Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Moshe objects to including ben sorrer in the Torah

 Zohar (3: 197b) R. Abba here broke off to say: ‘I find rather surprising the words of the Scripture, “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son... then shall his father and his mother lay hold of him”, etc. (Deut. XXI, 19), concerning which we have learnt that when God told Moses to write this, Moses said: Sovereign of the Universe, omit this; is there any father that would do so to his son? Now Moses saw in wisdom what God would later do to Israel, and therefore he said, Omit this. God, however, said to him, Write and receive thy reward; though thou knowest I know more; what thou seest I will attend to; examine the Scripture and thou wilt find. God then nodded to Yofiel, the teacher of the Law, who said to Moses, I will expound this verse: “When a man shall have”: this is the Holy One, blessed be He, who is called “a man of war”. “A son”: this is Israel. “Stubborn and rebellious”, as it is written, “For Israel hath behaved himself stubbornly like a stubborn heifer” (Hos. IV, 16). “Which will not obey the voice of his father nor the voice of his mother”: these are the Holy One, blessed be He, and the Community of Israel. “Though they chasten him”, as it says, “Yet the Lord testified unto Israel and unto Judah by the hand of every prophet” (2 Kings XVII, 13). “Then shall his father and mother take hold of him”, with one accord, “and bring him out unto the elders of his city and unto the gate of his place”: “the elders of his city” are the ancient and primeval Days.

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