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Outsourcing Wisely

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One of my yearly summer projects is a digital house cleaning of my inbox. This year, I thought I would feel some sense of accomplishment when I got through more than four thousand emails, but I was wrong: I still had some 11,000 left. And because new emails keep popping in, It’s an endless job.

This week’s parasha of Re’eh alludes to a similarly Sisyphean task. Moshe commands the people that when they enter the Land of Israel, they must completely destroy — abed te’abedun — all of the idolatry. And these idols are everywhere: al he-harim ha-ramim, “on the high mountains,” ve-al ha-giva’ot, “and on the hills,” ve-tachat kol etz ra’anan, “and under every blossoming tree.” Rabbi Akiva in masechet Avodah Zara (where else?) comments that the Torah is saying that if one sees such a place, one can count on the fact that idols were worshipped there.

Indeed, this seems almost like a bizarro Uncle Moishy song: whereas Uncle........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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