Monday, August 31, 2009

Ki Tavo sources

by aliyah
rishon (Devarim 26:1)
sheni (26:12)
shlishi (26:16)
revii (27:1)
chamishi (27:11)
shishi (28:7)
shevii, maftir (29:1, 6)
haftara (Yeshaya 60)

by perek
26 ; 27 ; 28 ; 29

Rashi, in English and Hebrew
Shadal (here and here)
Daat -- with Rashi, Ramban, Seforno, Ibn Ezra, Rashbam, Rabbenu Bachya, Midrash Rabba, Tanchuma+, Gilyonot
Gilyonot Nechama Leibovitz (Hebrew)
Tiferes Yehonasan from Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz
Toldos Yizchak Acharon, repeated from Rav Yonasan Eibeshutz
Even Shleimah -- from Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich
R' Saadia Gaon's Tafsir, Arabic translation of Torah (here and here)
Zohar, with English translation (nothing on Ki Tavo)
Baal Haturim (HaAruch)
Imrei Shafer, Rav Shlomo Kluger
Kol Eliyahu (Gra) -- nothing on Ki Tavo
Mipninei Harambam -- nothing on sefer Devarim
Sefer Zikaron of Ritva -- nothing until Zot Habracha

The following meforshim at JNUL. I've discovered that if you click on the icon to rotate sideways, change to only black and white, select only the portion which is text, it is eminently readable on paper.
Ralbag (390)
Chizkuni (151)
Abarbanel (391)
Shach (317)
Aharon ben Yosef the Karaite (244)

Daat, Rashi In Hebrew (perek 26, 27, 28, 29)
Judaica Press Rashi in English and Hebrew
Mizrachi, Mizrachi (305, JNUL)
Gur Aryeh (Maharal of Prague)
Berliner's Beur on Rashi (here and here)
Commentary on Rashi by Yosef of Krasnitz
R' Yisrael Isserlin (on Rashi, 17, JNUL)
Two supercommentaries on Rashi, by Chasdai Almosnino and Yaakov Kneizel
Rav Natan ben Shishon Shapira Ashkenazi (16th century), (JNUL, pg 171)
Yeriot Shlomo (Maharshal)
Moda L'Bina (Wolf Heidenheim)
Minchat Yehuda and Mekorei Rashi (in Mechokekei Yehuda)
Also see Mikraos Gedolos above, which has Rashi with Sifsei Chachamim

Daat, Ramban in Hebrew (perek 26, 27, 28, 29)
R' Yitzchak Abohav's on Ramban (standalone and in a Tanach opposite Ramban)
Rabbi Meir Abusaula (student of Rashba)

ibn ezra
Daat, Ibn Ezra in Hebrew (perek 26, 27, 28, 29)
Mechokekei Yehudah (HebrewBooks)
R' Shmuel Motot (on Ibn Ezra, pg 51, JNUL)
Ibn Kaspi's supercommentary on Ibn Ezra, different from his commentary (nothing on Ki Tavo)
Also see Mikraos Gedolos above, which has Ibn Ezra with Avi Ezer

Targum Onkelos opposite Torah text
Targum Onkelos and Targum Pseudo-Yonatan in English
Shadal's Ohev Ger on Targum Onkelos
Avnei Tzion -- two commentaries on Onkelos
Or Hatargum on Onkelos
Commentary on Targum Yonatan and Targum Yerushalmi
Septuagint (Greek, English)

Rama (but based on alphabet, not parsha)

Midrash Rabba at Daat (26, 27, 28, 29)
Midrash Tanchuma at Daat (26, 27, 28, 29)
Devarim Rabba, with commentaries
Midrash Tanchuma with commentary of Etz Yosef and Anaf Yosef
Commentary on Midrash Rabba by R' Naftali Hirtz b'R' Menachem
Matat-Kah on Midrash Rabba
Sifrei, with commentary of the Gra
Nefesh Yehonasan by Rav Yonasan Eibeshutz

In a separate Mikraos Gedolos, with Targum, Rashi, Mahari Kara, Radak, Ibn Ezra, Metzudat David.
As a haftara in a chumash Devarim, with Malbim and Ibn Ezra
Haftarah in Gutnick Edition
Rashis in English
Daat, which includes Yalkut Shimoni, Radak
Ahavas Yehonatan by Rav Yonasan Eibeshutz
Aharon ben Yosef the Karaite

Interesting Posts and Articles #204

  1. Astrophysicists find an "impossible" planet, and have some theories about it.

  2. At Daat Torah, two posts explaining on a halachic basis why we should not act in accordance to the position in the Meshaneh Halachos, firstly the Beis Yosef that insistence on only Torah law would destroy society, and secondly Igros Moshe that Torah law is used as long as society functions properly. I am reminded of how the humility of Rabbi Zechariah ben Avkolus helped destroy the Beis Hamikdash.

  3. At Rationalist Judaism, Rabbi Slifkin puts out three more posts in his series critiquing Chaim BeEmunasam. In part eight, he discusses how the work deals with the view of Rav Shamshon Refael Hirsch, that Chazal can err in science. The work relegates the position to a footnote, possibly in order to more effectively hide it, and in that footnote claims it to be a forgery, an untenable position which Rav Moshe Shapiro has stepped back from.

