Why Isn’t Hashem’s Name Mentioned in the Megillah?

One big difference between the Megillah and every other part of Tanach is that the Megillah was mass produced by non-Jewish scribes.

For the first time there was a risk that many copies would be thrown away or abused. Hashem’s name doesn’t appear in the Megillah for the same reason that we write G-d. An indirect reference to Hashem ran into a related problem. The scribes doing much of the writing were idolaters. A reference to a Creator would have been written with a different intention in mind. A Sofer takes great care before writing the name of Hashem to purify his intentions.

There was no possibility of pure intentions when writing the Megillah. To avoid a desecration of Hashem’s name in a document that is meant to serve as a consecration of Hashem’s name, the name was left out entirely.

The omission of Hashem’s name was an adaptation to a very modern problem that we deal with all the time.

Who Were the Erev Rav Really?

The Torah only mentions the Erev Rav or the Asafsuf (who might be the same people) briefly. Today Erev Rav is used a lot in some circles. But who were the Erev Rav really?

The accepted interpretation is that they were non-Jewish slaves, criminals and foreigners in Egypt who accompanied the Jews on their exodus. This isn’t impossible, but it’s not really likely. Why would Moshe have accepted a large number of foreigners on the way out? There was no conversion yet. Yitro, the first Ger only arrived around or after Har Sinai when the Torah was given. The Egyptians would not have agreed to free non-Jewish slaves or prisoners. Remember, they even chased after their Jewish slaves and only let them go after incredible devastation. And why would non-Jews have volunteered to go into the desert with no real hope of survival, and then wanted to return?

There’s a simple alternative answer that covers all these points. Who were the Mixed Multitude really? They were mixed. They were the children of Egyptian men and Jewish women. We encounter one of them as the blasphemer, but he was probably representative of the Erev Rav as a whole.

Accepted interpretations claim that he was the only such case. We know how unrealistic this is. Kohanim whose wives were in captivity had to divorce them because the halachic position is that captivity means a high probability of rape. If the Egyptians could enslave the men and kill the children, could they rape their women. Obviously yes.

When Pharaoh gave the order to kill. He only ordered the deaths of male babies. Female babies survived. His goal was to have Jewish women, while wiping out Jewish men. Egyptians obviously wanted Jewish women. The Jewish people survived his attack. Polygamy may have even been a defense mechanism against this type of ethnic cleansing. But there still would probably have been a surplus female population. And some Jews did become corrupted in Egypt. So some Jewish women may have even been voluntarily mistresses or concubines to Egyptian men.

The children of rape or even voluntary liaisons with Egyptian men would have become the Erev Rav. To the Egyptians they were Jews. To the Jews they were Egyptians. After the 10th Plague, the Egyptians may have in their panic banished anyone with Jewish blood from their country. Or the Erev Rav might have gone willingly.

But in the desert things changed. In Egypt, the Erev Rav might have held a higher status than full blooded Jews, the way that in the American South light skinned blacks of mixed race were House Slaves. But in the desert they were lower ranked. In a camp based on tribal divisions, the Erev Rav belonged nowhere. They were “rabble”, a mixed group without their own tribal leadership. They didn’t answer to anyone, and could get into all kinds of trouble. Pecking order would be established not by descent, the way it was with the tribes, but through Prison Yard showdowns.

No surprise then that the Erev Rav kept bringing up the theme of going back to Egypt. Among the Egyptians, they might have been considered Jews, but among the Jews, they started seeing themselves as Egyptians. In Egypt, they were superior because they were part of the master race. Among the Jews, they were inferior for that same reason.

And if things were bad in the desert, they were only going to get worse, if the Jews actually made it to Israel where land was allotted based on tribal divisions. Again by the father. Which is why the Erev Rav did everything it could to stop the Jews from getting there. What the Erev Rav wanted most of all was to get back to Egypt. But they settled for sabotaging any progress the Jews made along the way. Because any progress in Jewish nationhood would set back their status even more, and make it harder to push for a return to Egypt.

