Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pinchas sources

by aliyah
rishon (Bemidbar 25:10)
sheni (26:5)
shelishi (26:52)
revii (27:6)
chamishi (28:1)
shishi (28:16)
shevii (29:12)
maftir (29:35)
haftara (I Melachim 18:46-19:21)

by perek

Judaica Press 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
Chasdei Yehonasan -- not until Shofetim
Toldos Yitzchak Acharon, repeated from Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz -- not until Matos
Even Shleimah -- from Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich
R' Saadia Gaon's Tafsir, Arabic translation of Torah (here and here)
Collected commentary of Saadia Gaon on Torah
Rashbam (and here)
Zohar, with English translation
Imrei Shafer, Rav Shlomo Kluger
Ibn Gabirol -- not until vaEtchanan
Rabbenu Yonah -- not until vaEtchanan
Aderet Eliyahu (Gra) -- not until Devarim
Sefer Zikaron of Ritva -- not until vaEtchanan
Tanach with He'emek Davar -- Netziv

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 (319; as far as I can tell, not until Devarim. But see Ralbag above, where he does discuss Balak. Maybe I erred -- I was not looking carefully; or maybe someone can give me a page number where he discusses Balak in this text)
Chizkuni (128)
Abarbanel (311)
Shach (249)
Yalkut Reuveni (pg 149)
Sefer Hachinuch (pg 121)
Aharon ben Yosef the Karaite (214)

Daat, Rashi In Hebrew (perek 2526272829)
Judaica Press Rashi in English and Hebrew
MizrachiMizrachi (264, JNUL)
Gur Aryeh (Maharal of Prague) -- and here
Berliner's Beur on Rashi (here and here)
Commentary on Rashi by Yosef of Krasnitz
R' Yisrael Isserlin (on Rashi, 15, JNUL)
Two supercommentaries on Rashi, by Chasdai Almosnino and Yaakov Kneizel
Rav Natan ben Shishon Shapira Ashkenazi (16th century), (JNUL, pg 142)
Also see Mikraos Gedolos above, which has Rashi with Sifsei Chachamim

ibn ezra
Daat, Ibn Ezra in Hebrew (perek 2526272829)
R' Shmuel Motot (on Ibn Ezra, pg 45, JNUL)
Ibn Kaspi's supercommentary on Ibn Ezra, different from his commentary (here and here)
Mekor Chaim, Ohel Yosef, Motot
Tanach with Perush al Ibn Ezra
Also see Mikraos Gedolos above, which has Ibn Ezra with Avi Ezer

Daat, Ibn Ezra in Hebrew (perek 2526272829)
R' Yitzchak Abohav's on Ramban (standalone and in a Tanach opposite Ramban)
Targum Onkelos opposite Torah text
Shadal's Ohev Ger on Targum Onkelos
Avnei Tzion -- two commentaries on Onkelos
Commentary on Targum Yonatan and Targum Yerushalmi

Rama (but based on alphabet, not parsha)
Vetus Testamentum
Midrash Rabba at Daat (perek 2526272829)
Midrash Tanchuma at Daat (perek 2526272829)
Bamidbar 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
Nefesh Yehonasan by Rav Yonasan Eibeshutz
Tanach with Sifrei, Torah Or, and HaTorah veHamitzvah

haftara (I Melachim 18:46-19:21)
In a separate Mikraos Gedolos, with Targum, Rashi, Radak, Ralbag, Metzudat David.
As a haftara in a chumash Bamidbar, with Malbim and Ralbag
Haftarah in Gutnick Edition
Rashis in English
Daat, which includes Yalkut Shimoni
Aharon ben Yosef the Karaite
Sefer Melachim with Targum, Ralbag and Radak (JNUL, 146)
Abarbanel (255)

Elokei HaRuchot, and avoiding blasphemy in translation

Summary: Shadal is correct from a grammatical perspective of what the text of Onkelos should be, but accidental chiruf ve-gidduf due to grammatical ignorance doesn't really concern me. A short post.

