Thursday, February 28, 2013

Parshat Ki Tisa, 5773/2013 thoughts

Basics here.

Last year's post, with links to previous oldies, here.

This year's thought, re Exodus, chapter 34:

פְּסָל-לְךָ שְׁנֵי-לֻחֹת אֲבָנִים כָּרִאשֹׁנִים; וְכָתַבְתִּי, עַל-הַלֻּחֹת, אֶת-הַדְּבָרִים, אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ עַל-הַלֻּחֹת הָרִאשֹׁנִים אֲשֶׁר שִׁבַּרְתָּ.

1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first; and I will write upon the tables the words that were on the first tables, which thou didst break.

אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְאַרְבָּעִים לַיְלָה--לֶחֶם לֹא אָכַל, וּמַיִם לֹא שָׁתָה; וַיִּכְתֹּב עַל-הַלֻּחֹת, אֵת דִּבְרֵי הַבְּרִית--עֲשֶׂרֶת, הַדְּבָרִים. 28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten words.

[I tried not to copy G-d's Hebrew name into this post, so yes, the first parts of verses 1 and 28 are missing in the Hebrew.]

This looks a bit ambiguous to me.  I don't think it's entirely clear who wrote the second tablets.

I recommend that you check out my old posts, which are more interesting.

And I think that Conservadox (or Sarna, whom he's quoting) is onto something, here.


Anonymous Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

Pretty much all the major commentators agree that God wrote on the second tablets. Else why call Moshe Rabeinu up to the mountain? He could have done it in the camp.

Mon Mar 04, 10:36:00 AM 2013  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Good question, Garnel, but the text doesn't help much--the fact that "he wrote" comes in the same verse as "he was there with HaShem" sure makes it look like Moshe himself did the writing. Does logic trump sentence construction, or is it the other way around? For you and many others, the rabbis' interpretation is authoritative; for me, the jury's still out.

My husband says that the point of Moshe having a hand in preparing the second set of tablets is that humans have a need to be involved--we're just not good at having everything done and/or decided for us.

Tue Mar 05, 10:37:00 AM 2013  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

My husband also noted that the Israelites (and we, their descendants) never created another Egel Zahav/Golden Calf once we, the people, got directly involved in the construction and use of a place of worship. My feeling is that an abstract G-d is tough on humans--we seem to need something tangible and/or local, where it's a Temple, a teacher, or a Torah scroll.

Tue Mar 05, 12:42:00 PM 2013  
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