Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rav Kook: Connection of Purim & Amalek to Geirus


Rav Kook then quoted the Talmudic statement in Sanhedrin 99b that Timna wanted to marry into the family of Abraham but was not accepted. In the end, she became the concubine of Esau's eldest son. "Better to be a maidservant to this people," Timna reasoned, "than a princess of another people." As punishment for rejecting Timna, the Jewish people were cursed with the eternal enmity of Timna's son - Amalek.

This of course is the connection to the story of Purim, for Haman, the enemy of the Jews, was a descendant of Amalek. Haman's hatred of the Jews and his decree to destroy them in fact originated in the failure to convert his great-grandmother Timna. But this error was redressed in the time of Mordechai and Esther, when "Many of the peoples of the land became Jews" (Esther 8:17).

9 comments :

  1. the 2 paragraphs have been duplicated - are we missing an additional part of this story?

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  2. I removed the duplication - the rest of the article is available by clicking on the link at the beginning of the article

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  3. Those times they just rejected converts, these days we have a scumbag מנוול like Leib Tropper (three's company) who do not reject them but forced them to have sex with his own wife and friends. What is the punishment for that ?

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  4. @ Larry, good Purim humour :)

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  5. This story about Timna, is reminiscent of another story, about Esau wanting to marry Dinah. In both cases, a person is rejected, although in Yaakov's case, his daughter is abducted as the "punishment".

    The difficulty I see in all these analyses, is that it implies we should accept whomever wishes to join us either in religion or marriage. Is that correct?

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    1. Recipients and PublicityMarch 9, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      "Eddie said...The difficulty I see in all these analyses, is that it implies we should accept whomever wishes to join us either in religion or marriage. Is that correct?"

      Only from an assimilationist perspective, like Reform and secular point of view. Torah Judaism and Orthodox Judaism would reject that because rejection itself is an integral part of the process that any potential ger must deal with both Halachically or in real time.

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  6. I find it very problematic when I come across many "Damned if you do, damned if you don't statements." How is one supposed to know what to do when conflicting messages are constantly being broadcast at us?

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  7. RAP, B'H we are in agreement. So I need to see a practical or defined conclusion from these aggaditer statements.

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  8. The difficulty I see in all these analyses, is that it implies we should accept whomever wishes to join us either in religion or marriage. Is that correct?

    A very important idea that one must always keep in mind when reviewing Chazal's and Rishonim's commentary about the Avos is that HKBH medakdek be tsaddikim kechut ha s'arah. -- Hashem is particular about the tsaddikim like the width of a hair.

    As R. Shach often pointed out, the "sins" of the Avos and Imahos were only sins on their level, for us they would not even be noticed.

    Chazal did not mean that Yaakov should have given his daughter to a beast like Esav. They simply mean that there was some possibility that she could have improved him. He was right to withhold her, but he should have felt bad that he thereby deprived his brother of a chance at doing teshuvah.

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