Post: In the course of parashat Pinchas, when Moshe asks Hashem to appoint his replacement:

כז,טז יִפְקֹד ה', אֱלֹהֵי הָרוּחֹת לְכָל-בָּשָׂר, אִישׁ, עַל-הָעֵדָה.יְמַנֵּי יְיָ, אֱלָהּ רוּחַיָּא לְכָל בִּסְרָא, גֻּבְרָא, עַל כְּנִשְׁתָּא.

This version of Onkelos taken from Mechon Mamre. But in our Mikraos Gedolos we have a slightly different version:

The difference is that this uses the definite article, so it is a definite noun Elaka. Or, because of a general tendency to add the kametz aleph ending even when not definite, it is absolute. What is seems not to be is the construct, which is what it should be. This would simply be an error.

As Shadal writes in Ohev Ger:

Shadal says this and also adds that it is giduf ve-chiruf, because the division creates mention of Elokim and Ruchot as separate entities. While this seems to be true, this is surely accidental, and nobody would understand it that way. Rather, it is a natural mistake and development in language, in which the definite article ending is applied to each item of the pair in the construct. Just as is true in other languages. That is how it was intended and how it will be understood. I would imagine that this is not the only time this type of error occurs, and for this reason. I am not certain that this sort of natural language development, and deviation from the canonical form, while the meaning is clearly the same, would be giduf ve-chiruf, even if it indeed is unlikely to be the correct original text of Onkelos or the original grammatical Babylonian Aramaic.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When the fast of the 17th of Tammuz ends, in Kew Gardens Hills, New York, in 2010

Of course, check the linked to sources for your own local times, if you are distant from KHG.

According to the Etz Chaim Bulletin, the fast of Shivasar BeTammuz ends at 9:05 PM.

According to Chabad, it is the middle number here:

Shkiah (sunset)
8:31 pm
Fast Ends
9:04 pm
Tzeit Hakochovim (nightfall)
9:11 pm

At MyZmanim:

Fast Begins

at 3:38 AM Dawn - Degrees
or at 4:14 AM Dawn - Fixed Minutes
Eating of a settled character - אכילת קבע - may not be started
during the half hour immediately preceding dawn. Please
consult your Rabbi for details. 

Fast Ends

R' Tukaccinsky

  • The fast ends no later than the
    emergence of ג' כוכבים בינונים at -

  • 9:07 PM
    R' Moshe Feinstein

  • One who finds fasting difficult may eat at -

    9:12 PM

  • One who does not find fasting difficult
    should wait until the time for מוצאי שבת at -

    9:21 PM

    ?מהיכא תיתי

    Note: While I have your attention -- my brother- and sister-in-law are trying to sell their coop apartment in Kew Gardens Hills. If you are looking, or know someone who is looking, please check this out. Thanks!

    Monday, June 28, 2010

    Interesting Posts and Articles #265

    1. This week's Haveil Havalim, hosted at A Time of the Signs.
    2. Daat Torah gets a subpoena notice from Google.
    3. BBC has how an Ancient Egyptian city, of the Hyksos, was found via radar.
    4. In the Emanuel case, recently the Slonimer Rebbe said:

      The Rebbe adds that if he really thought the judges believed there was truly discrimination at Emanuel’s Beis Yaakov, he would act differently, but this is not the case. “But since I have no doubt whatsoever that their words are baseless, this is simply a battle of emunah against k’fira, between the koach of kedusha and the koach of tuma, the sitra achra – a battle that we all knew would come near the end of days”.
      “And in a battle of Kiddush Hashem, even if they stand us before a firing squad, there will be no compromise. Hashem is our King and we will continue in his path until our last breath”.
      This captures, for me, a major theme in this whole case. Right or wrong, the Sefardim thought that there was no merit to the Slonim segregation, believing it to be simple discrimination against Sefardim. Meanwhile, the opposing camp demonized the Sefardim as simple troublemakers. And whether or not there was discrimination, the assumption now is that the evil Zionist judges are just trying to impose kefirah and state standards on the school, and don't believe them to be really bothered by discrimination. Everyone believes the other party to be evil and malicious. I think that this is not the case, but in arguments like this, people are not used to viewing it from the opposing party's perspective.

