Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Anti-Christian bit of Parshanut

Exodus 32:32, “And now, lift their sin, and if not, erase me please from Your book that You wrote."

According to Rashi, the "book" is the Torah, and Moshe is demanding to have his name removed from it, if God won't forgive the people for the sin of the golden calf. This follows Shmos Raba.

The Ramban (and others) follow the Michilta, and say Moshe is asking to be killed in Israel's place, to bear her sins, to die for her sake. And just in case the Christian connection isn't clear enough, the Ramban makes it crystal by quoting the Suffering Servant passage! [Is 53:5] However, as the Ramban concludes, God rejects Moshe's offer, saying, "Only those who have sinned will die, and not you who hasn't sinned."

I'm absolutely certain the man who stared down Pablo Christiano at the Disputation at Barcelona (where the Suffering Servant passage was discussed in depth) was making an anti-Christian point here, saying that God would never let a blameless man take someone else's punishment.

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