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Talmud Texts for Tomorrow - De-Othering Esau

11/20/2020 02:20:50 PM

Nov20

Shalom Hevre,

Rabbi Jacob and I are switching off week to week now so that we both have the great privilege of teaching and connecting through these conversations.

Here are tomorrow's sources.  They are a piece of Talmud and a midrash on "De-Othering" Ishmael and Esau.  When such marginzalization lives on and flourishes in our tradition, it creates all kinds of disturbing moral consequences, which is why finding examples of "de-othering" in our texts has been a long term project of mine.  Here's a link to my video d'var Torah for this week where I riff on this theme a little more, but don't worry - no spoilers for our learning tomorrow.

Why is Esau so marginalized, particularly when the biblical account is so sympathetic?  Rabbinic tradition totally went overboard in demonizing Esau (though reasonable so when considering Roman domination of 3rd Century Palestine), and so it falls on us to undo the "othering" and its consequences for the 21st Century.  Do we find hints, shards, or clues to undoing this demonization in the Talmud and midrash, which were the very engines of this "othering?"   

Take a look at these texts and join the conversation tomorrow morning!!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Justin David

Tue, December 1 2020 15 Kislev 5781