Thursday, December 01, 2011

What might Sforno think of us?

In RWOJ, its common for parents to support their married children for several years. Following the practices of the shtetel, most young men marry at a young age, before they are in any position to provide for their wives and family. Many of these men enter into marriage relying on their parents, and on God, with no plans or ambitions, other than to have sex as soon as possible, and to remain unemployed for as long as possible.  This is considered meritorious, a proof of faith, and men with no money are often married off with the full blessings of their families and their communities.

Sforno, I imagine, would be appalled. When the verse tells us that Jacob offered to work seven years for Rachel's hand, he says:

אֵין סָפֵק שֶׁלּא הָיָה הַצַּדִּיק נושֵׂא אִשָּׁה וּמַעֲמִיד בָּנִים אִם לא הָיָה בְּיָדו לְפַרְנְסָם

Translation: This righteous man would never have married a woman, and started having children unless he had a way to provide for them.

Sforno goes on to explain that Jacob, in fact, was not destitute as is commonly assumed.

What would Sfrono say about us? Would he judge anyone who marries a woman without a plan to support her as lacking in righteousness? 

HT @efink

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I sure hope you are a Rabbi in your real life. We need more critical thinkers.