Saturday, 20 August 2016

Parsha: Equev, "Defining 'Eqev' via the 'Concordance Technique' "

Rashi uses the Concordance Technique  to define some difficult or ambiguous words. A great illustration is the verb "PSCh" as in "Ufasachti alleichem" (Shmoth 12:13) There Rashi offers 2 definitions:
  1. "V'hamal." "Hashem will have mercy." Rashi bases this upon Yeshaya 31:5. It matches the Targum "v'Yeihos"
  2. "V'dileig" based upon Melachim I 18:21. This matches the modern "passover" to skip over or to jump over
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Now for the background of "Eqev."
  • Targum states Halaf meaning "in exchange." 
  • Rashi Midrashically puns: "Those mitzvoth that one tramples with one's heel"
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Although Rashi himself did not choose to use the Concordance Technique here, Rashi frequently offers a subset of the range of "valid" techniques and definitions.

"Eqev" appears in Humash five times:
  1. Eqev asher shama Avraham Beqoli (Breishit 22:18)
  2. Eqev asher shama Avraham b'Kqoli (Breishit 26:5)
  3.  Eqev hayeta Ruch Achereth imo (Bamidbar 14:24)
  4. Appears in Eqev itself, in conjunction with the verb "lishmo'a" totaling four of five instances. (Devarim: 7:12)
  5. Again, in Eqev. (Devarim: 8:20)
Cases 1 and 3 are the key for me. Both involve "nisayyon" IE crisis situation
  1. The Aqeida
  2. This is a generic use of the word "Equev," but since they both refer to Avraham, it is feasible to hook it onto one.
  3. The Meraglim
This means that Eqev may be more precisely understood to mean "Halaf," in exchange for listening/obeying - or for being - "UNDER DURESS."

Now four and five can be understood.
4. "And it shall be when you obey Under Duress (you shall be blessed...)" (Devarim: 7:12)
5. "...and when you fail to obey Under Duress..." (Devarim: 8:20)

And abandon Hashem...

Shalom,

RRW


Parsha: Eqev, "Who Wrote the Second Luchot?"

It always seemed Pashut to me that Moshe carved the second set of luchot and that Hashem wrote on them.

Once, a Rav happened to briefly mention that Moshe wrote the latter set of luchot in his drasha. I found this far-fetched at the time. Today, I find it completely untenable.

Just take a look at the parsha. It seems clear that Hashem wrote on the second set of luchot. (Eqev: 10: 2-4)

Shalom,

RRW

Eqev, Mishnah, Sukkah - Perfect Misunderstanding

The Land Of Israel is Unique:

Dvarim 11:12

A land that the L-rd Your G-d always Seeks

Always Hashem's Eyes are upon her.

Rashi s.v. Tamid to See what she needs and to INNOVATE edicts sometimes for the good and sometimes for the evil.

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The mishnah was developed and redacted in the Land of Israel [EY]

Thus, it is logical and reasonable that the above supposition is a given premise - at least running in the background of the minds of the Tannaim.

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Mishna Sukkah 2:9

When it rains - they made a parable: like a servant who fills the goblet for his master and the master dumps it in his face.

Based upon Rashi, this is a case of a negative Gezeira that HKBH might C"V might create when Israel misbehaves in EY

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Perfect Misunderstanding

That is to assume when it rains in the Golah - such as in North America, that Hashem is altering the weather pattern of the masses to smite the few Jews - say in North America. This may be beyond mis-understanding and approaching hubris that the weather IN THE GOLAH - Sukkos or not - is only Jewis-centric.

This is because the context of this Mishnah has been ignored! And reasonable premises about a Jewish Society are illogically applied in a Gentile Society!

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May we all Merit to sit in the Sukkah in our Holy Land EY bimheira beyameinu

KT

RRW

Eqev: Who Inscribed the Second Luchos?

Originally published 8/5/09, 6:45 pm.

Given:
Hashem both carved and inscribed the First Luchos.
Moshe hewed the Second set of Luchos
Who inscribed this second set?

We have some ambiguities in the text.
We can resolve them by means of the 13th principle of Rabbi Yishma'el: 'Vechein sh'nei ch'suvim  amach'chishim ze es zeh..'

First the conflicting bit:
1. Shnei Ch'suvim:
Shmos 34:1, HKBH writes the Second Luchos: "V'chasavti al halluchos"

2. Sh'mos 34 "K'sav lecha.." Moshe is writing on (luchos? Or something else?)

Although the two do not completely contradict each other, they do seem ambiguous.
This week's Parsha, Eqev, to the rescue!
The scale tipper: Hakkatuv hashlishi:

3. Dvarim Eqev Ch. 10:2-4 "v'echtov al halluchos" where it is clear that HKBH wrote on the 2nd Luchos.
I think this structure is clear. Therefore, in #2, Moshe probably wrote something else or wrote the dibros upon something else, like parchment.

KT,
RRW

Monday, 15 August 2016

Parsha: Va'etchanan, "The Perception of Torah"


How does the world view us?

On the one hand, many see our laws as somewhat odd. Rashi  himself writes, in the beginning of parshat Chukkot, that the nations of the world will mock us. Yet, doesn't Devarim 4:6  declare that the nations of the world will also see us, through our laws, as a "wise and understanding people"? So, which is it?

Should we expect the world to mock or praise us and our observance of mitzvot?

We invite you to look at the following Nishma Spark of the Week for a response to this question.

Shalom,

RBH

Parsha: V'etchanan, "Yashar and Tov"

This week's parsha is Va'etchanan. The topic is the source of ethics, and most specifically,  the terms yashar and tov. In our ethical behaviour, do we search solely for Divine approval? Is there value in human approval? We invite you to look at an article on this topic at Nishma's Online Library.

Shalom,

RBH