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Thread: Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

  1. #1
    Agnosthiest
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    Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

    Genesis 16:12
    "He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers."


    How do Jews interpret this passage?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    Re: Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

    http://www.ark-of-salvation.org/wild...htm#is_ishmael


    You can ignore most of the site. This single page is one plausible analysis though. The writer seems to know his grammar.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    Re: Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

    Alternatively: A wild donkey of a man. The prophecy is not an insult. The wild donkey lived a solitary existence in the desert away from society. Ishmael would be free-roaming, strong, and like a bedouin; he would enjoy the freedom his mother sought.

  4. #4
    Agnosthiest
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    Re: Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

    ^ Thanks.

    And about the part that says:

    His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him

  5. #5
    Senior Member bararallu's Avatar
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    Re: Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

    Exactly as it is. No miracles needed, just simple observation of cultural reality.

  6. #6
    Agnosthiest
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    Re: Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

    Quote Originally Posted by bararallu View Post
    Exactly as it is. No miracles needed, just simple observation of cultural reality.
    You mean everyone was against that individual whose name was Ishmael. Just him, not his entire lineage?

  7. #7
    Senior Member bararallu's Avatar
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    Re: Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

    Well... I personally don't hold that the biblical person of Ishmael is *actually* the one whose "loins" spawned the whole of the Arab ethnic group. It's nonsense, but some Jews do literally buy into that. Symbolically, though, it fits like a glove, or more apropo like a self fulfilled prophecy.

  8. #8
    andak01
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    Re: Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

    Quote Originally Posted by bararallu View Post
    Well... I personally don't hold that the biblical person of Ishmael is *actually* the one whose "loins" spawned the whole of the Arab ethnic group. It's nonsense, but s, ome Jews do literally buy into that. Symbolically, though, it fgrits like a glove, or more apropo like a self fulfilled prophecy.
    So if you want to extend a verse of the Torah that is about Ismael to characterize a whole race, that's OK. But a Muslim using a verse in the Quran about an historic group of irreligious Jews to characterize all Jews is a bigot. I'd say both are wrong. The verse is about Ismael, not about his descendants and it is the perspective of the Torah, not a modern commentary.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bararallu's Avatar
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    Re: Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

    Arabs are suddenly a race Andak? If so who are closer to them me or you? You drop me into Iraq or Syria no one will blink twice, you however...

    What you state is technically correct however. There is no theological consequences to Arabs from a biblical or halachical perspective.

    Historically- The actuality of the matter is that Arabs as such where multiple groups to the Jews, there were and are different clans from different areas. Most were and are adversarial to other groups, semitic or otherwise. Then again the tribal nature of the Middle East is adversarial to the hilt. Some of these Arabs where collectively referred to the equivalent of "Ishmaelites" some where not.

  10. #10
    andak01
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    Re: Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man.

    Quote Originally Posted by bararallu View Post
    Arabs are suddenly a race Andak? If so who are closer to them me or you? You drop me into Iraq or Syria no one will blink twice, you however...
    That would be you, assuming you are of ME extraction. The line of Ishmael, seen from that perspective is a race to the extent that the descendants of the tribe of Israel are.

    What you state is technically correct however. There is no theological consequences to Arabs from a biblical or halachical perspective.
    I grant you that I've heard this screed ( Ishmael was a wildman, therefore Ahmadinijad ) coming from Christians more often than Jews. But it is damaging to children who are raised hearing that in the same fashion that the false extension of Allah's wrath on those ancients who didn't practice the sabbath to all Jews today is. Those are tools for fostering hatred.

    Historically- The actuality of the matter is that Arabs as such where multiple groups to the Jews, there were and are different clans from different areas. Most were and are adversarial to other groups, semitic or otherwise. Then again the tribal nature of the Middle East is adversarial to the hilt. Some of these Arabs where collectively referred to the equivalent of "Ishmaelites" some where not.
    Would you at least agree that it is used more divisively than descriptively?

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