through the other perspective (lens) is often the more intellectually-enriching experience.

                Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

                by JDsg on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:27:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I missed this when it first went up (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, Navy Vet Terp, achronon, Eowyn9

    and just wanted to offer a belated kudos.  Very well done.

    (And also to ask: where is the current schedule/signup for the weekly D'var?  I'd like to do one for Shavuot if the slot isn't already taken.)

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