Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

Sacrificing Children

לֹא-תַעֲשֶׂה כֵן, לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ: כִּי כָל-תּוֹעֲבַת יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂנֵא, עָשׂוּ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם--כִּי גַם אֶת-בְּנֵיהֶם וְאֶת-בְּנֹתֵיהֶם, יִשְׂרְפוּ בָאֵשׁ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם.

It may be hard to imagine, but several thousand years ago people sacrificed their children on altars to gods. Here the Torah teaches us that is not right, not proper. We might think, how could anyone do such a thing, burn their children alive as a sacrifice, but there are archaeological findings that show this really did happen.

I read this while sitting in shul, listening to Parshat Re’eh, the Torah portion for the past week. And I spoke with a friend, an older friend who has had many experiences in life. She said that pasuk can be open to many interpretations, but she thinks of her friends whose children did not stay in the Jewish world, who married out. She feels they sacrificed their children. I think of this occurring today in a more concrete way, as unfortunately some children are taught at a very young age (5) to hate, to hold a gun, to kill, to blow themselves up and be a martyr and to kill as many Jews as possible in the process. See summer camp in Gaza.

I’m going to try to write something about the parsha each week, though that has proven to be a difficult task. Some weeks are so busy one can’t even think straight. Other weeks, I get a chance to look at the parsha, but I can’t find one particular theme that motivates me enough to write a post. I’ll keep working at this. It should get easier, one would think, the more years one tries to write about the parsha.

Oh, and Gila did a wonderful job on this week’s Haveil Havalim.

Ilana-Davita says

What about parents who forget their children are children and sacrifice their childhood years?
But you're right teaching kids to kill is the worst.

Leora says

Ilana-Davita, as my friend said, there are many ways to interpret this pasuk. Your interpretation is most welcome.

Daniel Saunders says

I look forward to your posts on the parsha. I know how difficult it is to find something to say every week (particularly in Vaykra, which is largely about sacrifices and ritual impurity). I try to give a dvar Torah to my family each Shabbat, and I often resort to reading something out of a book, although I prefer it when I think up an insight of my own (which I then post on my blog too, of course!).

Leora says

Daniel, thanks for the encouragement. In my family, my husband is the most knowledgeable, and at this point, my boys know more than me. Sometimes by Sunday I have a clue.
Last year, I gave up in the middle of Shmot. And didn't even attempt much in Vayikra. With a new year coming, new challenges.


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