Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?
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Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

November 10, 2018 07:13PM
Dear Shalom,

Regarding accusing Yitzchak of abuse by marrying Rivka as a child, I would suggest that the premise of the question needs to be explored.

As previously posted, there are numerous possible answers to this question that could be offered, but the question itself reminds me of the lawyer who asked a defendant, "have you stopped beating your wife yet, yes or no? ".

The assertion underlying the question is not indicative of a neutral inquiry, but one where the framing of the question already assumes guilt to some degree.

It is appropriate to give our holy ancestors the benefit of the doubt when possible, especially when dealing with Midrashim rather than literal Pesukim.

The Torah is not automatically open to any interpretation of the text we feel like giving, especially one that could posthumously violate numerous rules of loshon hora about dead relatives.

Rav Aron Kotler zatzal wrote a famous article translated in English by Torah Umesorah in the 1960s based on Talmudic sources in which he states that when engaging in Parshanut it is absolutely forbidden to attribute shortcomings to our angelic ancestors the Avot and Imahot lest we denegrate them by impugning their character or behavior.

Rav S.R. Hirsch zatzal differs somewhat and he maintains that the Torah will at times criticize Biblical personalities in order for us to learn from their examples of growth and efforts to refine character.

One example of this is in his commentary to the Torah where Rav Hirsch points out issues implied in the Torah about Yitzchak and Rivka's parenting of Yaakov and Esav.

It is important to point out that even Rav Hirsch who did somewhat allow at times for the humanization of the Avot in order to learn from them, never impugns the character of the Avot by attributing criminal or immoral behavior to them.

Regarding this specific issue he mentions in passing that Rivka was possibly older when she married Yitzchak.

We should not ignore abuse where and when it occurs and innocent victims should be protected rather than hiding behind excuses that we don't want to spread loshon hora as such instances are often cases of loshon hora letoelet to prevent harm to others.

In this instance however, even if the statute of limitations has not yet expired, and even if there is some Midrashic justification for accusing Yitzchak of heinous behavior, it is hard to fathom what possible benefit there is from entertaining the possibility that Yitzchak abused Rivka that would make this a case of loshon hora letoelet.

Furthermore the Halachic Poskim brought in the Sefer Chafetz Chaim, Loshon Hora Klal 8:9 maintain that there is an ancient ban (Cheirem) on one who disparages the dead, especially a dead Talmid Chacham and one would need to go to the grave of the deceased and ask for forgiveness.

I suppose in this instance one could go to visit Yitzchak's grave in Chevron at the Maarat Hamachpeila and ask for forgiveness but according to the Mishna Brurah OC 606:2;15 one would still need to do teshuvah for violating an ancient ban.

On page 465 of the Dirshu edition of the Sefer Chafetz Chaim, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita is quoted as stating this applies to loshon hora as well as motzie shem rah.

Rav Elyashiv zatzal maintained the laws of loshon hora apply to web postings as well.

Therefore it seems that postulating or accepting such an interpretation would not be considered valid as an acceptable form of Jewish Biblical exegesis.

Shalom,

Elisha Paul



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2018 07:13PM by mlb.
Subject Author Posted

Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

David Derovan October 28, 2018 02:16PM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

Sharon Freundel October 29, 2018 01:49PM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

David Fried November 05, 2018 07:13AM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

Alyssa Sonnenblick October 31, 2018 12:26PM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

sasson gabbai October 31, 2018 12:28PM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

tdaum November 04, 2018 05:59PM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

Avraham Norin November 05, 2018 06:46AM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

Yitzchak Blau November 05, 2018 07:45AM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

Russell Jay Hendel November 10, 2018 07:11PM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

Shmuel Silberman November 05, 2018 07:55AM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

Elisha Paul November 10, 2018 07:13PM

Re: Could Yitzchak have married Rivkah when she was three?

David Derovan November 12, 2018 09:29AM



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