Dvar Torah Ki Seitzei: Hanging Out with God

This week’s parsha opens with perhaps the most famous trifecta of storylines — the captive woman, the two wives and the wayward son (Deuteronomy 21:10) — that, according to the teachings of the Akivan school of thought, tie into one another as a sort of portentous play-by-play of things to come should one choose a path of wickedness.  But we won’t be talking about that today.

Instead, I’d like to focus on something rarely ever discussed in contemporary circles of Orthodox Judaism.  Specifically, I’d like to speak about a particularly curious comment that Rashi makes in reference to the events to follow capital punishment meted out by a Jewish religious court.  For those who were subjected to death by stoning, the corpses of the convicted were to then be hanged following the stoning (Deuteronomy 21:22), but were not to be left hanging overnight “ki k’lilas elokim talui” — “for a hanging corpse is an affront to God.” (Deuteronomy 21:23)

Rashi explains this as a denigration to God “she’adam asui b’dmus d’yokano” — “for man is fashioned in His image.”  And what does that mean, you might ask?  Rashi persists with a parable of talmudic origin (Bavli Sanhedrin 46b) in the name of R’ Meir (a disciple of R’ Akiva): identical twin brothers whose lives took very different paths, one becoming king and the other apprehended as a thief.  After the thief had been executed, passersby saw him hanging and, confused by the resemblance, exclaimed in astonishment that the king had been hanged!

Read More: @ frumsatire.net

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