Friday, October 27, 2006

parshat Noach: Nimrod - Saint or Sinner? The Importance of Eating Meat -- Video

One thing I omitted in this post is how Nimrod's name feeds into the midrashim that he was a sinner. THat is, "nimrod" means "let us rebel," and this is the interpretation of his sin given by Tg Yonatan and Rashi, for example.

Bereishit 10:9-9:
ח וְכוּשׁ, יָלַד אֶת-נִמְרֹד; הוּא הֵחֵל, לִהְיוֹת גִּבֹּר בָּאָרֶץ. 8 And Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
ט הוּא-הָיָה גִבֹּר-צַיִד, לִפְנֵי ה; עַל-כֵּן, יֵאָמַר, כְּנִמְרֹד גִּבּוֹר צַיִד, לִפְנֵי ה. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; wherefore it is said: 'Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.'

I focus on different interpretations of "lifnei Hashem" is the pasuk about Nimrod. I discuss a Bereishit Rabbati by Rav Moshe haDarshan that casts Nimrod as a good guy, because he hunted and ate meat. I compare this with midrashim and Targum which casts him as a bad guy for fomenting rebellion against God. And I bring up Ibn Ezra who declares that on a peshat-level, he was a good guy, and "lifnei Hashem" implies that he brought sacrifices to God. I end with a suggestion that perhaps "lifnei Hashem" is a mark of the extremity of his strength.

Plus more. All on the video. (Running time 8 min 30 secs.)

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