Likely Scenarios in Deuteronomy | Holy Book Reviews

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Holy Book Reviews: Snarky reviews of the holy scriptures as if they were works of fiction. Book 5: Deuteronomy

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Commander of the Iron Chariots
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Read my very short story here: https://liorasophie.com/portfolio/iro…

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Seventy Faces: My short story collection
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These short stories of up to 6000 words are a retelling of stories from the Old Testament, purely from a human perspective. The retellings focus on answering questions such as, what is this character’s motive? Or what was the experience of a minor character whose story is not really emphasized? An example of these is Iron Chariots, which was featured on Silver Needle Press’s website as the flash fiction contest winner in June, 2018.

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LIORA SOPHIE ~ Writers plan & Characters Laugh
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Website: https://liorasophie.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/liorasophie/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liorasophie/
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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4…

Comments

Betzalel Ganot says:

OK I have a lot to say here, and I decided to comment since we just started reading Deuteronomy in the Jewish cycle (well ok that was last week shhhh) this is a great time.
I'm kind of surprised that you dislike this book so much, since in general it's considered to be the Social Justice book of the Torah. I don't usually feel the need to defend biblical rules to people, but I actually really like this book and I want to share this. So here are a few example of laws from Deuteronomy that demonstrate this:

* Shabbat – Exodus says this is to remember the way God created the world. In Deuteronomy, the entire reason for Shabbat is literally just in order to create a time where slaves can be free from work like you. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and stop exploiting your workers. They are also people that deserve rest.

* Shemita – The seventh year – according to Exodus – is a year where you can't work the land. According to Deuteronomy you must also forgive all debts. (Take that, U.S. student loans)

I actually love the whole next passage so I'm going to paraphrase the entire thing:
You might be tempted to think "the seventh year is coming, and I really don't want to loan money and lose it". Don't be a dick, the poor person who can't find a loan will cry to God and you will suffer. Just loan them money, and even if you lose it don't be sad about it, because God will bless you due to your kindness. Let's be real, there will always be poor people, so I'm asking you, please open your hand and help them out.
* Slaves – in addition to the laws in Exodus (which say you must free your slave after 6 years), you must also give them gifts as they leave from your sheep and your olives and grapes (these are not just snacks, they were expensive commodities in ancient times) to get them started with their lives as productive independent workers. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt (this phrase appears 5 times in Deuteronomy!) and it took a long time and a lot of help from God to get you on your feet.

* Yes, the thing with the nest of birds – you're supposed to take pity on the bird and not kill the whole family at once. Instead of taking a utilitarian approach and not caring at all about the animals that you come across, we are specifically commanded to at least pity the poor mother if you wish to take the children. This is similar to the much less well known rule in Leviticus – you may not slaughter a cow and its offspring on the same day. Ok, so it's not telling you to be vegetarian, but it's a step in the direction of recognizing animal feelings and not objectifying them. Which is a lot more than I can say for the modern meat industry.

I could bring more examples but this is getting long.

Betzalel Ganot says:

The way the Talmud answers the question who wrote the last paragraph is actually two possibilities. One is that Joshua wrote it. But the other is that God dictated it to Moses and Moses wrote it in/with tears, which is either super depressing or metal AF.
(But I guess so is time travelling to the date of your death just to finish your autobiography in a satisfying way)

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