Sunday, May 19, 2013

posts so far for parashat Behaalotecha


1. Behaaloscha sources -- even further expanded.

2. YUTorah on the parasha.

3. Why the pasek after the word tameiMidrashically, as well as from a system of trup.

4. Did Avraham call anyone 'My Master' besides HashemAccording to Meshech Chochma, he did not, and so was of the select few to be called an eved Hashem. But it is not so simple, according to Rav Yechezkel Abramsky's son. According to one opinion, Adonay at the start of Vayera is chol. Then, I weigh in with what I think is an even stronger counter-example, עַל-עַבְדְּכֶם.


  1. Behaloshcha sources -- further expanded. For example, many more meforshei Rashi.
  2. 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. This touches on pesukim in Belaalotecha as well.
  3. YU Torah on parashat Behaalotecha.
  4. The psik in נֹסְעִים | אֲנַחְנוּ, and whether gierim had to hoof it -   Birkas Avraham darshens another pesik.
  5. Does the gershayim double the lamed, of gematria 30?  derasha on a gershayim in Behaaloscha, that the doubling of the stroke implies twice, and that it is on a lamed makes for double 30. I disagree with the need, or inclination, todarshen it, and try to explain why a gershayim instead of a geresh. But to each his own. I just discuss this for the sake of completeness.
  6. Two places named Chatzeros --  Rav Chaim Kanievsky considers whether there were two places named Chatzeros, such that the one at the start of Devarim, in Ever Hayarden, is not the same as the one in themasaot, which is the one mentioned in Behaaloscha, where Miriam was punished with leprosy. I consider his words, and use it as a jumping off point. Plus, the Sifrei darshens a Samaritan text!

