S. D. Luzzatto on [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].
The definition of the Hebrew term [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII ASCII or American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a set of codes used to represent letters, numbers, a few symbols, and control characters. Originally designed for teletype operations, it has found wide application in computers. ] has frequently been discussed by Bible commentators and scholars. This paper considers S. D. Luzzatto's approach to biblical exegesis exegesis
Scholarly interpretation of religious texts, using linguistic, historical, and other methods. In Judaism and Christianity, it has been used extensively in the study of the Bible. Textual criticism tries to establish the accuracy of biblical texts. on the basis of peshat, which he believed to be the sole correct interpretation of the Bible. In his view, peshat implies first examining the linguistic meaning of the text according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the rules of grammar; subsequently, on the basis of this linguistic substrate, one should examine the content of the text within its literary and historical contexts. Three different features of Luzzatto's exegesis are considered in the paper and examples of each are given: context-based interpretation; secondary meanings (ambiguity); the problem of "Torah and Science" in the context of peshat-based interpretation.
Samuel David Luzzatto Samuel David Luzzatto (Hebrew: שמואל דוד לוצאטו) was an Italian Jewish scholar, poet, and a member of the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement. (1800-1865), known by the acronym acronym: see abbreviation.
A word typically made up of the first letters of two or more words; for example, BASIC stands for "Beginners All purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. of his Hebrew name Hebrew names are names that have a Hebrew language origin, classically from the Hebrew Bible. They are mostly used by people living in Jewish or Christian parts of the world, but some are also adapted to the Islamic world, particularly if a Hebrew name is mentioned in the Qur'an. , Shadal, one of the pioneers of Jewish Bible exegesis during the Enlightenment period of the nineteenth century, considered himself a commentator in the spirit of the peshat, the "plain meaning" of the text. (1) Many scholars have tried to define the term [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], as there is no unanimously agreed definition. For our purposes, it will suffice here to cite a few suggestions, without expressing our preferences. Ezra Zion Melammed defines [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as the endeavor "to determine the intent and meaning of the words as they were uttered and at the time they were uttered," or: "an attempt to approach and achieve an understanding of the words of Scripture and their meaning as they were uttered in their time." (2) Sarah Kamin held that peshat is "the explanation of Scripture based on its language, syntactic structure, context, literary genre Noun 1. literary genre - a style of expressing yourself in writing
writing style, genre
drama - the literary genre of works intended for the theater
prose - ordinary writing as distinguished from verse and literary structure, with allowance for the mutual relationships between these components. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently : an explanation in the sense of peshat is an explanation that takes into consideration all linguistic elements in combination and assigns each of them a meaning in accordance with the whole." (3) More recently, Ed Greenstein defined peshat as "an exegetical ex·e·get·ic also ex·e·get·i·cal
Of or relating to exegesis; critically explanatory.
ex method that aims to reveal the meaning, or even meanings, appropriate to the historical contexts of the text." In detail:
These contexts may be classified into three types: 1. Linguistic context-the meaning of a word or grammatical form at the time the text first came into being; 2. literary context-the meaning appropriate to the linguistic topos to which the text belongs, and the meaning that allows for the literary conventions typical of texts of the period at which the particular text was produced; 3. historical context in general-the real background reflected in the text. Any exegetical method that confines itself to explanations, albeit extensions of the text, appropriate to the constraints of the historical context may be considered as peshat. On the other hand, any exegetical methods that violates these constraints is considered midrash. (4)
In this paper we will describe S. D. Luzzatto's approach to the method of peshat in understanding the Bible.
1. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ACCORDING To LUZZATTO
At various points in his writings Luzzatto declares his intention to explain Scripture according to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]:
For in interpreting Scripture all my efforts have been devoted to explaining to myself and to others the intent of the speaker or the writer, and heaven forfend that I should distort Scripture so as to make it agree with Halakhah. (5)
Another formulation appears in the introduction to his commentary on the book of Isaiah Noun 1. Book of Isaiah - an Old Testament book consisting of Isaiah's prophecies
Old Testament - the collection of books comprising the sacred scripture of the Hebrews and recording their history as the chosen people; the first half of the Christian :
... that the purpose of our endeavor will be to understand the true meaning of the writers, and even our innermost thoughts shall entertain no desire to find in the Holy Scriptures support and reinforcement for beliefs and ideas that we have received from elsewhere, whether they be philosophical ideas or Torah beliefs current among our people. (6)
Luzzatto outlines the proper approach for a commentator who wishes to explain the biblical text: one should avoid preconceptions stemming from any ideas, whether philosophical in general or current in Judaism, such as the conventions of Rabbinical rab·bin·i·cal also rab·bin·ic
Of, relating to, or characteristic of rabbis.