There’s no way to know how large the Erev Rav was. But even a 1000 men with no leadership structure and a sense of grievance can do a lot of damage.

In more modern times, Erev Rav came to mean any fifth column or foreign element among the Jews. Today It usually means people who might be biologically Jews or members of the Jewish community, but whose real allegiances lie elsewhere. This is what makes them “mixed”. They have a mixture of Jewish ethnicity but alien loyalties. And this makes them act as a fifth column, obstructing and sabotaging the Jewish people.

Erev Rav is used today for everyone from Jewish anti-Israel activists to Jewish leaders who pursue goals not in the interests of their communities. It doesn’t mean that their parentage is mixed, but that their loyalties are. The Erev Rav were living together with the Jewish people, but not part of it. In the same way the Erev Rav today is part of the Jewish community, but has a different destination in mind.

Get Out Your Ouija Boards: The Facilitated Communication Train Rolls on to Idolsville

Now boys and girls those of you who were good remember that we talked about Facilitated Communication last week. Facilitated Communication or FC basically means that the parents, guardians or molesters of autistic kids use them as human Ouija boards guiding their hands around a pen or pencil to sketch out messages from the beyond. If you’re a Christian you believe those messages come from Jeebus. If you’re a New Ager, you believe they come from the wacky consciousness of a living universe. If you’re a Muslim you believe they come from a crazy hairy guy with anger management problems.

If you’re Jewish… ah if you’re Jewish you’re not supposed to be using mediums or ouija boards, human or otherwise. You’re supposed to rely on G-d and his Torah. But FC like most avodah zara finds its way into the frum world too where it has its defenders.

Picking up on this thread over at YeshivaWorld where my post was referenced

Now the introducer of this thread tries to claim that it’s not prophecy but some sort of “spiritual radar” (I’m sorry is spiritual radar a Torah term, where exactly does it originate from?) that tells you exactly what the weatherman would tell you.

I. personally, feel that there is no more prophecy here than one would get from the weatherman telling us that a storm is forming or is headed our way….The Autistics simply use information from a kind of spiritual radar source to give us warnings. To say that if we don’t do tshuva, trouble lies ahead, is far from a new prophecy. This has been repeated through the ages.

So it’s not prophecy is it? Let’s sum up prophecy. Hashem sends a navi to warn us that either we do Tesuvah or a coming catastrophe will befall us. That’s what the people here are doing. They are warning of a coming catastrophe and then warning people to do Tesuvah. It is literal prophecy. Look up Yonah or Yirmiyahu.

Yes we’re told all the time that we have to do tesuvah or bad things will happen. This is however a specific prediction combined with a command. That is the prerogative of a Navi.

Anyone can tell you that if you cross a red light bad things will happen. If however I tell you that if you cross a bad light, I sense that bad things will soon happen to you, I have moved from common sense to the realm of the supernatural making me either a prophet, a witch or a fraud. You pick.

Then there’s the even more dishonest argument that if this happened to these kids it could be for only one purpose alone!

we know, i hope everybody will agree on this one , that Hashem is in charge ,and all he does is for a reason. not reasons we can always understand .

Funny how often people begin arguments with this premise only when the whole thrust of their argument is that they know exactly why Hashem is doing it

when a person is a vegetable there is very little gashmiyus,and the neshama has no more boundaries,nothing can separate her from her Creator.and thus the abilty to actually become more of a neshama than a body.

That’s wacky theology at best. Is someone who’s dead from the neck down more neshama simply because he’s disconnected from a lot of gashmiyus things? Of if I lock you in a box and feed you through a straw for 20 years, do you become a malach? The theology that says Gashmiyus is evil in contrast to the spirit is absurdly Catholic.

So in other words by this logic if someone is physically cut off, clearly they’re receiving messages from heaven. After all why would Hashem do so otherwise?

