Tuesday, June 16, 2020

marching along

1) "Shuvah Hashem rivivos alphei Yisrael."  (10:36)

Not only is it a pasuk in our parsha, but it's a pasuk we say in davening every time we return the sefer Torah to the aron.  Rabbi Artscroll in his sidur translates: "Return Hashem to the myriad thosands of Israel."  Rabbi Artscroll in his chumash, however, translates it differently, following Rashi's pshat: "Reside tranquilly, O, [can anyone explain why they stick in "O" here?} Hashem, amoung the myriad thousands of Israel."  

I don't know how you resolve shnei Artscrolls ha'makchishim zeh es zeh.  

2) More to say on the parsha below, but first a small interlude.  Apparently some of acheinu either done say those pesukim of "ya'yehi binso'a" or have no idea what they mean.  "V'yanusu mi'sanecha mi'panecha..."  Who are the sonei Hashem that we are talking about?  Chazal tell us: "eilu sonei Yisrael."  We also have this up coming week's parsha to warn us about speaking against Israel, no matter what the motives may be.  So how can it be that "orthodox" Jews, wearing kippot, can walk in a march, can carry signs, in support of a movement that declares that Israel is an "apartheid state" that practices "systemic discrimination?"  It's right there, on the m4BL (am umbrella group that includes BLM and others) website:

"In addition, approximately 3 billion dollars in US aid is allocated to Israel, a state that practices systematic discrimination and has maintained a military occupation of Palestine for decades. "

"Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people.  Palestinian homes and land are routinely bulldozed to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli soldiers also regularly arrest and detain Palestinians as young as 4 years old without due process. Everyday, Palestinians are forced to walk through military checkpoints along the US­funded apartheid wall."

Is this a platform we should be supporting?

The article I linked to about the march has a quote from a "rising juinor" from a local "yeshiva" high school who was there to represent the "Jewish LGBTQ-plus community."  

Hashem yerachem.  How very sad.

Back to our regular program.

3) לָמָ֤ה הֲרֵעֹ֙תָ֙ לְעַבְדֶּ֔ךָ וְלָ֛מָּה לֹא־מָצָ֥תִי חֵ֖ן בְּעֵינֶ֑יךָ

Moshe says to Hashem, "Why have you done harm to me, and why have I not found favor in your eyes?" (11:11)

Shouldn't the phrases be reversed?  Doing harm is far worse than simply not finding favor -- is this a "lo zu af zu?"  

HaKsav vhaKabbalah says the word "harei'osa" here is not from the root ra, to do bad.  Chas v'shalom that Moshe shou;d say that about G-d.  Rather it is from the same root like the word "ro'eh," a shephard.  (See this post as well.)  Moshe was saying to Hashem, "Why have you made me the shepard to the nation but not given me the tools I need to do my job properly?"

4) We once discussed whether the word "na" in "K-l na refa na lah" means please or whether it means right away.  When I did that post I should have caught that the same issue comes up earlier in the parsha.  Moshe says to Yisro, "Al na ta'azoz osanu."  Rashi says na=bakasha, please.  Ibn Ezra. however (as well as Targum Onkelus), says it means atah=now, and he adds that this is how the word should always be translated.  What Moshe is telling Yisro is that now is a terrible time to leave because we're almost at our destination.  It would be like sitting for hours for a long car ride and then deciding to turn around and head home just as you were approaching your destination.  

5) In complaining to Hashem that he cannot possibly provide the people with meat, Moshe says (11:15)

וְאִם־כָּ֣כָה׀ אַתְּ־עֹ֣שֶׂה לִּ֗י הׇרְגֵ֤נִי נָא֙ הָרֹ֔ג אִם־מָצָ֥אתִי חֵ֖ן בְּעֵינֶ֑יךָ וְאַל־אֶרְאֶ֖ה בְּרָעָתִֽי

Rashi comments on the last word:

׳ברעתם׳ היה ליכתב, אלא שֶכינה הכתוב, וזה אחד מתיקוני סופרים בתורה לכינוי לתיקון לשון.

I'm not going to get into what Rashi means by tikun sofrim.  Simpler question: why is the tikun necessary?  What would be so bad about saying to G-d that he does not want to see "ra'asam" of the people?  

The Taz in Divrei David says a bold chiddush, but without realizing it he is mechavein to the way Sefer haIkkarim quotes our Rashi.  He sets the stage by pointing out a Rashi in Iyov 32:3 on the pasuk וּבִשְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת רֵעָיו֮ חָרָ֢ה אַ֫פּ֥וֹ עַ֤ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹא־מָצְא֣וּ מַעֲנֶ֑ה וַ֝יַּרְשִׁ֗יעוּ אֶת־אִיּֽוֹב׃  

Rashi writes

וירשיעו את איוב – זה אחד מן המקראות שתקנו סופרים את לשון הכתוב וירשיעו כלפי המקום בשתיקותם היה לו לכתוב אלא שכינה הכתוב וכן וימירו את כבודם בתבנית שור כבודי היה לו לכתוב אלא שכינה הכתוב וכן ואל אראה ברעתי (במדבר יא) ברעת׳ היה לו לכתוב אלא שכינה הכתוב וכן הרבה מקומות בספרי ובמסורת הגדולה.

The tikun of the pasuk in Iyov is necessay because the chavrei Iyov were making G-d c"v into a bad guy.  Rashi gives other examples of the same, among them our pasuk.  Taz therefore suggests that the text of our Rashi is corrupt, and the tikun is not to avoid saying  ׳ ברעתם׳ but rather to avoid saying ב,רעתך, referring to G-d.  

Amending the text of a Rashi is no small thing.  The footnotes in the Mosad haRav Kook edition of the Divrei David note that there are no early texts of Rashi that would support the Taz's suggestion. 


  1. -- "3) ...'made me the shepard...but [have] not given me the tools'"

    a. hadn't He? what tools does a shepherd need? a rod and a staff [Teh. 23:4, as commonly translated]. Hashem gave Moshe one with which to prod (Shemos 4:17), and one with which to check (when dropped on the ground, it became a snake, 4:3).

    b. if Moshe had had the spirit of seventy+ prophets, would he have been able to blow the quail in from the sea himself [with no death to follow, but a satisfying feast]?

    ...but his speech became heavy (as before, Shemos 4:10), and thus the klal heavy too (Bam. 11:14), save that seventy+ elders helped to bear his weighty words...

    -- "4) ...Moshe says to Yisro, 'Al na ta'azoz osanu.'"

    when Moshe added 'yadata chanoseinu bamidbar', a verse rose from the degalim section and moved* to its current place at 10:36; when Moshe added 'v'hayisa lanu l'einayim', a verse rose and moved* to 10:35...

    *Rav Ashi, Shabbos 116a, degalim

    -- "5) ...What would be so bad...?"

    Moshe doesn't tell the people, 'shame on you for complaining', nor 'get a grip for G-d's sake', nor 'surely the manna is your privilege!', nor 'Egypt was horrific and you know it in your bones'. he says 'I can't manage it, the meat', 11:13*; their request is somehow acceptable** (though impossible to grant). to see the people's "'ra'asam'" would be to see Injustice...

    *by 11:22, the leader at the end of his tether says something else, struggling to recover his lofty balance

    **'the people resist, Hashem, a lockdown opposite the pantry [found only in their minds? or in Egypt?]-- must you take Capital Offense? you forbade them to console Ayish for her children (Iyov, 38:32) after all, so please...'

  2. Because your readers need to know