Mikeitz: Great Source(s)

In one of her essays on the portion Mikeitz, “Then Let Me Bear the Blame For Ever,” Nehama Leibowitz* focuses in on Judah’s words to Jacob, as he prepares to bring Benjamin to Egypt (Genesis/Breishit 43:9):

“If I bring him not unto thee… then let me bear the blame forever.”

The Italian Jewish commentator Elijah Benamozegh (1822-1900), Leibowitz says, “derives a profoundly significant message” from this turn of phrase:

This figure of speech contains a valuable lesson, teaching us something not otherwise explicitly alluded to, in the Torah: that there is no punishment outside of the sin. Sin itself is its own punishment in the Divine scheme of judgement and serves the purpose of reward and punishment. This is the meaning of: “Then shall I bear the blame to my father forever” (44, 32) — (Em Lamikra)

Em Lamikra, “Matrix of Sculpture,” is Benamozegh‘s mid-19th Century commentary on the Torah. (There is also an article about Benamozegh in the Jewish Encyclopedia.)

*For more on Leibowitz, see Source Materials.

————————————————————–
Click on the “WeeklyTorah” tag for more resources on the weekly portion throughout the year, or on a portion name for parashah-specific notes. (The series began with Numbers; posts for Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are being drafted, week-by-week.) You can also zero-in on particular types of “Opening the Book” posts by clicking Language and Translation, Something to Notice, a Path to Follow, or Great Source in the tag cloud.

The “Opening the Book” series is presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group pursuing spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.
———————————————————————————-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: