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Brit-Am Now no. 1715.
Movement of the Ten Tribes of Israel.
5 July 2011, 3 Tammuz 5771.

1. Dolmens from Around the World.
Some New Pictures.
2. Reactions to Brit-Am You Tube Clips.
3. Biblical Commentary: The Simple Meaning Versus Rabbinical Understanding. Different Orthodox Jewish Approaches.


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Contents in Alphabetical Order
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1. Dolmens from Around the World
Some New Pictures.
Present Entries.
Gamla-Golan: Israel
Rogem Hiri: Israel's Stone Henge
Dolmens in Ireland
Dolmens in Holland
Dolmens in France and Brittany
Dolmens in Sweden
Dolmens in Denmark
Dolmens in Britain
Dolmens in the Caucasus

2. Reactions to Brit-Am You Tube Clips.

(a) Negative.
esraretin has made a comment on Khazars Not Turkish!.avi:
re u crazy? who re u? historianor wht? khazars were turks and their religion was judaism sadly:)

FreddieStaton has made a comment on Ten Tribes in the West Brit-Am Biblical Overview.avi:
yo homey . didn't jacob lived in canaan before living in padam aram which by the way was once called nephtali amoung other terms ? didn't jacob lived in around the late 2200 BC like around 2270/2280's ? my point being that at this time in african history there were NOT ONE caucasoid on the african continent .. so how is it that jacob , by your account , a caucasoid and his 12 sons also caucasoids live on a black continent ? just 2500 AD yrs.ago no white in africa , forget it around 2280 BC..

(b) Positive.
No new positive comments so far but several offered to become YouTube "friends" or subscribed to receive immediate notification of any new clips. Also the viewing frequency has increased.
One new short (6.05 minutes) clip which is proving popular is:
Joseph in the End Times

3. Biblical Commentary: The Simple Meaning Versus Rabbinical Understanding. Different Orthodox Jewish Approaches.
The Approach of Classic Jewish Exegetes to Peshat and Derash and Its Implications for the Teaching of Bible Today
by Yeshayahu Maori

It appears that most teachers attempt to follow the exposition of Hazal [i.e. the Sages] consistently and without deviation in teaching the legal material in the Torah.1 In teaching the narrative portions of Torah, on the other hand, many teachers make an effort to search out the plain sense of the verse (peshat) and pay little attention to the material in midrashic sources. One symptom of this approach is that in teaching narrative material more use is made of the commentaries of such masters of peshat as R. Avraham ben Meir ibn Ezra (ca. 1092-1167, Spain) and R. Samuel ben Meir (ca. 1090-1160; northern France). There also tend to be fewer reservations about resorting to the writings of authors who do not share a traditional weltanschauung.

Two factors appear to make for this distinction between halakhic and narrative material. The major one is that the exegesis of a verse concerned with halakhah has apparent implications for the actual fulfillment of the commandment (halakhah lema'aseh); the interpretation of narrative material has no such practical consequences....

A sharp distinction between the force of rabbinic statements pertaining to halakhic and narrative material was made clearly in the introduction of R. David Zvi Hoffmann (1843-1921; Germany) to his commentary on Leviticus. He contrasts the decisive authority of rabbinic dicta pertaining to the interpretation of verses concerned with halakha [Practical legal Application] with the force of rabbinic comments in the matter of aggadah [Legends and Homiletical Teachings]. A commentator on the Torah?s laws must yield to rabbinic exegesis in legal sections, since halakha is Sinaitic [from Moujnt Sinia i.e. given by the Almighty]. But one cannot insist that the interpretation of non-legal passages was given at Sinai, and there is therefore no necessity to accept them. Hoffman finds support for his position in the Introduction to the Talmud (printed at the back of the first volume of the standard Vilna Talmud and attributed to R. Samuel HaNagid):

From Hoffmann's comments one may conclude:8 (1) that in narrative sections of the Torah we are free to interpret as we choose without being subject to the statements of Hazal, and (2) in halakhic sections we are bound by what is found in rabbinic sources. ..The license to interpret the Bible in a fashion not in accord with rabbinic hermeneutics was derived by medieval exegetes from the words of the Talmud itself when it stresses that, granted the existence of rabbinic hermeneutical interpretations (derashot), "ein mikra yotse midei peshuto" (lit., "a text does not depart entirely from its simple sense/ plain meaning?)....

It is obvious that our exegetes did not mean to determine practical halakhah on the basis of their interpretations ignoring those of the Rabbis, for they certainly considered themselves bound by the halakhah of Hazal.18 How then, can we justify their license to interpret halakhic passages in a way which does not coincide with the midrash of Hazal?19 The conceptual foundation of this freedom lies in the acceptance of the principle that "there are seventy facets to the Torah" (Numbers Rabbah 13:15), i.e. that a verse has more than one meaning. Rashi formulates this principle at the beginning of his commentary to Shir HaShirim: "God spoke one which I heard as two (Ps. 62:12).' One verse may have several meanings.. but in the end no verse escapes from its simple sense and literal meaning .."

R. Meir Leib Malbim (1809-79; Eastern Europe)... and R. Yaakov Zvi Mecklenburg (1785-1855; Germany), the author of Haketav Vehakabbalah [Scripture and Tradition], strove to demonstrate that the derashot of Hazal are anchored in the bedrock of the Hebrew language and its unique characteristics. According to Malbim (in the Introduction to his commentary of Leviticus), the derashah is the simple sense [peshat hapashut] which is inevitable and implanted in the depth of the language and the foundation of the Hebrew tongue." However, despite the occasional successes of Malbim and Mecklenburg in demonstrating that the derash which, prima facie, is far from the simple meaning of the verse, may, in fact, be in conformity with the essence of its simple meaning, they often forced conformity between the peshat and the derashah in instances where there was no basis for it.

Brit-Am Comment:
The above article is interesting and quotes valuable sources.
His conclusions are in fact more "liberal" than Brit-Am finds necessary.
We are encouraged to learn and understand the Bible as we understand it according to its simple literal meaning.
In matters of Law they who are Jewish must defer to how the Sages understood the Law: This applies even if we disagree with how they interpreted certain verses when reaching their conclusions, cf. Deuteronomy 17:9-11.
The Sages gave interpretations of Biblical Verses not only in legal matters but in numerous other cases as well.
Where the explanations have no practical legal applications we are not obligated to accept them as the intended meaning since they were not necessarily meant to be taken as such.
On the other hand R. Meir Leib Malbim, R. Yaakov Zvi Mecklenburg, Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, and numerous others have shown quite convincingly that quite often the seemingly "forced" interpretations that the Sages did offer actually accord with the real meaning of the Hebrew source.
#2. When and When Not is Scripture to be Taken Literally?

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