"We are closer to G-d when we are asking the questions, than when we think we have the answers" Heschel

Sunday, February 7, 2010

FNQ – 5 q's for the Week - Controversial Stories in Tanach

This past week I finished giving a series of shiurim on the story of King David and Bat Sheva. (Links to them appear on the sidebar under My Shiurim). This story, like many others in Tanach, presents our one of the greatest personalities in the Bible doing things (adultery and conspiracy to commit murder) that are difficult to swallow. There are many approaches and ways to deal with these types of stories but after much analysis many questions remain unanswered. These are some of mine:

  1. If we assume that certain righteous characters in Tanach did not sin, why does the text imply that they did? 

  2. If we assume that certain characters in Tanach could not have sinned who is included in this category? (What about Yiftach or Shimshon?)
  1. If we assume that all characters in Tanach could have sinned, are there limits as to the types of sins which it is acceptable to say that they committed? For example maybe they could only commit intellectual errors as opposed to sins of passion?
  1. Even if one believes that Biblical characters were not capable of sinning can a teacher speak about them as if they did for the purpose of teaching critical lessons to their students? (For example: if King David did what is described in the text than his teshuva much more profound and relevant) 

  2. What are the spiritual risks in presenting Biblical characters as capable of sinning?
What do you think?

Binyamin – always looking for a good question

1 comment:

  1. You left out another important question: What are the spiritual risks in presenting Biblical characters as NOT capable of sinning?