parshat ki teitzei – deuteronomy 23- 25
Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz recorded on clubhouse on September 8th 2022. As we approach the Jewish New Year with its emphasis on Zichronot, we ask: what role does memory play in the Torah? Is it for historical accuracy or moral edification? In this week’s parsha we are told to despise some of our foes and others to offer our gratitude. For our arch enemy, Amalek we are told to remember to forget!
Welcome to Madlik. My name is Geoffrey Stern and at Madlik we light a spark or shed some light on a Jewish Text or Tradition. Along with Rabbi Adam Mintz, we host Madlik Disruptive Torah on clubhouse every Thursday at 8:00pm Eastern and share it as the Madlik podcast on your favorite platform. As we approach the Jewish New Year with its emphasis on Zichronot, we ask: what role does memory play in the Torah? Is it for historical accuracy or moral edification? In this week’s parsha we are told to despise some of our foes and others to offer our gratitude. For our arch enemy, Amalek we are told to remember to blot out their memory. So put away your crossword puzzles and other brain teasers and join us for this week’s episode: Remember to Forget
Well, welcome to another exciting episode of Madlik Disruptive Torah. Rabbi, it’s great to be back… both of us on the same planet, the same east coast, the same side of the Atlantic. And, you know, as I as I referenced in the intro, the high holidays are approaching and I know that we are a group that talks about the weekly parsha, the portion that’s read in the synagogue, but seeping into everything that we think about now is a little bit of a tease, a little bit of a preparation during the month of Elul for what’s coming upon us. And in the probably the most iconic prayer that we have on Rosh Hashana, called Unetaneh Tokef. We talk about remembering, we talk about remembering in all the prayers but it says at one point, you remember all that is forgotten, you open the book of records and from it, it shall be read in it lies each person’s insignia סֵפֶר הַזִּכְרוֹנוֹת וּמֵאֵלָיו יִקָּרֵא וְחוֹתָם יַד כָּל אָדָם בּוֹ. So, we have this sense of a book of remembrance; a Sefer Zichronot, and we can’t but recognize that Zichronot; memory is such an important part of Judaism. And that is what we are going to be focused on tonight. And it comes up in our parsha in many various different guises. And we’re going to explore them all. So, let’s start with the beginning of the Parsha. We’re in Deuteronomy 23 starting at verse 3 and it starts talking about you know, something that we all come into contact with; status. It says no one misbegotten no mamzir, there shall be admitted into the congregation. And then it goes no Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted into the congregation of God, no descendants of such even to the 10th generation. And then it says because they did not meet you with food and water on your journey after you left Egypt. because they hired Balaam son of Beor, from Pethor of Aram-naharaim, to curse you.— But your God refused to heed Balaam; instead, your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, for your God loves you.— You shall never concern yourself with their welfare or benefit as long as you live.. So, we’re starting to talk about grudges and memories. In verse eight it says, You shall not abhor an Edomite for such is your kin, you shall not abhor an Egyptian for you were a stranger in that land. And it says that ultimately those people; the Edomites and of course the Edomites is comes from a Edom and comes from Esau who ate the porridge that was red (edom). And they can ultimately come into your congregation. But our first touching upon memory is almost an axis of levels of grudge, but also levels of gratitude. And you know Rashi picks up on them. And he also gives these gradations it says Thou shalt not abhore an Edomite he goes “utterly” לְגַמְרֵי. In other words, you can’t hate them completely.
Adam Mintz 04:58
You’re allowed to hate them, but not completely,
Geoffrey Stern 05:01
Just a little, just a little. And then thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian, it says utterly all in מִכֹּל וָכֹל because after all they did cast your male children into the river. But what’s the reason you don’t abhor them utterly, because they were your hosts in time of need during Joseph’s rein after all, they welcomed us during the famines שֶׁהָיוּ לָכֶם אַכְסַנְיָא בִּשְׁעַת הַדְּחָק. So here this first of a few references to historic memory there’s some ambiguity here. But what do you feel about me characterizing it as levels of a baring a grudge? And maybe a little bit of gratitude mixed in?
