Friday, September 16, 2011

posts so far for parshat Ki Tavo

Here is a link to the mobile version of these posts. This will allow you to print each post without worry for the advertisements on the sides.


  1. Ki Tavo sources -- begun in 2008, as links by perek and aliya to the relevant page in an online Mikraos Gedolos. In 2009, revamped,
    by adding a bunch of meforshim on the parashah and haftorah. In 2010, improved further. In 2011, added many more meforshim. For instance, many more meforshei Rashi.
  2. YU Torah on parshas Ki Savo.
  3. Thou shalt not sleep with the fishes -- Considering a derasha from Rav Chaim Kanievsky, about mermaids. Plus my own tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the pasuk.
  4. The Chasam Sofer on Arami oved avi -- A question on Ibn Ezra's peshat, given a midrash on a later part of the pasuk.
  5. For who is able to argue and say this its meaning is אבוד אתה? Well, Onkelos, for one... Further analysis of Mizrachi on Arami Oved Avi, and on עַד אָבְדֶךָ.
  6. Onkelos' rendition of וְעָבַדְתָּ שָּׁם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, עֵץ וָאָבֶן, and its censorship --  Both Rashi and Onkelos diverge from the most literal rendition. Why? Also, why was this Onkelos crossed out by a censor?


  1. Ki Tavo: Is the blessing on hafrashat maaser Biblical? What about on shechitaAccording to the sefer Hilchot Eretz Yisrael, saying the beracha on shechita ismeakev. But this makes little sense if all berachot on mitzvot are a Rabbinic innovation. Apasuk in Ki Tavo, darshened by Sifrei and by a Mishna in Maaser Sheni, and brought by Rashi, might counter this. But I don't think so.
  2. The spelling of ויוציאנו -- Is this a typo in Minchat Kohen, or does he reverse himself?
  3. Bringing the bikkurim to the kohen who exists in those days -- Ramban criticizes Rashi (respect) based on a Sifrei (kashrut), but Rashi is really just restating a different version of the Sifrei. And Ramban's peshat explanation, that it refers to the mishmar of that week, is not as convincing as that of Ibn Ezra, that it holds as long as kohanim are presiding. Though I would suggest something even smoother, that it is part of the future-tense tone.

  1. If you sin too much, will you come back as an unripe fruit? An "interesting" interpretation of bevoecha and betzeitecha, via Revach, about gilgul as unripe fruit. And then a disproof from a gemara in Bava Metzia.
  2. Why is the krei / ketiv of yishkavena / yishgalena not a problem of reading not from the ketav? And an interesting story of someone who insisted it indeed was a problem.
  3. Hayom Hazeh -- these are the words of Moshe. Who else would be speaking? In which the standard interpretation of Ibn Ezra is that it is Moshe, rather than the farmer. But I suggest he means Moshe rather than a later peson issuing the Biblical command to the farmer.
    .oes Arami Oved Avi refer to a wandering / poor Aramean, or to Lavan who sought to destroyThis post deals with an interpretation of Arami Oved Avi by Ibn Ezra and Radak which goes against the classic midrashic interpretation, and the reaction of two supercommentaries of Rashi to this "daring" interpretation. What comes into play is whether Ibn Ezra and Radak can claim to have absolute knowledge of Hebrew to be able to declare the midrashic interpretation to not work out according to the rules of dikduk; and whether one can argue on midrash, as they are doing, if after the midrashic interpretation goes all the way back to Sinai! It could also be that as supercommentators of Rashi, they are simply defending Rashi's interpretation as one of peshat.
  4. .
  5. Arami Oved Avi -- the Karaites have their cake and eat it too! Related to the above. The purpose of this post is to bring forth an interesting explanation I saw in the commentary of Aharon ben Yosef the Karaite. It seems like he wants to have his cake and eat it too. That is, he agrees that אובד is a poel omed, an intransitive verb, and thus means that he was a pauper, as per Ibn Ezra. But at the same time, the Arami is Lavan!
  6. The Rav on Arami Oved Avi in the Haggadah -- Dr. David Segal told me over a peshat he heard from the Rav zt"l, in which Arami Oved Avi as expounded in the haggadah is in line with Ibn Ezra and Radak's insistence that Oved is an intransitive verb. Rabbi Wohlgelenter also heard this from the Rav. The chiddush here is that we would think that the haggadah is understanding it as Lavan, but really, it refers to Yaakov, even in the derasha.


Shadal on Tithes -- and how there is really only one tithe.

A Beautiful Midrash About Kinas Soferim, and about wanting Torah as a cherished inheritance, rather than a weird midrash brought down by Rashi.


Why plaster them with plaster? Well, it would be silly to plaster them with peanut butter. ;) But seriously, to make them long-lasting, for the future.

It's not so odd -- and how choosing God made us into the Am Segulah.

Vaytzav -- An important grammatical form, and how it saps the energy out of a multiple authorship proof.

Bikkurim -- an interesting theme and underlying message.

From parshat Matot, Pinchas the Flying Priest. In the course of this, I mention Arami Oved Avi, and how this is interpreted to be the saga of Bilaam from the time he was Lavan, until when he (Lavan rather than Yaakov) went down to Egypt, and so on and so forth, as Bilaam.


Talk of a Death Cult: Is this being doresh Torah shelo kehalacha? I analyze לֹא-אָכַלְתִּי בְאֹנִי מִמֶּנּוּ and show how each phrase may refer to practices of a death cult, which he is proclaiming that he did not participate in.

In Bowdlerization of Torah I mention the possibility that certain krei and ketiv pairs were formed because the original term changed in connotation and became a crude word.

to be continued...

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