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Featured Challenging Judaism's politics

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Epic Beard Man, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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    The translation is fine but the editors also added words in (thus he brackets). We can just stick with the Hebrew if you would like.
     
  2. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    How is the translation "fine" if it leaves out what you see as such a crucial factor?

    And you did not explain how those verses referred to ger in the verse we were discussing as opposed to another verse.
     
  3. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    More than a few Torah scholars would suggest that ger as convert reflects a late Second Temple Period or rabbinic interpretation - an erroneous one. See, for example ...

    From The JPS Torah Commentary: Leviticus with commentary by Dr. Baruch A. Levine:

    Leviticus 19:33. When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him The Torah, and the Bible generally, emphasize the duty to treat resident foreigners as fairly as one is commanded to treat a citizen. Verse 10 includes the ger, "stranger." among those entitled to the leftovers of the harvest. The ger referred to in the Bible was most often a foreign merchant or craftsman or a mercenary soldier. This term never refers to the prior inhabitants of the land; those are identified by ethnological groupings, such as Canaanites and Amorites, or by other specific terms of reference.

    In the Biblical ethos, the importance of being considerate to foreign residents drew added impetus from the memory of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt -- Israelites should be able to empathize with the alien. In fact, because of xenophobic attitudes, which could lead to extreme acts of violence against strangers, most ancient societies had laws protecting foreign merchants, officials, and others.

    Hebrew lo' tonu, "do not wrong," usually connotes economic exploitation, the deprivation of property, or denial of legal rights. It was used with particular reference to those who suffered from lack of legal redress, such as the poor, the widow and the orphan, along with the foreigner.​

    From the The Jewish Study Bible, Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, Editors; Michael Fishbane, Consulting Editor; Leviticus - Introduction and Annotations by Baruch J. Schwartz:

    Leviticus 16:29-34a ... the alien who resides among you: The "ger," or resident alien, is a person of non-Israelite ancestry residing more or less permanently in the land of Israel. He is not considered a descendant of the Canaanite peoples, since they are believed to have been evacuated (see 18:24-30). Rabbinic tradition understands the "ger" as proselyte or convert, but this is anachronistic; neither religious conversion nor assimilation is contemplated anywhere in P.

    Laws pertaining to the "ger" appear throughout the remaining chs of Leviticus and elsewhere in the Priestly Law; see, e.g., 17.8, 10, 12, 15; 18:26; 19:33-36; 24.16 n.; 25:47-54 n. The "ger" is not required to worship Israel's God but my do so voluntarily; thus the "ger" is not obligated to observe the performative commands, but must comply with all prohibitions, and must observe the laws of fairness and justice (see 24:17-22). The Israelite must refrain from oppressing or exploiting the "ger." [emphasis added - JS]​

    from The Torah - A Modern Commentary; Edited by W. Gunther Plaut:

    Leviticus 19:33 When a stranger [ger] resides in your land. The foreigner, resident in the Land of Israel, must not only be protected against molestation but be shown positive love. Many ancient peoples had rules for the protection of aliens, generally on the basis of personal reciprocity. A Roman protected a Greek acquaintance in Rome and vice versa. (That is why Latin and the Romance languages use one word for both "host" and "guest.") But nowhere in ancient literature is there the deep concern with the feelings of the stranger which the Torah imposes on the entire community. Here and elsewhere (e.g., Exod. 22:20), the requirement is connected with the memory of Israel's own experience as aliens in Egypt. Biblical law applies in many cases to both citizen and ger (Num. 9:14 and elsewhere). This means that the alien had equal rights under the law and also that he must refrain from forbidden practices that would defile the land. But he was not required to participate in the Israelite cult.