Adam Mintz 05:51
I liked the idea of analyzing the grudge. You know that the Torah seems to understand that there’s a place for grudges. It’s actually amazing, because you wouldn’t think that our would consider grudges. But the Torah clearly considers grudges, doesn’t it?
Geoffrey Stern 06:06
Well, you know, we talk about a Jealous God we talk about a God who has a memory. Right. I think the most basic sense of memory is you know what, I won’t forget this. I’m gonna remember this. And of course, everything that we talk about on a national level tonight, with the high holidays approaching, I think we can extrapolate to a personal level. And isn’t it natural to hold those book grudges? But I think and we’ll come back to it a little bit later. It’s fascinating about Egypt, that here you have this dialectic between both having a grudge against this country that after all threw your male children into the water Nile to drown, but nonetheless, was there for you when you needed a bed to sleep on and when you needed refuge?
Adam Mintz 06:59
Right. So let’s go back for a second. You know, hate ’em, hold a grudge but not a complete grudge, a little bit of a grudge? What’s the purpose of holding grudges? You see, I don’t think that the Torah holding grudges a good character trait, you know, visa vie you, just to hold a grudge because that’s never good. But there’s a point to it. That by holding a grudge you remember what they did wrong? And I think that’s significant.
Geoffrey Stern 07:25
You know, I love that because I think one of the takeaways from the discussion this evening, is when a Jew looks at historic facts. They go well, what does it mean? What does it tell us? What is the lesson? We’re not just interested in the facts. And I think the next verse that I’m going to bring literally is a perfect segue into this concept of what do we learn from history. In Deuteronomy 24: 8 our a parsha again, it says: in cases of skin affection, be most careful to do exactly as the Levitical priests instruct you, take care to do as I have commanded them. Remember what your God did to Miriam, on the journey after you left Egypt. So here we have the first explicit reference to the word Zachor. Remember what happened? And of course, what is the lesson then to be learned from Miriam. So, Rashi says, if you wish to guard yourself against being stricken with leprosy, do not speak slandered. Remember what was done unto Miriam. So, I think that is a perfect example of what you were talking about and what I was saying, which is we are permitted to extrapolate from these very broad directives and gestures into our personal life. And this gets very personal. This is lashon hara, talking bad about somebody else. So, I think your question was a very Jewish question. We’ll get into Jewish memory as we go along. And the parsha bears you out. I don’t think this can this context of listening to the Kohanim. And remembering what happened to Miriam. Strikes me is very Deuteronomy, it’s not something that came up prior to this.
Adam Mintz 09:26
That’s for sure. But we know that already.
Geoffrey Stern 09:30
Yeah. So so it continues. Deuteronomy 24: 17 says, You shall not subvert the rights of the stranger or the fatherless. You shall not take a widow’s garment in pawn. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that your God redeemed you from there. Therefore, I enjoin you to observe these commandments וְזָכַרְתָּ֗ כִּ֣י עֶ֤בֶד הָיִ֙יתָ֙ and you know normally we’ll talk about the takeaway from this is how important the stranger is. and the “other” is in Judaism. But tonight, I want to focus on the zachor part of it. And taking this whole amazing, powerful story of the Exodus, which took up more than the book of Exodus, it took up a whole chunk of Genesis as well. And the remember you were slaves in Egypt, literally impacts how you ought to treat the stranger or the fatherless, or the widows. And I think that gives us a real insight into what Zachor means what memory means. What does it mean to you?
Adam Mintz 10:47
Yeah, well, so remember, and memory are two different things. You see, in today’s world, when you think about remember, you talk about history, right? You’re talking about what’s the history of the monarchy in England. But when you talk about Jewish memory, it’s not about exactly what happened. It’s about what the message is about what happened. Right? Remember Amalek, because they did this, remember the Edomites. because they did this, remember Edom because they did this, the “because they did this” is a very important part of the puzzle.
