I liked too the idea that a Hebrew could sell themselves for up to six years if they were in debt. Is this much different than what a doctor, an architect, or a lawyer do after they finish their studies? We might answer, “Well, they aren't a slave." But is there a big difference between being an “intern” and being a “slave”?
There are some laws here that are very different from our own. If a Hebrew slave is given a wife, and has children, the master owns the children. Is this much different that how we treat animals?
I wonder why so many Jews in Israel and elsewhere don't practice Judaism (whatever that means). Does practicing mean that they follow the commandments ... or is it that they practice the rituals of their religion? I wondered when reading about laws that our so contrary to our ideas of equality of males and females, and our abolition of slavery, how we rationalize laws so different to our own. How is this explained to young kids? Do we say, “Well, there is this G_d, but he is backward in his thinking”?
A friend wrote me and said that she thought Bar Mitzvah meant that you'd follow the commandments. I understand that there are 613 commandments. Certainly anyone who did follow them would be thrown in jail before they could bat an eye.
How then does one take this book? As Rabbi Folberg asked yesterday, why is the study of the Torah better than any other book? In Zen, we call such challenges as controlling our emotions when we navigate through the laws of ancients as "an opportunity for practice." How might I read this in such a way so that I don't want to just throw the Torah in a fire.
If a Hebrew man sells himself, he shall only be a slave for six years. But if a man sells his daughter, she shall be a slave for life. Crazy? Yes, today in America, it is not what we do.
I cite these ideas to my female friends and they want to shoot me. How do we explain these laws that supposedly came from God? How do we read this book?
As the Parshah continues, we get in more detail "an eye for an eye ...." So I can accept laws that are closer to our own, and have a hard time with laws that are very different. Is morality just based on the mores of society?
|G_d watches man selling daughter|