Israel, Religion

Spot the Error — or, Arutz Sheva Can't Read the Bible

Crossposted to The Reform Shuckle.
Arurtz Sheva, the news service of the West Bank’s settlers says:

In a powerful echo of the Biblical story of the patriarch Abraham, a Mumbai doctor smashed his father’s idols and eventually decided to become a Jew in the Land of Israel.
Abraham was born Vagirds Frads to a Hindu cleric who worshipped idols, and a mother who prepared food for them.  As did the Biblical Abraham, young Vagirds could not understand how his father could honor a man-made statue, nor why his mother would cook for them. “Sometimes I eat it in secret,” he confided…

What’s wrong with this? Special Thanksgiving Turkey points to the first person who gets it right.
The full article is here. Hat-tip: Yid By Choice.

18 thoughts on “Spot the Error — or, Arutz Sheva Can't Read the Bible

  1. I’m no fan of Arutz Sheva but this isn’t the fairest criticism, inasmuch as it’s not a mistake on their part but rather a reflection of a different conception of pshat/drash than a liberal Jew might have.
    What many (not all) liberal Jews think of as “pshat” is the plain meaning of the Biblical text in its historical context- what it meant at the time, as it were. What many (not all) traditional Jews think of as “pshat” is often not in the text at all, but the “simple meaning” as explained in the tradition of oral Torah.
    That’s why Rashi can say something is “pshat” that looks an awful lot like drash.

  2. Abram (before the name change) did not become an oved hashem in Israel or even Canaan. He did it back in Ur.
    Of course, under the new Rabinate rules it wouldnt have counted as a giyur unless he left a country that did not have a yeshivah and unless he agreed to wear Polish chlothing that had not yet been invented. At least he could have worn only black. And Sarai, you have to suspect a giyores who does not wear a sheitel (as lonf as it is not Indian). Probably a DL or Conservative conversion. Definitely a Rabbi Druckman style conversion that should be retroactively rejected. He didnt even know enough to have his name be Avrohom Ben Avrohom.

  3. Avraham Fards, welcome to Klal yisroel. May we be enriched by your search for the truth. May we be graced by your Yidishkeit. May we learn from you as much as you learn with us. May we hear the truths you can see with fresh eyes as one for whom torah comes alive every day. May you share with us what you saw that may resemble what Avrohom glimpsed the first time he recognized the One G-d.
    Mazal Tov and our wishes for much hatzlachah.

  4. Avraham Fards, welcome to Klal yisroel. You should know that your chances of being a good Jew are greatly diminished by living in Hebron or Kiryat Arba. You were a much better Jew living in India and healing people instead of living in the west bank actively detracting from other people’s civil and and human rights each and every day. May you share with us what you saw that may resemble what Avrohom glimpsed the first time he recognized the One G-d, so we can tell you there’s got to be something wrong with it if you moved to Hebron.

  5. Neal, what does pshat have to do with this? It’s a question of whether it’s in the the Torah or not. And it’s not. And, you’re right, it’s not a real criticism of A7, but I just thought it was funny.
    Yerachmiel, RIGHT ON!

  6. David- my point is that’s it’s unfair to criticize A7 for not knowing that something isn’t in the Torah when they’re using a fundamentally different definition of the word “Torah” than you probably are.
    If you believe in the Oral Torah, then there are things that are in “the Torah” just as much as “shma Yisrael” even though you will not find them in the printed Chumash. After all, the whole concept of “d’oraita” means that there are some laws, stories, and interpretations given at Sinai that were transmitted orally until they were put down in the time of Talmud.
    You might not believe that, and I don’t believe that (well, I sorta kinda believe it and don’t at the same time) but if somebody else does, then yes, for them, the story of Avraham smashing the idols might be very much part of the Torah given at Sinai, and it’s not a “mistake” for them to say so.

  7. The original article doesn’t say “Torah”, it says “Biblical”, which means “Tanakh”. People talk about the “Oral Torah”, but not the “Oral Bible”.

  8. Right, but if you’re the kind of person who believes in Oral Torah you probably believe that all of Tanach is Divinely revealed and is a harmonious message which requires the Oral Torah for correct understanding. After all, a huge amount of midrash – Oral Torah- explains the Written Torah (i.e, five books of Moses) by means of verses and words occurring in other part of the Bible.
    Please note: I’m not saying Arutz Sheva is correct that the story of Avraham smashing the idols is “Biblical,” nor do I know the authoritative status of that particular midrash. My point is merely that criticizing someone for saying something that’s a mistake according to one’s own perspective may be different than criticizing someone for making a mistake according their perspective.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.