Chavarah- Jewish Community Learning

A blog of Jewish study and traditions. Notes from classes: Torah Study with Rabbi Marder, Toledot and Shabbaton as well as other details found of interest.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Concatenation in Laws of Deuteronomy

concatenation in this group!'

I looked up the word CONCATENATION:

It is a really good word!
dictionary definition
To connect or link in a series or chain.

In computer programming: "It is the operation of joining two character strings end to end."

It was interesting to look at the laws in Deuteronomy from this perspective.

As the scholars analyze - "nothing is random in Torah" it is good to look at the connections between the laws and study the patterns.

D. 24:6 & 24:5 - dont take the handmill in pawn link to keeping a new wife happy for a year and not joining the army.

Does this relate the ability to make your own food with making a family? Or maybe it really is the word "grinding" that connects them and the implications of food and sex.

D.24:7 about kidnapping a fellow Israelite. How does this relate back to the other laws?
Jess points out the connection in the word 'nefesh' in both verses.

This is the type analysis that can become a game or a puzzle and, according to our scholars, makes all of the law more meaningful and clearer. However, there can be a lot of confusion and lack of clarity in the analysis this way - kind of like cleaning out a closet, you make a bigger mess before it becomes neat and orderly again..

Google Concatenation and Deuteronomy and you get a long list of interesting links!

  • A book :Scripture As Logos: Rabbi Ishmael and the Origins of Midrash
    by Azzan Yadin
  • A Mathmatical Lecture by Dr. Linacre in Australia on arranging laws end to end.
  • a link to anthropology: 'The guide of the perplexed’ by Moses Maimonides

    it is amazing that I didn't find anything exactly relating to what we discussed!

  • Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Brother's Keeper?

    Researching on the concept of Deuteronomy 25:11-12 and the incident with the woman trying to stop the fight and getting punished… I came across the blog of Rabbi Brad Artson (mentioned by R. Marder).

    R. Artson’s Blog on Torah
    (You need to scroll past the ‘Hebrew’ and read some of the English – it is good stuff.)

    The ‘gem’ from this week’s discussion was the question “Am I my brother’s keeper?” and the response that the rest of the Torah says “Yes!”

    AND Rashi’s interpretations that show his concern about the escalation of verbal arguments into violence. This reflects on the state of conflict in the world today and through history where disagreements turn into wars. Do we stand by and watch conflict or do we act to try to intervene to try to help the situation. The key is to find out how to act in an effective way.

    Book: Our Holocaust & Continuing Names

    A suggested book is always a value:

    Our Holocaust
    by Amir Gutfreund, Jessica Cohen
    Translated from the Hebrew, and written by the child of Holocaust survivors, this haunting novel brings the history very close. Why the panic when someone knocks at the door? Why does crazy Uncle Hirsch ask obsessively, "Only saints were gassed?" Always there is the dark humor of the old folks' grudges, miserliness, and daily lunacy. The kids are forbidden to ask about past secrets, but when they are "Old Enough," they hear the horrific memories in graphic detail. The narrator wonders about the people on the street today: Who could be collaborator, informer, loyal soldier, killer, rescuer? With the arbitrariness of the survival stories, there is the inescapable truth that ordinary people made it happen. Hazel Rochman
    Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

    And as we know from the monuments to those whose names were lost in this tragedy, this is relevant to the Torah Study topic in Deuteronomy 25:5-10.

    As R. Marder noted there is an entire tractate of Talmud on the topic of keeping the name alive.

    Those of us who traveled on the Beth Am Israel trip learned about Yad Va Shem. Why it is called that also relates to the importance of the names:

    Yad v' Shem - Monument to the Name

    Learning with Prof. Israel Knohl at Hartman Institute:
    Why is the place to remember those lost to the holocaust calle Yad VaShem

    Deut 25:5 the widdow is taken in by the family so the "name is not blotted out in Israel".
    To assure the name of a person is not lost.

    Thus there is a monument to remember: Yad VaShem - Hand/Monument of the Name

    Also mentioned in Torah Study was the film: I Love You Rosa that relates to this Torah portion.

    Results: IT IS astounding that so many names have stayed alive for thousands of years. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel and all the other names from our past are still among the popular names today.