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What Does it Really Mean to Forgive? A Powerpoint Accompaniment to Lecture 4 in a series of online classes by Rabbi David Fohrman.

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Presentation on theme: "What Does it Really Mean to Forgive? A Powerpoint Accompaniment to Lecture 4 in a series of online classes by Rabbi David Fohrman."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Does it Really Mean to Forgive? A Powerpoint Accompaniment to Lecture 4 in a series of online classes by Rabbi David Fohrman

2 Reconsidering Some Questions Raised in Lecture #1 Slavery comes out of nowhere in the Book of Exodus. Why, and how? Slavery comes out of nowhere in the Book of Exodus. Why, and how? Why does the Pharaoh who forgot about Joseph, remember him so well? Why does the Pharaoh who forgot about Joseph, remember him so well? –Joseph imagery pervades Pharaohs words at every turn.

3 Links Between Books Earlier, we mentioned links between Genesis 50 and the beginning of Exodus… Earlier, we mentioned links between Genesis 50 and the beginning of Exodus… …but the connection between Genesis and Exodus is far broader and deeper than this… …but the connection between Genesis and Exodus is far broader and deeper than this… GenesisExodus

4 Beginning of Slavery Genesis Chapter 50 Brothers and Joseph Talk About the Pit Genesis Chapter 47 Joseph Takes Care of his Brothers As we will soon show, the language of the text seems to indicate a connection between the first chapter of Exodus, and two earlier chpaters in Genesis – Chapters fifty and forty seven. One chapter seems to set forth the economic underpinnings of slavery; the other seems to set forth its metaphysical underpinnings.

5 The Socio-Economic Background to Slavery: Genesis Chapter 47 Strangers vs. Landholders When the brothers first petition Pharaoh to stay in Egypt, they state lagur baaretz banu – we have come to sojourn in the land… (47:4). When the brothers first petition Pharaoh to stay in Egypt, they state lagur baaretz banu – we have come to sojourn in the land… (47:4). In actuality, though, Joseph gives them an achuzah – a holding – in the land (v. 11). In actuality, though, Joseph gives them an achuzah – a holding – in the land (v. 11). In Biblical Hebrew, the term achuzah denotes an ancestral plot – the deepest kind of connection a human can have to land… In Biblical Hebrew, the term achuzah denotes an ancestral plot – the deepest kind of connection a human can have to land…

6 Achuzah / A Holding in Egypt As if to emphasize the point, the Torah creates a sandwich of sorts in this chapter, a theme that repeats itself briefly on both sides of a major event. As if to emphasize the point, the Torah creates a sandwich of sorts in this chapter, a theme that repeats itself briefly on both sides of a major event. The term achuzah, as we will see in a moment, plays an important role in this sandwich… The term achuzah, as we will see in a moment, plays an important role in this sandwich…

7 The Sandwich Top Theme: Verses – The Israelites experience in Egypt Bottom Theme: Verse 27 – The Israelites experience in Egypt Middle Theme: Intervening Verses – The Egyptian experience in Egypt

8 Top Theme: Verses – The Israelites experience in Egypt Bottom Theme: Verse 27 – The Israelites experience in Egypt …and Joseph gave them an achuzah (holding) in the land of Egypt… …and the Israelites settled in Egypt and took hold of it there… Parallel Language: The verb achuza becomes a noun

9 Examining the Intervening Verses Having looked briefly at the bread, lets examine these intervening verses, which describe the Egyptian experience in Egypt…

10 Bread in the top piece of Bread Verse 12 – the last verse in the top piece of bread ends with the words that Joseph provided bread, enough for the children. Verse 12 – the last verse in the top piece of bread ends with the words that Joseph provided bread, enough for the children. Verse 13 – the first verse of the middle section picks up on the bread theme – …and there was no bread in all the land of Egypt… Verse 13 – the first verse of the middle section picks up on the bread theme – …and there was no bread in all the land of Egypt… The contrast is stark: Josephs family was provided for -- but the Egyptians needed to struggle.

11 Shepherds and Sheep The impoverished masses plead with Joseph for food. As they have no money to pay Pharaoh, Joseph asks for sheep instead. The impoverished masses plead with Joseph for food. As they have no money to pay Pharaoh, Joseph asks for sheep instead. When is the last time we heard about sheep in Genesis? When is the last time we heard about sheep in Genesis? …and you [Josephs brothers] shall say to Pharaoh: we are herders of sheep, from our ancestors until now… (Genesis 47:3). …and you [Josephs brothers] shall say to Pharaoh: we are herders of sheep, from our ancestors until now… (Genesis 47:3).

