Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jeebus and the Shomer Shabbos MDs

Chana has an interesting discussion going on about Shomer Shabbos physicians. Tobie is reading the New Testament...

For some reason I started thinking about the fact that these same arguments were happening 2000 years ago...

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

Mark 3:1-6


Blogger Tobie said...

Huh. In one of the other gospels- Matthew maybe- he accompanies the story with a rather snarky line about how they would all save their own cow if it fell in a pit on Shabbat. Which might actually be the halacha, given tzar ba'alei chayim.

It's always interesting to read the exchanges with the Pharisees, because he keeps making moral/emotional points and I keep getting annoyed and wishing he would stick to legal reasoning. Which, I suppose, is exactly why I'm a Pharisee.

December 27, 2007 2:30 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

His reasoning is this:

I am the Messiah and I am telling you how God wants things done.

December 28, 2007 9:37 AM  
Blogger -suitepotato- said...

I read through the posting you linked to and it almost read at times like a cross between a Monty Python skit and something Dudley Moore and Peter Cooke would have ad-libbed. Not a good thing for a serious subject.

My conscience says simply, if it is wrong for me to transgress Shabbat, then it is wrong for me to put that transgression on someone else to avoid it. If the sin is going to happen, then I should own up and take it on me and settle up with G-d later because the reason for the transgression is a moral obligation: to see to the health and well-being of my fellow man without whom there's no Shabbat, no Judaism, no Torah. It was for us, humans, and without us, no need. If we stick so rigidly to halacha by rote without seeing the moral underpinnings, then it is wasted on us. And some moral duties outweigh others.

However, it is also then an obligation on the community which needs these men and women to heal their hurts, to stay as healthy as they can, and learn what they may to attend to themselves on Shabbat. We're all involved. One person's burden is not one person's, but everyone's. That's how morality works.

December 28, 2007 11:41 AM  

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