Interfaith Re'eh

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Care of Dondi:

dondi said:
Blessing and cursing
Cleansing of the Promised Land from idols
Establishment of the sacrifices
Laws of idolatry
Dietary laws
Laws of tithes
Laws of Debts
Laws of Slaves
Laws of the Feasts

Now I am going to simply offer a piece of the text. Let it take you where it takes you and please feel free to speak about it.

Chapter 12
1 These are the laws and rules that you must carefully observe in the land that the Lord, God of your fathers, is giving you to possess, as long as you live on earth.

2 You must destroy all the sites at which the nations you are to dispossess worshiped their gods, whether on lofty mountains and on hills or under any luxuriant tree. 3 Tear down their altars, smash their pillars, put their sacred posts to the fire, and cut down the images of their gods, obliterating their name from that site.

4 Do not worship the Lord your God in like manner, 5 but look only to the site that the Lord your God will choose amidst all your tribes as His habitation, to establish His name there. There you are to go, 6 and there you are to bring your burnt offerings and other sacrifices, your tithes and contributions, your votive and freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and flocks. 7 Together with your households, you shall feast there before the Lord your God, happy in all the undertakings in which the Lord your God has blessed you.

Recall that at the time these commandments were given, the Israelites were still in the wilderness on the west side of the Jordan River. The heathen nations, primarily the Canaanites, occupy the land promised as an everlasting covenant to Abram (Abraham) in Genesis 17. But back in Genesis 15:13,14, God tells Abram that his seed will be a stranger in a land that is not theirs (Egypt) for four humdred years, but promises that they will come back out of it. Now after the Exodus, the Israelites find the Promised Land occupied with idol worshipers.

The command in Deuteronomy 12 to destroy those altars to foreign gods is a cleansing process to prepare Israel to worship God in the manner He choses, i.e. the sacrifice system, as they reclaim the land promised to Abraham. But there has to be a complete destruction of any influence that would cause the Israelites to fall back and worship idols, which they were familiar with in Egypt and had problems with the Golden Calf in the wilderness. This is why from time to time God has Israel destroy whole nations, men, women, and, as terrible as it seems, even children, so that the slightest leaven would not corrupt Israel. The worship of God must be pure.

In the view of many modern day Jews, and Christians for that matter, the promise to Abraham is still binding. And in their opinion, the land of Israel is still for the Jews. The problem is that the Palestinians occupy parts of the Israel, such as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Hence the conflict that has erupted for all these many years.
Hi All,

I'm confused. What are we reading and talking about this week? Is this the active thread, or is it the other one?

dauer had the date wrong for this week's parashat. This week's readings should be for parashat re'eh - Deut. 11:26-16:17. Next week is parashat shoftim - Deut. 16:18-21:9. It was a forgivable mistake. ;)

Click on the link below to get the parashat schedule:
Sorry about that. I also forgot to post a link to the chapters for study for this week. The link Dondi gave has the starting dates for each. If you click the link to the specific parsha it will give the chaptering according to Jewish chaptering. So for this week you would get this page:

And the portion for this week is Deut 11:26 - 16:17. In answer to some requests for discussion moderation, I have selected one piece of the parsha to begin with. We can see how that goes and if anyone has ideas for other ways things could work please post them in the general interfaith parsha project thread.

Dondi, thank you for being what I would call a Nachshon, the one who stepped into the sea according to midrash before it would part. I can tell that once more people are contributing that your knowledge will be very helpful.

Ack! I panicked for no reason! It is shoftim. I wasn't comfortable with what parsha the cycle is on and decided I knew a source that would tell me what day today is, instead of Saturday. So I went to the ChaBad website and lo and behold: Shoftim! I'm going to leave this thread open for the benefit of all who wish to talk about parshat re'eh but I am unstickying it and please, feel free to focus on Shoftim. This is the last time. I promise.

Peace and blessings?

It shows the reading for Shabbos, which is the reading for the previous week. That's how I had read it originally, but then I was on another forum and saw someone posting something about Re'eh for the first time at the end of the week. But after I made the correction I didn't feel right about it. I had a hunch to check out chabad, so I did, and like I suspected they list all of the dates for the parsha and not just Shabbos. Hebcal is correct, but it lists the reading for Shabbos, which is the reading for the previous week up until and including Shabbos.

I am going to close this thread to hopefully help redirect people to Shoftim after my error. As per faithful servant's suggestion, unless anyone else has other ideas they'd like to put forward, I was going to be closing old threads at the end of the week anyway, and this is last week's.

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