    In rabbinic sources, ger is used in the sense of "proselyte," and these provisions are applied specifically to those who adopt the Jewish faith. This shift reflects the great interest of rabbinic teachers in converts who, at the beginning of the Christian era, constituted a sizeable element of the community. It does not mean that these rights were denied the unconverted Gentile who is referred to in talmudic writings as "a son of Noah." [emphasis added - JS]​

    In the same vein, the Jewish Virtual Library entry on Strangers and Gentiles notes: "In late Second Temple times, the term ger had become virtually synonymous with "proselyte," and strangers were admitted to the religious fellowship of Israel (Jos., Apion, 2:28)." While The Word "GER" in the Bible and its Implications (by Stuart Krauss) offers a brief discussion of the topic and its relationship to the issue of patrilineal vs. matrilineal descent.

    Finally, it's worth noting that the BDB offers "sojourner" as the principle definition of ger, and it is this translation that is preferred by Everett Fox in his The Five Books of Moses.

    The attitude toward the ger, found in the Holiness Code and elsewhere, speaks volumes about Jewish core values and the abiding import of our Exodus Narrative. There will always be those who insist on severely delimiting the meaning of the term "ger," much as there will always be those who insist on redacting the sentiment found on the Statue of Liberty. I hope and pray that those efforts fail.
     
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  4. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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    It is fine because it includes everything that is a crucial factor. What do you think I would see as missing? All I pointed out is that it adds in words at the behest of the editor, and indicates such with brackets.

    The other commentaries show how, in the verse linked to this one by Rashi, the same word is used to mean the same idea. You can skip all that if you want. You are still left with an explicit statement that the verse (Lev 19:33) refers to those who are changing religion.
     
  5. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    But none of the sources you cited was explicitly dealing with Lev 19:33 they were all dealing with Exodus or a later Leviticus verse. The comment "Only yesterday you were an idol worshipper, and now you come to learn Torah, which was given over by the Almighty God Himself" is not a stand alone comment. It is used to explain do not taunt him. Not the definition of Ger.

    I imagine what you would see as missing is the indication that ger is referring to religious converts always and not just giving an example of how one should not taunt a stranger that sojourn in Israel.
     
  6. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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    Really? The Rashi was from 19:33 and the T"C pdf was on that verse.
    True -- it defines the "him" in what you just wrote. Without it, the "him" in "do not taunt him" would be unexplained. Unless you think that the taunting about religious conversion would be applicable to someone who switched from Coke to Pepsi.
    But it doesn't mean religious converts always. It means religious converts here. You want me to bemoan the absence of something which is not my position?
     
  7. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    I read about how Ethiopian Jews face police brutality and discrimination from employers. Ethiopian supermodel Tahunia Rubel called Israel “one of the most racist countries in the world.”
    Most recently, I read how Israel decided to close the Holot detention center where it incarcerated refugees from Africa. These Sudanese and Eritrean refugees now face a choice: be deported to Rwanda, or go to jail. This week, I read about how the Ministry of Interior announced that Israel will begin issuing notices to African migrants; they have until April to leave.
    They didn't want Ethiopian Jews in Israel, either


    When they created Israel they created a new Jewish identity. One based on culture, language and Holocaust survival.

    Israel is a secular state/nation, it's laws are not necessarily based on religious idealism. So the only real appeal would be that of the humanitarian.
     
  8. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    But I created this thread in challenging THAT humanitarianism...I challenge the humanitarianism of my country all the time. The United States is humanitarian for a price, even for its own citizens. the only reason why the U.S. is allies with Israel is:

    1) There are influential right-wing conservatives who hold some power to sway the office into protecting Israel for some selfish political/religious moral gain (the return of Jesus).

    2) Because the United States sees some other benefit in Israel.

    The United States historically did not care about Jews or their plight, and even historians have speculated in WW2 the U.S. was almost not going to get involved in the fight. The U.S. was never historically welcomed of Jews both religious and/or secular culturally as we see in the following:

    [​IMG]

    From this, come the evolution of what some sectors in the U.S. perceive what some Jews are today:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see there is non-conscious positive perception of Israel and/or the Jews that reside in them. I challenge any country whose inhabitants believe they are a light upon the world, Muslims included, nobody is safe from my criticism that is the beauty of being the outsider, you do your own research using the sources of the people who make these types of presentations.
     
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  9. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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