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Euphemism

"Are Trees of the Field Human?"

Deuteronomy 20:19 forbids the chopping down of fruit trees during war-time, and offers the cryptic explanation כי האדם עץ השדה (ki ha-adam etz hasadeh), but what does this mean?[1]

Dr.

Shai Secunda

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Tikkunei Soferim and the Ironic Emendation of Rashi's Interpretation

Do the rabbis believe that the scribes changed the wording of some verses in the Bible? A look at how the great medieval rabbi, Rashi, reacted to one “correction” sheds light on the history of the Jewish belief in the inviolability of the Torah text.

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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Unspoken Hemorrhoids: Making the Torah Reading Polite

Two places in the Bible describe God striking people with hemorrhoids (ophalim): the curses in Parashat Ki Tavo and the story of the Philistines’ capture of the ark in 1 Samuel 5-6. In the latter, the Philistines make golden statues of their afflicted buttocks to propitiate the Israelite deity. Traditional readings replace these crass references with the less offensive term techorim (abscesses).

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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