The Sin of Sodom through Rabbinic Eyes

Nov. 15 2019

In telling the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah—part of this Sabbath’s Torah reading—the biblical text goes into much detail, but is remarkably vague about what sins provoked God’s wrath. While sodomy is the transgression most associated with this tale in the Western imagination, the rabbinic tradition tends to focus on other misdeeds. Helen Plotkin points to a midrash that depicts God being moved to action after a young Sodomite woman is killed by her fellow townspeople for surreptitiously giving flour to an impoverished friend:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Genesis, Jewish ethics, Midrash, Sodom

Hamas and Fatah Compete by Shedding Jewish Blood

During the past four weeks, there has been a rash of violent attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank. These are not a response to any Israeli actions, nor are they spontaneous outbursts. Rather, as Itamar Marcus and Maurice Hirsch explain, the violence is the result of deliberate incitement by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which began when its president, Mahmoud Abbas, realized he was unlikely to win the upcoming national elections. The violence, write Marcus and Hirsch, was originally a way to win votes, and is now a way to maintain popularity after Abbas’s decision to postpone the elections in definitely:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Fatah, Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian terror