Religion & Beliefs

Tradition! (a new one)

Since today is the first Friday of Faithhacker's short life, I thought I'd start a tradition. I thought I'd make a point of talking a little bit about the chunk of text being read this week in synagogues all over … Read More

By / November 3, 2006
Jewcy loves trees! Please don't print!

Since today is the first Friday of Faithhacker's short life, I thought I'd start a tradition. I thought I'd make a point of talking a little bit about the chunk of text being read this week in synagogues all over the world.

That's right, it's called the Torah portion, or parsha, and there are 54 of them.  One for each week of the Jewish year (more or less).  Each year, we read through the cycle (rapidly) Saturday by Saturday, and we talk a bit about the lessons we can glean from that week's selection.  Except…

Except that there's a lot we rarely get around to discussing.  We tend to fixate on (for instance) David's defeat of Goliath, and not so much on the fact that he may have been enjoying the pleasures of his own biblical flesh with Jonathan, or that he cut the foreskins from hundreds of Philistine penises (in fact, more than he "had to").  Which is interesting, right?

 So I thought I'd link a summary of the weekly read each Friday, and pull out a selection to post, and then maybe ruminate a bit myself… but I also ask that you, my devoted Faithhackees, write in and tell me what you think is funny or weird or inspiring or surprising about the reading.

This week we're reading a section called Lech-Lecha (a huge and wide-ranging portion) , and I'm going to offer up this little tidbit, which is timely and important, for obvious reasons. 

What do we think?  Wild ass of a man? Despised?  Can anyone help us out here?  Hebrew-speaking types?

?  ???????? ?????? ???????, ??? ??????? ???; ?????? ???????? ????????, ????????? ?????. 1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bore him no children; and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
?  ????????? ?????? ???-???????, ??????-??? ????????? ?????? ????????–????-??? ???-??????????, ?????? ???????? ?????????; ??????????? ???????, ?????? ??????. 2 And Sarai said unto Abram: 'Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall be builded up through her.' And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
?  ????????? ?????? ??????-???????, ???-????? ??????????? ???????????, ?????? ?????? ???????, ???????? ??????? ???????? ????????; ????????? ?????? ????????? ????????, ??? ?????????. 3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.
?  ???????? ???-?????, ????????; ???????? ???? ???????, ???????? ???????????? ???????????. 4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
?  ????????? ?????? ???-???????, ??????? ???????–??????? ???????? ?????????? ??????????, ???????? ???? ??????? ??????? ???????????; ????????? ??????, ??????? ??????????. 5 And Sarai said unto Abram: 'My wrong be upon thee: I gave my handmaid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.'
?  ????????? ??????? ???-??????, ?????? ??????????? ?????????–??????-????, ??????? ????????????; ???????????? ??????, ?????????? ??????????. 6 But Abram said unto Sarai: 'Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her that which is good in thine eyes.' And Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.
?  ????????????? ???????? ??????, ???-???? ????????–????????????:  ???-???????, ????????? ?????. 7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
?  ?????????, ????? ???????? ?????? ???-?????? ????–??????? ???????; ?????????–???????? ?????? ???????????, ??????? ????????. 8 And he said: 'Hagar, Sarai's handmaid, whence camest thou? and whither goest thou?' And she said: 'I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.'
?  ????????? ???? ???????? ??????, ??????? ???-????????????, ????????????, ?????? ???????. 9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: 'Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.'
?  ????????? ???? ???????? ??????, ???????? ???????? ???-????????, ????? ????????, ?????. 10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: 'I will greatly multiply thy seed, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
??  ????????? ???? ???????? ??????, ??????? ????? ??????????? ????, ???????? ?????? ???????????, ????-?????? ?????? ???-????????. 11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: 'Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
??  ?????? ???????, ?????? ?????–????? ??????, ????? ???? ????; ?????-?????? ???-??????, ?????????. 12 And he shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.'
??  ?????????? ????-?????? ???????? ???????, ?????? ??? ?????:  ???? ???????, ????? ????? ????????–??????? ?????. 13 And she called the name of the LORD that spoke unto her, Thou art a God of seeing; for she said: 'Have I even here seen Him that seeth Me?'
??  ???-???? ????? ????????, ?????? ????? ?????–?????? ????-??????, ?????? ??????. 14 Wherefore the well was called 'Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
??  ???????? ????? ?????????, ????; ?????????? ??????? ????-?????? ??????-??????? ?????, ???????????. 15 And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
??  ?????????, ????-????????? ?????? ??????? ???????, ????????-????? ???-???????????, ?????????.  {?}

16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram. {S}