    In part nine, he discusses mathematical errors. The work claims that even statements the gemara rejects or calls an error are in reality true. When Tosafot in Sukkah called a statement by Rabbi Yochanan an error in interpreting a statement by the Sages of Caesaria, the work claims that Tosafot did not mean to really call it an error. And gives an alternate explanation of the gemara by the Gra. But Rabbi Slikfin shows that this was indeed what Tosafot (and others) were saying, and how others, including various rishonim and the Gra, understood this to be what Tosafot was saying.

    In part ten, he discusses how the work treats the gemara about the Sun's path at night, by selectively citing only the view of Rabbenu Tam, but ignoring the many Rishonim and Acharonim who say that Chazal had erred, and ignores those Acharonim who interpret Rabbenu Tam differently that the desired way.

  4. Life in Israel has a picture of a funny poster depicting a segulah for happiness. As well as an excerpt from an interview with the co-owner of BeChadrei Chareidim, and the outing of the Burqa Lady's abuse.

  5. Emes veEmunah on the motivations for photoshopping the Chaim Berlin photo.

  6. At parshablog last week, I posted on an interesting Rambam, who quoted a gemara and a pasuk in Ki Teitzei, seemingly incorrectly, by making the wrong instance of naarah malei. I decided to assume that it actually was malei, and showed how one could then reinterpret the gemara differently, consistent with this. Then, other questions on the Rambam also disappear. As Dr. Marc Shapiro pointed out in the comment section, we know the Rambam's masorah -- it is the same as the Aleppo Codex, which is almost exactly that of the St. Petersburg Codex and the text of the Teimanim. We see he refers to the Aleppo Codes in setting up the halachot of a sefer Torah. And I agree; but am not convinced that it is the case that in every instance Rambam bothered to consult the Codex. The Rambam himself noted the reason to appeal to the Codex was because of many disputes in these things. So there might have been some local texts this way, and the Rambam did not necessarily think to consult the Codex for something so "obvious". Of course, I might be biased by my having come up with the creative explanation.

    At any rate, I spotted the following sefer at, Torah Or lehaRambam, by Chaim Neuhausen, which goes through about 300 instances of Rambam citing pesukim wrong, and trying to determine the cause. He does not offer an explanation of this variance, that I can see. But this might be an interesting sefer for me to consult in the future.

  7. Orthonomics critiques financial advice from Lazer Beams.

  8. At Revach, a cute vort on Ki Tavo, from the Belzer Rebbe, explaining how the pasuk (according to a midrash cited by Rashi) which mentions the Bet Hamikdash first, and then giving us the land, is in line with a Targum Pseudo-Yonatan on Yisro. I post on this Targum here.

  9. The Jewish Worker considers the application of ועשית ככל אשר יורוך to Gedolim.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

An astonishing messianic proof

The following silly story from good old Dreaming of Moshiach:
The Rav's students also said that in recent shiurim the Rav gave, he said astounding things. The Rav opened the ancient Sefer Chesed Le'Avraham and showed them that the author, Kadosh Tzaddik Rav Avraham Azulai, zs'kl, wrote that the Moshiach will arrive in the year - 5760 The Rav explained, "The meaning of תש"ס is שנת סוף end year," said the Rav, "but it's preferable that the end will be סוף טוב good end, and therefore, it is necessary to clarify that he meant this year תשס"ט - תהא שנת סוף טוב - 5769 Will Be Year of Good End."
The obvious problem with this story is that the Rav, meaning Rav David Abuchatzeira, uses as his prooftext a messianic prediction that failed. The original prediction was for 9 years ago, based on the roshei teivos. He "reinterpreted" it, now that 5760 has passed, simply by adding another word, and thus letter, to the end of it. And thus he does not need to cross out any specific letter, and can call his new prediction what Rav Avraham Azulai "meant".

Of course, if it becomes 5770, they will just claim that it was an eis ratzon (either 5760 or 5769), and either something important developed, or else we missed this particular boat. There is no way to lose here, and thus no discouragement from people saying silly things and raising false hopes.

And of course, this story is second-hand. It is quite possible, and easy, to take a messianic hope and turn it into a messianic promise. And then it becomes something "astounding". For example, here at HebrewBooks, we have the following signature:
ראש חדש חשון שנת תהא שנת סוף גלותינו
תחילה וראש לפדיון נפשנו
שלמה בו לאאמו"ר הרה"ג יצחק סאלם ועפראני שליט"א

Tehei means it should be, and that it is thus a hope. And this was written in Cheshvan, 5769. One can use Rav Azulai's text as a basis for expressing this messianic hope. Or perhaps it was accurately told over, and he really thought his reinterpretation was true. And indeed, maybe one can argue it. Since sof can be an absolute noun or an adjective in the construct state, one can posit that Rav Azulai really meant any year in the 576_ range, where one could fill in the digit if one wished with any letter which began aleph through tet. And I haven't seen Rav Azulai's prediction inside. But I tend to doubt it, knowing in general how people stretch these sources.

Friday, August 28, 2009

posts so far for parshat Ki Teitzei

Printable versions of all these will be up shortly.

  1. Ki Seitzei sources -- improved.
  2. Need the Eshet Yefat Toar be objectively, or even subjectively, beautifulNot on the level of derash, or even on the level of peshat. But to what degree?
  3. Distracting dress on the sidelines of battleDid the eshet yefat toar dress so beautifully to distract the enemy armies?
  4. Are the Taliban barbaric for executing the eloping loversHow we react to a modern-day reenactment of naarah hameorasah, and what that says about us.
  5. Ibn Caspi and Diber Torah BeHoveh -- He established this principle, as a signpost, by eshet yefat toar. Then, he uses it to explain other mitzvot, such as maakeh and divorce.
  6. Ibn Caspi, that Edom is not Rome or Christianity -- Offered in defense of the practice of lending for interest to local non-Jews, he asserts that even ifachicha does extend to Edom, they are not Edom. This has implications for all these modern predictors of the apocalypse who take as a given that Rome, or Christianity, or the US, is Edom.
  7. Ki Teizei: Could Bilaam's curse or blessing harm or helpAccording to Ibn Caspi, no. This was catering to the superstitions of the hamon am.
  8. Peshat in יָקוּם עַל שֵׁם אָחִיו הַמֵּת -- While Ibn Caspi and Rashbam says it means literal naming, something not even Karaites say, I agree with the gemara in Yevamos that it certainly doesn't mean this. I would rather call it bad peshat.

  1. Ki Teizei sources -- once again, but this time greatly expanded to include a good number of meforshim on the parsha and haftarah.

  2. Why one with crushed stones may not enter into the kahal. I suggest an alternate reading that we might have thought this was a matir. And ka mashma lan.

  3. The milchemet yachid, with one's will, and whether such a derasha is justified. It does not seem to be so, despite the Baal HaTurim's assertion, because the word is malei, rather than chaser as he asserts. It is possible that he misreads and misapplies the masoretic note from the end of Shofetim, as Minchas Shai suggests. Or perhaps we can say there was a variant text.

  4. The first of his strength, and how Ibn Ezra becomes a darshan -- how he heeds smichut, and gives an interpretation as the first of his seed, even though elsewhere he appears to offer a peshat interpretation as opposite that one, given by Rashi.

  5. Is the Mamzer a bastard, or a nation? How Ibn Ezra explores this, and gives different impressions as to his peshat judgement in two separate places. And what in the world he means by his description of Targum taking the short, midrashic path.

  6. The mother's fault, according to Ibn Ezra, for the bad nature of her sons, as this applies to various Biblical characters, including the ben sorer umoreh who is the son of the eshet yefat toar. But was Elisheva, wife of Aharon, responsible for the good nature of Eleazar, or the wicked nature of Nadav and Avihu. Ibn Ezra is cryptic and while all the supercommentators I have seen suggest the former, I would suggest the latter as a possiblilty.

  7. What does it mean that they did not greet you with lechem? I would take it as idiomatic, but not the real cause for the pegam; and that this is poetic exaggeration to provide a contrast with their actual actions, of hiring against you Bilaam ben Beor to curse.

  8. Which naarah is plene? Did Rambam forget the gemara? Here, I attempt to rescue that Rambam from the questions of Kesef Mishnah and then Minchas Shai. I suggest that the Rambam understood the gemara to mean that several pesukim in context had naarah plene, and how one can parse the gemara this way. Which then explains why he would use the derasha rather than the alternate derivation -- in the new reading of the gemara, this is not an alternate derivation.


  1. Ki Seitzei sources -- links to pages in an online Mikraos Gedolos by perek and by aliyah.

  2. Shadal on Shiluach haKen -- so that we do not look down on the trait of mercy, by penalizing the mother bird's mercy on her children.

  3. Zachor -- Why does it matter that they were faint and weary? In which I suggest that back then they were unable to stand up for themselves and their honor, but now they can.

  4. Shadal on the betrothed Naarah, that the Torah does not want the charge laid out against her, and that she is an entirely unmarried, and unbetrothed girl. And the Torah is acting to subdue certain tribal customs. Finally, why I don't like this explanation, for various peshat reasons.

  5. Cutting off her hand?! Different explanations of this shocking instruction. My own take, but also how the Karaites maintain that one actually cuts off her hand, and does not take kofer, unlike other maimings, such as in the case of ayin tachat ayin. And Ibn Ezra that this is only when she does not pay kofer. And Shadal like one Tannaitic position, that it is a case of rotzeiach, but later reverses himself to more resemble Ibn Ezra.

  6. Shoe-tossing as a sign of contempt, and how this might intersect with the laws of chalitza, as well as a midrash about Mordechai and Haman.

  1. Taking the Mill or Upper Millstone as Pledge -- In which I suggest that nefesh hu chovel is a pun.
  2. Collecting Interest -- In which taking interest in not a sin in and of itself, but this is an extra restriction to promote a society with the value of fraternity.
  3. Not Giving Up An Escaped Slave -- Yet you must help your fellow Jew recover his wandering sheep. Why the difference? There is law and there is what is morally right.
  4. When you go to war against your enemy -- Just because you win does not mean that you get to do whatever you like. The rules don't go out the window. Rather, you must behave in a prescribed, moral manner. Also, we can interpret this homiletically, in which the "enemy" is the evil inclination.
  5. Is Rudy Guliani an Adulterer? No, because the woman he was with was single. And even if married, he would not commit Biblical adultery. And it seems that he was possibly not really considered married.
  6. A Slightly Non-Normative Reading of Machzir Gerushato -- Based in part on a Bet Shammai reading, and somewhat supported by statements in Chazal. That her "defilement" was not her intervening marriage, but rather the adultery which broke up the first marriage in the first place.
  7. Request for Explanation of Naar/Naara -- With my own explanation offered, but more requested. And an explanation already given in the comments.


  1. VeKatzota et Kappa As Din Rodef: Within this relatively unknown opinion in Chazal that this is din Rodef, because the woman is still crushing and this can put the man's life in danger, and that this is an instruction to prevent a rodef with the minimum damage necessary (here her hand rather than her life), we point out an instance where a woman did just this and thus almost killed her husband, and could have been on trial for murder.
  2. Orthopraxy III - Remembering What Amalek Did -- How can you remember what Amalek did if you do not believe that Amalek did it?


  1. The Damsel's Father (and Not Her Mother, and Not the Damsel) - I point out an interesting Sifrei, but never got a chance to develop it. This Sifrei states אמר אבי הנערה אל הזקנים מכאן שאין רשות לאשה לדבר במקום האיש, which is one source text on Chazal's attitude towards women assuming public communal roles.
  2. In Motzi Shem Ra I suggest that the purpose of the further penalty that the man shouldn't divorce her afterwards is deterrence. I elaborate in the post.
  3. Three (Non-Contradictory) Explanations of וְהֶחֱזִיקָה בִּמְבֻשָׁיו: Chazal's payment of money for embarrassment; the Middle Assyrian Law and Ibn Ezra's attempt at reconciliation with halacha, and a new, not-well known one, which might even be said to be on the level of peshat - under the din rodef, in which she is still grabbed on.


  1. Eshet Yefat Toar As Progressive Feminist Legislation -- We examine the laws and language of the yefat toar, finding that the novelty of the law may actually be protection of captive women.
  2. Ben Sorer UMoreh - Why? I suggest something based on the root KLL.
  3. In Ben Sorer UMoreh I suggest that this was a reform intended to take honor killings for misbehavior out of the realm of family judgement and into the formal court system.

to be continued...

Why are sheidim not a concern in the closing up window incident in Bava Batra 7a

In today's daf, Bava Batra 7a:
A certain man began to build a wall facing his neighbour's windows. The latter said to him, 'You are shutting out my light.' Said the first, 'Let me close up your windows here and I will make you others above the level of my wall.' He replied, 'You will damage my wall by so doing.' 'Let me then,' he said, 'take down your wall as far as the place of the windows and then rebuild it, fixing windows in the part above my wall.' He replied, 'A wall of which the lower part is old and the upper part new will not be firm.' 'Then,' he said, 'let me take it all down and build it up from the ground and put windows in it.' He replied, 'A single new wall in a house, the rest of which is old, would not be firm.' He then said, 'Let me take down the whole house and put windows in the new building.' He replied, 'Meanwhile I have no place wherein to live.' 'I will rent a place for you,' said the other. 'I don't want to bother,' said the first. Said R. Hama [on hearing of the case]: He had a perfect right to stop him. Is not this case the same as the other? Why, then, this repetition? — To tell us [that the owner of the house may exercise his veto] even though he only uses it for storing straw and wood.
In the entire length of this exchange, in which they consider shutting up windows, entirely, no one raises the possibility of sheidim. And Chazal surely encountered sheidim on a day to day basis. How did they not know of the issue raised by R' Yehuda Hachassid in his tzavaah, and in sefer chassidim? Even if the windows are rebuilt higher up, the sheidim will need to change their regular path and get annoyed! If standing by standing grain is considered a nezek, surely this is. And this should be mentioned, as it is quite pertinent to the discussion.

As we see in sefer chassidim, siman 1046, pictured to the right.

There are answers, such as the owner can protest successfully anyway. But I would guess that the true answer is that this is nonsense within nonsense. There was the widespread nonsense of the belief in sheidim, where Chazal likely believed in their existence, as did non-religious scientists and philosophers, such that they were part of normal, sane reality. This despite their non-existence, a feature they share with leprechauns and Care Bears. But is was entirely rational to believe in them in the time of Chazal, as well as later.

But this extra nonsense, that shutting up windows annoys sheidim to no end, appears to be R' Yehuda HaChassid's chiddush, which he derives from the malach who confronted Bilaam not wishing to divert. And if so, this would be a new nonsense which Chazal did not maintain. And so we would not expect to find gemaras which take this later innovation into consideration.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #203

  1. At Daat Torah, explaining the position of the Meshaneh Halachos on child abuse. And though I don't typically link here, see Failed Messiah for an expansion of this view. The mustering of sources in this way to make those who report into moserim and rodefim and so on seems like a perversion of Judaism, and reminds me of the midrash of the laws of Sodom.

