Torah Portion

Re’eh

ראה

Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
Isaiah 54:11–55:5

The Subverted City (Ir Hannidahat) in the Context of ANE Vassal Treaties

The Subverted City (Ir Hannidahat) in the Context of ANE Vassal Treaties

Deuteronomy’s requirement to destroy a city whose inhabitants worship another god and to leave it as an eternally desolate mound, can be understood in the context of ancient Near Eastern vassal treaties. Specifically, Hittite texts describe how kings dealt with rebellious vassal cities, by destroying them utterly and dedicating their land to the gods.

Prof.
Ada Taggar-Cohen
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The Place(s) that YHWH will Choose: Ebal, Shiloh, and Jerusalem

The Place(s) that YHWH will Choose: Ebal, Shiloh, and Jerusalem

Jews have long understood “the place that YHWH will chose” to mean Mount Zion in Jerusalem, while Samaritans have interpreted it as Mount Gerizim near Shechem. Archaeology and redaction criticism converge on a compromise solution: it refers to a series of places, one place at a time.

Zvi Koenigsberg
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What Kinds of Fish Were Eaten in Ancient Jerusalem?

What Kinds of Fish Were Eaten in Ancient Jerusalem?

Fishbone remains discovered in eight different excavations in Jerusalem, from the Iron age to the early Islamic period, give us a sense of what fish the locals ate, and from where they were imported.

Prof.
Omri Lernau, M.D.
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Was There Ever an Ir Hannidahat (Subverted City)?

Was There Ever an Ir Hannidahat (Subverted City)?

The rabbis claim that a “subverted” or “apostate” city, which Deuteronomy (13:13-18) condemns to destruction, “never was and never will be” (t. San. 14:1). Yet the account in Judges 19-21 of the destruction or ḥerem of Gibeah, its inhabitants, animals, and property, suggests that such “internal ḥerem” was an Israelite practice, and that Gibeah is being presented as a subverted city.

Prof.
Aaron Demsky
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How the Jerusalem Temple Was "Chosen" as the Only Place of Worship

How the Jerusalem Temple Was "Chosen" as the Only Place of Worship

Deuteronomy commands centralizing worship of YHWH at the Temple once peace is obtained. When was this supposed to occur according to the Deuteronomic History, and when did it happen historically?

Dr.
David Glatt-Gilad
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Can a False Prophet Perform Miracles?

Can a False Prophet Perform Miracles?

Deuteronomy 13 discusses the case of a false prophet who does not have a message from God, but advocates worshiping other gods. Oddly enough, the false prophet can successfully perform miracles, or is able to predict the future.  How is this possible?

Prof. Rabbi
Marty Lockshin
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Debates Over Centralizing Sacrificial Worship and Eating Non-Sacrificial Meat

Debates Over Centralizing Sacrificial Worship and Eating Non-Sacrificial Meat

Moses’ first set of laws in Deuteronomy (11:31–12:28) requires the Israelites to destroy Canaanite sites of worship and to centralize sacrifice for Yahweh at the site of His choosing. It also allows them to eat meat without sacrificing the animal, under particular conditions. A close look at the terms of Moses’ speech shows that the text has been supplemented no less than three times.[1]

Dr.
Simeon Chavel
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Making Ma'aser Work for the Times

Making Ma'aser Work for the Times

In Leviticus and Numbers, ma’aser (tithing) refers to a Temple tax; in Deuteronomy, however, it refers either to what must be brought and consumed on a pilgrimage festival or to charity. This dichotomy led the rabbis to design the cumbersome system of the first and second tithes (maaser rishon and maaser sheni).

Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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The Mitzvah of Covering the Blood of Wild Animals

The Mitzvah of Covering the Blood of Wild Animals

Leviticus requires covering the blood of undomesticated animals; Deuteronomy requires pouring out the blood of slaughtered domesticated animals onto the ground. How do these laws jibe with each other? The Essenes have one answer, the rabbis another, the academics a third.

Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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Prohibition of Meat and Milk: Its Origins in the Text

Prohibition of Meat and Milk: Its Origins in the Text

A bold interpretation of the verse “do not cook a kid in its mother’s milk,” from medieval commentator Bekhor Shor (12th cent. CE) leads to an intriguing academic explanation of inner-biblical exegesis charting the development of the mitzvah. 

Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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Re’eh

ראה

Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תַּעֲלֶה עֹלֹתֶיךָ בְּכָל־מָקוֹם אֲשֶׁר תִּרְאֶה׃ כִּי אִם בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְ־הוָה...

דברים יב:יג, יד

Take care not to sacrifice your burnt offerings in any place you like, but only in the place that YHWH will choose...

Deut 12:13–14

Deuteronomy

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