[From obsolete rabbin, rabbi, from French, from Old French rabain, probably from Aramaic Judaism; by no means should one seek in the Bible support for any particular view, but rather endeavor to understand the intentions of whoever wrote the text.
The Sages regard the Holy Scriptures as conveying many different meanings; (7) hence, even if one has different, even contradictory, explanations of some passage, one should not try to determine the text's intention, but assume that "both interpretations are the words of the living God" (Eruvin 13b, Gittin 6b). Luzzatto, however, presumes that the text has only one true explanation. In a letter to the author Mordecai ben David Strelisker, he writes:
From my earliest youth, the spirit of the quest for truth began to resound within me like a bell, and my soul found no rest in the saying of our sages, "There are seventy aspects to the Torah" (Numbers Rabba 13:15), or in their saying, "both interpretations are the words of the living God' (Eruvin 13b, Gitlin 6b). My heart, however, told me that there is only one truth, and that alone is worthy of reverence and for that it is proper to fight. (8)
This position resulted in his social isolation, as he notes further on in the letter:
[My quest for peshat] has made me a man of conflict and strife with everyone, for my ideas are acceptable to neither old nor modern, for the truth (that I venerate) is in the middle, being neither with one nor with the other. (9)
In a letter to A. B. Lebensohn, a friend from Vilna, Luzzatto writes:
Know, my dear friend, that while the multiplicity of interpretations may find favor with the masses, it is not at all to my taste, for indeed, I have never been happy with the saying, "There are seventy aspects to the Torah," but hold that there is only one truth. Therefore, as long as no-one has proved my interpretation to be false, all the other interpretations are useless, to my mind. For example, if I should say that "Isaiah's vision" referred to a generation that was not idolatrous, and someone (even Adam Hacohen) should come and explain the words "terebinths, ... gardens, ... strong" [Isa. 1:29-31] as referring to idolatry, I shall say to him: Either I am wrong or you are wrong. (10)
In a letter to his friend (and rival) Joshua Heschel Schorr (11) in 1832, he writes:
There is no place for seventy aspects in understanding the profound plain meaning of biblical texts, for truth alone is the truth, and no alien god shares its throne. Therefore, one who takes upon himself to explain any biblical text, especially in the Prophets' writings, must be very meticulous in studying the sense of each and every word and each and every letter, and one must conduct a very cautious, deliberate examination: the main purpose of the prophecy in general; of whom and of what was it pronounced; and what is the nature of each of its metaphors; who is the speaker who utters the prophet's words; what is his mood while speaking; who is the prophet who is writing; and what are the quality of his language and his approach to metaphor and his other prophecies. (12)
Luzzatto's conception of peshat is a combination of diverse exegetical elements, some borrowed from his predecessors and some the outcome of his own thinking. He declares that the exegetical methodology necessary to achieve [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] demands a precise understanding of every word and every letter. One cannot understand every word in isolation but must look for the intent in the prophecy as a whole. A detailed knowledge of the author is important, as is an acquaintance with his style based on the entire book, with his mood when he spoke the text in question, with the atmosphere in which the prophecy was pronounced, and with the target audience for which it was intended. All this information is necessary to determine the real intention of the prophecy.
