Stoning the Blasphemer: A Biblical Tale with a Message of Inclusiveness

At the very end of this week’s Torah reading of Emor, we find a brief narrative passage (Leviticus 24:10-23) that seems oddly placed amid laws concerning holidays and sabbatical years and regulations pertaining to priests and the Tabernacle. The story involves a man, the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father, who gets into a fistfight with “a certain Israelite” and then invokes God’s ineffable name in cursing his opponent. When Moses hears of this he has the son of the Egyptian father incarcerated and awaits divine instruction. God explains that the punishment for blasphemy is death by stoning, and the people duly inflict this punishment on the blasphemer. In attempting to read the episode in context, Adriane Leveen finds a surprising message:

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Read more at theTorah.com

More about: Conversion, Hebrew Bible, Leviticus, Religion & Holidays

 

The American Association of University Professors Celebrates Anti-Semitism

Last week, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), an influential academic organization, announced that Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University would receive one of its annual awards, citing her “courage, persistence, political foresight, and concern for human rights . . . in her scholarship, teaching, [and] public advocacy” as well as her efforts to “advance the agenda for social change in Palestine, the United States, and internationally.” Those efforts, notes Jonathan Marks, include supporting the exclusion of the Jewish campus group Hillel from a university-wide event, and lambasting the school’s president for apologizing for that exclusion:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus