Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The 'peshat' in Shamayim, in Haazinu HaShamayim

Summary: Tur vs. Tur, peshat vs. hanachon.

Post: According to the Tur's short commentary, shamayim at the start of Haazinu is a reference to the big cities and small towns.

"According to the peshat, the meaning of Haazinu HaShamayim is to those who dwell in the large cities which are fortified unto the heavens.; and vetishma ha'aretz is to those who dwell is villages and small towns."

Yet he does not offer this as peshat in his longer commentary:

"Some explain shamayim as referring to the angels who dwell in heaven, and the aretz as those who dwell on earth.

And some explain that this is on behalf of the rain which is from heaven, and on the earth that it should give its crops.

And what is correct is that it is the heavens and the earth literally, that the way of the pesukim is to take testimony from something which lasts and stands forever. And so too 'Hear, mountains, the dispute of Hashem' (Michah 6:2)."

It would seem that he changed his mind from one work to the other. I am not certain which one was composed earlier.


Bar Uryan said...

In fact they are two parts one of work, separated later; thus the question is no question to begin with.

joshwaxman said...

yes, that is what he says in the hakdama. i assumed i had read that hakdama incorrectly.

but if so, the question DOES stand. which is right? the "nachon" or the "peshat".

joshwaxman said...

in other words, his hakdama (attached to the short work), where he mentions both commentaries, is here.

he speaks in this hakadama of relying heavily on the Ramban. but also, at the very end, four lines from the bottom, he writes of writing at the beginning of each sefer a bit of parperaot, of gematriot, taamei hamasoret, lehamshich halev.

these were indeed separated into two separate works.

given the conflict, i made an assumption that these separate strata might have been composed at separate times and published together, such that he could contradict himself from one to the other.

but even if they were composed together, the conflict still stands. which does he put forth? the "peshat" as he writes it in his introductory remarks to the sidra, or the "nachon" as he writes in his lengthy commentary?


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