- On the way to Eretz Yisrael, God tells the Israelites not to fight with the nations of Edom, Amon and Moav, since their lands were also part of an ancient promise God made to their ancestors. We understand that Divine promises may be eternal, but what about human promises? Do they ever expire? How many generations should feel obligated because of an oath taken by an ancestor? Are children bound by the promises made by their parents? Are people bound by the promises they made decades earlier, under very different circumstances?
- Responding to an attack by Sihon, king of the Emori and Og, king of Bashan, the Israelites conquer their land and destroy all their inhabitants. In today's world many of those acts may offend our contemporary sense of morality. Do the actions of Israelites need to make sense in today's world, or is it sufficient for us to have them be moral in the context of their era? Can we ever truly see things from the perspective of a different environment governed by an entirely different set of norms?
link to lookstein.org