I spent last Shabbat in Boca Raton. I was shocked to see that my closest friends live in a development that had a damaged sign at its entrance that read; “No wimmin , diving or fishing allowed.” I understand that they cannot allow diving or fishing in the area, because there is no water. But how can such good people live in an area that does not allow ‘wimmin”? The sign had obviously been erected by an uneducated misogynist!
Please don’t laugh! I have heard some of you refer to a ladies’ man as a Romeo although the original Romeo was anything but. He lived for and loved only one woman and even died for her. How did Romeo change from its original character to its new definition? Probably the same way that a “No Swimming” sign became an exercise in misogyny.
We ridicule people who believe that have power over the natural course of things as “Canutes”, when the original Canute, King Canute the Great, knew his limitations. He had his throne carried to the seashore and sat on it as the tide came in, commanding the waves to advance no further. When they didn’t, he had made his point that, though the deeds of kings might appear ‘great’ in the minds of men, they were as nothing in the face of God’s power. How did the great king become a symbol of arrogant stupidity?
Unfortunately, it is all too easy for people to misunderstand, to misconstrue, to misread and misunderstand. People can confuse truth with falsehood, fact with fiction and good with evil. This is especially dangerous when it comes to religion. People accept myths as truth. All too often people are shocked when they read the actual text of a story rather than hear it told over by a teacher or rabbi.
The Foundation Stone is our effort to fight for truth and clarity. We are committed to reading the texts as they are, rather than the way they are taught. The essay on this week’s Haftarah, The Missing Ingredient, is based on a surprising mistake in Solomon’s Temple. The Music of Halacha continues its study of our relationship with our ThingsIII.
We have negotiated an exclusive contract with the BNN, the Biblical News Network and are proud to provide (almost) live newscasts from the Battlefield with Amalek and from the Palace in Shushan. We also obtained actual photographs of (a model of) the Tabernacle from the world famous Esther Biel. Rabbi Irwin Katsof continues his popular Words Can Heal. We have also added two new weekly contributions from Bentzion Meltzer of Medziboz, Ukraine, formerly (about 200 years ago) a member of the Ba’al Shem Tov’s Minyan, and currently inspiring the people of Boca Raton, FL. Please visit The Keter Shem Tovand the Ba’al Shem Tov story on the weekly portion. We have also posted a daily appreciation of Moshe Rabbeinu in text and podcast.
Please forgive a little fast and loose footwork with some facts. It seems to happen a lot around Purim.
Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg