Friday, June 26, 2009

Posts so far for parshat Korach

  1. Why it should not be lo *chamud* echad meihem nasasi --  Continuing a point from years past, I point out that the Samaritans also have chamud as opposed to chamor. But then explain why it is almost certainly incorrect. See also the posts from 2009, item 9, below.
  2. Ibn Ezra on deflecting curses -- I think that Rashi is absolutely correct in his explanation of העיני האנשים ההם, that it means Datan and Aviram, but that they are deflecting negative language towards others. Ibn Caspi agrees. Ibn Ezra does not, though lists it as one of several possibilities. Still, the way that he describes it seems to suggest that he does not "buy" into the idea that there is any point to such deflection.
  3. Korach sources -- revamped, with over 100 meforshim on the parashah and the haftarah.
  1. Korach sources -- links by aliyah and perek to an online Mikraos Gedolos, as well as to many meforshim on the parsha and haftara.

  2. Who in the world was Bedan? Two closed-canon approaches, and one open canon approach. In defense of the masoretic text.

  3. Korach was מקהה the teeth of his forebears. Part of a discussion of what this phrase means, and what it means in the Haggadah.

  4. The healing ketores? The poisonous ketores? It seems that Ibn Ezra is saying that the ketores Aharon used to stop the plague was not the famous ketores, but rather some special herbs with natural properties to stop the death. And some supercommentators take it further, that he is saying that earlier, the ketores of Korach, the 250 men, and possibly that of Aharon was the same herbs, which could potentially cause death, and that this was the mechanism by which they worked. And that Chazal hint to this. Related, see Rabenu Bachya reject this latter idea, and see Avi Ezer whitewash this and a related comment by Ibn Ezra. And see what seems to be the correct interpretation of that other Ibn Ezra.

  5. Careful with you tipcha, or you may blaspheme Hashem! So Minchas Shai. I analyze what the pasuk is like with the tipcha in its place, or without it in its place, as a parse. But as an Anonymous commenter points out, his concern may just be one of juxtaposition, even if the entire sentence does not make sense. This may be so, but even so, the parsing argument may be a different and valid model, and valid counterargument for when the resulting pasuk is rendered nonsensical, such that one would never choose the heretical parse.

  6. Did Ibn Ezra endorse idols? What is his position on whether Aharon sinned, and whether it is appropriate to fashion molten symbols of symbols of the zodiac to counter potentially harmful astronomical / mystical forces?

  7. Why did Korach choose now to rebel? According to Rav Yonasan Eibeshutz, it was because before he was planning to wait it out, but now Moshe would rule for the next forty years.

  8. Did Moshe not take a single donkey? Or did he not take a donkey of a single one of them? Trying to resolve this machlokes rishonim on the basis of trup and dikduk.

  9. Moshe Rabbenu, accused adulterer? What are the textual sparks of this midrash?

    Also, how in the parallel statement of Shmuel Hanavi, he does NOT say chamud.

  10. What is the big deal of the break in Korach's lineage? What is bothering Rashi? What is the basis of the midrash? And what is motivating Rashi? (link and post to come)

    And as a followup, how atypical is Korach's lineage?

  11. Dasan and Aviram were at fault, much more than Korach -- a surprising perush of Ralbag, found on parshat Pinchas, about who precisely was the driving force behind the rebellion.
  12. Rav Yaakov Emden and Opponents of the Rebbe and Chabad: Like Korach and his Edah? and what could motivate such accusations.
  1. What was Korach's charge?
    Shadal suggests that he believed in Hashem and in Moshe's shlichut, but thought that Hashem was a deity that could be controlled and influenced by particular services He liked, such that once the mishkan was built and the laws of sacrifices known, anyone could step into Moshe and Aharon's roles.

  2. Why was Levi called Levi?
    The description of shevet Levi as "joining" the kohanim is a pun.

  3. Cross-listed from Naso: What was the nature of the "bitter" waters? Ibn Ezra's explanation of the waters of Sotah, and how he connects it to the incense used to stop the plague. And supercommentaries' attempts to smooth this peirush over.

  4. Did Moshe poison Korach's ketores?! Rabbenu Bachya goes out of his way to say no.

  5. The metaphor of the tzitzis and the mezuzah, in Korach's "halachic" complaint to Moshe.

  6. A parsha roundup on Korach, and my reaction to points in the divrei Torah.

  7. A followup to a 2006 piece on the reason for the different trup on similar phrases in two pesukim. A messed up this follow-up, though the point still stands. Also associated with parshat Balak.
  1. In part of his Vikuach, about the Age of Trup, Shadal notes an instance in parshat Korach in which Rashbam diverges from the trup, such that where Eleazar collects the fire-pans, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר ה בְּיַד-מֹשֶׁה לוֹ refers to the instruction to collect them, rather than as the trups casts it, as the directive to Korach and his congregation.

  2. An important grammatical form
    evident in Vayikach Korach veDatan veAviram etc. The the singular verb can apply to a list of terms, and takes on the gender of the first term. This is important since others take this form as proof of multiple authorship in parshat Korach. But we see in parshat Ki Teiztzei and in parshat Behaalotecha how this form functions.

  3. The tzitzit mnemonic
    I discuss the Rashi on parshat Shelach about the tzitzis mnemonic. But I may run with it further in 2008 as it applies to the midrashic account of Korach's complaint.

  1. Why the Etnachta in the last pasuk of Balak?
    • I take apart a devar Torah which makes a derivation based on the fact that there is an etnachta in a pasuk, where contrasted to the same phrase elsewhere, there is no etnachta -- when in fact there is really no other serious choice.
  2. Korach Minyan
    • a hypothetical, with a lesson
  3. Aviram named for ancestor?
    • that's the part of this post that bears relevance to parshat Korach. The idea would be that it is derived from Avraham.
  1. Nadav, Avihu, and Korach
    • from Shemini. And how their actions, and ends alike.
  2. Nadav and Avihu vs. Korach's Edah
    • a midrashic rejection of the above
  3. The Mouth of the Earth
    • miracles and the natural order.
  4. Short-sighted foresight
    • a pattern of seeing the future, through astrology or prophecy, but misperceiving.
  5. How Many Tents?
    • I analyze trup. I consider the issues of Datan and Aviram vs. Korach's end, and the ambiguous pesukim. I resolve that the phrase mishkan-korach datan vaAviram is the Korachite tent of Dathan and Abiram, such that Korach does not enter the picture at all.
  6. Yirmiyahu's Multifunctional Almond Staff
    • Besides other implications, perhaps the almond staff Yirmeyahu sees is related to Aharon's almond staff. The allusion would be to the purpose of highlighting Yirmeyahu's chosenness, just like that of Aharon.
to be continued...


Anonymous said...

Just to add somthing Intresting from Rabbenu Bachyeh The reason why Non jews pray with there hands together on there knees with there feet together its when Moshe fell on his face.

joshwaxman said...

thanks for the tip. i'll try to check it out.
when i went over the parsha with my son, he was shocked that Moshe fell on his face. didn't that hurt? ;)



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