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Thursday, 31 March 2016
Rabbinic Motifs I

The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation,
Brad H Young, Hendricksen, 1998
Chapter 11, "The Find" (pp. 199-221), page 211-212

Dr Young explains that 'finding' something of great value is not an uncommon motif in the rabbinic literature. The stories may have several meanings, teach from biblical history or about the fruit of righteous living. One frequent theme is the Exodus from Egypt - making fun of Pharaoh fr letting Israel go.

Rabbi Jose the Galilean, giving a parable, says: To what can this be compared? To a man to whom there has fallen as an inheritance a bet-kor of land which he sold for a trifle. The buyer, however, went and opened up wells in it amd plantd gardens and trees and orchards in it. The seller, seeing this, began to choke with grief. So it happened to the Egyptians who let go without realising what they let go. Of them it is stated in the traditional sacred writings: "Your shoots are a park of pomegranates" (Song 4:13).

This - from Mekhilta Derabbi Yishmael on Ex 14:5 - reflects what the Torah itself says:

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed towrd the people, and they said, 'What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us" (Ex 14:5).

Possibly appropriate for a Passover seder, although no detauls are given, this might be appropriate for children and helps in the teaching of the Exodus.

Posted By Jonathan, 8:02am Comment Comments: 0