- Chayei Sarah sources -- further improved and expanded.
- Was Sarah buried in the *Valley* of Chevron? A variant text in the beginning of parashat Chayei Sarah, present in the Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch. And why I believe the masoretic text to be better.
- Was Sarah Imeinu evil and ugly at age 101? I don't think so. Therefore, a potential deeper meaning in the famous midrash.
- Why was it called Kiryat Arba? I believe that what drives Rashi is first peshat and second derash. But there are complications, in the form of an explicit pasuk which seems to contradict Rashi's peshat.
- Avraham Avinu's deceased daughter -- In which I discover a Chasam Sofer which deduces a neo-midrash I came up with myself.
- Does Rashi change the number of miracles? No, he doesn't. But I like the methodology. A response to a DovBear post.
- Proving Rivkah's Virtue -- A fascinating midrash, in which Rivkah proves that she did not have relations with Eliezer on the way.
- Sated, or Sated with years? A little more information, to make a more informed decision of the
merits of the Masoretic text vs. the Samaritan text, on whether it is
'sated' or 'sated with years'. A response to a DovBear post. But I misidentified the Peshitta text, due to a mixup. What appears in that post is NOT Peshitta.
- Rav Moshe Feinstein on Avraham's deceased daughter -- On previous occasions, I have discussed the midrash on Avraham Avinu's
deceased daughter. Now, I present Rav Moshe Feinstein's take inside, and
analyze it a little bit.
- The meaning of יִפֹּל מִצִּדְּךָ אֶלֶף -- In which I encounter a novel peshat in davening, but still prefer my own.
- Chayei Sarah sources -- links by aliyah and perek to an online Mikraos Gedolos, plus links to more than 100 meforshim on the parsha and haftorah.
- Should there be a pasek between Nesi Elohim and Ata? The vast majority of precise manuscripts don't have it. Though Minchas Shai endorses it, I explain why I would not.
- The evolution of a derash -- how Midrash Rabba makes no mention of a krei / ketiv, but probably darshens Eliezer's hope for his daughter's marriage to Yitzchak from a different textual feature. Then, how Rashi and Yalkut Shimoni handle it. And then, what do we make of the derasha being of Eliezer's retelling, rather than the original narrative.
- Is it written Pilgashim or Pilagsham? A derasha based on deficient spelling, but we don't have this deficient spelling!
- If she was a virgin, isn't it obvious that no man had known her?! How different pashtanim deal with this duplication. Rashi, Rashbam, and even Ibn Ezra make something of the duplication, but I side with Ibn Caspi who says that the duplication is a linguistic feature, and should not connote anything on the level of peshat. And my own novel explanation of why veIsh lo yedaah was necessary. Which I now see was not so novel, unfortunately.
- Why did Eliezer run after Rivkah? According to Rashi and Ibn Caspi, and what this might demonstrate about their methodologies. I associate it with an even earlier pasuk than Rashi and Ibn Caspi do; and then I note the more general phenomenon of running in the perek, and attempt to explain that as well.
- The order of presents and inquiring after Rivkah's family -- and how different pashtanim (Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Ibn Caspi) handle it.
- To whom does Avraham bow? The midrash modifying this might be going on different pesukim. If on a particular pasuk, then Ibn Ezra and Rashbam are arguing with Chazal, while Ibn Caspi supports them as a matter of peshat. And how this relates to Eliezer bowing down on hearing good news.
- Yeridas HaDoros, and whether Avraham muzzled his camels -- Rashi says yes, and Ramban says no. Also, how this relates to the donkey of Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair.
- Chayyei Sarah Sources -- links to an online mikraos gedolos, by aliyah and perek.
- Rivkah's Age, Once Again, And Apikorses -- talking about an article by Rabbi Avi Billet, and the reaction of some. And then my own take on the issue of Rivkah's age (3 vs. 14), and why it is or is not plausible or readable into the Biblical text, as a summary of several parshablog posts on the subject.
- As a followup to the above, an analysis of the Rashis about Rivkah's age at marriage, and at what age they began to try to have kids. And how it may arise from various textual cues.