  2. At Rationalist Judaism, three more posts in his review / critique of Rabbi Reuven Schmeltzer's Chaim BeEmunasam.

    In part five, he discusses how the sefer copes with Rambam denying demons. After all, if every word of Chazal is true, and they talk about demons, how could the Rambam deny the reality of demons? The two answers offered, based on sources, are apologetics that the Rambam did not really deny the existence of demons, and that Rambam did do this but was wrong, led astray by philosophy. But if the point of the book is that there is only one acceptable masorah about statements of Chazal being all true, then the Rambam himself is a bar plugta with those who condemn him; and furthermore, there are several, who remain unmentioned -- in this book purporting to be comprehensive -- who read the Rambam in a straighforward manner and some of whom even agree with him.

    In part six, he considers how the book treats Moreh Nevuchim, as either outreach but not seriously intended; with a hidden kabbalistic meaning; or invalid because it was before Kabbalah was revealed. These, though, are not the only positions on the Moreh. It is selective quoting on the part of the book.

    In part seven, he considers how the book treats the issue of Rabbi Avraham, son of the Rambam, who explicitly says we need not defend Chazal's knowledge of science. It is relegated to a footnote, together with a claim that it is a forgery, and that it is not in our masorah, possibly conflating the two statements. And then Rabbi Slifkin responds.
  3. At Vos Iz Neias, a Jerusalem court decides there is enough evidence to think it possible that the mother accused of Munchhausen by Proxy poses a danger to her other children. Watch the comment section for the reactions.

  4. Life in Israel about how Rav Chaim Kanievsky served in the IDF.

  5. At the OU, Rabbi Dr. Zivitovsky discusses the idea that the kohen gadol wore a golden rope, so that they could pull him out if he died. He notes this only occurs in Zohar but not in the Talmud; that there are halachic issues with the kohen wearing this extra beged, especially one of gold; and that there are contrary stories in the gemara which indicate the lack of such a gold rope.

    Though he does not note this, that the Zohar is a much later source is also important. If it is a late 13th century forgery, falsely attributed to a Tanna, then we should lend it no credence where it is contrary to halacha and history as related in the gemara.

  6. The Loch Ness monster spotted on Google Earth... or, not.

  7. Hirhurim cites an interesting segment of a book review, in order to spark a discussion, about wearing Tzitzit out. I am reminded of Rabbi Gorelick's famous retort.

  8. Rabbi Avi Billet discusses shiluach hakan in the Jewish Star. Though I don't agree with the assumptions that lead to his questions. It is only if you need the eggs or baby birds -- to eat -- that the instructions are given, perhaps to mitigate the cruelty involved. Putting them back might fulfill the mitzvah, but this is cruelty in and of itself, not to mention just silliness. Of course, there are kabbalistic reasons that some have proposed.

  9. Emes veEmunah comments on the awful comic which appears to have been published by the Edah Chareidis (they give an email address), which compares Hadassah hospital to Nazis who kill chareidim and let chilonim live.

  10. My roundup of parshablog posts on the parsha.

Which Naarah is Plene? Did Rambam forget the gemara?

In the laws of the defamed maiden:
טו וְלָקַח אֲבִי הַנַּעֲרָ, וְאִמָּהּ; וְהוֹצִיאוּ אֶת-בְּתוּלֵי הַנַּעֲרָ, אֶל-זִקְנֵי הָעִיר--הַשָּׁעְרָה.15 then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate.

and then:
יט וְעָנְשׁוּ אֹתוֹ מֵאָה כֶסֶף, וְנָתְנוּ לַאֲבִי הַנַּעֲרָה--כִּי הוֹצִיא שֵׁם רָע, עַל בְּתוּלַת יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְלוֹ-תִהְיֶה לְאִשָּׁה, לֹא-יוּכַל לְשַׁלְּחָהּ כָּל-יָמָיו. {ס}19 And they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel; and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. {S}
This second occurrence, in pasuk 19, is the only instance in the entire Torah that naarah is spelled plene, with a final heh. In all other places it is a krei ukhetiv, or almost so, with it pronounced naarah but written only with the the consonants of naar. In Nach, there are plenty of others, but this is the case in Torah.

And so goes the masoretic note, as Minchas Shai states, that leit malei batorah, there is no other plene one in the Torah.

We also have this is ketubot, and I would add that perhaps this is a basis of the masoretic note, beside manuscript evidence. In Ketubot 40b, we have:

אמר ר"ל המוציא שם רע על הקטנה פטור שנא' (דברים כב, יט) ונתנו לאבי הנערה נערה מלא דיבר הכתוב מתקיף לה רב אדא בר אהבה טעמא דכתב רחמנא נערה הא לאו הכי הוה אמינא אפילו קטנה והא כתיב (דברים כב, כ) ואם אמת היה הדבר הזה לא נמצאו בתולים לנערה והוציאו את הנערה אל פתח בית אביה וסקלוה וקטנה לאו בת עונשין היא אלא כאן נערה הא כל מקום שנאמר נער אפילו קטנה במשמע:
Resh Lakish ruled; A man who has brought an evil name upon a minor is exempt, for it is said in Scripture, And give them unto the father of the damsel,53 Scripture expressed the term na'arah as plenum.
R. Adda b. Ahabah demurred: Is the reason then because the All-Merciful has written na'arah, but otherwise it would have been said that even a minor [was included], surely [it may be objected] it is written in Scripture, But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found in the damsel, then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and [the men of her city] shall stone her, while a minor is not, is she, subject to punishment? — [The explanation,] however, [is that since] na'arah [has been written] here [it may be inferred that here only is a minor excluded] but wherever Scripture uses the expression of na'ar even a minor is included.
Thus, there is an explicit derasha on the basis of the naarah in pasuk 19 being spelled malei, with a final heh. And it is easy to extrapolate that it is only this instance in Torah which is malei, but all others are not. That is indeed the import of the gemara.

