Tuesday, December 06, 2022

It's been a while...

 I've been blogging a bit on Substack, at Scribal Error. While focused more on gemara and girsaot, I just had a post on Rationalism and Midrash. Check out Luminous Stones and Peshat in Midrash.

An excerpt:

Is this magic? Miracle? The natural process by which luminous stones glow? It seems a natural process. Bereishit Rabba continues:

אָמַר רַבִּי הוּנָא עֲרִיקִין הֲוֵינָן מִן קוֹמֵי גוּנְדָא בַּהֲדָא בּוּטִיטָה דִּטְבֶרְיָה וְהָיָה בְּיָדֵינוּ נֵרוֹת, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהָיוּ כֵּהִים הָיִינוּ יוֹדְעִים שֶׁהוּא יוֹם, וּבְשָׁעָה שֶׁהָיוּ מַבְהִיקִים הָיִינוּ יוֹדְעִים שֶׁהוּא לָיְלָה.

Rabbi Huna relates how, when they were hiding from a troop in the ruins of Teveriah, they had lamps. When they grew dim they knew it was day, while when they grew bright, they knew it was night.

Thus, I’d guess that Rabbi Levi, the author of this midrash, viewed it as natural rather than supernatural. 

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