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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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