Yet, as Minchas Shai notes, there is a weirdness when Rambam brings down these laws in his Mishneh Torah. He writes:

הלכות נערה בתולה פרק ג

א המוציא שם רע על בת ישראל, ונמצא הדבר שקר--לוקה, שנאמר "וייסרו, אותו" (דברים כב,יח); ואזהרה שלו, מ"לא תלך רכיל בעמיך" (ויקרא יט,טז). ונותן לאביה, משקל מאה סלעים כסף מזוקק; ואם הייתה יתומה, הרי הן של עצמה. [ב] והמוציא שם רע על הקטנה, או על הבוגרת--פטור מן הקנס, ומן המלקות; ואינו חייב, עד שיוציא על הנערה--שנאמר "והוציאו את בתולי הנערה" (דברים כב,טו;וראה דברים כב,יט), "נערה" מלא דיבר הכתוב.

He is citing the wrong pasuk -- one not brought for this purpose in the gemara -- and declaring it malei there!! But as we know from our masoretic notes, only pasuk 19 has naarah malei; he is making pasuk 15 malei. These are two separate but interrelated problems: (a) citing the wrong pasuk, and (b) declaring that wrong pasuk malei.

Indeed, the Kesef Mishnah notes (see inside, bottom of right column and top of left column) a separate problem, that according to the conclusion of the gemara, this need not be the source, but rather according to the gemara that it must be talking about a naarah and not a ketana, because it talks of her punishment, of stoning. So in the entire segment we must be talking about naarah. Thus, the gemara concludes with a separate derivation of this law, though it derives things about נער as ketana in general. His answer is that the Rambam chose a derech ketzara here.

But he also asks that the pasuk the Rambam cites is the wrong pasek, and is indeed chaser! He does not offer an answer, other than to say וזה שלא בדיקדוק. Thus, he appears to maintain that Rambam simply made an error.

Indeed, this is one of the big points made in Dr. Marc Shapiro's Maimonides and His Interpreters (see here), that Rambam sometimes makes mistakes, including in terms of quoting statements. And this may well be what it is here.

However, I would like to defend this Rambam, if possible. It is not so clear to me that Rambam made such a major error here. Rather, he may have simply understood the gemara in a different way.

Part of why we understand the gemara the way we do is that we assume that there is only one instance in all of Torah that naarah is written chaser. Indeed, we have a masorah for that. But is it possible that this masorah was based on the gemara, and not just on manuscript evidence? I would consider it extremely plausible that this is so. Even if not, we find thousands of examples of conflicting masorot, so we might imagine Rambam had a different masorah here. What I am getting at is that we should lay aside this tradition for a moment, that there is only one instance of naarah that is plene (malei), and then look back at the gemara.

It is only because we assume that only one naarah is plene that we interpret the gemara's question and answer as we do -- namely, that the naarah of pasuk 19, which speaks of the fine, is plene, but others not. And the question is that in the same section, this damsel is threatened with the death penalty, but we know that a ketana would not receive that punishment. Rather, it is the punishment which shows that in all cases here, we are speaking of a naarah and not ketanah. And the writing in malei in one instance here, in pasuk 19, sets the stage for all other instances, that naar(ah) spelled without the final heh also includes a ketana.

The "difficulty" with this reading is that there are other instances, even within this segment -- indeed, even in the instance of stoning, that it is spelled naar(ah), without that final heh. And if we learn out from stoning that it excludes a minor, that it is spelled deficiently in that very instance should disprove the assertion the naar(ah) includes minors.

Maybe we can reread the gemara that way and make this Rav Ada bar Ahava's objection. But then it is difficult to see how the answer is an answer. The gemara just doesn't seem (to me) to parse well if we read it in this way I just suggested. How can it extrapolate to other cases? And it seems to be begging the question, and using the problem as if it is the proof. Try reading this into the gemara and see what I mean.

There is another important point. When the gemara cites the pasuk about stoning, which is not pasuk 19, but rather is pasuk 21, they cite it malei. Now this could just be because it is quoting it in the way it is read rather than written. But in a gemara where the very point is the malei vs. chaser, this seems sheer sloppiness!

I would assert that it is not sheer sloppiness. The gemara was citing the pasuk as indeed written. And while throughout all of Torah, it is written deficient, in pasuk 15, 19, and 21 is is written plene. So it is not that the entire section is linked, such that despite it being written deficiently, one asks from the stoning punishment onto another pasuk.

The gemara then reads as follows:
(1) Resh Lakish: That it is not a ketana comes from the plene spelling, which is highly irregular and only occurs in the three pesukim in this section.
(2) Rav Ada bar Ahava: The implication of your statement is that were it not for this plene spelling, I would not know that a ketana is excluded. But if so, the plene spelling in pasuk 21, only, is entirely superfluous. Because that plene spelling would indicate that only a naarah but not a ketanah would be punished. But we would know this anyway, because a ketana is lav bat oneshin! And the Torah does not add letters unnecessarily, so why have this extra heh in naarah in pasuk 21, to create an entirely unnecessary derasha?
(3) The gemara answers: No, this is not superfluous! Rather, it is the entire basis of the association of the derasha of the malei heh with her not being a ketana. Here, in pasuk 21, we have a clear instance in which it cannot be a ketana, and it is written in this strange manner, with a full heh. We extrapolate from there. And that is how we know, in general, that if it is written malei it is not a ketana. And the other places, not in this section with three pesukim, but all the other times in Torah, a ketana is included.

This works out well with the gemara.

If so, and if this is how Rambam understood the gemara, then Kesef Mishnah's first question is resolved. It is not based on the fact that the girl gets stoned, if guilty. Rather, that empowers the naar / naarah distinction, and then we can use the derasha of the malei to learn this out. (Indeed, you might be able to say that without my radical reinterpretation of the gemara.)

Why did the Rambam choose a different pasuk from the gemara, which is chaser rather than malei as he asserts? It is possible he has a slightly different girsa of the gemara, which cites pasuk 15. Though obviously 19 is better since it actually discusses the fine.

I don't think Rambam had a different girsa. Rather, he chose pasuk 15 for one, or both, of these reasons.
(1) This is the first pasuk in the section which is malei, and his point is that all of them are malei in this section. Something we get from the first instance and on.
(2) He is making a cute derasha here, and manages to work the word hotzi in the derasha. Again, he had said:

ואינו חייב, עד שיוציא על הנערה--שנאמר "והוציאו את בתולי הנערה" (דברים כב,טו;וראה דברים כב,יט), "נערה" מלא דיבר הכתוב.
Even though this vehotziu means to bring out evidence, rather than to bring up a false name on her, as we see in pasuk 19 -- כִּי הוֹצִיא שֵׁם רָע עַל בְּתוּלַת יִשְׂרָאֵל -- pasuk 19 does not have this lucky sequence of words which parallels the point, as the naarah occurs earlier in the pasuk. Therefore, Rambam seizes this one.

Unless he has another girsa in which this is indeed the prooftext in the gemara. Or unless the Rambam forgot.

The conclusion of all this is that since Rambam does not cite the gemara in full, we don't really know what was before him, and can only try to reconstruct his line of reasoning based on the sources before us. And I believe that the reconstruction I put forth is a reasonable one. However, if so, then perhaps our Sifrei Torah are not in line with the Sefer Torah that the Rambam had; or perhaps what Chazal had. Even so, I would not change our present sifrei Torah.

Which of the two interpretations of the gemara do I find more convincing? I am not going to take a stand on that. I am just suggesting that this could have been how Rambam read the gemara.

One final point: See how the Rif treats this:
ועוד דגרסי' בפ' נערה שנתפתתה אמר ריש לקיש המוציא שם רע על הקטנה פטור שנאמר ונתן לאבי הנערה נערה מלא דבר הכתוב וכו' עד אלא כאן נערה הא כל מקום שנאמר נער אפילו קטנה במשמע
aIt could just be him summarizing in order to get to the broader point he is developing here, but he does seem to leave it, in this derech ketzara, with the implication that it stems from this derasha, and that the conclusion of the gemara reinforces this. And in Rambam's bet midrash, they studied Rif -- indeed, more often than they studied the gemara itself.

What does it mean that they did not greet you with lechem?

In the middle of Ki Teitzei, we get a rather strange reason not to marry (male) converts of Ammon and Moav. Devarim 23:

ד לֹא-יָבֹא עַמּוֹנִי וּמוֹאָבִי, בִּקְהַל יְהוָה: גַּם דּוֹר עֲשִׂירִי, לֹא-יָבֹא לָהֶם בִּקְהַל ה' עַד-עוֹלָם.4 An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation shall none of them enter into the assembly of the LORD for ever;
ה עַל-דְּבַר אֲשֶׁר לֹא-קִדְּמוּ אֶתְכֶם, בַּלֶּחֶם וּבַמַּיִם, בַּדֶּרֶךְ, בְּצֵאתְכֶם מִמִּצְרָיִם; וַאֲשֶׁר שָׂכַר עָלֶיךָ אֶת-בִּלְעָם בֶּן-בְּעוֹר, מִפְּתוֹר אֲרַם נַהֲרַיִם--לְקַלְלֶךָּ.5 because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Aram-naharaim, to curse thee.
ו וְלֹא-אָבָה ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לִשְׁמֹעַ אֶל-בִּלְעָם, וַיַּהֲפֹךְ ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְּךָ אֶת-הַקְּלָלָה, לִבְרָכָה: כִּי אֲהֵבְךָ, ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ.6 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.
ז לֹא-תִדְרֹשׁ שְׁלֹמָם, וְטֹבָתָם, כָּל-יָמֶיךָ, לְעוֹלָם. {ס}7 Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever. {S}
I can understand the bit about hiring Bilaam to curse them. But that they did not go out to greet you with bread and water? This is a shev veAl taaseh. And they did not do an action. For that minor lack of action, they should have this pegam?

