Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Mother's Fault

In Ki Teitzei, in Devarim 21:
יח כִּי-יִהְיֶה לְאִישׁ, בֵּן סוֹרֵר וּמוֹרֶה--אֵינֶנּוּ שֹׁמֵעַ, בְּקוֹל אָבִיו וּבְקוֹל אִמּוֹ; וְיִסְּרוּ אֹתוֹ, וְלֹא יִשְׁמַע אֲלֵיהֶם.18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, that will not hearken to the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them;
Ibn Ezra makes a lot in these parshiyot of semichut of one section to the other. He finds all sorts of threads, many of them quite plausible, accounting for why these laws are lumped together, in their respective order. It is free-association as peshat.

In terms of the connection between yefat toar and ben sorer umoreh, Ibn Ezra writes:
ונסמכה זו הפרשה אשת יפת תאר
והעד ושם אמו והרמז שרמזתי בבני
Mechokekei Yehuda, in Yahel Or explains:

כי הבן יתייחס אחר האס והעד ושם אמו שלומית בת
דברי (ויקרא כל יא) ושס אמו מעכה (מ״א סו ב) כי
הבן על הרוב יקבל טבע אמו , וכן אמר דוד אני עבדך
בן אמתך (תהילים, קטז טז)ש

שזכו בני אהרן לכהונה
בעבור אמם שהיתה בת עמינדב אחות נחשון , עיין
ש(שמות ו כג) בפי׳ הח׳ זיל ובבאורי שם
Thus, it is to be attributed to the mother and her status. The son, in most cases, takes the nature of the mother. That is why Ibn Ezra noted the smichut and then said that "and the name of his mother" is the proof, together with the secret he hinted at in terms of the sons of Aharon.

That Ibn Ezra he refers to is on Shemot 6:23:
כג וַיִּקַּח אַהֲרֹן אֶת-אֱלִישֶׁבַע בַּת-עַמִּינָדָב, אֲחוֹת נַחְשׁוֹן--לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה; וַתֵּלֶד לוֹ, אֶת-נָדָב וְאֶת-אֲבִיהוּא, אֶת-אֶלְעָזָר, וְאֶת-אִיתָמָר.23 And Aaron took him Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, to wife; and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
where Ibn Ezra says:
[ו, כג]
ויקח -
הזכיר אשת אהרן בעבור כבוד אלעזר והזכיר אחות נחשון בעבור כבוד הכהונה.
Before seeing it inside, it seemed possible that his remez was to gnay rather than to shvach. After all, local to Ki Teitzei, he is talking about a bad seed going after the mother. And some of Aharon's sons were punished with death for misdeeds. Yet here it is all for shevach, for Aharon and the Kehuna.

Unless... he did after all say it is a hint he is hinting at. Tt could be that he is indeed hinting at gnay here. For the honor of Eleazar and the honor of the Kehuna, it refers to the wife of Aharon (lo leIsha), thus tying her and thus him, to Aharon. And it says the sister of Nachshon because of the honor of the priesthood, tying it again to good, perhaps only via Nachshon, and not via Elisheva herself. But the other aspects are not so good, and they manifested badly in two of her children. But the pasuk is still trying to rescue Eleazar's honor and the priesthood's honor. And if it were such a straightforward positive thing, why should he leave it as a remez?

I don't know if this is so, but given that it is a remez, it seems that it is potentially somewhat ambiguous.

Mekor Chaim says that it is for good, and that is the reason for all those positive associations. Over against Moshe's children, who did not merit the priesthood, because of

Perhaps we could suggest that this is the secret in Ibn Ezra discussed in this post, by taking the Mekor Chaim here and stuffing it into Meshech Chochma there -- why Moshe's descendants were not a good alternative.

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