Monday, January 26, 2009

several questions

Shalom Rabbi,

Some more question and thoughts here:

1) I did some reading on Rachel's Thumb and also read Genesis again where Abraham receives the instructions.
Is there any theory why circumcising was chosen as the pact? In other words, G-d could have asked for one finger
or a tooth or for a tattoo. Do you think this was a way to prevent infection so that Abraham's descendants could
be as fertile as possible? There must have been a reason why circumcision was chosen.

Answer These videos may help.

Bris Milah and Jewish Baby namings JewU 47
Mitzvote series 2 Circumcision JewU297

The evidence is pretty conclusive that it prevents infection but i think it has more to do with the organ of procreation and the source of so many problems in society

2) On the Torah readings of this week about Moses, there is a question for discussion in the website:
"Why do you think God hardened Pharaoh's heart?"
So, it is hard for me to think that G-d does "evil" things. Why it is not the Devil that hardened Pharaoh's heart?
Answer: see
Parshat Vaera in Exodus 14/54 JewU333

we do not believe in the devil
see Evil vs good inclination & Freud JewU278
Devil and Judaism/ What do we believe? JewU 180

Q: I understand that it is written on the bible and we cannot complain, the if G-d's idea was to transmit the Passover
teaching, why did not the story end with 7 plagues? ( I am sorry if I am too analytical.) Is it because of the number 10?
10 plagues, 10 Commandments? But then, we have 7 Days and 12 Tribes.

A: there are 10 plagues. the rest are in parashat bo.

4) I watched your video about reincarnation and I confess that it was not clear at the end if we should believe or not.
Since the soul is eternal, it is acceptable that it can have several manifestations that could include to have a body;
on the other hand, if each soul has several bodies, which one will be given back by the time of the Resurrection?
I think one idea excludes the other. Can I conciliate them?

A: there is no one belief. general belief in eternality of the soul, most believe in resurrection . only mystics believe in reincarnation-like rabbi Gail. i don't

5) I read about the things that are forbidden in the Sabbath. Why is driving not allowed? Ok, back in time, they did not
have cars but they were allowed to move. If we are allowed to walk that is essentially to move from a place to another, what is so wrong about driving? It is changing position the same way.

A: we allow driving to synagogue. orthodox don't. it involved combustion which is forbidden.

6) Is the a reason why pomegranate to be so present in Jewish art? Pomegranate is a very efficient abortive fruit,
although it is rich in vitamin-C.

A: thought to have 613 seeeds like the mitzvote and is mentioned in deuteronomy

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