Posts Tagged ‘Hizkuni’

Behar 5779

May 21, 2019

What is a hendiadys … what is a toshav … and what do they have to do with each other?

Torah Talk for the week of May 19th, 2019

Lev 25:35    a resident alien [גר ותושב]

Lev 25:40    a hired or bound laborer [תושב ושכיר]

This week’s handout:  32 Behar 5779

And note Joram Mayshar’s article in JBL 2014:

The term תושב (toshav) appears in the Bible fourteen times, mostly in passages associated with the Holiness Code (H). It is typically interpreted as referring to an alien who resides in a foreign country on a long-term basis. I propose, instead, that it had an economic meaning, referring to “a rent-paying (farming) tenant,” that is, someone who cultivates land that he does not own and pays rent to the landlord. In the course of supporting this interpretation, I offer a framework for understanding the social structure envisioned by H and for appreciating H’s innovative social aspirations.

Click here for Zev Farber’s Bible Odyssey column on slavery in the Bible.

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Mishpatim 5779

January 29, 2019

This is Torah Talk for the week of January 27th, 2019

Exod. 24:4    Early in the morning, he set up an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve pillars for [ל] the twelve tribes of Israel.  [Apologies; on the recording I say by mistake that this preposition is על.]

Exod. 24:8   Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people …

What were the pillars for, and what was Moses doing with the blood?

This week’s handout:  18 mishpatim 5779

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Vayishlach 5779

November 20, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of November 18th, 2018

Gen. 32:33  That is why the children of Israel to this day do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the

socket of the hip, since Jacob’s hip socket was wrenched at the thigh muscle.

Is this a commandment, or just a bit of ethnography?

This week’s handout:  08 Vayishlach 5779

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Bereshit 5779

October 2, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of September 30th, 2018

Gen. 1:1

  When God began to createa heaven and earth— 2 the earth being תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind fromb God sweeping over the water— 3 God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day.c

What does תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ mean? 

NJPS:              unformed and void

KJV:                without form, and void

NRSV:             a formless void

LXX:              ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος  [“invisible and not properly prepared”]

Everett Fox:    wild and waste

Jack Sasson:    “Hodgepodge” [“Time … to Begin,” in Sha’arei Talmon,188]

This week’s handout:  01 Bereshit 5779
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V’zot ha-Bracha 5778-79

September 25, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of September 23rd, 2018

Deut. 33:28

Thus Israel dwells in safety,

Untroubled is Jacob’s abode, בדד עין יעקב

In a land of grain and wine, אל-ארץ דגן ותירוש

Under heavens dripping dew.

What makes Jacob “untroubled,” and what is his “abode”?

This week’s handout:  54 V’zot ha-Bracha 5778-79
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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778

March 6, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of March 4th, 2018

God is the One who is “Enthroned on the Cherubim” — but not on those calves!  So … what exactly are cherubim?  William Propp says they are “griffins.”

This week’s handout:  22-23 Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778


Ha’azinu 5777-78

September 19, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of September 17th, 2017 

Deut. 32:44    Moses came, together with Hosea son of Nun, and recited all the words of this poem in the hearing of the people.

The poem is Ha’azinu … but why is Joshua called Hosea?

Note:  I mistakenly said on the podcast that we would be reading Ha’azinu for a second week — but since Saturday afternoon September 23rd we have been “in” Parshat V’Zot Ha-Bracha.  That podcast, however, remains scheduled for Oct. 3rd, in time for the full reading on Oct. 5th or 6th (depending on which calendar you follow).

This week’s handout:  53 Ha’azinu 5777-78



Pinchas 5777

July 11, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of July 9th, 2017

Num. 29:12   On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, you shall observe a sacred occasion: you shall not work at your occupations.—Seven days you shall observe a festival of the Lord.— 13 You shall present a burnt offering, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord: Thirteen bulls of the herd [!], two rams, fourteen yearling lambs; they shall be without blemish.

This week’s handout:  41 Pinchas 5777


Emor 5777

May 9, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 7th, 2017

Lev. 23:42 You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens [אזרח] in Israel shall live in booths.

Rashi: All citizens in Israel. All citizens, and all those in Israel, including converts. [But is Rashi correct?]

This week’s handout:  31 Emor 5777