    5. At any rate, they reached a compromise, and so the fathers were released. It does not strike me as much of a compromise. It seems more like the Emanuel parents won. They will start their own independent school next year. And in the last three days, both Sefardi and Ashkenazi girls will attend a seminar together on Ahavas Yisrael. But this is not regular school. It is a gathering for all the four schools in the neighborhood, is not regular classes, and just all groups will attend. I would guess they reached this "compromise" because the Sefardim didn't want the bad press and pressure from not reaching a compromise and having the fathers, and then the mothers, locked up for longer.
      Meanwhile, Rav Yaakov Yosef's take on the situation. He claims it was indeed discrimination. One interesting excerpt:
      “Apparently in these things, the Satan didn’t suffice with sending an emissary but decided to attend to things himself. We asked several times to speak with the Slonimer rebbe. They arranged a meeting for us, but each time, it was cancelled at the last moment. Apparently, they were afraid that if we would meet with the rebbe and explain certain things to him, maybe the rebbe would open his eyes and would realize who are those surrounding him, and apparently, they’re very afraid of that.”

    6. At Cross-Currents, Harvard and Chareidi racism:

      People who tell television cameras that there is no prejudice against Sefardim in the haredi world because we study Rambam play the rest of Israeli society for fools.
    7. Two religious MKs attacked in Meah Shearim for cooperating with the Zionist regime.
    8. At Revach and repeated at the Lakewood Scoop, wearing a hat for davening -- is it more important than davening with a minyan?
      The Mishna Berura says that a person should wear a hat during Davening because it is not the practice to appear in front of prominent people without a hat. Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit’a says that if a person will miss Davening with a Minyan if he insists on wearing a hat, it is better to Daven without a Minyan with a hat than to Daven without his hat with a Minyan. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach argues and he holds although one should make every effort to Daven with a hat, he should not give up Davening with a Minyan for it. (Alon Ahavas Shalom)
      Check out the comments in both places. The Aruch Hashulchan makes it clear that this requirement is only where they wear hats in the streets. And this appears the implication of the Mishnah Berurah as well. There are other factors of double-covering during Shemoneh Esrei, or atifa during it, which are brought up in the comments, which are not what people make of them. But here is not the place to elaborate.
    9. Life In Israel notes that the Emanuel parents who were imprisoned will daven for you in exchange for your money. Now that they have been let out, I suppose the deal is not still in effect.
    10. At Rationalist Judaism, Rabbi Slifkin introduces a new edition of the Challenge of Creation, which has been out of print.
    11. Hebrew Books introduces a new IPhone and IPad application.

    Do Chazal dispute whether shedim exist?

    There is an interesting discussion over at Rationalist Judaism as to whether Rambam interpreted Chazal correctly. The discussion turned to sheidim, and the Rambam's break from Chazal as to their existence. Some suggested that it might have even been a dispute among Chazal themselves, with some believing in their existence and some disbelieving.

    Perhaps, or perhaps not, but I think I can debunk the one gemara which was offered as evidence in that thread. It was from Bava Kamma 21a:

    אמר רב סחורה אמר רב הונא אמר רב הדר בחצר חבירו שלא מדעתו אין צריך להעלות לו שכר משום שנאמר  (ישעיהו כד, יב) ושאיה יוכת שער אמר מר בר רב אשי לדידי חזי ליה ומנגח כי תורא רב יוסף אמר ביתא מיתבא יתיב מאי בינייהו איכא בינייהו דקא משתמש ביה בציבי ותיבנא

    R. Sehorah slated that R. Huna quoting Rab had said: He who occupies his neighbour's premises without having any agreement with him is under no legal obligation to pay him rent, for Scripture says, Through emptiness (Shaya) even the gate gets smitten. Mar, son of R. Ashi, remarked: I myself have seen such a thing and the damage was as great as though done by a goring ox. R. Joseph said: Premises that are inhabited by tenants keep in a better condition. What however is the [practical] difference between them? — There is a difference between them in the case where the owner was using the premises for keeping there wood and straw.
    The suggestion was that Rav Yosef must disbelieve in the existence of sheidim. But this is not necessarily so. Rashi writes:
    שנאמר ושאיה יוכת שער - שד ששמו שאיה מכתת שער בית שאין בני אדם דרין בו והלכך זה שעמד בו ההנהו. לישנא אחרינא בית שהוא שאוי ויחיד מאין אדם יוכת שער מזיקין מכתתין אותו:
    That is, it is a particular demon. Demonology is a complex subject, and it could be that Rav Yosef did not believe in this particular sheid, or that it has this particular effect -- or else had heard a tradition as to the true reason for the introduction of this law.

    I will elaborate why I doubt that Rav Yosef would disbelieve in the reality of sheidim in general. If we look in Pesachim 110a:
    אמר רב יוסף אמר לי יוסף שידא אשמדאי מלכא דשידי ממונה הוא אכולהו זוגי ומלכא לא איקרי מזיק איכא דאמרי לה להאי גיסא אדרבה מלכא [רתחנא הוא] מאי דבעי עביד שהמלך פורץ גדר לעשות לו דרך ואין מוחין בידו  אמר רב פפא אמר לי יוסף שידא בתרי קטלינן בארבעה לא קטלינן בארבעה מזקינן בתרי בין בשוגג בין במזיד בארבעה במזיד אין בשוגג לא 
    I am going to cite Point by Point summary rather than giving my own translation:
    Rav Yosef: Yosef the Shed told me that Ashmedai, the king of the Shedim, is appointed over all Zugos;
    1. Version #1: A king does not normally damage (we need not be so concerned for Zugos; the Beraisos warn against it on account of witchcraft).
    2. Version #2: A king does whatever he wants - he may breach a fence to make a path for himself, and people cannot protest (we must be very concerned for Zugos).
    Rav Papa: Yosef the Shed told me that Shedim kill on account of two (e.g. cups); they damage on account of four, but they do not kill;
    1. They strike on account of two whether it was Shogeg or Mezid; they damage on account of four only if it was Mezid.
    Most translations I have seen give this as Yosef the Shed, that is Yosef the demon. Could someone who has conversed with a demon really disbelieve in demons. (We also see, according to the second version, that one who believes in demons could still believe that they would not accomplish some particular action.)

    Now, in William G. Braude's The Book of Legends, I have seen "Yosef Sheda" translated as "Yosef, the expert on demons." That is, "Sheda" is a profession or expertise in demonology, and he is informing these Amoraim about the rules governing demons. Still, that they cite him in any meaningful way indicates that they believe in the reality of demons. (Unless we suggest that Rav Yosef here cites him according to version #2, in order to undermine belief in zugot because he does not believe in their reality.)

    Depending on whether מר when used by Abaye refers to Rabbah or Rav Yosef, we may have an explicit example of Rav Yosef saying that something was caused by demons, on Chullin 105b.

    I would like to reconsider the gemara in Eruvin about Eliyahu Hanavi or Yosef Sheida. But first, a paraphrase of something from the end of Yerushalmi Terumot:

    Thus, sheidim have the ability to transport people from one location to another more or less instantaneously. This is either teleportation or really fast travel. Now, let us turn back to Eruvin 43a:
    תא שמע הני שב שמעתא דאיתאמרן בצפר' בשבתא קמיה דרב חסדא בסורא בהדי פניא בשבתא קמיה דרבא בפומבדיתא מאן אמרינהו לאו אליהו אמרינהו אלמא אין תחומין למעלה מעשרה לא דלמא יוסף שידא אמרינהו
    Or, from the Point by Point Summary:
    (f) Answer #3: Seven teachings were said Shabbos morning in front of Rav Chisda in Sura, and Shabbos afternoon in front of Rabah in Pumbadisa [which is outside the Techum of Sura; surely, the same person said them]!
    1. Suggestion: Eliyahu said them (he flew above 10 from Sura to Pumbadisa) - this shows that Techumim does not apply above 10!Me'iri, Chasam Sofer 6:98
    (g) Rejection: Perhaps they were said by a certain Shed [that does not observe Shabbos]. 
    I would emend this to not just "a certain Shed" by Yosef the Shed, the same one who spoke to Rav Yosef and Rav Papa elsewhere.

    Thus, first the assumption is that only Eliyahu Hanavi could travel that quickly. He would not violate Shabbos by traveling past the techum, so he must have used his other miraculous power and traveled in the air, higher than 10 tefachim. Thus, techum does not apply over ten hand-breadths.

