Ishmael: A Wild Man
The Torah tells us just before the time that Ishmael is conceived that Hagar's son Ishmael would be a פרא אדם, pere adam, a phrase whose syntax literally means a wild one in the form of a man, although it is typically translated simply as wild man. (Genesis 16:12.)
The Ramban interprets פרא אדם in the following way:
The correct interpretation is that פרא אדם is a construct form meaning that he will be a wild-ass man accustomed to the wilderness going forth to his work, seeking for food, devouring all and being devoured by all. (Ramban: Commentary on the Torah, Vol 1, Genesis, Charles Chavel trans., Shilo Publishing House, New York, 1971, p 214.)
Rabbi Hirsch says that a wildman cannot bear constraint. He who has no constraint, will be contrary to and in everyone's face. We add that constraint here can also be understood as the constraint of reason. Rabbi Hirsch writes
He will quietly take up and maintain his [unreasonable] position in spite of all his brothers. Nobody will be his friend and still nobody will dare to oppose him. (Samson Raphael Hirsch, The Pentateuch, Genesis, Translation and Commentary, Isaac Levy trans., Judaica Press, Ltd, Gatehead 1989, p. 288)
The principal character trait of a wildman is passion and lust. To whatever the wildman does, there is a hot-headed emotional passion and lust. It is natural therefore to check the key word Wildman with the key word Lust and the key word Ishmael with the key word Lust. The first pairing is not statistically significant. For the second pairing we obtain a statistically significant result. With the expected number of ELSs set to 40, the probability that a text from the ELS random placement text population would produce a table as small as that produced by the Torah text is 81.5/10,000.
Rabbi Mandelbaum writes about the wild man.
Onkelos understand this statement to mean that Ishmael will rebel against all mankind. Ibn Ezra adds that Ishmael will be unrestrained among people. The Ramban says that these verses relate to Ishmael's offspring wreaking havoc on everyone, and vica versa. "His shortdescendants will wage war against all the nations," he concludes.
Rabbi Weitzman quotes Rabbi Chaim Vital.
Other nations have always ruled over each other, but not Ishmael, who have always been desert nomads who have no regular contact with others. They are like robbers who go out to rob others and then return to their tents, as it says, "he will be a wild man". (Yechiel Weitzman, The Ishmaelite Exile, Jerusalem Publications, Jerusalem, 2006, p47.)
Targum Onkeos on this verse conveys the same idea. It translates "a wild man" as "one who kills people".
Regarding Ishmael, the Torah further tells us that
His hand would be against every man, and every man's hand against him. And over all his brothers he shall dwell. (Genesis 16:12.)
From this we understand two things. First that wherever the shortdescendants of Ishmael go, they will be troublesome and aggressive. They will start fights and initiate struggles to have power over others. Second that one of the shortdescendants of Ishmael will dominate and have power over the others.
Within the community of Ishmael, and particularly within the Palestinian community, there are a number of organizations qualifying as wildman: killers of people. A survey of the newspaper stories over the last few years tells who they are. They are the PLO, Hamas, and Fatah, all of whom have played roles in terror attacks in Israel.
The PLO was founded in 1964 as a Palestinian nationalist umbrella organization dedicated to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, control devolved to the leadership of the various fedayeen militia groups, the most dominant of which was Yasser Arafat's Al-Fatah. US policy accepts that elements of the PLO have advocated, carried out, or accepted responsibility for acts of terrorism.
Hamas is a radical Islamic fundamentalist organization which became active in the early stages of the intifada, operating primarily in the Gaza District but also in Judea and Samaria. Formed in late 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Various Hamas elements have used both political and violent means, including terrorism, to pursue the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state that would replace Israel. Hamas has conducted many terror attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings, against Israeli civilian and military targets. From Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip in mid-August 2005 until the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip 1,826 missiles were fired into Israeli territory from Gaza. Since the Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in mid-June 2007 through December 2007 428 missiles and 590 mortar bombs have been fired at Sderot and the western Negev (Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
Fatah joined the PLO in 1968 and won the leadership role in 1969. The Fatah maintains several military and intelligence wings that have carried out terrorist attacks, including Force 17, the Hawari Special Operations Group, Tanzim and the Al Aqsa Marytrs Brigade. It has carried out numerous acts of international terrorism in Western Europe and the Middle East in the 1970s. Im the last few years there is direct evidence that it has been responsible for terrorist attacks against Israeli and foreign civilians in Israel.
We therefore pair the key word Wildman, with each of PLO, Hamas, Fatah and Phillistia. Setting the expected number of ELSs to 10 and using our standard protocol, the probability that a text from the ELS random placement text population would have as compact a combined result as the Torah text is 280.5/10,000 using the Haralick Monte Carlo technique.
For another experiment we put all the four terms used in the previous experiment with the term Wildman. In addition we add the term The Arabs. With the expected number of ELSs set to 20, the probability that a table from the ELS random placement text population would have as small a table as that observed in the Torah text is 1.5/10,000.