Monday, January 26, 2009

Intro Lesson One: Inheriting the fruits of sin

4 comments:

  1. Hi Rabbi Shmuly,

    Would love to hear about how Torah is inherited from ones' parents, but not the status to belong to the Jewish community (which is Matrilineal according to custom)?

    I think that it is prime time someone took this issue to Jewish court! Proof of parentage is now as easy as a blood test.

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  2. I suggest you take a look at the following articles:

    http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/180,2133686/What-is-the-Torah-source-for-matrilineal-descent.html

    http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/601092/jewish/Why-is-Jewishness-matrilineal.htm

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  3. Hi rabbi,

    I actually am more convinced on the arguements for inheritance than this Talmudic interpretation. It seems that the commentator on this one blew it or purposely twisted the interpretation for some reason. According to all grammatical interpretation of the below text, unless the Hebrew is different, it is clear that the 'he' is the father-in-law or the patriarch of the other family, whether it is a son or daughter that is being married. I know this to be so because the Torah states "his son... his daughter... he will turn them away." It is not possible for the 'he' to be the son of the father-in-law because it makes no sense to the context of the prior sentence. Hence the assumption of an ommission that a Jew is only from the mother because only the daughter is mentioned is faulty (neither the daughter nor the son are mentioned only the grandfather). Therefore, both cases of intrermarriage are EQUALLY bad. I know this also because the Torah is full of wisdom and wisdom would not preach that only women can influence a child. Clearly, both parents will vary in their commitment to the children and their commitment to Judaism. The Torah also states that 'he' a male has the influence over the Jewish status. Why do we want to interpret with what the Torah didn't say, when it is clear what the Torah does say. Also why do we want to cause undue hardship to fellow Jews with this weak argument? How many Jews have been unjustly cut off from their inheritance in Torah due to this twisting of words?

    Deuteronomy 7:3-4 states: "You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son. For he will turn your son away from following Me, and they will worship the gods of others".

    The Talmud explains that in this verse "son" actually means grandson. Thus the meaning of the verse is as follows: in a case of intermarriage "He (the non-Jewish father) will turn your (grand)son away from following Me". The grandchild is called son (of the grandparents) because this child is still connected to the grandparents - he is still Jewish.

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  4. Rabbi,

    I can even accept the argument for 'he' the grandfather (who infuences the non-Jewish mother or father) will turn the grand 'son' away from Judaism in either case of intermarriage.

    The argument for Jewish through the mother only is also problematic because it does not discourage as strongly the Jewish mother to avoid intermarriage. I've heard many Jewish women boast about there being nothing 'wrong' in a Jewish sense with intermarriage because their children will still be Jewish. In actuality the children of intermarriage regardless of whether the mother or father are Jewish become Pareve (have no binding Jewish identity nor an inclination to be observant). Am I convincing yet?

    David

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