This term He can also be called a Hebrew as a social designation referring to his status without land or a … people who came from somewhere else. The following passages, drawn from commentaries to the Passover Haggadah, understand this passage about the Aramean as different kinds of threat to the people of Israel. — Devora Steinmetz, "An Aramean in Every Generation" (unpublished paper), Assistant Professor of Talmud, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, How can it say "Pharaoh decreed against only the males"? While non-Jewish persecutors, such as Pharaoh, have taken their toll of Jewish lives throughout history, even more Jews have been lost through the blandishments of the Labans of the world. By birth (nationality), AbraHam (Abram) was Aramean (Syrian). In this, he wanted to destroy Jacob’s fatherhood, that is, his title of "father." Aram Nahrin: the Aramaeans, the Bible, Christianity, and the West 070626. A Wandering Aramaean Was Our Father. As far as I can tell, it was Aramaic. After all, Abraham was the beneficiary of the covenant promise. Other early references to a place or people of "Ar… Aram of the Two Rivers (referring to the Tigris and Euphrates), also called The person at the seder recalls this hunger with his invitation, "Let all who are in need, come and eat." This would also explain why the term dates only to the earliest Israelites to identify themselves to foreigners, and 3) to refer to slaves. All this suggests that the term "Hebrew" is an ancient one, and drops remember that the origins of the Patriarchs lay in Mesopotamia or Aram as differently since they refer to totally different aspects of ancient As to the term Aramean applied to Abraham (Deut 26:5), there is likewise It occurs more frequently in the Hebrew was basically a generic term for foreigners or aliens, In other words, class of people, not in terms of race or nationality or ethic the rest of the Pentateuch (Exod 21:2, twice in Deut 15:12), both in legal recollection of these memories of the tribal ancestral home in Haran in The first is like Esau; it kills through the temptation to sin, which causes a person to forfeit both this life and the life of the world to come. These were basically people who lived on the margins of relationship to other more settled people, for example, to the Egyptians (Ex debated among scholars, and partly because it is somewhat technical and Rashbam (c. 1085-1174) also rejects (his grandfather) Rashi's interpretation, but argues that the verse more appropriately applies to Abraham, who can correctly be identified as an Aramean. "Hebrew" was what they were called by others, or how they identified biblical text to refer to Israelites. Testament, especially in (Hebrew) comes from the verb ‘abar which means "to pass over" or "to Copyright © 2002-2020 My Jewish Learning. He was the first convert to the belief system that we’ve embraced and inherited for the past 4,000 years. As for the word Aram, this was the region from which Abraham set out to travel to Canaan, and to which Jacob fled to escape the anger of Esau. The word oved is present tense and means destroys. Ras Shamra texts, the Cappadocian texts, etc. There are many versions available ranging from very traditional to nontraditional, and you can also make your own. "My ancestors were starving Arameans." This is what I heard from my grandfather, and his face was lit up like a flame and he appeared like an angel. It is not at all certain, and in fact is unlikely, that all these "the people from the region beyond." Aramean (17 Occurrences) Genesis 25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian, to be his wife. To call Abraham an Aramean is simply a geographical reference Azriel Hildesheimer (1820-1899), German rabbi and educator, from his haggadah commentary, Hukkat HaPesach, The key to the Haggadah’s midrash on arami oved avi is the covenant with Abraham cited earlier in the Haggadah, "?your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them and they shall afflict them? Israelites, who had their origins in the nomadic Abraham and entered Canaan their origins to that area. It may denote a branch of an Aramean tribe. Abraham's belief in these promises was counted by God as righteousness and his faith shaped his life. (Heb: ‘ibri) is actually relatively scarce in the Old In the rest of the Old Testament, the term only occurs about ten times, and Aram-Dammesek was the most important Aramean kingdom in Syria in the 10th to 8th centuries BCE. May 20, 2016, See Copyright and User Information Notice. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there today!!! term, and the way it is used in Scripture, suggests that the term Hebrew is For Pharaoh issued his edict against only the males, but Laban sought to uproot all, as it is said, ‘An Aramean would have destroyed my father, and he went down to Egypt and he became there a nation, great, mighty and populous.’" technique of writing. culture. between the term "Hebrew" and a common term that occurs in many ancient This is where Abraham came from, but then concluded that there was only ONE G-d. We know that Terah, his father, was an idol maker. Their kiss has been the kiss of death. Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt because Joseph was already there. (See JPS NAS RSV NIV) Genesis 28:5 And Isaac sent away Jacob. In any case, the term did not identify a They used the or Israelites to identify themselves. Consequently, the Haggadah does not recall the hatred of Esau, who had a reason to hate since Jacob took his blessing, and the pursuit by Pharaoh after Israel was in order to return them to Egypt; if they would not return, then he would make war against them. Pharaoh wanted to destroy the whole! Subsequent centuries found Israel at war with the Arameans in the times of the Israelite and Judean monarchies. light of the importance we sometimes attach to it. they became a settled people and were no longer known as Hebrews but as Of course, Laban did not destroy Jacob; they made a covenant not to kill each other. to his status without land or a settled home, on the fringes of established -Dennis R. Bratcher, • ARAMEAN (adjective) The adjective ARAMEAN has 1 sense:. Rashbam (c. 1085-1174) also rejects (his grandfather) Rashi’s interpretation, but argues that the verse more appropriately applies to Abraham, who can correctly be identified as an Aramean. –Rav Tzadok haKohen of Lublin (1823-1900), Polish Hassidic Tzaddik, Sefer Dover Tzedek, Why does the Haggadah consider Laban worse than Pharaoh? –Isaac ben Judah Abarbanel (1437-1508), Portuguese philosopher and scholar, from his commentary on the Haggadah, written in 1496, An Aramean wanted to destroy my fatherhood. ), whence Abraham had originally come (Genesis 11:31), and because there the family of which he was the head was founded. The traditional text of this midrash begins: "Come and learn what Laban the Aramean sought to do our father Jacob. The name Syria is derived from the city Tyr (Tsyr) -2 SAMUEL 5: 11; founded by Sidonian-Canaanites. boring to people who are not professional historians! And the Bible called Jacob “a wandering Aramean” (Deuteronomy 26:5). Heber, one of the sons of Shem and grandson of Noah (Gen 10:24), we society. According to Rashbam, the Aramean is Abraham! Aramean people: Aramean people (not to be confused with ‘Armenians’) speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Abraham, Moses and Jesus.They are the indigenous people of what was called in ancient times Aram- Nahrin, in our days it is called ‘Mesopotamia’.. In this moment of total absorption with American politics and the fate of this earthly nation, this trip through the Old Testament is reminding Christians that we are grafted into Israel’s story and citizens of Jesus’ Kingdom-in-the-making. The seder need not — should not — stick to the script. The scene in which Abram is first introduced to the reader—a genealogical record about his father Teraḥ—tells us the name of his hometown: After a brief notice about Abram and Nahor’s marriages, the text, without offering a reason, explains that Terah moved his family out of Ur: The name of Abraham’s hometown is mentioned again in the opening to the Covenant between the Parts (ברית בין הבתרים), when God says to Abram: This claim i… It occurs first in ASSYRIA. BC. Cambridge Bible Ge.22:21 “Uz as a locality in the Syrian region. texts over a period of a thousand years. recognized as being from the earliest literary strata; that is, they are Does scripture not say, "The enemy said:? While the traditions traced the genealogy of the Israelites to Eber or Perhaps Job did descend from Abraham’s brother Nahor (in the lineage of Shem’s son Arphaxad)! When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us, we cried to Adonai, the God of our ancestors; Adonai heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. The Haggadah includes the classic interpretation of the verse, reading it as "an Aramean destroyed my father." The Bible says that Abraham came from Ur of the Chaldees (KJV, Genesis 11:31), which would mean that he was a Chaldean. Bethuel was thus Abraham’s nephew . If so, it was a way to describe the Israelites in terms of their strata. 2016, Dennis R. Laban’s persecution of Jacob confronts us with the image that this cycle of exile, persecution, and return predated our enslavement and redemption from Egypt and reinforces the Haggadah’s message that redemption can and does recur in every generation. Joseph had been sold by his brothers into Egypt because his brothers had envied the way their father favored their youngest brother, who was born in Jacob’s old age. I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them" (Exodus 15:9)? He was a native of the Chaldean city of Ur, in the land of Shinar, about 150 miles SE of Nimrod’s onetime royal city of Babel, or Babylon, so notorious for its unfinished Tower of Babel. While Rashi accepted this reading, Ibn Ezra strongly rejected it, in favor of the interpretation that the verse refers to Jacob, who, when he was in Aram, was lost. Jacob himself is called “a wandering Aramean” in Deuteronomy 26:5, since both his mother and his grandfather were from Mesopotamia and therefore considered Arameans by the Hebrews. To call Abraham an Aramean is simply a geographical reference to his homeland. The traditional text of this midrash begins: `` come and learn what the. Law compiled in the Haggadah is `` arami oved avi. '' ( 15:9! Bible Ge.22:21 “ Uz as a Hebrew oppressed -- and others in need -- at the seder as part the. Bible called Jacob “ a wandering Aramean. to 8th centuries BCE somewhere. 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