Friday, October 30, 2009

Posts so far for parshat Lech Lecha

  1. Lech Lecha sources -- by perek and aliyah in a Mikraos Gedolos, plus more than 100 meforshim on the parsha and haftorah.

  2. His journey(s) -- when the masorah opposes the Zohar. Ohr Torah has a somewhat dubious resolution (IMHO) in which the Zohar darshens the text as if it was written chaser. I think it is a genuine machlokes.

  3. How many words are Kedarlaomer? The masorah vs. the gemara. Once again, Ohr Torah has a resolution. And once again, I lean towards thinking that there is a genuine machlokes here.

  4. Did Rashi darshen a non-existent chaser? Minchas Shai has a pretty strong answer, that this is not the correct girsa of Rashi. Quite plausible, though I am not entirely convinced.

  1. Lech Lecha sources -- by perek and aliyah, in an online Mikraos Gedolos.

  2. The Duplication in Sarah-As-Sister stories -- because this was a standing practice, in many places they went, including a great many that passed without incident.

  3. Brit Milah as Adopted, Adapted, and Directed Practice Taken from the Egyptians -- Shadal addresses the question that if the Egyptians also practice circumcision, how can it be a sign / covenant for the Israelites? And also deals with a Pheonician myth about Cronus and Uranus, child sacrifice and circumcision, and says this developed from the story about Avraham and Yitzchak.

  4. As a followup to this 2004 post on vehakenaani az baaretz, this 2008 post about Avraham pursuing as far as Dan, when the area of Dan was not named this until sefer Shofetim. Shadal rejects the idea that this a later addition to chumash; rather, this was another place called Dan. This same concern likely motivates Rashi to say that it was called this via ruach hakodesh.

  5. What was the name of Lot's wife? And why should we care? First, various answers as to her name. Where does it come from? Is it an extra-Biblical tradition, derived via midrashic methods from the Biblical text, made up in order to convey some message, or to put more focus on a previously minor character? I trace through various sources which discuss her name. Also, whether Lot's wife really turned into a pillar of salt.

    This last one really is rooted in Vayera, but Lot's decision to move to Sodom in the first place takes place in Lech Lecha, and comes into play here.
  • "And I Will Make Your Name Great"
    • What is meant by "name?" Explores possibility that it literally means making the name larger by adding the letter heh, and the implications of that interpretation. On a pshat level, it most likely means "renown." Turn to another example, by yibum, where it means "title" to land/inheritance, proved by evidence internal to the text (Rut names her son Oved) and via lexical comparison to a similar phrase by Ephraim and Menashe. Discuss the idea of ain mikra yotzei midei peshuto, and how a gezera shava here uproots the pshat meaning entirely, with an eye to the meaning of the statement in general. Finally, apply this meaning of "name" to a pasuk in Haazinu.
  • Avraham's Sacrifice
    • Explores when the command to leave his homeland was made, and why the poetic repetition. Compare with the command to bind Yitzchak, and we see Biblical poetry and repetition used to highlight the drama and the difficulty of the request.
  • Is the Code of Hammurabi the Dina Demalchuta of Avraham?
    • Cross-listed for Vayera, this begins in parshat Lech Lecha.
      If so, a way in which Avraham kept the Torah, or the Torah of Shem and Ever. Yet the incident in which Sarah offers her maidservant; her insistence of Hagar's demotion back to maidservant despite bearing Avraham a son; and the recognizing of such a child vs. casting out of the house, all have basis in the Code of Hammurabi.
  • Avraham's Refusal to the King of Sodom - somewhat political
    • Had Avraham taken the gifts, the king of Sodom might have thought he was only in it for the money
  • Suggested KedorLaOmer etymology
    • as servant of the deity Gomer
  • Kings Goofus and Gallant, and the MIGGEN Avraham
    • In which Avraham *receives* 10% of the spoils from Malkitzedek, rather than *giving* it to him. If so, we have a contrast to his conduct with the King of Sodom. And an explanation is respective attitudes, a la Goofus and Gallant.
      Further, in the aftermath, Hashem is not saying that he will be a shield, but rather a gatherer of wealth. See the post inside.
to be continued...

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