1. Did Chazal know the meaning of Hebrew words? Given a Tannaitic dispute about the respective meaning of chartzan and zag, some Protestant scholar says no. Shadal says yes, and explains how something so basic can be a matter of dispute. Also, that Targum Onkelos is merely attributed to Onkelos.
- Naso sources -- further expanded. For example, many more meforshei Rashi.
- Impure to the bone? Part ii. Continuing a topic from last year on parshat Naso, about whether לטמי means bone or impure, and whether דאינשא should be present.
- YU Torah on parashat Naso.
- How shall we pronounce the first וּבָאוּ in parashat Naso? Is it mile'eil or mi'le-ra? I weigh in, considering the meaning of Minchas Shai.
- An explanation for that cryptic Minchas Shai on ובאו -- If marking a telisha on the place of stress is so rare, why does Minchas Shai note its absence? This on Naso.
- Naso sources -- revamped, with more than 100 meforshim on the parasha and haftara.
- If a man does not have a redeemer -- Why is Rashi inconsistent in his explanation of this phrase, between Naso and Behar?
- Sotah, and Identical Twin Sisters -- A statement about identical twin sisters, one of whom is a Sotah, seems oddly out of place. It is a taus sofer, as several meforshei Rashi explain? This is quite plausible. On the other hand, I give a reason why it might well not be, at least not in its entirety.
- Impure to the bone, or just Impure? Rashi explains Onkelos, who deviates from his usual manner and explains tamei lenefesh as tamei to the bones of a dead person. This sort of expansion is quite irregular. But maybe Rashi isn't really saying this. And even if Rashi says this, this may not be what Onkelos says, or what Onkelos means, as Shadal explains.
- Ibn Kaspi and the (poisonous?) bitter waters -- Ibn Kaspi, perhaps, sheds light on the Ibn Ezra I discussed last year, that the kohen put poisonous bitter herbs into the water.
- Naso sources -- links by aliyah and perek to an online Mikraos Gedolos, and links to many meforshim on the parshah and haftarah.
- Thanks, DovBear, for the link and discussion! Check out this post and the comment section there, all about 2008's post on The Nature of the "Bitter" Waters. What precisely in Ibn Ezra's comment make Shadal and Avi Ezer draw their conclusions about Ibn Ezra's intent?
- As a followup to the above, in "Poisonous Sota Water?!", I carefully translate and parse Ibn Ezra and Avi Ezer, in an attempt to demonstrate exactly what Shadal saw in Ibn Ezra. Then, I relate another supercommentary on Ibn Ezra, namely Mechokekei Yehudah, and show how he says more or less the same thing -- that the kohen puts a potentially harmful agent in the water -- while disagreeing with Shadal's take on Ibn Ezra that it was always fatal and up to the kohen to decide whether to put it in.
- Then, as an additional followup, some more takes on Ibn Ezra's "sod" of the bitter waters (or waters of bitter substances), from another Ibn Ezra supercommentator, from a Karaite, and from Torah Temimah.
- The bitter waters operating with gender equality -- Baal Haturim's supplemental support to a midrash of it affecting both adulteress and adulterer, and whether the gematria is really the mechanism of derivation here.
- Amen | Amen; is the pasek meaningful as the Baal Haturim takes it, or is it something almost mechanical as a result of the duplication, which was anyway the source for the midrashic conclusion?
- Yaer Hashem as a revival of Yitzchak? The Baal Haturim connects this part of the famous priestly blessing to a midrash in Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer which has Yitzchak actually die at the akeida only to be resurrected.
- In the haftarah, questions about chronology. At what point were Shimshon's parents told about his birth? Was it during the forty year subjugation under the Philistines, or before it? And how the "missing" first pasuk might help resolve this.
- How can you have a nazir who runs after women? Ralbag resolves this by relating the two, that this is supposed to offset and restrict Shimshon's nature.
- Who spoke to Manoach and his wife? An angel or prophet? Ralbag interprets this as prophet, in a way that can have repercussions across Tanach.
- How is the birth of Shimshon connected to parashat Naso? Besides the obvious nazir connection. That Manoach did not suspect his wife of adultery.
- may be reversed. Trup charts and discussion to illustrate.
- Understanding Rashi on this pasuk, which may involve getting the correct girsa of Rashi. And an analysis of Sifsei Chachamim's analysis.
- Is this saying that she was secretly defiled? That there was a separate action of seclusion?
- Does this refer to rape? Or to her being caught in the act? If the latter, by whom? By witnesses or by her husband?
- Were they merely bitter in (potential) effect? Or were they physically bitter? Or were they poisonous? And if poisonous, was this due to trickery of the kohen who made a private determination that she was guilty -- thus eliminating any Divine role in any of this? Is this similar to trickery in how the ketores saved the people in the mageifa? How will Avi Ezer try to save Ibn Ezra from this heresy? How will Shadal reject this Ibn Ezra as a matter of peshat?
- a weird theory, I grant you, but read it to see if it makes any sense
- In which I critique a homiletic interpretation of a gemara relating to nazir, then discuss whether it is legitimate to critique homily. Finally, I find a version of the devar Torah, attributed to the same source, which better (though not entirely) accords with the shakla veTarya of the gemara.
- As a quick followup, the Seforno on the relevant pasuk in Naso.
- Understanding Rashi's grammatical point that the segol in the word pera is only there because it is the construct form. Even in absolute form it would remain the same. Shadal notes a variant girsa of Rashi which has him potentially referring to the patach, but even so, Rashi is not correct. I suggest that Rashi differs as to the pattern in play, and is working off the form as it appears in Aramaic, in Targum Onkelos.
- A discussion of what Rashi means in his assessment of the word -- prickly rather than causing curse (the latter is Onkelos); then as it occurs in the Samaritan Targum and in Targum Pseudo-Yonatan, discerning.
- A midrash, and my expansion, on why converts are great. And I link it to Shavuot.
- Naso roundup from other blogs
- Healed at Sinai (Naso/Shavuot)
- A midrash that all were healed in order to receive the Torah. We look at the derivations, then suggest a vector for the genesis and development of the midrash.
- Na Only Connotes Please
- cross-listed from Behaalotecha. We consider the meaning of X only connotes Y, and cite in part a midrash in Bamidbar Rabba about Shimshon.
- A Hair-Raising Experience
- eh. I tried to make a link from a nazir's consecrated hair, burned on the altar, with the Indian hair wigs.
- C++ code to count the sons of Gershon.
to be continued...