Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ani V'Rochev Al Chamor

A parsha sheet I've been seeing for a while is now coming out in English. This past week, it contained a line that made me laugh. In bringing to life the situation of having one's house fall victim to tzara'at, it describes the actions of the owner thusly:
During that tense week, the man pleased with Hashem: "Ribbono Shel
, make the stain disappear, like it came."
OK, so "Ribbono Shel Olam" is a post-Biblical phrase, and they'd more likely have used the actual name of God. But I digress.
He ran to tzadikim for brachos, contributed money to tzedaka, fasted and did teshuva.
(Why no italics on the last word?) That's when I lost it. Let's leave aside the question of whether the phenomenon ever occurred, and the more philosophical question of how it can be considered a punishment if (as inevitably happens in these stories) they find a treasure in the walls: The simple fact is that an Israelite of the era would have been more likely to visit his local idol than engage in the anachronistic practice of running to "tzadikim" for "brachos". (Which, of course, is questionable period, but, again, I digress.)

As I considered it, and in light of the fact that today is Yom Ha'atzmaut, it occurred to me that the same people who read present phenomena into the past so readily are the last that would update any old assumptions or ideas in light of recent events or situations. (Hence the title, mavin yavin for now.) Ah well. Moadim L'Simcha.

1 comment:

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

or maybe running to tzadiqim for berakhot IS ‘avoda zara... ;-)