    The gemara rejects this because maybe it was Yosef Sheida. That is, Yosef the demon. We see elsewhere that this demon conversed with Amoraim, and could do so here. And demons are not required to keep Shabbos, even if they have the name Yosef! As Rashi writes:

    יוסף שידא - דלא מינטר שבתא:

    Yosef the Sheid, who does not keep Shabbos. And as we saw from the aforementioned story in Yerushalmi, demons can travel really fast.

    Alternatively, if we understand Yosef Sheida as the human expert on demons, then the gemara is suggesting that this human expert was able to harness the power of demons to travel this great distance on Shabbos. And there is no evidence that Yosef the demon expert was a religious man. He didn't keep Shabbos, but still traveled to Pumpedisa and related the seven rulings.

    Alternatively, Yosef Sheida is still this human expert, but unlike Rashi's suggestion, he did keep the Shabbos. But travel via demon is instantaneous teleportation, which does not involve travel on the ground or above it.

    In any case, the gemara is trying to establish halacha, and relies on the reality of Eliyahu Hanavi moving around among us, and then on the existence and power of demons. This indicates to me that whoever wrote this indeed believed in the existence and power of demons, and was not using it in some metaphorical sense.

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    How Ravina ate worms

    I had an interesting thought, but decided to leave it out of the previous post on anisakis worms because it would distract from the main point.

    In Chullin 67b, we hear about how darnei, a worm parasite which dwells between the flesh and the skin, is forbidden in meat but permitted in fish.

    This is followed by a statement of how Ravina used to eat these worms:

    אמר לה רבינא לאימיה אבלע לי ואנא איכול

    A typical explanation would be:
    "Ravina asked his mother to mix fish worms with his fish, so he would eat them without seeing them."

    Why should she mix them together? As Rashi explains:
    אבלע לי - דכוורי בתוך הדגים תני אותם שלא אראה ואקוץ בם:

    And so, she was to mix the worms into the the flesh of the fish -- so that it was swallowed up / אבלע לי -- and then he would eat them. This disgust at the worms might be problematic for the reason I mentioned in the previous post, of bal teshakatzu. Further, the reason for mixing it up like this is missing from the statement itself. And to use the phrase אבלע לי in context of eating carries another connotation.

    That would be that Ravina was acting in a silly manner with his mother, telling her to treat him like a baby bird. Since these worms are absolutely kosher, she should drop them in his mouth like a mother bird would her chicks, and he would then eat them.

    This would then be the very opposite of Rashi's explanation, both in terms of disgust and in terms of whether they were separate entities. I don't know that I really am convinced this is the meaning of the statement, but I thought I'd record it here for later consideration.

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Dreams of talking donkeys

    Summary: Ibn Caspi's thesis that the talking donkey and the angel with sword were part of an elaborate daydream.

    Post: I spotted a nice comment by Ibn Caspi a few days ago. As background to this, I should not that Ibn Caspi earlier resolves Hashem's anger at Bilaam for going, after telling him he could go, by noting that depending on intonation or context, a phrase might mean something or its opposite.

    Then, he says:

    To explain, Bilaam had this dream in which Hashem told him this instruction. Yet he was unsure just what Hashem meant (that is, I think, positive or negative connotation). His mind was dwelling on this topic. He arose and was on his way when he drifted off, and dozed. And this was his (prophetic) dream.

    To a particular sort of pashtan and rationalist, this resolves how he was able to see a malach Hashem, meaning angel, who was first invisible. And how a donkey could talk.

    If a dream, it would work out well with what I see as the allegorical message, in which Bilaam was his donkey. I suggested it could be allegorical even it is happened. But now we can simply say that it was allegory in a dream.

    Lurker, on an earlier post, wrote:
    Prof. Yitzhak Levine of Bar Ilan University has proposed an alternative understanding of the story that resolves this apparent contradiction, together with as many other problemmatic issues in this parsha. I find his interpretation quite convincing. You can find it in Hebrew here, and in English here.
    Professor Levine's suggestion is that it is a dream, and specifically a folding over explaining the precise contents of the second dream. In other words, Bilaam dreamed this that second night.

    Why does Rashi mention that the geder is made of stone?