Geoffrey Stern 11:25
And you could very easily take from that, that it’s some sort of the logical argument. It’s, you were a slave. You were a stranger, you understood what it was to be without a parent or a guardian. Therefore, you should do this. But I think that Torah goes a step further, I’m going to leave Deuteronomy for a second, I’m just going to quote, a parallel, a corollary to the verse that we just said, from Exodus 23, it says, You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know, the feelings of the stranger, having yourself been strangers in the land of Egypt, וְאַתֶּ֗ם יְדַעְתֶּם֙ אֶת־נֶ֣פֶשׁ הַגֵּ֔ר, you know the soul of a ger (stranger). Here already, this memory is amplified by knowledge, by empathetic, sympathetic knowledge. You can’t just take memory as kind of a logical, data-driven fact. It’s really this knowing the soul of the stranger, I just think that that gives us new insight into what Zachor means.
Adam Mintz 12:45
That’s fantastic that remember, because you, it allows you to appreciate something that you wouldn’t appreciate without. That’s really what you’re saying,
Geoffrey Stern 12:55
On a very, on a very deep level. The Ramban on those verses says, he says, “that is to say, you know, that every stranger feels depressed, and is always sighing and crying, and his eyes are always directed towards God, therefore, He will have mercy upon him, as he has shown mercy to you.” And of course, he makes an argument where he said he had mercy on them not because of their merits, but in an account of the bondage. You know, he makes an argument that says, people that have nothing, but God are going to be driven to the purity of the supplication to God, and you better bet your last dollar that God is going to listen to them, so you better not mess with them. But in saying that he talks about the depression this sighing The crying of the stranger, this such empathy there and understanding that I really feel that to talk about Zachor as simply memory you’re missing a whole lot of; you can call it baggage but you can well call it nuance and depth as well.
Adam Mintz 14:12
Good. I mean, I liked that I mean, nuanced depth empathy. You’re saying remember so that you can be empathetic
Geoffrey Stern 14:21
You can be in their place.
Adam Mintz 14:25
Empathy means to be in their place. That’s exactly the point, right?
Geoffrey Stern 14:29
Yup. And it gets back a little bit to what we do on the seder night where we we don’t simply commemorate or remember; we act as though we are there we are experiencing it.
Adam Mintz 14:43
בכל דור ודור חיב אדם לראות את עצמו כאלו הוא יצא ממצרים It’s not memory, it’s experience. We need to re-experience the Exodus from Egypt.
Geoffrey Stern 14:56
Adam Mintz 14:58
That’s actually the best example of all wasn’t it?
Geoffrey Stern 15:00
Yeah, I think it really is. So now we get to the key verse in all of Tanach, all of the Torah, that mentioned Zachor, and it’s in our parsha. And I’m going to start Deuteronomy 25: 15. And it probably starts in a way that none of us would remember it starting it says you must be completely honest, weights, completely honest measures, if you are to endure long on the soil that your God is giving you. For everyone who does these things. Everyone who deals dishonestly is abhorrent to God כִּ֧י תוֹעֲבַ֛ת ה’ אֱלֹקֶ֖יךָ. And then it goes on remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt? זָכ֕וֹר אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֥ה לְךָ֖ עֲמָלֵ֑ק בַּדֶּ֖רֶךְ בְּצֵאתְכֶ֥ם מִמִּצְרָֽיִם We have a whole parsha, a whole weekend called Parshat Zachor Shabbats. There were those that believe that there were very few verses in the Torah that you literally are commanded to read. This is one of them. And it says to remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt how undeterred by fear of God, he surprised you on the march when you were famished and weary and cut down all the stragglers is in your rear. Therefore, when your God grants you safety from all your enemies around you in the land that your God is giving you as a hereditary portion, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget תִּמְחֶה֙ אֶת־זֵ֣כֶר עֲמָלֵ֔ק מִתַּ֖חַת הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם לֹ֖א תִּשְׁכָּֽח. So number one, we have both sides of Zachor, there’s remember and there’s לֹ֖א תִּשְׁכָּֽח (don’t forget).
