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When the Torah challenges our engagement with God (Parshat Re’eh)

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04.08.2021

TRANSCRIPT Our sense of morality feels violated when we see or hear about the murder of innocents, particularly children.

So what are we to do when the Torah itself, to which we turn for moral guidance, calls for that very action?

While it is tempting to gloss over these difficult encounters and some will question why I bring this up in this parsha talk, it’s important to address them head on, driven by a deep love of God and the belief in the eternal truth of the Torah.

In this week’s parsha, Re’eh, we find an example of this. In Chapter 13 of the Book of Devarim, we read of the punishment for a city in which idolatry takes place.

If it is established that the majority of the town’s residents have rebelled against God by worshipping idols, the Torah requires that the town’s population be executed, that their possessions be destroyed and that the town be burned to the ground, to remain in an eternal state of ruin, never to be rebuilt, as a reminder to the Jewish people.

We can understand why the Torah is so adamant about deterring idolatry, but in any Jewish town, there will be innocents, including spouses and children, who will be condemned to death for something they did not do.

How can........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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