Celebrating Submission

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4 Responses

  1. lacosta says:

    our cousins use the very theme ,submission, to name their religion….

  2. Albert says:


    Yeah, and Muslims like falafel too (in fact they invented it). That doesn’t make it less tasty.

  3. dg says:

    As a fan of R’ Shafran, I hesitate to comment but I question where submission fits in here. A bride, the perfect analogy, is not “submitting” herself to marriage and neither did klal yisrael do so at Sinai.
    Dictionary.com has “to yield to authority; to surrender”
    While there is symbolic significance to the bride’s passive manner in becoming a wife, it teaches more about receiving than yielding or surrendering. I suggest that this is a poor and unfortunate choice of words that does not at all characterize kabbalas haTorah. Naaseh vNishma was a bold choice to be an active though responsive partner in creation – it was not simply about surrendering to an all-powerful Diety. Of course we accept His authority unconditionally but that is an awfully poor description of the relationship expressed in Shir Hashirim.
    I hope that R’ Shafran would agree.

  4. dr. bill says:

    Shavuot represents a larger notion that cannot be effectively proscribed by any individual mitzvah. It represents something more comprehensive and fundamental – our acceptance of the entirety of the Torah’s principles / commandments and thereby defining our status as an am hanivchar and a nes lagoyim. This theme, largely consistent with your essay, i strongly endorse.

    However, i would have chosen a less implication ladden word than “submissive / passive” and certainly would not have used it in a marriage context. We submit to God through His mitzvot; that does not make us necessarily submissive or passive in either our covenantal community or in a different sense, in our relationships with our spouses and family. Our rabbis taught quite the contrary – strength is often exhibited in submitting to the will of God and, I might add, even to those we love or with whom we meaningfully interact. Submitting is neither submissive or passive.

    As to the reason for reading Rut, i would propose our openness to converts joining our community and their ability to have the melech hamoshiach as a descendant. Nothing illustrates our unique notion of the anniversary of kabbalat hatorah and Jews becoming an am segulah better than david’s ancestry.

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