From: George Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Dec 05 2002 - 13:26:22 EST
> In a message dated 12/5/02 9:05:03 AM Eastern Standard Time, email@example.com
> > So when Israel recognizes in the story of its ancestor Jacob its own story,
> > it sees that ambiguity - cleverness, the ability to outwit enemies &c, but
> > also
> > the dishonesty to which those traits are easily applied. & in any case,
> > I think that trying to connect this part of the Jacob cycle with the story
> > about his breeding of sheep in order to say something about the
> > intelligence of Ashkenazi Jews is quite forced.
> > George
> You say when Israel recognizes - what is your reference in scripture?
Israel recognizes it by telling the story of "Israel" as part
of its story, part
of the inspired witness to God's historical revelation. By repeating
this story Israel
confesses it to be its own story. That is done, e.g., whenever
Israel tells the story
of its past as part of its own confession of faith - e.g., Dt.26:5-10.
> Who is
> Israel? You say dishonesty - where is the moral judgment against cunning to
> which you refer? or is it simply your interpretation?
Do you consider lying to your blind old father so that you
can steal the
blessing he intends to give to your brother _honest_?
> You can characterize my interpretation as forced but my comments were correct
> regarding the scriptural account and the behavior of today's ashkenazi Jewry,
> and if not which of my remarks were incorrect? This is extremely important so
> please be specific.
If A, B & C are all true, it doesn't follow that A + B => C .
> I didn't make the connection in the story. The connection is there. Jacob is
> outraged by Laban's switching of leah for rachel. Jacob retaliates by
> weakening laban's flocks and strengthening his own. Laban is his kin. What
> other justification does genesis provide for Jacob's action?
There is no indication that Jacob's actions to get the flocks
of Laban have
anything to do with being "outraged" at the switch of Leah for Rachel
- that is not
mentioned in any of the relevant conversations 30:26-34, 31:4-16, or 31:36-54.
Jacob is undoubtedly upset to begin with about getting Leah
instead of Rachel,
but he gets Rachel anyway after another week (29:27-30). There is no
any resentment about Laban's switch played a significant role in the
As far as "justification" is concerned, it's simply "He
cheated me so I'll get
what's coming to me by cheating him." Rather amoral but that's the
way people behave.
George L. Murphy
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