Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Deuteronomic ramblings

Hi everyone:

In our Life Journal for the past week we have been reading in the last of the books of Moses (also called the Torah and the Pentateuch) called Deuteronomy. This book reads a lot like Moses last will and testament. One of my friends refered to it as the longest sermon she had ever read. It is preachy and legalistic and is loaded with regulations and reminders on the regulations -- it even repeats the 10 commandments that were given back in Exodus 20). But there are some things to which we ought to pay attention. Here are a few:
Following the admonition to provide appropriate treatment for "strangers and foreigners living among you" is a recurring phrase: "remember you were once foreigners in Egypt. I keep thinking about the immigration debate within the United States and I wonder . . . hey, unless I'm a Native American (and even they came here from somewhere else at some point in the distant past) we are all immigrants. Maybe we should think differently about those who are trying to make a start in this land knowing that our own forebearers made similar starts. I am also interested in the Deuteronomic understanding of one law for everyone. This is especially clear when the Judges are told to not be partial to anyone -- not to the rich nor to the poor. They are even told, rather pointedly not to take bribes and not to feel sorry for the poor. The judges are to be unbiased and impartial in their dealings. Sounds like a pretty good idea -- Dr. BJ

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