Adam Mintz 16:57
That’s not a small thing, by the way, that they have to say it both ways is very interesting. Why don’t they just say remember, why do they have to say? Remember and don’t forget,
Geoffrey Stern 17:11
And more the subject matter of our talk tonight is remember to forget, which sounds like a riddle. But literally, that is what it is telling you. I can promise you, Rabbi, if you go to 42nd Street, and you ask the local person, who is Amalek? They will not know who Amalek is. You go into a shtibel, you ask any Jew who Amalek is…. we are the only people who are preserving the memory of this dastardly people, if we would talk less, they would truly be forgotten. But once a year, maybe twice because we read the Parsha also, we are the ones who are telling everybody to remember to forget them. It’s fascinating.
Adam Mintz 17:56
Yes, it is fascinating. And what do you make of that? I mean, and remember to forget them. But לֹ֖א תִּשְׁכָּֽח, Don’t forget them. It’s as if that we’re remembering them, but we want to forget them. So, we have to be reminded don’t forget them. It’s something like that, isn’t it?
Geoffrey Stern 18:15
It is. I think Zachor, we are already feeling operates on many, many different levels. And so I think that maybe one of the explanations is that on the level of remembering is one thing, and on the other of taking the the message and understanding, but it is an enigma, it’s an enigma that need not be solved. But ultimately, here we are, we are the only people on the planet of the earth who talk about this dastardly people call Amalek. When anybody really is bad to us, we say that they are from the seed of Amalek. And but what do you make of it coming right after honest measures? Rashi says if you use false weights and measures when you must apprehend the provocation of the enemy, as it says in Proverbs, A false balance is an abomination to the Lord. מֹאזְנֵי מִרְמָה תּוֹעֲבַת ה. So, he takes that word Toh-eva, which is something that is totally detestable to God, and He makes the parallel that false weights are called a Toh-eva. And here there’s a reference to Amalek as someone who is detested by God. And he says, and it is written immediately after this, “If intentional sin comes, shame comes”, the bottom line is I don’t think that Rashi is all that convincing in his answer, but he is spot-on in his question, and the question is what is the connection between having honest weights and, and not cheating somebody, and this remembrance of a Amalek.
Adam Mintz 20:11
And what kind of answer would you get?
Geoffrey Stern 20:13
Again, the only answer I can give is we are in a modality in this week’s Parsha, maybe through Judaism, that you can talk about leprosy of Miriam, without saying that there’s a moral lesson. There’s a takeaway, …
Adam Mintz 20:32
So therefore, you don’t cheat people. Because it means you have to think about other people. And part of thinking about other people is remembering Amalek, that’s part of it, being good to other people and being with a mother like that. They’re all related to one another.
Geoffrey Stern 20:49
I agree. And I think that most of us when we go to synagogue in the Parsha, before Passover, that is called right after Purim, I believe. Shabbat Zachor.. we’re not thinking about weights and being more moral in our business practice. There’s a whole different slant to that. And this is call it refreshing. , If you look it in the context of the Torah itself. You can’t just have hatred. You have to have a takeaway. There has to be a edification here. There has to be a lesson here. I think that’s kind of fascinating.
Adam Mintz 21:36
It’s fascinating. The fact that memory and lesson go together. I guess it’s not surprising, but it is fascinating. I would go with that.
Geoffrey Stern 21:46
And for those of you who have ever heard the expression, if one talks about the Nazis one says “Yimach Shemo”, This comes right out of this admonition Yamach means to erase Shemo means the name,
Adam Mintz 22:05
That means don’t remember. You see, I always was interested in Yemach Shemo, because Yemach Shemo seems to say don’t remember him wipe him out. But the Torah says remember him Don’t forget.
