Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cold Borscht

In verse 21 of today's portion in the Torah we read, "Then they said to one another, 'Indeed we are guilty concerning our brother inasmuch as we saw his heartfelt anguish when he pleaded with us and we did not listen; that is why this anguish has come upon us.'" Right after all this mutual commiseration Reuben pops us and says, "Did I not speak to you saying, 'Do not sin against the boy'? But you would not listen! And his blood as well - behold! - is being avenged."

What exactly was Reuben hoping to achieve here? To be all self-righteous and lay the blame on others? In general, his is a sad life. First there's the matter of his moving his father's bed, which got him pretty badly censured. Then he's not around to save his brother when push comes to shove, which of course resulted in the embarrassing episode mentioned above. Then comes the task of guaranteeing the safe return of Binyamin, and his own father calls him a fool. Ouch. Later on his father doesn't bless him, his people choose not to live in Israel, and even Moshe doesn't bless him. And yeah, can't forget that whole little thing of losing the birthright and the priesthood, eh?

Seriously though, what was he doing telling everyone that he was blameless? What did he hope to accomplish? Why did he do it?

21 comments:

sarabonne said...

TRS commentaries...hm. Nice, nice.

e said...

The biblical heroes were human. Live with it.

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: I try.

e: I'll have to, eh?

e said...

you could not live with it. That's what most orthos do.

The Real Shliach said...

They kill themselves?

e said...

they delude themselves.

Rabbi Lars Shalom said...

ham, this is understands

Rabbi Lars Shalom said...

ham, this is understands

The Real Shliach said...

e: is that better or worse?

e said...

much better. These grand delusions they call religion are very beneficial for the deluded.

The Real Shliach said...

Which comes first? Does religion delude normal people or are deludable people seduced by delusions?

e said...

both.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

leizer, stop playing with the poor ma'amin's head.

The Real Shliach said...

e: Quite.

Modeh: I thought you would accuse me of playing with the kofer's head.

Crawling Axe said...

The biblical heroes were human.
As opposed to fiery salamanders?

e said...

This kofer's head doesn't get played with.

CA: as opposed to tzaddikim of Tanya.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Well, if bilam was a beinoni why couldn't the avos be tzaddikim?

e said...

woah! Someone just misunderstood some Tanya. Bilaam was not a beinoni.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Either thta or misunderstood billam. Or simply holds like one minority opinion in Medrash that bilaam was a tzadik.

I find it highly amusing that you post kfira b'torah shebiksav but will ardently defend toras hachasidus.

e said...

I don't like when people mix things up. If he started misquoting Catholic writings, I'd also complain.

The Real Shliach said...

Mode: Where does it say Bilaam was a tzaddik?