Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Cleverness of the People of Jerusalem

I found two aspects of this section interesting.
First, that it had so little Jewish content. Until the last three stories, these could have been told about any people and, I suspect, probably were. They were nasty stories even when the person being tricked had done nothing to deserve it.
Second, these stories read like slave fantasies showing the slaves getting even with their masters. Or like the high school brain trying to get even with the bullying jock. I think it tells something of the attitudes of the Jews toward themselves at that point in time. Many of the stories were from Lamentations Rabbah which suggests that the desire for revenge was very strong.
We so often forget that for much of history, we were outsiders and looked down upon in many areas where we lived. We should never forget that we live in a fortunate era and in good places. Our problems pale in comparison to what many of our ancestors had to suffer with.

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