Walls and Boundaries in Rabbinic-Biblical Foreign Policy: A Psychological Analysis by Kalman J. Kaplan and Matthew B. Schwartz
April 20, 1998
This essay extends an interpersonal model to rabbinic interpretation of biblical foreign policy. Specifically, a wall-boundary analysis is made of ancient Israel's relation to four categories of nations: (a) Amalek and the Canaanites, (b) Ammon and Moab, (c) Edom and Egypt, and (d) the other nations. King Saul's counternormative behavior is discussed toward (a) King Agag of Amalek and (b) the Hebrew priests of God at Nob. Wall permeability becomes normative with an unassaulted inner boundary. When the boundary is under assault, however, wall permeability is expressly blocked.