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July 27, 2014 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Devarim

In this week’s portion, Moses tells the Jews not to fight with Edomites (Deut. 2:5) and tells them that they will trade with the Edomites (2:6).   Schafstein writes that Rashbam notes that the Edomites in question “were friendly and allowed the Israelites to pass through their land” unlike Edomites in the western part of Israel were more hostile and kept the Jews from going through their land (Num. 20:18). 

Maybe the Torah is telling something broader.  There are certainly statements in the Torah that might sound racist to modern eyes.  But here, the Torah is telling us that not all Edomites are the same- some tribes of Edomites are hostile, others not so much.

Speaking of which, this is my last weekend in NYC.  Tuesday I leave for a city in the midwest where I plan to spend my coming academic year; hopefully the tribes there will be friendly (though unlike the Israelites I am moving to a less Jewish place- not a small town where there is nothing, but a mid-sized city where there is one or two of each denomination).


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