Friday, January 29, 2010

posts so far for parshat Beshalach

  1. Beshalach sources -- more than 100 meforshim on the parsha and haftarah, organized by topic.
  2. Feeding the birds on Shabbos Shirah.
  3. Was it the Egyptians or the Israelites on the seashoreTwo parses of the pasuk וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-מִצְרַיִם מֵת עַל-שְׂפַת הַיָּם? The traditional one is that the Egyptians were dead on the seashore. Rashbam and Ibn Ezra differ from Rashi and the midrash, and claim that the Israelites were standing on the seashore when they saw the Egyptians dead. I side with Rashi and Shadal, in the traditional explanation. Also, does the trup indicate anything in this regard?
  4. How could it say "lest" the nation repentTouching on Bechira vs. Omniscience, what is meant by the opening of Beshalach, thatpen the nation see war and return to Egypt? Ibn Ezra vs. Ibn Caspi.
  5. Two rights -- Considering a Rashi and Mechilta about two right hands.
  6. The zakef on mikkedash -- Rashi interprets the the zakef on the word מקדש in the Shirat Hayam, and is absolutely correct. Plus, considering what some supercommentators say.
  7. Twisting a pasuk, to make it accord with the scientific fact of spontaneous generation -- A Mechilta, Rashi, and Ramban, all believe in spontaneous generation, and therefore grapple to understand a pasuk which seems to contradict it. This is unsurprising, since spontaneous generation was accepted as scientific fact until the recent past.

  1. Beshalach sources -- links to an online Mikraos Gedolos, by perek and aliyah, as well as to a vast array of meforshim on the parshah and haftarah. Great for preparing the parsha.
  2. Beshalach commentary, first pass, pt i -- an experimental format of running commentary on a sequence of psukim.
  3. Is the command not to leave one's place intended leDoros? Ramban vs. Rambam, and my own reading of the pesukim into the Ramban, on a peshat level.
  4. The dangers of mispredicting the ketz -- where according to Tg Yonatan, some Israelites mispredicted the ketz and left 30 years too early. Hashem took the present Israelites in a circuitous route so that they would not encounter the results of that war and be discouraged. As I conclude there:

    This is certainly the case for me, in that knowledge of previous failed messianic attempts and predictions, and their repercussions (physical and theological), stands to caution me about present messianic attempts. It does not help, of course, when I see that their prooftexts are often extremely kvetched and go against the meaning in context. And perhaps that is one of the reasons I often take stands against thisketz-ism which is so prevalent today.

  5. Followup to mispredicting the ketz -- Addressing the question of why exactly the Bnei Ephraim left 30 years early, according to some midrashim. I claim it would be based on misunderstanding a pasuk. But would the ancient Israelites have such a pasuk to misinterpret? I address that as well.
  6. After you, or after them? A derash in Chizkuni, based on neermu mayim in Beshalach and a seemingly different pasuk than we have in parshat Ekev.
  1. Why did Yosef adjure the descendants? Trying to explain Rashi's motivation, and how Bnei Yisrael means the children of Israel rather than the children of Yaakov.
  2. In his discussion on the age of trup, Shadal notes how the Mechilta reads the word in shirat haYam as nod rather than ned, and discusses what this may mean.
  3. When Moshe says "Hu Asher Dibber Hashem," is this something already known, or some new and surprising information? cross-listed from parshat Shemini.
  1. Beshalach and the Weak Fa -- explaining the first Ibn Ezra on the parsha. He is not talking about the letter feh but rather the "weak fa," a grammatical feature in Arabic, with a parallel in the vav here.
  2. The Sanctuary, O Lord [which] Your Hands Founded -- and how the trup on the word mikdash removes an ambiguity and bolsters the Biblical parallelism.
  3. Is VaEd In Hashem Yimloch LeOlam Vaed Spelled With a Patach or A Kamatz? No, and I don't think Rashi had it so either. (And against some who read this into Rashi.)
  4. Parshat HaMan -- there is a spreading practice to say it specifically on Tuesday of parshat Beshalach. Here is a post detailing the reasons why specifically this day. And here is a post regarding my flippancy in that other post, and the difference between internalizing the message of parshat haman on the one hand, and saying it as a magical formula or incantation on the other. I mention the practice as well in 2008 in a post about Tu BeShvat seders, and that post contains a link to the (Artscroll) text.
  5. Tu BeShvat Seders -- Why I oppose them (2007) and Why I *really* oppose them (2008)
  1. Midrashic Literalism: 180 Billion in Egypt?! A Response -- A response to an article on midrashic literalism. One portion of this is an analysis of chamushim who left Egypt.
  2. עָזִּי vs. עֻזִּי in actual practice -- As was leined in my shul. Heh.
  3. Az Yashir: Use of the Imperfect to Designate Desire -- Moshe will sing in the future. So stated a midrash. How are we to understand this construction on a peshat level? Parallels to English "will." Also, an analysis of עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת קָהּ, וַיְהִי-לִי לִישׁוּעָה. Plus a great comment.
  4. Issi ben Yehuda's Five as Disambiguated by Trup -- Cross-listed from Vayigash/Vayechi. Issi ben Yehuda gives five pesukim that are ambiguous in that they can be parsed in one of two ways. Yet trup is a logical and syntactic system of division within pesukim, and can thus disambiguate, choosing one of the two parsings. We go through each example, and one example is a pasuk from parshat Beshalach: Is Moshe saying that Yehoshua will go out to fight Amalek on the morrow, or is he saying that Moshe will stand on the top of the hill on the morrow?
  1. Puns in the Parsha -- about the word nacham, though not the joke that poor Nachum was the only one not to leave Egypt.
  2. `ain muqdam um`uchar baTorah -- in Shirat haYam, and elsewhere. Why? What else can we say?
  3. Write it in the book. Which Book? After Yehoshua's victory over Amalek, Moshe is told to write something in the book. Which book? Some suggestions.
  1. Beshalach Trivia -- Two groaners. Plus a relatively unknown, and positive spin on the chamushim with which the Israelites left Egypt, from Targum Yonatan.
  2. Each According to His Appetite/Number of Eaters: Rashi's Commentary on Exodus 16:17--  An 20-page paper I wrote for a Revel class, "Rashi as an Exegete," analyzing a particular Rashi and how it connects to, and deviates from, its midrashic basis.
BTW, the filename of the image reveals what relevance it has to the parsha. ;)
to be continued...

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