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Wednesday, 4 Sivan, 5780
  |  May 27, 2020

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Werewolf Legend in the Torah?

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan gives a fascinating talk on the "Werewolf" legend recently in the news after Argentina's President adopted a Jewish godson. Full Story, Video

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confused
Guest
confused

one second, are you saying that my seventh son, of 10, who has no sisters as of yet, is going to turn into a werewolf if i don’t get him adopted out by a goy? or is this only in argentina

We call it ORGANIZED SHTICK
Guest
We call it ORGANIZED SHTICK

Hey why not! its the law. yea the law loves schtick too!

to 1
Guest
to 1

yes,ur son is a werewolf
are you for real??

Great Class!
Guest
Great Class!

Yashar Koach Reb Mendel!

Ridiculous nonsense
Guest
Ridiculous nonsense

The story from Argentina is a load of garbage, designed to show how gullible some newspapers can be. The custom of having the president be “godparent” to 7th sons (and now daughters) has no connection with werewolves.

And of course there are no werewolves, and the Rabbeinu Efrayim about Binyomin can’t be taken literally because it makes no sense.

to #1
Guest
to #1

I recomend you to call Obama ASAP, because i think that becoming a warewolf is also in USA.

The president of Argentina has a Jewish mother
Guest
The president of Argentina has a Jewish mother
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan
Guest
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan

Please don’t be so sure of yourself! Did you take the time to listen to the class?And, more importantly did you see the Rabbeinu Efrayim inside? He writes it in three places and is very explicit. As I say in the class if not any stranger than Shaydim/chicken feeted people in the Gemara or the giants that the Torah speaks about… Rishonim are not jokers, and Toras Emes is bigger than your or my intellectual capacities… I very much doubt that the Rebbe would accept or appreciateyour dismissive approach to what one of the Rishonim k’malachim wrote

to #7
Guest
to #7

That explains everything! A new path for kiruv! 🙂

To: Rabbi Kaplan
Guest
To: Rabbi Kaplan

I originally read the idea of the werewolf from Nosson Slifkin’s blog, “Rationalist Judaism” and was plagued with uncertainty how we should view accept such statements. Trying to edge away from any doubt of apologetics and you mentioned in comment 8 does seem to be the Rebbe’s opinion, but how far can we take it? When we say Shivim Ponim Le’Torah, we are saying (acc. to my opinion) that in a certain light yes they all did exist. But logic dictates, then if the machlokes was on an actual event (a debate on what occured at Mt. Sinai between R… Read more »

A literal reading of Rabbenu Efrayim makes no sense
Guest
A literal reading of Rabbenu Efrayim makes no sense

If Yaacov’s concern was that Binyomin needed special care that only he could give, then what did he expect would happen when he died? Surely he had already trained his sons in the necessary care (and also Binyomin’s wife, in case he had an episode in the middle of the night), and he could safely send him with them. And what do we think takeh happened to Binyomin after Yaacov died? Did his next transformation result in his being put down as vermin, chas vesholom?! No, it’s not possible that Rabbenu Efrayim meant this literally, because it doesn’t explain anything.… Read more »

It's also ridiculous
Guest
It's also ridiculous

To claim that Binyomin was an actual wolf, unless you also claim that Yehuda was an actual lion, Yissochor an actual donkey, and Dan an actual snake. Everyone understands that these are poetic comparisons, not literal statements of fact. Rabbenu Efrayim surely understood this as well as anyone, and therefore he can’t have brought “Binyomin ze’ev yitrov” as proof for any fantastic story of lycanthropy. By the way, none of the strange gemoros you mention can be understood literally either, and only a fool tries to do so. Whenever the gemoro’s plain language seems obviously stupid, it’s a cue to… Read more »

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan
Guest
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan

Rabbainu Ephraim writes his commentary (in all three places) in the context of P’shat – especially in Parshas Vayigash where he uses it to answer a basic question IN P’shat. I personally don’t see how you can construe it (only) as allegoric without engaging in apologectics and (ultimately) dismissing RE words as hyperbole, hearsay or worse. You may want to find his Sefer (it was only published from manuscripts in 5752, although the Chida quotes his extensively (from manuscript)) and see his words for yourself. It should be noted that this is not an issue of Halacha (nor is anybody… Read more »

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan
Guest
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan

To # 11
A. Firstly, I don’t know how RE would explain what happened to Binyomin after Yaakov’s histalkus. I had the same question, but it does not change what he wrote. Again I urge you to see RE inside before you take dismissive liberties.

B. The explanation of grabbing the daughter’s is the Rebbe’s — not mine, and I don’t think I deviated from his intention or P’shat. You are correct in your assumption, I unfortunately didn’t have a chance to look up the story in detail, however I believe the point remains the same.

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan
Guest
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan

In response to # 12: Nobody learns P’shat in this fashion regarding the other Shvatim, and a falsely exaggerating a point in order to diminish or dismiss something a Rishon said lacks integrity at best. The fact that many gemara’s a metaphoric is widely known and doesn’t impact this RE. What the Gemara says about P’shat in the Torah (e.g. giants etc) is understood to be real. With all due respect, making a hodgepodge of different subjects does not lead to greater clarity…

beautiful!
Guest
beautiful!

watched both classes, very geshmak!

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