Geoffrey Stern 22:20
But nonetheless, here we are. When we talk about the Nazis, or Hitler we’ll say Hitler Yemach Shemo we don’t we don’t want to mention. It’s so it’s important that we know what words mean. And that’s and where they come from. But it comes from this, this tradition. And I think, you know, ultimately, we talk about the importance of acquiring a good name. And I think blotting out someone’s name is more profound than just blotting out their memory. It’s blotting out any credence that they have? And I think, you know, maybe that’s part of the answer here that we can remember Amalek and blot out their name by Blotting out any residual value any weight that comes with who they are up, who knows, but it is a fascinating enigma.
Adam Mintz 23:19
So let’s go back though, to the idea that memory has within it a value statement, you remember, because you evaluate their values and who they are, you know, they’re talking now, obviously, today, the discussion is about the queen, the mother…. So, now King Charles, his grandmother, his father’s mother, was actually a Greek princess who was related to the King of England somehow, and they lived in Athens and she was deaf. And during the Holocaust, she saved a Jewish family. And in Yad Vashem, there is a plaque to the grandmother of the now King of England, King Charles. So, you know, you say that’s an amazing story. But that’s not an amazing story, because I just told you a historical fact. I mean, that’s a story. But it’s an amazing story because it shows you that this woman whose grandson is now the King of England, was someone who was, you know, who put her her life on the line to save a Jewish family. That’s an amazing thing. So its history, its memory, because of its value to us.
Geoffrey Stern 24:39
You know, I can just say personally, I’m the head of an organization that supports many organizations in Israel and my local Chabad Rabbi came to me and he says, I have a congregant whose parents were saved by a non-Jew during the Holocaust. And these non-Jews are getting very old and they have an application into Yad Vashem to become considered Righteous Among the Nations. And could you help us out? So, you know, I sent them a letter at Yad Vashem, and they politely replied, you know, obviously, we’ll look into it clearly, we don’t listen to outside sources. But I understand they are getting older. And a month later, they approved this person, and they sent the file. And I was blown away, the file was 120 pages long. It had testimony from police, from academics from community members that you know, talk about memory, and talk about recognizing those people that help us I mean, if we can recognize the Egyptians who tried to kill us, but nonetheless, they gave us a place to stay early on, think of the memory and what Yad VaHashem and it has that word in it, Sam, doesn’t it? Of course, of course, of course, that that the value of wood that we give to redeeming preserving, celebrating a name, and I was just blown away by the level of scrutiny. And most of it was in Polish. I couldn’t read it, but you could tell how deep the discussion was. So I think I love I’m glad that you brought up that story about the adverse sermon, the Queen, because it relates directly to kind of what we’re talking about. So as you know, somewhere in this summer, I picked up a book called Zachor “Remember” by Yosef Haim Yirushalmi, who is a professor of Jewish history at Columbia University. And it’s a very short book for all any of you who are interested in this story for any of you who get maybe a little bored during davening and Rosh Hashana and like to put a book inside of your Tallis bag. This is the book this year. It’s called Zachor. And what he is, is a historian struggling with what the Jewish connection is to memory, because Jewish historians only began very recently besides Josephus, we have not had a story until Heinrich Graetz, in the 1800s. And is your friend. Yeah. And he says, “Indeed, in trying to understand the survival of a people that has spent most of its life in global dispersion, I would submit that the history of its memory, largely neglected and yet to be written, may prove of some consequence.” He says “Only in Israel and nowhere else is the injunction to remember felt as a religious imperative to an entire people. It’s reverberations are everywhere but they reach a crescendo in the Deuteronomic history. And in the prophets, remember the days of old consider the years of ages past Deuteronomy 30: 2 to remember these things. Oh, Jacob, for you, oh, Israel, oh, my servant, I have fashioned you, you are my servant always. We’ll never forget me. Remember what Amalek did to you. Remember now that Balak king of more plotted against you? And