Monday, October 24, 2011

Punished with water, midah keneged midah

Summary: Here is a confusing Ibn Ezra that I thought bore explanation.

Post: The pasuk at the start of Noach states:

12. And God saw the earth, and behold it had become corrupted, for all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth.יב. וַיַּרְא אֱ־לֹהִים אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְהִנֵּה נִשְׁחָתָה כִּי הִשְׁחִית כָּל בָּשָׂר אֶת דַּרְכּוֹ עַל הָאָרֶץ:

13. And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth has become full of robbery because of them, and behold I am destroying them from the earth.יג. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ־לֹהִים לְנֹחַ קֵץ כָּל בָּשָׂר בָּא לְפָנַי כִּי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ חָמָס מִפְּנֵיהֶם וְהִנְנִי מַשְׁחִיתָם אֶת הָאָרֶץ:

and Ibn Ezra writes:
[ו, יב]
ומה שאמרו קדמונינו ז"ל כי טעם השחית כל בשר את דרכו, שכל חי לא שמר דרך תולדתו ועוות הנתיב הנטוע הידוע נכון הוא. ומה נכבד דרש דרשו שהשחיתו במים ודנם השם במים, וכאשר מימיהם ממעל ומתחת, כן היו המים שהשחיתם בם:

"And that which our kadmonim za'l wrote that the intent of הִשְׁחִית כָּל בָּשָׂר אֶת דַּרְכּוֹ, that all living creatures did not keep its way of creation and perverted the known planted path, it is correct. And how honored is the derasha which they darshened that they corrupted with water and Hashem judged them with water, and just as their water was above and below, so too was the water by which they were destroyed (השחיתם)."

There is certainly the parallel within the pasuk itself between the description of their corruption הִשְׁחִית and the judgement מַשְׁחִיתָם. A midrash regarding middah keneged middah is apt, and fits well into this frame. Where did Chazal give this derasha? See Mechokekei Yehuda, who explains all of this.

In Sanhedrin 108b:
R. Hisda said: With hot passion {rotchin} they sinned, and by hot water {rotchin} they were punished. [For] here it is written, And the water cooled;8  whilst elsewhere it is said, Then the king's wrath cooled down.9
It seems that Ibn Ezra is taking the רותחין in the first part literally, rather than simply referring to hot passion.

How was their water above and below? Mechokekei Yehuda writes:

שהי׳ האיש שובב ונשכב, או
 פי׳ שהזרע היה יוצא ממעל מן השכל, ומתחת זה הגוף:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

בעל מחוקקי יהודה לקח אותו מבאר יצחק.


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