Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Parhat Beshalach, 5773/2013 thoughts

Basics here.

New thought:

As I posited in my Parshat Bo notes post, ""Check out Parshat Bo, Exodus Chap. 10, v. 8-13: Moshe tells Par'o [Pharaoh] that they're taking the whole gang to make a sacrifice, but when Par'o objects, saying that only the men should go, HaShem sends another plague! So we women are indispensible for worship!"

I would carry that thought forward to the celebration at the Reed Sea in Parshat B'Shalach--it appears that there would have been no true celebration without the women singing and dancing, in addition to the men.  Otherwise, why would the Torah even mention that the women had taken timbrels in hand, and, dancing, had joined in the rejoicing, with Miriam singing to the entire camp?

Sunday, January 27, 2013 update

טו  וַיִּרְאוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל-אָחִיו מָן הוּא--כִּי לֹא יָדְעוּ, מַה-הוּא
 15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another: 'What is it?'--for they knew not what it was."

Yeah, right:  A likely story, quoth she sarcastically.  The original Hebrew clearly says Mahn (manna), not Mah (What?).  To me, this seems to be a case of midrash (legend/interpretive story) incorporated into the Torah itself.  It appears to me that the name Mahn/manna pre-existed this story.  It also seems to me that there are two different versions of the story woven together in this single sentence, one in which the Israelites did know, and one in which they did not know, what manna was.  Round up the usual suspect.  :)

"Monday, February 6, 2012 update:

Where the heck did the newly-freed slaves get weapons with which to fight the Amalekim/Amalekites at the end of this parsha? There's no mention of the slaves despoiling their soon-to-be-former masters of weapons."

This year's question:  Where the heck did the newly-freed slaves get military training?

    • Who the heck was Hur?  (See 17:10 and 12.)  We have nothing but midrash to explain his identity--the Torah seems to think it unimportant.
    • What did the Amalekim/Amalekites do to deserve to have G-d wage war against them in every generation?  (See 17:14 and 16.)  They may have been the first to attack the Israelite nation, but they certainly weren't the last.  The tale about them having attacked the ill and weak doesn't appear until a later part of the Torah.  (See the "Round up the usual suspect" link above.) 

  • I should have posted this link on Tuesday, January 22:  Not going there, literally :( (Monday, January 10, 2011). I won't go to Tehillim (Psalms) Group on the day of Parshat HaMan because I refuse to "davven"/pray Parshat HaMan--I don't see any difference between segulot and other superstitious acts.  I just read the text as part of Parshat Beshalach.  Check out that post for interesting links-- DovBear and AddeRabbi aren't too thrilled about this segulah, either, but Rabbi Fink has a rationalist's perspective regarding segulot. 
  • Parsha puzzles: Out of the blue (Thursday, February 03, 2011) 
" .. . . who's this Yehoshua/Joshua fellow who suddenly shows up out of a clear blue in Exodus, chapter 17, verse 9, at the end of Parshat Beshallach? Never heard of him before."

Conservadox weighs in on B'Shalach--twice.


Anonymous AnDat said...

As far as the weapons go - see Shmot/Exodus 13:18 "וַיַּסֵּב אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָעָם דֶּרֶךְ הַמִּדְבָּר, יַם-סוּף; וַחֲמֻשִׁים עָלוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם. 18 But God led the people about, by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt. "
[I would say that no one thinks they had military training, hence the verse immediately prior, ending "Lest they regret when they see war and return to Egypt." (As in, lest they panic at the prospect of war because they are not warriors.)]
And Hur is generally identified with the Hur grandfather of Bezalel, the artisan in charge of building the Mishkan/Tabernacle/Tent-of-Meeting, so he does show up when Bezalel's lineage is mentioned (seen here, among other places.)

Mon Jan 28, 03:57:00 PM 2013  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

AnDat, thanks for the links! I missed the "armed" part, and, apparently, don't remember Betzalel's lineage. :)

Mon Jan 28, 06:12:00 PM 2013  

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