- Rashi and Women's Empowerment? An analysis of the Rashi on the statement that they asked Rivkah, and why Rashi might have changed the text from marrying off an orphaness to marrying off a woman.
- Did Sarah did from the shock or from the kiss? A harmonization of the two mechanisms of Sarah's death, and why I don't like that harmonization.
- The Servant Becomes A Man
- Why the shift from the servant to the man? I would posit changing roles in the story, or to convey how they did not know who he was.
- Can We Argue That Rivkah Was Not Three Years Old?
- Of course. And several meforshim do. How Rabbenu Bachya is motivated by some of DovBear's concerns, and is willing to see derash as just one possible perush.
- Does The Torah Calling Rivkah a Naarah Mean That She Cannot Be Three?
- Not necessarily, as a matter of peshat.
- The Benei Chet: Good For Purchasing Burial Plots From, But No Good For A Shidduch
- But why?
- Did Eliezer Make The Camels Kneel?
- Or did he "park" them by a breicha?
- How Do We Know Eliezer Had Kefitzat HaDerech?
- Because Rashi tells us so! Also, how it is derived from various local pesukim.
- The Gematria of Ephron
- Based on the commentary of the Baal HaTurim. And what it means.
- A Three Year Old Rivkah -- Plausible? Obscene?
- I discuss plausibility of a three year old marrying, and of a three year old able to carry a heavy water pitcher. Also, whether a three year old could carry on such a conversation with Eliezer. Also, would this be obscene? Note that Rashi says the actual consummation of marriage was years later. Plus more.
- Use of Time-of-Day To Convey Drama and Mood
- in Vayera, in Chayyei Sara, and in Rut. I think in Chayyei Sarah it adds to the drama of the romantic meeting of Yitzchak and Rivka.
- The Account of Betuel's Death By Poision, part i
- What apparent problem in the text does this midrash solve? What is the textual basis for the resolution? How does this midrash fit in with the overall theme of the parsha?
- The Account of Betuel's Death By Poison, part ii
- The same midrash, but with a different spin, as it occurs in Bereishit Rabbati from Rav Moshe haDarshan. In terms of a different poisoner (Lavan) and a different, fairly positive, motivation for the attempted poisoning.
- The Sons of Keturah
- I argue that, on a peshat level Avraham married Keturah well before Sarah's death. I just discovered Shadal says the same thing, though not using my reasoning.
- The Sons of Keturah Followup
- I consider the idea that Avraham married Keturah after Sarah's death, and discuss why it is somewhat plausible.
- Two Questions On Parshat Chayyei Sarah
- And one on Toldot. It's a joke.
- The Pluperfect יֹשֵׁב a
- Relevant to parshat Vayera and Chayyei Sara, we compare three instances of the verb יֹשֵׁב written deficiently, and show how midrash treats them the same and differently.
- Proof of Gilgul
- It's a joke
- Why a shalshelet?
- An explanation based on the science of trup.
- Was the Servant of Avraham Eliezer?
- An analysis of the identification of Eliezer with the servant of Avraham. Most obviously, Chazal's closed canon approach. But even on a peshat level, we show a reason to equate the two. Why would the Torah not mention it, if so. From the perspective of literature, other people in this narrative are deliberately not mentioned by name - Rivka, Lavan, Betuel - even though their names are known from elsewhere - and this for deliberate literary effect. Compare with the story of Moshe being born and placed in the Nile, where proper names are also deliberately omitted.
- לוֹ, לוּ, לֹא אֲדֹנִי שְׁמָעֵנִי - part 1
- Aleph and Vav are matres lectiones, "mothers of reading," and in reality can and do fill many vowel roles. What different perspective of the interaction between Efron and Avraham do we get it we revocalize all the above as לוּ and change the locations of pasuk break to always give us לוּ אֲדֹנִי שְׁמָעֵנִי?
- לוֹ, לוּ, לֹא אֲדֹנִי שְׁמָעֵנִי - part 2 (2004)
- Further thoughts and developments on the same subject. Plus what Tg Yonatan does with this.
- A joke which matches well with the two aforementioned divrei Torah.
- Sarah's Daughter
- The derivation of a midrash that states that Sarah had a daughter who died on the same day that Sarah died.
to be continued...