Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A Nightmare On El(ohi)m Street

[Note: I have never seen A Nightmare on Elm Street (except for a few minutes), nor the sequels. I really don't care for "slasher" flicks, or see their point (no pun intended). But I sort of know the plot, I think - i.e., this guy keeps coming after people (in their dreams?) and tracking or chasing them down and killing them, and there is no way to stop him or escape from him.]

I just finished reading the Torah in English and Hebrew (mostly English, but occasionally checking the Hebrew), using Richard Elliott Friedman's Commentary on the Torah.

In response to something on the Internet about keeping kosher, I said that it seems to me that just about all the commandments that are in the covenant that YHWH makes with the Israelites at Sinai, and again later as part of Moses's last address to them, are connected to dwelling in the land. This isn't restricted to just the priestly/Temple commandments (impossible even for Israeli Jews to keep in the absence of the Tabernacle/Temple), but includes all or most or at least many of the other ones as well. And failure to keep the commandments and the covenant results in God driving the Israelites out of the land, as well as sending upon them all the plagues and diseases of Egypt, and doing a whole bunch of other things that would make being Jewish a lifelong Nightmare on Elm Street - with YHWH playing the part of Freddie Krueger!

Call me a Jewish apostate (which I am), but it seems to me that Jews who don't live in Israel have no Torah requirement to keep the food laws or a myriad of other laws as well.

What think ye?


  1. Seems like I would read it the same way. I haven't read a lot of the commands in a while, but I remember a lot of them being related to the land that God gives you. I guess my gut reaction is that from what I understand of the Pharisees and probably one of the reasons for keeping the laws today is in the hopes that God will see them being faithful and decide to restore them to the Promised Land.

  2. I can't even remember how i got here but that is too funny!