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September 28, 2014 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Vezot Haberachah

The last Torah portion mentions that God “appeared from Mt. Paran and came from numerous angels.”  Scharfstein quotes some midrash by Rashi about God asking the Ishmaelites to accept the Torah.

This is my last Torah portion with Scharfstein, and this remark illustrates why I am glad to leave him.  Scharfstein is quoting a midrash which, if taken literally, is completely nuts.  The notion that there were in fact mass revelations to non-Jews a) doesn’t actually seem consistent with the Torah’s text and (b) contradicts one of the most common arguments for the Torah’s truth (the so-called Kuzari proof).  But the relentlessly simple-minded commentator treats Rashi as revelation.

After Simchat Torah I am using the Soncino chumash, which I hope will be better.

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