[b-hebrew] to'evah

Mike Burke michaelgburk at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 23 21:47:26 EDT 2013

I was thinking of passages like Leviticus 11:42.
If unclean animals are an abomination, and that comes from a root that means "to loathe" (as in God wants us to loathe them), wouldn't it be wrong to have them as pets?
I've spoken to Moslems who hate dogs, consider them unclean, and tell me that strays are stoned in their countries.
It seems to me that if  תועבה means "to abhor" or "to loathe," that's precisely the attitude the Torah is telling us to have toward dogs, cats, ferrets, hamsters, gerbals, gecko's, etc. (though the Moslems I've spoken to seem more tolerant of cats than other pets.)
Is that what the Torah means when it speaks of such animals as To'evah?

From: Yigal Levin <Yigal.Levin at biu.ac.il>
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org 
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2013 8:07 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] to'evah

To which I would add, that, as in many cases, the specific English word which is closest in meaning to the Hebrew depends on the context, on your interpretation of the Hebrew, and often on the connotation of the English word that you're using as well. Which particular use of To'evah are you referring to?
Yigal Levin
From:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Yohanan bin-Dawidh
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2013 12:59 AM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] to'evah
Hello Michael, 
The term תועבה in a ritual sense means something that is "unclean" or "impure", and in a ethical sense means something that is "wicked". The word comes from the root תעב, which holds the meaning of "to abhor" or "to loathe".
In trying to understand this term properly, I look at the texts where this term is used, and one of the mest usages of the term is the fact that in Sefer B'reshit 43 that is was תועבה for the Misrayim to eat with 'Ibrim. In this situation it is an improper mixture between two different people, two different social classes, i.e. an improper or impure union of people.
Yohanan bin-Dawidh
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