Each week Jews study a different portion or Parsha of the Torah. Each Thursday I share a Parsha discussion from one or another Rabbi.
This week’s discussion is by Rabbi Schlmo Riskin of Efrat, Israel. Read the complete discussion here. As he notes, the subject is a difficult one and deals with the laws of sexual purity and circumcision. He offers these interpretations:
…Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik’s important work Family Redeemed …interprets the opening chapters of Genesis as a crucial lesson to humanity concerning the spiritual potential as well as the destructive danger of the sexual act…. the classical commentator Rashi understands the fruit of knowledge of good and evil as possessing human nature libido, eroticism and lust rather than the expression of love and the reproductive powers which were initially imbedded in human nature…Tragically, the life-force which is granted by God through the sexual organs can often degenerate into decay and death when those very sexual organs are misused.
To me this Parsha speaks of the need to move beyond the press of personal desire, sexual release being one of the strongest, toward a broader concern for the other and that must include all others for the Source sees us as one.
The more deeply we understand the beliefs and ways of all, the more likely we are to find common ground for moving the world toward peace.
Many have turned away from religion or from a belief in God and precisely for the reasons cited in this weeks Parsha – fulfillment of personal desires. I believe many who do so destroy the possibility of peace on earth. How? By seeing only bad theology, and not the wisdom that can be found in all religions.
As always thank you for all you do. Share and care as it is one of the paths to peace for all.