Friday, 14 September 2012

Shiftu Yatom, v’Rivu Almanah

R David Wolpe* in his DNC

«As your prophet Isaiah taught us: shiftu yatom, v'rivu almanah—defend the orphan and fight on behalf of the widow.»

Some have used the fact that D'vorah was a "Shofetet" to justify Semicha for women.

My take is that during the Period of the Shof'tim, the Shof'tim acted as "champions" and not so much as Dayyanim. Think of Shimshon, Yftach, Gid'on, etc.

As such I translated this passage

"shiftu yatom, v'rivu almanah— Champion the orphan, and fight on behalf of the widow."

This hypothesis is nice. It shows a different side of "justice", namely championing the weak, and avoids giving D'vorah Yadin Yadin [Tadin Tadin?]

However, is there any substance to this hypothesis? Can linguists and experts in Parshanut defend this?

*R David Wolpe is no close relation AFAIK. It's conceivable that we are related quite distantly.

Shanah Tovah,
Best Wishes for 5773!

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