    Summary: An interesting Taz on Rashi, but I find my own way.
    Post: In parashat Balak, the malach stands in Bilaam's way in a narrow path between two vineyards:

    24. The angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, with a fence on this side and a fence on that side.כד. וַיַּעֲמֹד מַלְאַךְ יְ־הֹוָ־ה בְּמִשְׁעוֹל הַכְּרָמִים גָּדֵר מִזֶּה וְגָדֵר מִזֶּה:

    Rashi explains:

    with a fence on either side: Heb. גָּדֵר. Unless specified otherwise, גָּדֵר refers to one made of stone.גדר מזה וגדר מזה: סתם גדר של אבנים הוא:

    What is his basis for saying this? Why should it matter? What does this add?

    The Taz wonders about this Rashi.

    First, in terms of the dibbur hamatchil. Why not just cite גדר, as opposed to the full phrase. Secondly, why does it matter if the fence was made of wood or rock?

    He answers based on a midrash Rabba -- also a Tanchuma, that refers to the merit of the Israelites in having the luchot of stone, which were written upon on both sides. Thus:
    גדר מזה וגדר מזה. אין אתה יכול לשלוט בהם, שבידיהם שני לוחות אבנים כתובים מזה ומזה משני עבריהם. 
    And despite the midrash not mentioning stone explicitly, by Rashi mentioning stone, and by Rashi using this phrase which is darshened in this way in midrash, he is hinting to this. And the chacham harazim can see wondrous things, on condition of course that the specific language of the dibbur hamatchil really indicates this.

    An interesting approach. But if Rashi wanted to indicate this, he could have told us more explicitly, by citing the midrash. I would rather look to see how this comment of Rashi fits in with other comments of Rashi, and try to develop some sort of picture of Rashi's agenda from that.

    Mekorei Rashi refers us to Bava Kamma 29b, where Rashi makes the same statement, in explaining the gemara. Thus:
    והגודר גדרו בקוצים - שעשה גדר של קוצים דסתם גדר של אבנים הוא דכתיב וגדר אבניו נהרסה (משלי כד):ש

    Thus the Mishna needed to indicate the material for the geder because it was not the implicit one. A typical geder is a stone wall. His proof from this is Mishlei 24:

    לא  וְהִנֵּה עָלָה כֻלּוֹ, קִמְּשֹׂנִים--כָּסּוּ פָנָיו חֲרֻלִּים;    וְגֶדֶר אֲבָנָיו נֶהֱרָסָה.31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thistles, the face thereof was covered with nettles, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.

    Perhaps since the pasuk did not indicate otherwise, Rashi thought it a good point of peshat to give a precise definition of term. However, I think it is more than that. Namely, in the next pasuk and Rashi:

    25. The she-donkey saw the angel of the Lord, and she was pressed against the wall. She pressed Balaam's leg against the wall, and he beat her again.כה. וַתֵּרֶא הָאָתוֹן אֶת מַלְאַךְ יְ־הֹוָ־ה וַתִּלָּחֵץ אֶל הַקִּיר וַתִּלְחַץ אֶת רֶגֶל בִּלְעָם אֶל הַקִּיר וַיֹּסֶף לְהַכֹּתָהּ:
    She was pressed: וַתִּלָּחֵץ. [The ‘ niphal’ form denotes] she herself.ותלחץ: היא עצמה:
    She pressed: וַתִּלְחַץ. [The ‘kal’ form denotes that she pressed] something else, namely, Balaam’s leg.ותלחץ: את אחרים את רגל בלעם:

    If pressed against wood or thorns, it might injure but not crush. But with a stone wall, it is a more serious injury.

    Indeed, in Sotah 10a, we read:
    R. Johanan also said: Balaam was lame in one leg, as it is said: And he went shefi;
    While in next perek, where this pasuk occurs, Rashi does not explain it that way, I would guess that this was in the back of his mind, that Bilaam here becomes lame of a crushed foot. A punishment for the wicked.

    As to why cite the full phrase rather than just geder, if it is indeed significant, it can indicate how he was between a rock and a hard place, and how the situation was such that whichever way the jenny turned, she would cause an injury to Bilaam. And we can thus anticipate this injury one pasuk early. And this foreshadowing is part of the meaning of the pasuk.


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