Re: Hillel and Shammai

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Posted by doninisrael (other posts) on September 30, 2017 at 21:01:40 Previous Next

In Reply to: Re: Hairy Boulder! posted by Raymond on September 30, 2017 at 10:06:40:

Hey, Raymond - not bad for a Catholic priest! :-)

Yes, Hillel and Shammai were two great Jewish sages of late antiquity, a generation or two before Jesus. They disagreed on lots of things - each sage, and the school that grew up among his disciples, had a different way of interpreting Halachah (Jewish law).

In the case you cite, Shammai said a man could divorce his wife only if she had been unfaithful. Hillel opined that he could divorce her if she spoiled his dinner. BUT...nobody in the Jewish world takes his words literally and runs to divorce his wife because of a bad meal. It is understood to mean that one shouldn't consider oneself bound beyond reason in an unhappy marriage. Following Hillel, one simply doesn't need a specific reason to divorce. On the other hand, a woman cannot be divorced against her will, and IF a man divorces his wife, he must fulfill the terms of her Ketubah, or pre-nuptial agreement which specifies a 'pay out' if he divorces her. Because these amounts are often quite high, it is a deterrent to many divorces for 'casual' reasons. Jewish guilt - which is almost as powerful as Catholic guilt :-) - is also a deterrent. (Example:
Mother: "You're getting divorced??! How could do this to US??!")

Raymond, a joyous Lord's Day and a good week to you and the rest of the gang here on MLHH. I'm on my way back to Israel tomorrow...


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