  1. Behaaloscha sources -- revamped, with more than 100 meforshim on the parasha and haftara.
  2. When you cause to ascend the lamps -- What is bothering Rashi? He explains בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ in a particular way, but is inconsistent elsewhere in explaining לְהַעֲלֹת נֵר תָּמִיד. Meanwhile the derasha is not initially on Behaalotecha. I consider Gur Aryeh, and then differ, and explain my own take on the matter.a
  3. Ibn Caspi and the magic trumpets -- Does Ibn Caspi have an expansive definition of the term dibra Torah kilshon benei Adam which includes falsehood in line with common  misperception? I consider one possible example.a
  4. Take the Levites -- should 'take' have more than null value? According to Rashi and according to Ibn Ezra, why does "take the Levites" mean anything? Can't it be a sort of preparatory verb for the purification found later in the pasuk? An answer, I think.
  5. Why the warlike language when the aron traveledIs the description of what Moshe said when the ark went out and returned really about simple travel in the wilderness? Isn't the warlike topic somewhat tangential? I suggest an answer regarding these moved pesukim.
  6. How the Zohar spells matzos -- How shall we spell מצות here in Behaaloscha? The Zohar seems to indicate that it ischaser, which goes against all known sefarim as well as the masores. But I rescue the Zohar's statement.
  1. Adi"r Bamarom -- an explanation of a masoretic note on parshat Behaalotecha.
  2. Behaalotecha sources -- links by aliyah and perek to an online Mikraos Gedolos, and links to many meforshim on the parshah and haftarah.
  3. Oo as Oh: a reanalysis of Ibn Ezra on ובדרך, discussed last year. I present a translation of Mechokekei Yehuda, and end up agreeing that Ibn Ezra is likely reading the Rambam into the pasuk, and thus it is that he missed Pesach Rishon beshogeg, and now incurs karet if he dismisses Pesach Sheni..
  4. Who was the Kushite woman, and how did she turn black? Relating Ibn Ezra to contemporary science.
  5. Eldad and Medad's prophecy -- translated, and how it relates to the context.
  6. The dot on the heh of rechokah, and how it might relate to the gender ambiguity of the word derech.
  7. Should shatu have the stress on the first or the last syllable? And see the comment section for clarification.
  8. Did the hand of the LORD or the spirit of God rest on Elisha? A discussion of competing nuschaot in a pasuk in Melachim, and whether we should even consider emending in favor of one.
  1. Rabbenu Bachya's position on nikkud and the ambiguity inherent within pesukim -- I cite him in full, and explain why I think Shadal in his Vikuach is mischaracterizing his position. Based on a pasuk in Behaalotecha, וְאִם-כָּכָה אַתְּ-עֹשֶׂה לִּי, where the word את is a kinnui for the Attribute of Judgment
  2. "And is not on a journey" as "Or is not on a journey" -- where when Ibn Ezra says או בדרך he is making either a phonological or a logical point. Shadal faces off against Avi Ezer, and then we have a Karaite supercommentary and finally my own suggestion. It is a difficult Ibn Ezra, all in all. Perhaps I should check out other supercommentaries of Ibn Ezra this year.
  3. "Their prophecy did not cease" -- Was the prophetic gift to Eldad and Medad just temporary, or permanent? I would suggest a third possibility. It means that they were not gathered.
  4. Pesach Sheni, if a convert converts -- should he bring the korban pesach offering immediately, even not in its proper time? I suggest it means that converting in between Pesach Rishon and Sheni, he still brings Pesach Sheni, and this depending on whether the second chag severed from the first. But see inside for details.
  5. "Miracle Grow" -- Did the shemen hamishcha have the effect of making people miraculously grow taller, or is that ridiculous. What is the true intent of the midrash that says that this was a special mark of distinction.
  1. Parsha Punning Puzzle: What feature of Behaalotecha Am I? an easy one, but I was just getting started, IIRC
  2. An Important Grammatical Form -- cross-posted from Ki Tavo. וַתְּדַבֵּר מִרְיָם וְאַהֲרֹן בְּמֹשֶׁה in Bahaaloscha shows that a singular verb can apply to multiple individuals (Miryam and Aharon) and even to people of the opposite gender (Aharon). It all follows the identity of the first person mentioned.
  1. Rashbam's Midrashic Literalism? that Moshe married the queen of Kush.
  2. Why the Repetition of Isha Kushit Lakach? within the open-canon approach, it is saying, "Oh yeah, we didn't mention this earlier, but he married a Kushite woman." And what those following a closed-canon approach do.
  3. Why Was Miriam, and Not Aharon, Punished? Perhaps only Miriam spoke. a grammatical analysis.
  4. Roundup -- What other blogs are saying about the parsha
  5. Why Couldn't the Manna Taste Like X
    1. And what does it mean to say that nursing mothers could not have it? I argue that it does not mean that everyone is restricted because of nursing mothers. And discuss ADDeRabbi's post on the subject.
    2. Then, in Manna Redux, I reexamine the issue after having seen Rashi in the gemara, which sheds light on Rashi in Chumash. And add a bit to the above discussion.
  1. Parsing Moshe's Prayer
    • based on trup. I argue that na in kel na refa na la means different things. Thus, God, please heal now, her. Also, a keri and ketiv at play here, to parallel Aharon's earlier speech.
  2. Who Is The Naar?
    • considering Yehoshua and Gershom as candidates.
  3. "Na" Only Connotes Please
    • What does this phrase mean? Does it mean it can only mean this and not something else, or does it mean that in certain instances for midrashic purpose, we can read the meaning of "please" into it? I argue for the latter, and that others hold this as well. Indeed, no one ever says achila only means eating, because this is obvious. There must be some alternative, or else there is no purpose to the statement.
  1. Chovav As A Witness, or Guide?
    • Moshe asked Chovav to stay to be their eyes. Is this as a witness or a guide? I suggest the latter. Also, was he successful?
  2. Who Was Chovav? Who Was Yisro? And Who Was Moshe's Father-In-Law?
    • Perhaps they are the same person, and perhaps not. I lot hinges on the definition of chotein moshe.
  3. Related to the Above: Another Interesting Cognate from "Hebrew Cognates In Amharic"
    • in that in Amharic, the same Semitic word means both father-in-law and brother-in-law.
  4. No More, No End, Not Gathered
    • Three possible meanings of וְלֹא יָסָפוּ as regards Eldad and Medad.
  5. BeKetuvim (Eldad and Medad)
    • The midrashic derivation of the contents of Eldad and Medad's prophecies. And how either Eldad and Medad, or their prophecies, were recorded in the "ketuvim."
  6. Would You Go Back To Slavery In Egypt For This?
    • Illustrations of the foodstuffs that the Israelites looked back fondly to.
  7. The Manna, On the Other Hand
    • useful to compare to the above.
  8. cross-listed from parshat Chukas: For What Sin Was Moshe Punished?
    • perhaps he was actually commanded to strike the rock, and his sin was in his initial reaction to the people's complaint.
to be continued...

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