parasha Dt3.23-7.11

yochanan bitan-buth ButhFam at
Sun Aug 6 02:59:17 EDT 2000

shalom Haverim,

Yesterday "devarim" (1.1-3.23) was read all over the world. I trust some of
you were able to participate 'in spirit'. 

I've been thinking about ways to encourage people to read and share. (this
may be crossing mails with others since I've been offline since Friday.) 
One idea, maybe not a good one but at least an idea:
would the list moderators would have an automatic method of having list
members 'sign in' when completing their parasha reading for the week? Then
at the end of the week an 'honor roll' could be sent out. 

Looking ahead to this week: vaetHanan 'and I prayed for mercy' Dt.
You can't get any more central. 
The ten words (as covenant stimpulations are tradtionally called in the
ANE) come in ch. 5. 
Even more important is 6.4-9 the 'receiving of the kingdom of heaven' to
use a first century Jewish caption (cf MBeraxot 2, Kaufman correctly omits
This is another point of positive contact between Christians and Jews,
since Jesus accepted this as the klal gadol batora (cf. Lk 10.25-28 with
Mt's intro question). 
Students would be advised to memorize this. Those with historical interests
may want the midrashic addition of Lev 19.18 veahavta lere`axa kamoxa as
well. The midrashic 'gezera shava' is attested in "testaments of the 12
patriarchs", the NT gospels, and rendered "probably ancient" by the
references of Gamliel ('kingdom of heaven')and Akiva (kelal gadol) to the
separate sections. 

Graded memory work:
If you've already memorized the "shema`" 6.4-9, then by all means take the
time and energy for `aseret hadibarot' the ten words. 
[And, if you've already memorized those, you're probably not reading this
anyway :-) . Go ahead and prepare to read the whole parasha from an
unpointed text. That is a great equalizer/humbler.] 

shavua tov,

Randall Buth

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