Rashi seems to skip over this. Well, not precisely; he takes the al devar from the beginning strange reason and applies it to the end of the pasuk:
Because: Heb. עַל-דְּבַר [lit., “because of the word,” i.e.,] because of the [word of] advice they gave you (sic), to cause you to sin. — [Sifrei 23:114] על דבר: על העצה שיעצו אתכם להחטיאכם:
on the way: when you were in [a state of] extreme exhaustion. — [Sifrei 23:114] בדרך: כשהייתם בטירוף:

The first comment adds a reason. The second perhaps is explaining why it was such a bad thing that they did not greet you with these things.

Ramban summarizes various opinions and why he disagrees with them. I mostly agree with his conclusions. He writes:
(ה): על דבר אשר לא קדמו אתכם בלחם ובמים -
מצינו (לעיל ב כח כט): אכל בכסף תשבירני ואכלתי ומים בכסף תיתן לי ושתיתי כאשר עשו לי בני עשו היושבים בשעיר והמואבים היושבים בער. ורבים אמרו שהם לא קדמו אותם אבל ישראל קנו מהם.
וזה הבל, כי די למחנה שימכרו להם כאשר ירצו לקנות.

ועוד כי ישראל לא באו בגבול מואב, והמואבים הוציאו להם לחם ומים בכסף, והכתוב יספר שעשו המואבים כאשר עשו בני עשו, ולמה ירחיק המואבי לעולם בעבור זה ולא יתעב האדומי:

ור"א אמר (לעיל ב כט:
כי טעם כאשר עשו לי בני עשו והמואבים, על אעברה בארצך בדרך (שם פסוק כז), אבל לא מכרו להם לחם ומים. כי הם עברו בהר שעיר ובער, רק מלך אדום לא הניחם לעבור דרך מדינתו אשר הוא יושב בה, והוא מה שאמר (במדבר כ יח): לא תעבר בי.
גם זה הבל, כי הם אמרו אל מלך אדום אעברה בארצך, וימאן אדום נתן את ישראל עבור בגבולו (שם פסוק כא), הנה לא נכנסו כלל בגבול אדום. וכן כתוב (שם כא ד): ויסעו מהר ההר דרך ים סוף לסבב את ארץ אדום, כי הוצרכו לשוב לאחור דרך ים סוף מהר ההר שהוא על גבול ארץ אדום, ולא באו בארץ אדום עצמה כלל. ויפתח אמר בביאור (שופטים יא טז - יח): כי בעלותם ממצרים וילך ישראל במדבר עד ים סוף ויבא קדשה וישלח ישראל מלאכים אל מלך אדום לאמר אעברה נא בארצך ולא שמע מלך אדום וגם אל מלך מואב שלח ולא אבה וישב ישראל בקדש וילך במדבר ויסב את ארץ אדום ואת ארץ מואב וגו' ויחנון בעבר ארנון ולא באו בגבול מואב, הנה זה מפורש שלא באו כלל בארץ אדום ולא בארץ מואב. ואלו באו שם היו מוכרין להם לחם ומים, כי אין המנהג לנותן רשות לעם הצבא לעבור בארצו שלא ימכר להם לחם ומים:

והנראה אלי כי הכתוב הרחיק שני האחים האלה שהיו גמולי חסד מאברהם, שהציל אביהם ואמם מן החרב והשבי (בראשית יד טז), ובזכותו שלחם השם מתוך ההפכה (שם יט כט). והיו חייבין לעשות טובה עם ישראל, והם עשו עימהם רעה. האחד שכר עליו בלעם בן בעור והם המואבים, והאחד לא קדם אותו בלחם ובמים כאשר קרבו למולו, כמו שכתוב (לעיל ב יח יט): אתה עובר היום את גבול מואב את ער וקרבת מול בני עמון. והנה הכתוב הזהירם (שם פסוק יט): אל תצורם ואל תתגר בם, והם לא קדמו אותם כלל, כי היה הכתוב אומר "כאשר עשו לי בני עשו המואבים והעמונים", אבל לא הזכיר עמון, שלא קדמו אותם:

והנה עמון הרשיע בזה יותר מכולם, כי בני עשו והמואבים כאשר ידעו שהוזהרו ישראל שלא יתגרו בהם הוציאו לחם ומים חוץ לגבולם, ועמון לא אבה לעשות כן, וזה טעם "אשר לא קדמו", שלא יצאו לקראתם בלחם ובמים כאשר עשו האחרים. ולכך הקדים הכתוב "עמוני" והקדים להזכיר פשעו על דבר אשר לא קדמו אתכם, ואחרי כן הזכיר "מואבי" וחטאתו.
I don't think that this pertains to either selling them food and water, or refusing them even that. And I don't think that they were somehow chayav to greet them with food and water.

Rather, I would assert that all this is an idiom, or used to stress the offense mentioned in the second half of the pasuk. It is exaggeration. Because of the close historical and familial bond, by all rights the proper thing to do would have been to bake you a cake when you got out of Egypt -- to make a ticker-tape parade, and welcome you to the neighborhood. That should have been their attitude -- not their actions. But they took an action which was the opposite of what their attitude should have been. They hired Bilaam to curse you. (This is not the same as Ramban, but approaches it.)

Of course, this non-literal peshat might eliminate some of the reasoning given for Ammoni velo Amonit, but that is beside the point.


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