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Re: Ancient Near Eastern Covenants rayww

Posted by Dinah on December 19, 2004, at 10:28:02

In reply to Re: Ancient Near Eastern Covenants, posted by rayww on December 17, 2004, at 14:25:41

> The doctrine of hand washing was used as an example of an ancient ordinance, that doesn't fit with reality judgement.

In the TV show? I'm surprised. I thought in this day and age, the attitude would be more tolerant and respectful of other traditions. "Reality judgment" depends a lot on the reasons why people do it.

> I love the symbolism of being clean before you do anything, but being clean should be internal, heart/mind/thoughts/attitude/motives thing. If hand washing could be used as a sacred reminder to be clean I could see it, but to judge someone as though he were the vilest of sinners for simply not washing his hands before a meal is taking it too far.
>
> What is the background of this ancient custom? Where did it stem from? Can it be traced back to Abraham?
>

I'm glad you are asking, Ray. Perhaps you'll come to understand the tradition and the reasons for it in a richer way.

I suggest for reading: "To Life! : A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking"
by Rabbi Kushner, and Deuteronomy and Leviticus. It might be especially enlightening to read a version with commentary from Jewish sholars. I haven't yet had a chance to read "The Jewish Study Bible" but The Stone Edition Tanakh (which I can't locate on Amazon) and my personal favorite "Etz Hayim Torah and Commentary" both contain interesting commentary.

 

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poster:Dinah thread:429741
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faith/20041120/msgs/431608.html