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Torah Mad Libs

08/26/2011

My stepdaughter Lonica is getting married in 9 days. Tomorrow morning, she and her dear Joey will be called up the Torah for an aliyah in celebration and anticipation of  the nuptials. I will be blessing them with some combination of generalized “good luck” & Torah wisdom. In preparation, I’m reading this week’s Torah portion, Re’eh (See!), and have discovered that there is much advice about marriage & relationships in the text if one just turns it sideways and inserts the proper pronouns. 

I know this isn’t Mad Libs, but truly I can’t think of the name of the game that applies, so it will just have to stand. In order to play, just read the following lines and see if you can apply them to love in all its many guises. Have fun!

See, this day I set before you blessing and curse (see how easy this is?)…

For you are about to cross the Jordan to enter and possess the land…

These are the laws and rules that you must carefully observe in the land that God is giving you to possess, as long as you live on earth….

You shall not act at all as we now act here, every one as he/she pleases (when) you cross the Jordan and settle…

When the Lord enlarges your territory as promised to you and you say, “I shall eat some meat,” for you have the urge to eat meat, you may eat meat whenever you wish…

If there appears among you a prophet or a dream-diviner and he gives you a sign or a portent,  saying, Let us follow and worship another god... Do not heed the words of that prophet or that dream-diviner… (This worshipping other gods goes on for quite a while & includes the ways one should get rid of those who would lead you into trouble.)

God chose you from among all other peoples on earth to be God’s treasured people…

You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk. (For me, this is a warning about how to fight — you can afford to be magnanimous if you’re taking either the kid or the milk. Don’t overdo. Don’t be greedy in your anger.)(Not that I listen to my own advice.)

Every seventh year you shall practice remission of debts. (Another good piece of advice about disagreements.)

(Ditto the following) If, however, there is a needy person among you, one of your relations in any of your settlements in the land that God is giving you, do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy relation.

Bear in mind that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I enjoin this commandment upon you today.

For (if your servant) loves you and your household and is happy with you – you shall take an awl and put it through his/her ear into the door, and he/she shall become your slave in perpetuity. (Sorry.)

You shall not appear before God empty-handed (on holidays) but each should come with his/her own gift, according to the blessing that God has bestowed upon you.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    08/26/2011 10:27 am

    Wow! I absolutely love this! Thanks as always for you words and your passion.

    • sue swartz permalink*
      08/26/2011 10:37 am

      Thanks Rabbi! See you soon for the official officiating!

      • Sarah (yup, Rabbi Sarah) permalink
        08/26/2011 10:39 am

        Am looking forward to this great honor!

  2. Dan Price permalink
    08/26/2011 10:58 am

    What a delightfully insightful perspective. I find it interesting how the coincidence of a wedding and a Torah portion can lead to new insights.

  3. Bruce Solomon permalink
    08/26/2011 1:57 pm

    Wow…suddenly it’s a whole new parsha. Nice reading, Swartz.

    • sue swartz permalink*
      08/26/2011 2:05 pm

      Hey thanks, husband…

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