Parashat Nitzavim starts with the following Pasuk (Devorim 29,11):

"לְעָבְרְךָ בִּבְרִית ה"א וּבְאָלָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר ה"א כֹּרֵת עִמְּךָ הַיּוֹם׃"

to enter into the covenant of the LORD your God, which the LORD your God is concluding with you this day, with its sanctions;

Rashi explains:

"לעברך בברית. דֶּרֶךְ הַעֲבָרָה כָּךְ: הָיוּ כוֹרְתֵי בְרִיתוֹת עוֹשִׂין מְחִצָּה מִכָּאן וּמְחִצָּה מִכָּאן וְעוֹבְרִים בֵּינְתַּיִם, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "הָעֵגֶל אֲשֶׁר כָּרְתוּ לִשְׁנַיִם וַיַּעַבְרוּ בֵּין בְּתָרָיו" (ירמיהו ל"ד):"

The way of “passing” was as follows: those who made a covenant used to make a partition (i.e. used to place objects in a straight line) on one side and a partition on the other and passed between them, as it is said, (Jeremiah 34:18—20) “[And I will give the men which have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me] when they cut the calf in two, and passed between the parts thereof … [into the hands of their enemies]”.

  1. Was this way of making a covenant special to the Jews?

  2. If it wasn't why was it used?

  3. If it was, what was so special about it?

  • I’m tempted to say this wasn’t unique to Jews, since this is strikingly similar to the later versions of serving Molech (the ones that didn’t result in the kid ending up dead). On the other hand, that kind of serving Molech was much later, so maybe they stole it from us. – DonielF Sep 9 '18 at 2:06

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