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file Questions to ponder as you read Yehoshua Chapters 5 - 8

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6 years 11 months ago #129 by YIO Webteam
Great points by everyone. I don't know if there is an answer to Mendy's observations. But I think it would make a great class or discussion group get together to discuss these issues.

Herb

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6 years 11 months ago #130 by YIO Webteam
There is however a difference. The Jewish victories were accompanied with visible divine intervention and miracles(crossing the Jordan,jericho, the sun standing still) which were seen by the Canaanites and caused them to understand and fear that this was the will of a God. The Osama bin Laden acts are just cowardly terror attacks with no miracles attached to them.

Herb

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6 years 11 months ago #131 by YIO Webteam
Herb: That's kind of what I had in mind when I referred to a possible change in the revelatory nature of such a military comand. Meaning that, at one time, HaShem revealed Himself in open, readily apparent, literally "super-natural" miracles, so that the "legitimacy" of such a command could not reasonably be doubted.

The era of "open" miracles seems to have passed. So is the book now closed on taking action based on Divine commands? Just for individuals? For governments? Does Israel have a right to claim Yehudah and Shomron on religious (as opposed to historical or legal or security) grounds? Interesting questions, no?

I think a class or discussion would be great.

Mendy Saidlower

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6 years 11 months ago #132 by YIO Webteam
Great discussion! I’m going to speak a bit about the idea & ethics of religious war on Shabbat during seudah shlishit, but I want to share a few thoughts that Shimon raised regarding Achan & the Giveonites.

Achan: Achan did not confess initially – the Divine lottery selected Achan as the culprit & then Yehoshua told Achan to confess. According to Rashi, Achan actually began to say that the lottery was fixed but he finally fesses up. As such, I wouldn’t necessarily characterize him as a man of truth or someone who is quick to confess.

Givonim: It’s strange that they think that Bnei Yisrael would honor a treaty based on false pretenses, that the Givonim were not from the seven nations. Presumably, the Givonim believed that if Bnei Yisrael issue an oath in God’s Name to enter into a treaty with them, even based on false pretenses, then they can’t invalidate that oath. According to the Rambam, the Givonim thought it was too late to enter into a treaty with Bnei Yisrael so that’s why they engaged in trickery. The nesi’im were upset because the Givonim didn’t agree to having an inferior status. Therefore, Yehoshua made them water carriers & wood choppers so that they’d have an inferior status. The Raavad believes that once the Bnei Yisrael crossed the Jordan River, they were prohibited from entering into a treaty with any of the seven nations, even if that nation assumed an inferior status.

Kol tuv,

Jonathan Muskat

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6 years 11 months ago #133 by YIO Webteam
Well, I've been busy with menus and constant food shopping but I just had to respond, briefly.
Mendy's comments resonate with me completely. Given all of the explanations, I've decided that the days of Yehoshua were extraordinary, leading to extraordinary actions. It was a time when HaShem's presence was far more tangible.resulting in the ability of Bnei Yisroel to forge ahead under the leadership of Yehoshua. Herb's referral to the Rambam's comments in Hil Melachim does much to decrease my guilt feelings regarding mass destruction at the hands of Jews. However, Rabbi Muskat raises a very interesting question. If the era of visible Divine commands is over, then how do we explain the right of the Jewish people to all of the land of Israel? And what about the Muslim world today? Do they not also claim to be driven by divine command? Do they not also want to obliterate an abominable lifestyle based on their interpretation of the Koran? We may believe we're right and following a just path, but then again, so do they.

Happy learning everyone. I'll be slaving in the kitchen, but I will definitely, bli neder, find the time to keep up with the Nach calender!

Shabbat Shalom

Bea Mauskopf

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6 years 11 months ago #134 by YIO Webteam
Hi, Bea: Regarding Israel's rights, I would make a distinction between historical claims and religious claims. I agree that claims based on divine promises get very tricky.

Mendy Saidlower

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