Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11) gives us pause for thought in its contradictions. First, the parshah (Torah portion) contains the aseret hadibrot (Ten Commandments), among which is: you shouldn’t murder (5:17). Then, pasukim (verses) 6:4-5 contain the shema (Hear O Israel! The L-rd is Our G-d. The L-rd is One!) followed by the admonishment to: “love the L-rd, your G-d, with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your might,” (Deut. 6:4-5). Finally, pasuk 7:2 instructs the Isrealites, upon entry into the Promised Land, to kill and “utterly destroy” the various groups of people living there.
In other words, one is supposed to not murder. One is reminded to love G-d. And, then, G-d commands the Israelites to commit mass murder. I can’t help but think about the mass murders in the United States. Continue reading “On Va’etchanan: Do Not Murder, Rather Love by Ivy Helman”