Friday, September 04, 2009

posts so far for parshat Ki Tavo


  1. Ki Tavo sources -- improved further.
  2. 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.
  3. The spelling of ויוציאנו -- Is this a typo in Minchat Kohen, or does he reverse himself?
  4. 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. Ki Tavo sources -- revamped; links by perek and aliyah to the parsha in a Mikraos Gedolos, but also a while bunch of meforshim on the parashah and haftorah.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. Does 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.

Ki Savo sources -- links by perek and aliya to the relevant page in an online Mikraos Gedolos.

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.

Adoption in public of required behavior in private -- as a theme in the klalot

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...


Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

>Is this being doresh Torah shelo kehalacha?

Sounds like an idea for a post in its own right.

What does that mean?

joshwaxman said...

you're right. it would be a good post. it is based loosely on the phrase in Sanhedrin 99a and 99b about one who is megaleh panim baTorah shelo kehalacha:

ד"א כי דבר ה' בזה זה אפיקורוס ד"א כי דבר ה' בזה זה המגלה פנים בתורה ואת מצותו הפר זה המפר ברית בשר הכרת תכרת הכרת בעולם הזה תכרת לעולם הבא מכאן אמר רבי אלעזר המודעי המחלל את הקדשים והמבזה את המועדות והמפר בריתו של אברהם אבינו והמגלה פנים בתורה שלא כהלכה והמלבין פני חבירו ברבים אף על פי שיש בידו תורה ומעשים טובים אין לו חלק לעולם הבא

99b discusses:
אפיקורוס: רבי ורבי חנינא אמרי תרוייהו זה המבזה ת"ח רבי יוחנן ור' יהושע בן לוי אמרי זה המבזה חבירו בפני ת"ח בשלמא למ"ד המבזה חבירו בפני ת"ח אפיקורוס הוי מבזה תלמיד חכם עצמו מגלה פנים בתורה שלא כהלכה הוי אלא למ"ד מבזה תלמיד חכם עצמו אפיקורוס הוי מגלה פנים בתורה כגון מאי כגון מנשה בן חזקיה ואיכא דמתני לה אסיפא מגלה פנים בתורה רב ור' חנינא אמרי זה המבזה ת"ח רבי יוחנן וריב"ל אמרי זה המבזה את חבירו בפני תלמיד חכם בשלמא למ"ד המבזה תלמיד חכם עצמו מגלה פנים בתורה הוי מבזה חבירו בפני ת"ח אפיקורוס הוי אלא למ"ד מבזה חבירו בפני תלמיד חכם מגלה פנים בתורה הוי אפיקורוס כגון מאן אמר רב יוסף כגון הני דאמרי מאי אהנו לן רבנן לדידהו קרו לדידהו תנו אמר ליה אביי האי מגלה פנים בתורה נמי הוא דכתיב (ירמיהו לג) אם לא בריתי יומם ולילה חקות שמים וארץ לא שמתי אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק מהכא נמי שמע מינה שנאמר (בראשית יח) ונשאתי לכל המקום בעבורם אלא כגון דיתיב קמיה רביה ונפלה ליה שמעתא בדוכתא אחריתי ואמר הכי אמרינן התם ולא אמר הכי אמר מר רבא אמר כגון הני דבי בנימין אסיא דאמרי מאי אהני לן רבנן מעולם

but if i recall correctly, I have seen elsewhere what is given as an example elsewhere is a derasha such as we see in Megillah 25a:
ומזרעך לא תתן להעביר למולך לא תתן לאעברא בארמיותא משתקין אותו בנזיפה

in Bartenura. See this website that gives this as an example.

והמגלה פנים בתורה - שמראה פנים ופירושים בתורה שלא כהלכה, כגון שמתרגם "ומזרעך לא תתן להעביר למולך" [ויקרא יח כא] "ומזרעך לא תתן לאעברא לארמיותא" [להכניס לא יהודיה להריון]. ואין זה פשוטו של מקרא. ובכלל זה הדורש דרשות של דופי.

The question to be considered according to this interpretation is: is this a problem only when trying to derive actual halacha falsely, or even otherwise? in the context of lectures, or otherwise?

the case of intermarriage was an actual derasha from the school of rabbi eleazar. but what about derashot permitting homosexuality on the basis of a "novel" understanding of the pasuk and the meaning of "as with a woman?"

I was always amused that Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld chose specific pasuk of molech to be doresh a prohibition on secular schools, which were anti-religious, and more amused when "The Midrash Says" picked up on it and expanded it to prohibit all colleges (which is not necessarily the historical context to which R' Sonnenfeld was referring) in a lengthy note at the end of parshat Tazria. I always wondered if this is a classic case of megaleh panim baTorah shelo kehalacha.

It also is a good question where Karaite interpretation fits in, or even Ibn Ezra, Rashbam, or Shadal. What about Rashi where he chooses the interpretation which we don't pasken like because it is closer to peshat? In other words, where does parshanut fit in? The prominent YU rosh yeshiva in question labelled what I did as "shelo kehalacha" because I said that this was the meaning of these verses by bikurim only on a midrashic, and thus halachic level, but on a peshat level it need not necessarily be so. Interpretations of "ain mikra yotzei midei peshuto" also factored in.

Don't know if I have any more to add, but I could expand on it perhaps, to make it a post at some point in time.


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