Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Way of the Land of the Pelishtim

The opening verse of this past week's Torah reading has an interesting genealogy angle.

 ;ויהי בשלח פרעה את-העם ולא-נחם א' דרך ארץ פלשתים כי קרוב הוא
.כי אמר א' פן-ינחם העם בראותם מלחמה ושבו מצרימה
And it happened, when Pharaoh had let the people go
that Gd led them not through the way of the land of the Pelishtim (=Philistines), which was near;
For Gd said "Lest the people reconsider when they see war and [decide to] return to Egypt"
The word "karov" is generally translated as "near" and this is the simple interpretation of this verse.

But "karov" also means "relative" (in the genealogy sense, not the Einstein sense).

If we go back to the end of the Noah story, we see this (Chapter 10, verses 13-14).
ומצרים ילד את-לודים ואת-ענמים ואת-להבים ואת-נפתוחים.
ואת-פתרסים  ואת-כסלחים אשר יצאו משם פלשתים ואת-כפתורים.
And Mizrayim [=Egypt] begot Ludim and Anamim and Lehavim and Naftuhim.
And Patrusim and Kasluhim - out of whom came Pelishtim - and Kaftorim.
The ancient Egyptians and the Philistines are relatives. Perhaps the people were concerned that the Philistines would attack them to avenge the humiliation of their relatives the Egyptians.

Note - this is not the place to discuss the fact that Pelishtim or Philistines means "invaders."

BREAKING NEWS - We have a new Y-67 match at a genetic distance of one. Someone who is outside the known Pikholz-Spira group. I have written and look forward to hearing from him. We have no one else that close who is not a Spira or a Pikholz..

Housekeeping notes
I plan to be in Chicago for my grandson Mordechai's bar mitzvah the first weekend in May. If any program directors are interested in having me speak in the days immediately before or after that weekend, please drop me a note.

I made a kiddush in shul this past week to mark my mother's seventh yahrzeit and while I was at it, my granddaughter's engagement.

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