The answer is we don’t know why. We don’t know why Hashem does things. We don’t know why kids wind up autistic or crippled for life or suffering from horrible diseases. WE DON’T KNOW.

Other people’s suffering and our own should encourage us to do Tesuvah. It should encourage us to be kind. It should not allow us to become deluded into believing we are hearing prophecies or to rely on superstition and mediums and other things forbidden explicitly by the Torah. At best they merely produce nonsense. At worst their sources may be something other than Hashem entirely.

Intermarriage is Against the Torah. Any Questions?

“Neither shalt thou make marriages with them: thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For he will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods; so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and He will destroy thee quickly.” Devarim 7:3

Oh yeah. Newsflash. It’s wrong. Why? Because intermarriage wipes out the Jewish people. Because it dilutes Judaism. And because G-d said so.We don’t need any more reason than the last one.
I am sick and tired of the rush to apologize to Noah Feldman (who was proved to be a liar) for all his suffering at the hands of evil Orthodox Jews who *gasp* didn’t publish his career accomplishments in their bulletin. I’m not even dedicating this to Noah Feldman who’s a sick and poisonous human being who dedicated an incredible amount of energy to making sure that en Eruv didn’t go up purely out of spite for other Jews.

I’m dedicating this to the Rabbis who should know better. I’m dedicating this to guys like Rabbi Shmuel Boteach and now Rabbi Levi Brackman who rush out and tell us how wrong we are as a community not to be more welcoming to Jews who intermarried? Anyone remember when this was the kind of rhetoric Reform Rabbis not Orthodox Rabbis traded in. I do.

Now we get crap like this published everywhere. I know one woman who is no longer converting because of the crap she was put through for years. But if she had married a Jewish guy first, she would have gotten an express train conversion. Remember when it used to be Reform Jews who acted like that? Now we act like that.

Can all the articles on how we need to welcome intermarried couples. I expect stupidity like that from ordinary people. I don’t expect it from Rabbis. I expect better than a “Come one, come all, so what if she’s not Jewish. We can just dunk her in a mikvah and she will be” routine. That’s not how it works.

Conversion isn’t some express train to making people Jewish. It’s a sincere dedication to serving G-d. While we’re making life hell for genuine converts, we’re making it easy for “nice Jewish boys” who hooked up with an asian chick in college and it makes me sick.

No Rabbi Brackman, we should not be “making life easier for intermarrieds.” Why not? Because the Torah says so. Any more questions? If you can’t back what the Torah says maybe you shouldn’t be an Orthodox Rabbi.

For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons; so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the peoples of the lands; yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been first in this faithlessness.

And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down appalled. Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of them of the captivity; and I sat appalled until the evening offering.

And at the evening offering I arose up from my fasting, even with my garment and my mantle rent; and I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God; and I said: ‘O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to Thee, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our guiltiness is grown up unto the heavens.

Now while Ezra prayed, and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there was gathered together unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children; for the people wept very sore.

And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra: ‘We have broken faith with our God, and have married foreign women of the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope for Israel concerning this thing.

Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of the LORD, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.

And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them: ‘Ye have broken faith, and have married foreign women, to increase the guilt of Israel. Now therefore make confession unto the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do His pleasure; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the foreign women.’

Ezra 9-10

Bye bye charlie. No invitations to the local synagogue for tea and crackers and Hebrew lessons. No “let’s invite the women over and teach them about Jewish heritage.” None of that. They simply go.

But that’s not all. They were shocked. They were sickened. They were ashamed by what they did. Not only is Noah Feldman not ashamed but the people replying to him in supposed defense of Judaism are the ones ashamed. Ashamed to be defending something their modern culture has trouble with. And the ones on the attack like Shmuley Boteach and Rabbi Brackman are unashamed to be sanitizing intermarriage and doing an Xtian style “Hate the sin, love the sinner” number.

That is how low we’ve fallen.