he finishes and with a hammering insistence, remember that you were a slave in Egypt. He says if Herodotus was the father of history, the fathers of meaning in history, were the Jews. It’s a fascinating book. But I think it touches upon so many of the elements that we are dealing with tonight that are so fascinating. I just want to go back to that early verse, which has always intrigued me that says that you can’t hate that you have to recognize the Egyptians, because there is another fascinating law that the rabbi’s found in the Torah. And that is a prohibition against living in Egypt. You remember when the Egyptians were drowning, and all of the plagues had finished and God and Exodus 14 says, For the Egyptians whom you see today, you will never see again, the rabbi’s took that as a prohibition of going back to Egypt. In Deuteronomy, it says, in 17, Moreover he shall not keep many horses, it’s talking about our kings or send people back to Egypt to add to his horses, you must not go back that way again. So, most of us take that to mean don’t be like an Egyptian. The Rabbi’s took that as a commandment not to go back to Egypt. But we all know that there was always a Jewish presence in Egypt. If those of you who want to look at the notes on Sefaria, you will see that there was actually a temple modeled after our Mishcon in a place called Elephantine. And the most amazing thing is that there are some authorities that say that when Maimonides signed a letter written from Egypt, he would say, I am Moses, Maimonides, transgressing three commandments every single day.
Adam Mintz 30:40
That’s funny. it might be a legend, but it’s a good legend.
Geoffrey Stern 30:45
Some people say it’s a sign of humility. But even there it is a question about memory, and what we do with memory, because it seems to me that there is a possibility that some of these areas where we say, you can be nice to the Egyptians and the Edomites, and not nice to the Moabites might have had to do with politics of the day so to speak, our memory can change. But the lessons from that memory, I think, remain constant. So what are your last words on memory Rabbi as we approach the High Holidays?
Adam Mintz 31:23
So my last words on memory come from Yirushalmi’s book to say that exactly what happened in Judaism is not what’s important. You know, we say that the both temples were destroyed on the same day, you know, what the chances of that are very small, they were both destroyed in the same time of year, we put them together, because, because memory requires that the date the Temple was was destroyed as the worst day that you wish here. So be it put both of them together, it’s even worse. And I think that’s a very, very good lesson, that in Jewish history, it’s not exactly what happened, but it’s what we learn from it. And the fact that the word zachor is used so many times. That’s an important piece in this week’s parsha. So thank you very much for bringing that up this week. Shabbat Shalom to everybody. We look forward to seeing you next week. Parshat Ki Tavo. Be well everybody,
Geoffrey Stern 32:17
Shabbat Shalom to everybody. Remember that we have a podcast remember to give us a star and a good review is share it with your friends and family. And as we are in synagogue and Rosh Hashana. Let’s remember that there are lessons to be learned even from those people who have sinned against us or we have sinned against and let us progress from week to week. Shabbat shalom. See you all next week. Anyone who wants to raise their hand and come on up and say a little something, ask a question, continue the discussion I’m here,
Michael Posnik 32:57
just want to say this was a wonderful exposition. And there’s so many pieces of it that really make a lot of sense. What I was thinking about is that all the years that I grew up, you know, remembering Amalek and what he did to me what he did to me, Amalek and I remember at Yeshiva, the Mashgiach, got the Aliah for that parsha for that moment, remember, Amalek, it was like a holy moment. And I always thought it was you remember him because of what a mamzer he was, and how mean he was to us. So what I’m thinking now, and it has to do with your discussion about grudge, you know, Amalek is in us. And we have to remember that we have the potential to become Amalek. But the fact that it all happened to us should remind us should help us remember not to do that, essentially. And I think that’s connected to what you were saying about taking the lesson from it. Don’t be Amalek. Remember what he did. So, it’s like, you can’t blot out the memory but you can change what your grudges to something useful. Use the energy in a different way, you know, don’t behave like that. So that’s what came to my mind.
