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April 12, 1968 - Image 58

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-04-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

58—Friday, April 12, 1968


`Hesed in the BibleI—Dr. Glueck's
Contribution to Theologic Studies

A significant theologic study no doubt that Glueck's interpreta-
which was widely acclaimed when tion has remained primary."
first published in 1927 has been
Dr. Glueck's ' essay was his
reissued in an English translation
doctoral dissertation in 1927. It
frotn the German by Hebrew
is a thorough analysis of the
Union College Press.
"hesed" relationships and com-
mences with a clarification of
"`1-lesed' in the Bible" by Dr.
the concept, those who practice
Nelson Glueck, edited by Elias, L.
it, its measure of human con-
Epstein, translated by Dr. Alfred
duct. "Hesed" thus is viewed in
Gottschalk, of the Los Angeles
the primary essay by the emi-
Hebrew Union
nent HUC scholar as "conduct
College faculty,
corresponding to a mutual re-
also contains in
lationship of rights and duties."
the new edition
In its religious meaning, as a
a n introduction
reciprocal conduct of man to man,
by Dr. Gerald A.
as a human relationship, Dr. Glu-
Larne, professor
eck treats the term in ethical
of archaeology of
terms and gives this among his
the University of
definitions: "Subjectively under-
Southern Califor- :
stood, 'hesed' can appear as favor,
nia, who adds
mercy, compassion. Objectively,
scholarly re
`hesed' remains obligatory, de-
search in the
termined by the divine-based ethi-
form of "Recent
cal commandments which are the
Studies in 'He-
laws of human society."
sed.' "
The major portion of Dr.
The pioneer
Glueck's essay treats "hesed" as
study by Prof.
"divine conduct" and he reaches
Glueck, now the
these conclusions:
president of Heb-
"God's 'hesed' can only be un-
rew Union Col--
derstood as Yahweh's covenental
Dr. Glueck
lege-Jewish Insti-
relationship toward his followers.
tute of Religion, again gains re-
"The significance of 'hesed' can
cognition from Prof. Gottschalk as be rendered by `loyalty,' mutual
"a basic source for biblical scho- aid' or 'reciprocal love.'
larship and theology."
"If God's 'hesed' is compre-
Prof. Larue offers explana- hended in this manner, then it is
tory comparisons between "hen" certain that only those who stand
and "hesed": describing as "gra- in an ethical and religious rela-
cious and favorable action pass- tionship to Him may receive and
big from a superior to an expect. -
"In his 'hesed' God ManifeSts
inferior,an action that could
not be forced or demanded"; His strength and power in behalf
"hen" used "in making a re- of His faithful and brings them
quest" h. a v. i n g the force of aid and salvation.
"God's ':hesed' is the result, - of
"please"; and "hesedl.l. is defined
as being._ "employed drily ., where His covenant, or :His promise ar
a previous bond exists as in re- oath. -
"The.`hesed' of: God is very
lationships of kinShip, marriage,
betrothal, guest-friendship . . closely -related to his 'rahamim'
found in the covenant relation- (Mercy) but distiniuished from it
ship I.. . rich and impressive by its more positive `character. . The
... can be broken only -by a man Characteristic of loYalty which be-
who has everything to loSe, al- longs to the concept of "hesed' is
alien to the concept of crahamim.' "
though God is also a loser."
Dr. Glueck's essay has inspired
Dr. Larue cle -;cribes "hesed" as many studies in the.-biblical refer-
a divine quality appearing in ences and the traditional interpre-
prophetle w,.it'ngs. He draws upon ta tions of -"hesed." The reprinting
a wide variety of scholarship to of the significant study deservedly
show that the term "hesed" is re- receives renewed acclaim.
lated to the religious life of man,".
that "the study of the phrase 'as - a
"Not Worth a Dam"
hesed' provides no distinction be-
"Not worth a dam" (sic) is no
tween the content of divine and more profane than "not worth- a
human tesed' (unless it be in red cent." English traders invented
divine perfection)."
the phrase which refers to the
There - is a thorough exploration "dam," a small, brass Indian coin
of the "hen-hesed" relationship, . worth about a penny.
"Not worth a tinker's darn" is
and Dr. Larue declares in his tri-
not profane either. Used in plumb-
bute:to Dr. Glueck's work:
"Despite research done on ing repairs, tinker's dams were
"hesed" by others subsequent to made of- clay or similar material
the first publication of - Nelson and were thrown away when the
Glueck's monograph, there can be job was done.




for 'Not Having Been Made a Woman'

sible for the care of the home and
the children and this is considered
There is a benediction in the at least equally important or per-
prayer book which is recited every haps more important than he car-
morning by men who thank the rying, out of additional religious or
Almighty for "not having been ritual obligations. This blessing is
particularly - phrased in the nega-
made women."
This has been a most misunder- tive (i.e. "who has not made 'me
stood custom. It certainly was not a woman" and not "who has made
instituted because women were re- me a man") according to some
garded as being inferior. In the commentaries, because as far as
Cairo Geniza, a text for this bless- having been brought upon this
world is concerned, it seemed to
ing has been found which express- have been the consensus of opin-
es it by giving thanks to the Al-
mighty for having made- one "a ion of the rabbis that man would
man and not a woman." It is re- have been better off not having
lated that the early Greek philos- been born (or made) at all. (Tal-
ophers claimed that amongst the mud Bavli, Erubin 13b). Indeed
blessings a person should make the vicissitudes of life are such
every day is that he was made "a that whatever one does attain is
male and not a female." The often offset by the struggles, the
source of the blessing we make is sins and the shortcomings one en-
in the Talmud (Menahot 43b). dures and perpetrates. However,
The medieval commentary to the since Providence has made it so
prayer book authored by Abudra- that we were born, it is best to
ham explains that this benediction have been born with the opportun-
was instituted to make a man ity of observing as many command-
aware of the fact that he has more ments as possible (i.e. a man as
religious obligations than a woman contrasted to a woman who is ex-
has and, instead of considering empt from many commandments
Some commentaries (like Wolf
this an additional burden, he
should be thankful that he has ad- Yaawetz) claim that this was in-
ditional ways to serve the Al- troduced to relfect upon the fate
mighty. Women, in Jewish tradi- assigned to Eve in the Book of
tion, have been excused from the Genesis where her destiny to be
positive obligation of certain com- pained in labor is mentioned
mandments — especially those amongst other difficulties that wo-
which come at certain appointed men bear. Some sophisticated writ-
times — because they are respon-/ ers have claimed yet another inter-
pretation. Sin somehow seems al-
most unavoidable for the common
man. In the original story of Gen-
esis, it was man who sinned while


(Copyright 1967, JTA Inc.)

Beginner's Hebrew
Transcribed Into
Braille for Blind


NEW YORK — The transcription
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Remove Hair Permanently
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The course will appear in regu-
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Happy Passover To All
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Passover Best Wishes .

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women not only sinned but caused
man to sin. They say, therefore,
that it is better, if sin is inevitable,
to be a sinner rather than to be
cast in the role of tempting others
to sin, a role which women often
are unintentionally cast into be-
cause of the powers of attraction
which the Almighty has bestowed
upon them.

24721 Coolidge Hwy.
Ook Park, Mich.
LI 3-8860



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Happy Passover to All Our
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Best Wishes For A Happy

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