Student Teaching in the New Millenium

5771 Matot I

In Numbers, Torah on July 17, 2011 at 4:25 am

Empty promises?
Is man smarter than woman?
Who is to judge? Judge?

Jeremiah 1:1 – 2:3
Numbers 30:2 – 17

Why does the Torah idiom for woman feel like livestock?

Why does a woman have to kill her husband to gain some measure of independence?

Why are women afforded this safety net exclusively? Or are they?

Or does the Torah say that women are infallible?

Why does Torah thus place man as the caretaker of his wife’s word? Why does Rashi state: To whom does Scripture refer? To a woman who took the Nazirite vow. Her husband heard and nullified it, but she was not aware. She then violated her vow by drinking wine and defiling herself by contact with a corpse? Why not, in the Torah, the language when a spouse hears the partner utter, &etc.? Perhaps the statement Those are the laws that the Lord enjoined upon Moses between a man and his wife, which Rashi seems to ignore, equalizes things. Do the laws between man and wife, as between God and His peoples, go both ways?

Is Israel the wife at Sinai when she received the Torah as her wedding ring, and the man on Shabbos when he welcomes the Shechinah?

Does God nullify Israel’s oaths and vows throughout the Torah, as she chases Golden Calves and Moabite women? What does this signify?

Why place the father as the caretaker of his daughter’s word? In youth, daughters’ words need minding. Because, as children, they aren’t quite minded yet. What about sons? Why not Those are the laws…between a mother and her son? Or between parents and their children? Jeremiah accounted to your favor the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Does the Israel as boy and girl, husband and wife, mother and father, universalize these statements?

Rashi uses the words release and annul to describe nullifying vows. Why not account or redeem or repay?


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