Geoffrey Stern 34:31
Well, I’m telling you, I think you’ve solved my riddle because you know, the verse starts by saying you must have completely honest weights and honest measures and that kind of cheating is an ounce here. A pint they’re not a big deal. Remember what it said about Amalek that we hate so much about them? They took advantage. They surprised you on the March when you were famished and wearing cut down all the stragglers in the rear. I think it’s the petty crimes. It’s the fact not that they attacked you, but how they attack you. And, and what you just said, was brilliant, because it’s the takeaway is yes, there’s an Amalek inside of us. And where does it come out? It doesn’t come out in realpolitik it doesn’t come out and global relationships, it comes out in cheating a little old lady, by putting your finger on the scale when you’re weighing her apples.
Michael Posnik 35:32
I love it. And it’s a message to read verses in context to. So yeah, Amalek… you could have little baby Amaleks and you can ever grown giant Amaleks. You know, the part of us that wants to deal dirty in the world is always there. And to remember that it’s always there and don’t do it. To choose life to use another way to deal with it. So Shamor, tizkor and zachor, right? What is it? Al Tishkach, don’t forget that it’s in you remember that you have the capability? Of behaving like that. And don’t do it. Yet. That’s it. So. But it’s a wonderful change for me, because you’re always supposed to hate Amalek for what he did …. well look at look at the Amalek in in all of us. And just remember that it’s there and don’t feed it. That’s I think that’s a good message for the holidays. Yeah, yeah. So, thank you.
Geoffrey Stern 36:50
Thank you, Michael. Great, great having you Oh, and Loren is raising a hand,
Loren Davis 36:56
I think this, this whole issue of weights and measures, gets down to the very foundation and the very fiber, it doesn’t really matter if you put your finger on the on the on the on the weights on the on the on the balance machine. The point is that you can do it. And that is something that we have to keep remembering, this whole issue of memories can change, which the rabbi discussed. I’m not sure how that quite fits in. But maybe it’s the examples aren’t as important as what the original foundation of the teachings is all about. Because it’s hard to argue against putting your finger on the balance I was looking at, at a company a number of years ago, and the fellow was trying to sell me it was a commodity company. And the fellow was trying to sell me the inventories… his balance sheet on what the profitability was. And he was a religious Jew, an Orthodox Jew. And the reason his balance sheet was so wonderful was because he was, he was under shipping his suppliers because of the quantities involved it would never be discovered. And so, I think this, this whole issue, this whole concept of concentrate on the reality of your life, as opposed to maybe some of the facts that you’re gonna forget or not particularly remember, consistently makes a lot of sense to me.
Geoffrey Stern 38:32
My revelation this week in reading these verses in the context of the scales is that so many people talk about this Zecher Amalek, this overwhelming amount like in global terms in the you know, the amount of nationalists and politicists that talk about it. And we all do that we all watch our version of the news, and we want to know what banner to fly. But what this is telling us, as you said, is that it really comes down to the weeds of our own ethics and our own relationships, one to the other, and you build up from there. And that’s my real takeaway this week. And what you and Michael are saying, I think totally complements that. And it gives you a new way of thinking not only about that, but how we relate to the big picture. I mean, just imagine if all mankind would worry more about the scales, and less about nationalities and borders and attacks and things like that we’d have a different world.
Loren Davis 39:43
Sometimes there’s more to be lost in the examples as opposed to getting straight to the fact and I think that’s where sometimes this these writings get a little confusing because you try to insert things that maybe aren’t as important as the book basic message and I think your sheet was just incredibly wonderful so thank you for doing that
Geoffrey Stern 40:05
well thank you thank you everybody for coming have a great Shabbat and we’ll see you all next week thanks so much
Listen to last year’s episode for kei Teitzei: Listening to the lyrics of Jewish Law