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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat Eikev (August 27, 2016)
by Bettijane Eisenpreis

NO MERCY

Even in normal times, the above quotation from Deuteronomy would be cringe-inducing. There’s no doubt about it: God tells the Israelites to destroy all the inhabitants of the Promised Land. Never mind that it didn’t happen. Never mind that this probably was written when the reverse was taking place: The inhabitants of the countries where Jews lived were intent on destroying them. Still, the instructions are clear: The Israelites are to show no mercy to “the peoples that the Lord your God delivers unto you.”

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