Friday, January 07, 2005

Hermeneutics and Politics

Probably the first instance of civil disobedience and refusal of a direct orderis Exodus 1:17 -“And the midwives did not do what they were commanded because they feared God”.

The Talmud, Sotah 11B, adds that their non-cooperation was based on their caution that what they were asked was an immoral crime. Their refusal was later on rewarded. This is fairly straightforward.

In fact, they even went beyond the decree to kill the Hebrew babies and did a very good deed in supplying food for the babies and caring for them more than just allowing them to live. And, indeed, Pharaoh first asks them, in the next verse "why have you done this?", instead of what should have been, in the chronological order of events, his question: "why did you not put them to death"?

My hermeneutic reasoning?

Their act caused even Pharaoh to realize his edict was wrong and should have been refused. But to move on from there to feeding and clothing them was something even beyond the grasp of a Pharaoh.

In this campaign for Gush Katif we have not only to stall and stem and halt the evil decree of destruction but we need to go even further on behalf of settling our homeland so that this extra effort will convince our opponents that their original idea of disengagement was wrong.

We need to be two steps ahead which is hard. But it's possible.

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