12 The Middle Section Throughout this middle section of text, we find many foreshadows of what is to come in the Book of Exodus. Taxes: A Way Station to Slavery Joseph levies taxes on the land; the Egyptian people proclaim: Let us be slaves to Pharaoh! Joseph levies taxes on the land; the Egyptian people proclaim: Let us be slaves to Pharaoh! Pharaoh levies taxes on the Jews; the Jews become slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt Pharaoh levies taxes on the Jews; the Jews become slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt

13 Storehouses in Raamses The Jews settle in the land of Raamses. The Jews settle in the land of Raamses. The Jews build storehouses for Pharaoh –one of which is the city of Raamses. The Jews build storehouses for Pharaoh –one of which is the city of Raamses. Why Storehouses? Why Storehouses? –Are the Egyptians seeking to ensure they will never again be victims of a famine?

14 Population Growth At the end of this middle section, the verse (47:27) states: vayifru, vayirbu meod – and [the Jews] were fruitful, and they multiplied greatly. At the end of this middle section, the verse (47:27) states: vayifru, vayirbu meod – and [the Jews] were fruitful, and they multiplied greatly. Every other word in this phrase is repeated in Exodus, in a verse that is the immediate prelude to slavery… Every other word in this phrase is repeated in Exodus, in a verse that is the immediate prelude to slavery…

15 At the end of this middle section, the verse (47:27) states: vayifru, vayirbu meod – and [the Jews] were fruitful, and they multiplied greatly. At the end of this middle section, the verse (47:27) states: vayifru, vayirbu meod – and [the Jews] were fruitful, and they multiplied greatly. Exodus 1:7: And the Israelites were fruitful and they swarmed; they multiplied and grew strong, very greatly. Exodus 1:7: And the Israelites were fruitful and they swarmed; they multiplied and grew strong, very greatly. Green = Words from Genesis; Yellow = New Words

16 The Roots of Egyptian Paranoia In Exodus, why were the Israelites able to increase so quickly? In Exodus, why were the Israelites able to increase so quickly? The text seems to suggest that the roots of this process comes from the relatively abundant food the brothers were supplied with in Egypt… The text seems to suggest that the roots of this process comes from the relatively abundant food the brothers were supplied with in Egypt… The impression seems to be that the process which started in Genesis – population growth – has now increased exponentially… The impression seems to be that the process which started in Genesis – population growth – has now increased exponentially…

17 By the time Exodus rolls around, this growth leads Pharaoh to reassess his view of Joseph. By the time Exodus rolls around, this growth leads Pharaoh to reassess his view of Joseph. His new view is fraught with paranoia… His new view is fraught with paranoia…

18 Re-Reading Exodus Chapter 1 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will add on to our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh. 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will add on to our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh.Ra'amses

19 Hava / Come 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will join our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh. 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will join our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh.Ra'amses The last person to use the phrase hava / come, is Joseph – the person the king has supposedly forgotten about. Joseph had told the Egyptians come, give your sheep…

20 Wisdom 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will join our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh. 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will join our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh.Ra'amses The last person described as wise was Joseph, who was able to interpret Pharaohs dreams…

21 Tax Masters & Task Masters 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will join our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh. 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will join our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh.Ra'amses Joseph had levied taxes on the Egyptians on behalf of Pharaoh.

22 Supply Centers 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will add themselves to our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh. 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will add themselves to our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh.Ra'amses Pharaoh had once benevolently let the Israelites settle in Raamses. Now he is forcing them to build it into a storehouse – perhaps to ensure that Egyptians will never again be caught unawares by a famine

23 Joseph and Venosaf 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will add themselves to our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh. 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will add themselves to our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh.Ra'amses They will add themselves, in Hebrew [venosaf], is a play on Josephs name [yosef].

24 Am Rav 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will add themselves to our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh. 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us.1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them. Otherwise, they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will add themselves to our enemies and fight against us, driving us from the land.'1:11 [The Egyptians] appointed tax officers over [the Israelites] to crush their spirits with hard labor. [The Israelites] were to build up the cities of Pitom and Ra'amses as supply centers for Pharaoh.Ra'amses And the most chilling reminder of Genesis is perhaps these words – Pharaohs exclamation that the Israelites have become an am rav – a nation [too] numerous for us

25 Am Rav 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us… 1:8 A new king who did not know of Joseph, came into power over Egypt. 1:9 He announced to his people, 'The Israelites are becoming a people too numerous and strong for us… Joseph, just a couple of dozen verses ago, had left his brothers offer – let us be your slaves – on the table, telling them that it was not up to him; it was up to God. And anyway, he continued, it looks like God thinks everything worked out fine. It was all part of His plan – for by selling me into slavery, I rose to power and am now in a position to take care of you… …and thereby, to make you into an am rav – a numerous people…

26 The Concentric Orbits of Divine Providence Joseph in the pit Joseph provides for brothers Joseph lays groundwork For slavery …the very offer the brothers left on the table immediately before Joseph reassured them About how God evidently had larger things in mind that fateful day at the pit.


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