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If We Could Only Play Nicely Together

9 0 33

Chapter 14, in this week’s parshah, ostensibly opens with a verse which limits the religious propriety of injuring one’s body as an expression of mourning: “You are children of the Lord your God. You shall not gash yourselves (lo titgodidu) nor make a bald spot on the front of your head for the dead.” (Deut. 14:1)

Rashi captures beautifully the sense of the commandment: “Do not make a gash in your flesh over the dead for this is the way of the Amorites. Since you are the children of God, it is fitting for your to have a nice appearance without gashes and bald spots.”

For the rabbinic sages, though, unusual words or ways of expression often served as a means for thrashing out significant religious and social issues.........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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