Sunday, March 15, 2009

Yom Iyyun At YU for Birkat HaChamma

Received via mailing list, with more info towards the bottom:

Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future and the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary present

A Special Arbesfeld Yom Rishon Yom Iyun


Multi-Media Presentation On The Blessing Of The Sun

with Rabbi J. David Bleich, Rosh Yeshiva, RIETS and Author, Bircas HaChammah

Additional Presentation by Rabbi David Pahmer, Shoel U’Meshiv, RIETS

Opening Remarks by Rabbi Yona Reiss, Max and Marion Grill Dean, RIETS

Sunday, March 15th • 9:30am

Furst Hall Room 501 (500 W 185th St)

Open to Men and Women

Complimentary Parking and Refreshments


And the following info from the YU website:

On Sunday, March 15, Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future and the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary will present a special multi-media presentation on the subject of Bircas Hachammah from RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi J. David Bleich, author of the seminal work of the same name published by Artscroll. Assisting Rabbi Bleich with the presentation will be Rabbi David Pahmer, RIETS Sho’el Umeishiv, and words of introduction will be given by Rabbi Yona Reiss, the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS. The Bircas Hachammah is the blessing made on the sun to mark the fact is in the same place it was at the time of the creation of the world. This astrological event happens once every 28 years, one of the rarest brachot Jews recite on a regular basis. The program is open to men and women, and is free of charge. No registration is required, and complimentary parking and refreshments are available. The entire program will take place in Furst Hall Room 501, 500 West 185th St on the corner of Amsterdam Ave, on the Wilf Campus in Washington Heights, NY, and will start at 9:30am.


Anonymous said...

What is the diffrence between Chamah and Shemesh meaning when does the torah say one and when does the torah use the other? Any Mareh Makom or answer would be apprecialted.

joshwaxman said...

an interesting question. I think you can divide it into two questions: what is the story in Biblical Hebrew, and what is the story in Babylonian Aramaic.

As far as I could tell with a quick search, Chama appears in about 3 places in Tanach, once in Iyyov (always strange language) and twice in Yeshaya. My first impression is that Shemesh occurs much more often, and is of a kind with Yareach. Meanwhile, Chama, where it occurs, would be with Levana. Maybe an arcane word, borrowed from the Aramaic?

In terms of Babylonian Aramaic, both Shimsha and Chamta occur. From memory, my impression is that Chama is more common (134 times vs 19 times). But perhaps we can make a differentiation in usage between sunlight and the sun itself? Not always, though.

I think both occur in both languages, with different distributions, and I don't think a derasha based on the difference between them would necessarily be correct.

But as you can clearly see, this is all very off the cuff.


Anonymous said...

I was told after asking around a Bit that the Malbim or Reb Hirsch may talk about it in there Dictionaries and the person told me a DRUSH about Levana and Yerach I cant remember it from someone that Impressed I forget who. and the Ramban clearly states that Hebrew has no words that mean the same thing without at least a Nuance off difference (I HAVE A SNEAKING SUSPICION YOU DISAGREE) so Hopefully somne can lead me in the right direction MAREH MOKOM Wise so PUK CHAZI
Thanks for answering the question

joshwaxman said...

your sneaking suspicion is more than justified (though I've heard of those claims and believe that they held this); this was a matter of dispute between pashtanim such as Ramban and pashtanim like Ibn Ezra, who held of the principle of kefel lashon.

I would maintain this especially where the words in question appear in disparate time periods in Tanach. (Shemesh seeming to appear early, in early books and in place names.)

Rav Hirsch, IMHO, does have one or two aspects of accuracy, but is mostly nonsense - a modern theory which I don't think is born out.

Clark's Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew, based of Rav Shamshon ben Refael Hirsch, has on page 265 an entry for shemesh:
serve: use as intended
explanation/commentary: 1) serving (refers to Devarim 4:19 and Tehillim 19:5). 2) sun, serving God's purpose (refers to Bereshit 19:23 and Shemot 32:25). 3) window, opening to the sun (refers to Yeshaya 54:12).
cognate meaning: serve. (phonetic cognates שמץ, lack will.)

Wait for chama, of chamam.


joshwaxman said...

on page 82, Chamam:

glow, project extreme heat.
explanation/commentary: 1) being glowing hot (refers to Shemot 16:21). 2) exhibiting sexual heat (refers to Bereishit 6:10 and Bereishit 9:27). 3) Glowing anger (Bereishit 27:44 and 49:7). 4) sun (Tehillim 19:7). 5) sun-idol (Vayikra 26:30).

gradational variant: chamam: glow; chamah: protect; chom: darken; ycham: warm.

cognate meaning: develop by agitation [phonetic cognates: hamam: ferment; `amam: be dependent; 'amam: develop]



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