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KMTT - the Torah Podcast

Nov 17, 2022

Chayei Sara | What's The Matter With Canaanite Girls? by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom

When Avraham's days are nigh, he summons his chief slave and administers an oath that he not take a Canaanite girl as a wife for Yitzhak - "from the Canaanites among whom I reside". This motif reappears - perhaps - when Esav marries two Hittite women and again when Yehudah (possibly) marries a Canaanite girl. By looking at all of these sources along with the mention of a Canaanite woman bearing a son to Shimon, we survey the proposed explanations for Avraham's directive and if (and how) it impacted on his progeny. We propose a surprising take, which is anchored in the Rishonim, that the problem with the Canaanites was not inherent in their status nor in their behavior, rather in their location "in whose midst I reside".

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