Thursday, July 22, 2010

Posts so far for parshat vaEtchanan


  1. vaEtchanan sources -- revamped, with more than 100 meforshim on the parasha and haftorah.
  2. Elohim as kodesh or chol -- Did Elohim assay to take out a nation? Rashi diverts from Targum Onkelos in claiming that this is chol. What might spark this? Also, how Ibn Ezra and Ibn Caspi differ. (See also this 2008 post.)
  3. The masorah regarding the spelling of mezuzot -- Since the word ha-mezuzot appears in parshat Bo, Minchas Shai discusses the issue of the spelling of mezuzot in VaEtchanan and in general. There is a Rashi in VaEtchanan which darshens the word against the masoretic spelling. And this is one example of divergence among many? How can we deal with this? Shall we harmonize it, or leave it alone? I explain why I think the text indeed diverges.

  1. VaEtchanan sources -- links by perek and aliyah to an online mikraos gedolos, and links to a large number of meforshim on the parsha and haftara.
  2. The masorah about the bald field and ox.
  3. The makef vs. the requirement not to run words together in Shema.
  4. Was Mizrachi a flat earther? It would seem so, in which case he would join the ranks of the Vilna Gaon (perhaps) and the Shevus Yaakov. It also might well be the case that the underlying gemara in Chagiga also reveals Chazal (or some of them) to have believed in a flat earth. And this ties into the whole question of whether Chazal (or even later authorities) can err in science; and also, whether disregarding the science of our times in favor of the position of Chazal, or what we perceive to be Chazal, is a brilliant idea.
  5. How does keeping the mitzvot make us a wise and discerning nation? A nice devar Torah in Avi Ezer's supercommentary on Ibn Ezra.
  6. The parsing of Temunat Kol -- depending on whether the phrase continues on or not.
  7. Is is ve'etchanan or va'etchanan? Compensatory lengthening of the patach.

  1. In this excerpt from Shadal's Vikuach, Shadal discusses Rabbenu Bachya's discussion about revocalization, where one pasuk under discussion is in vaEtchanan.
  2. Bal Tigra and Bal Tosif, because law codes devolve. It is Shadal's idea of gradual mutation from a good set of laws to a bad one, and that this happened to gentile law codes.
  3. A Tale of Two Elokims -- Is Elohim holy or profane, in these two instances in vaetchanan?
In Hear O Israel, I discuss the midrash that the beginning of Shema was a discussion between Yaakov and his sons.
When Did Moshe Pray?, I consider the meaning of בָּעֵת הַהִוא and attempt to show that it implies two events co-occurring rather than happening sequentially. In a post in 2005 about the Chronology of Yehuda's Marriage, I make a related point.
2003 (summaries taken from this roundup)
Parshat VeEtchanan - The significance of Nachamu I examine an appropriate story from the second perek of yerushalmi brachot, about the destruction of the bet hamikdash and the birth of the mashiach, and show how Nachamu consoles. :)

VeEtchanan - Nachamu: Every Valley Shall Be Lifted Up I examine the verse about each valley being lifted up from the perspective of Ibn Ezra and Chazal, but then turn to a yerushalmi in the 8th perek of eruvin and show how this messianic prophecy about the end of days plays a concrete role in a dispute about eruvs between Rabbi Yochanan and Resh Lakish.

Nachamu Parsing Issue I pull apart the third verse of the haftara. I could probably do a better job at it now with a trup chart like I had in the recent past - as it is it is somewhat difficult to follow. A picture is sometimes worth 1000 words, so I'll put the chart on my To Do List.

Then, in 
Proof by contradiction in the thought of Chazal, I return to that yerushalmi in the 8th perek in eruvin, and show how a method of proof called Proof by Contradiction seems to be employed in that gemara. It is axiomatic that a public domain must exist for there to be a Biblical prohibition of transfer from one domain to another to exist. Rabbi Yochanan attempts to prove another law by demonstrating that if one assumes the opposite you arrive at an absurdity and falsehood.

to be continued...

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