In a letter to an anonymous friend, after explaining "the reasons for the changes between the first [version of the Ten] Commandments and the last" in the spirit of peshat, Luzzatto asks his friend to examine "the splendid glory of the wisdom of peshat, for recent scholars have belittled be·lit·tle
tr.v. be·lit·tled, be·lit·tling, be·lit·tles
1. To represent or speak of as contemptibly small or unimportant; disparage: a person who belittled our efforts to do the job right. its honor and glory and have deposed it from its throne, as if it were incapable of properly explaining the words of the living God." Luzzatto argues indeed, that traditional sages teach "Scripture never really loses its literal sense," and that is the basis for exegesis; but later Sages demoted peshat and left it for the ignorant. They did so, he believes, out of pride and a love of honor and flattery. As he writes:
The peshat stands alone, for one alone is the truth, its place is very narrow, leaving no room to swerve right or left, whoever aims at a hair will find it, but if he swerves to either side of that point he will be lost. For you see that the proud do not like to hear their colleagues telling them every day, You have erred, you have erred, you have spoken falsely. And the flatterers--those who admit to truth and to falsehood, to what they have heard and to what they have not heard-find it difficult to accept the method of peshat, which forces them either to demonstrate what is wrong with the reasoning of the person who is in error or to agree with him despite all his mistakes, soon earning them disgrace and contempt. For all these people have taken counsel together, to broaden their road, and the road they have chosen is indeed broader than the sea. Behold, a company of scholars have gathered together, each one of them opens wide his lips and exposes his thoughts, one says so and one says so, one goes north in his explanation, the other goes south, one to the east and another to the west; but nevertheless, they are all wise, and all clever, not one of them is wrong, all these interpretations are the words of the living God. (13)
Further methodological elements necessary for an understanding of the peshat, according to Luzzatto, are the rules of grammar,14 which he divides into two: the "science" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of grammar and the science of language. In the former he includes
the rules of vocalization (or: pointing), the value of the different vowel signs, their interchangeability, the rules of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and the masoretic accents, disjunctive accents and conjunctive accents.
The science of language deals with
the value of the different prefixes, and of the prepositional letters employed by the different verbs; [the linguist] investigates the function of the tenses in their different forms and the special properties of all the verb conjugations; he teaches the rules of syntax, both simple and literary; he examines borrowed-phrases and all metaphorical and poetical expressions; he distinguishes between synonyms and investigates the precise meaning of every word ... The science of language is the primary basis on which biblical exegesis should be founded, above all others. (15)
It was already stated by Abraham ibn Ezra Ibn Ezra was a prominent Jewish family from Spain spanning many centuries.
The name ibn Ezra may refer to:
1. Literary study or classical scholarship.
2. See historical linguistics.
[Middle English philologie, from Latin philologia, love of learning skills. (16) Ibn Ezra described the peshat as a "correct" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) explanation, "secured with the chains of grammar and worthy in the eyes of knowledge" (17)--that is, an explanation restricted by the rules of language and expression, on the one hand, and by the critique of logic and reason, on the other. (18) Ibn Ezra argues that if one proposes several explanations for the same text, one falls short of the real goal of exegesis, since authors (of prophetic or wisdom literature) intend their words to express one single meaning, which it is incumbent upon the commentator to discover:
For when he places many meanings on a verse, he does not know which is correct, one or the other; and moreover he may not be including the true meaning in his interpretations. For every author of a book, be he prophet or wise man, his words have only one meaning. (19)
In the introduction to his commentary on Isaiah, Luzzatto defines the commentator's task as
to depart our own place and time and transport ourselves to the time and place of Scripture. This surely cannot be done completely, but it can certainly be done at least in part. (20)
Luzzatto's ideal is a realistic explanation of the plain meaning of Scripture, for the contrary approach--derash--explains the text from the point of view of the present, projecting a current situation onto a text written in the past and thus creating an anachronism a·nach·ro·nism
1. The representation of someone as existing or something as happening in other than chronological, proper, or historical order.
2. . The truth must be sought through a philological-historical approach, considering the text in the context and milieu of the original author--"in the time and place of Scripture."
In order to achieve an understanding of the plain meaning of the biblical text, in Luzzatto's view, one should distinguish two "inquiries" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in studying the Bible:
[One inquiry] is to reveal the linguistic meaning, and one is to find a reasonable explanation of what is said therein. The first inquiry must always precede the other, for it alone is our absolute obligation; the second [inquiry] is always subordinate to the first, deriving therefrom instruction and guidance. The first will necessarily achieve its purpose, for the Torah was given us to understand and to keep: "The thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to do it" [Deut. 30:14]. The second will sometimes fall short of its objective, for in divine matters there is frequently no need for us to know "how" and "why," and it is sometimes impossible to understand. (21)
Luzzatto's basic assumption is that the Torah was given to human beings and written in their language, so that by examining its language and content, while using common sense, we should be able to understand it, "for the Torah was given us to understand and to keep." The second phase of the investigation is not always feasible. Luzzatto warns against those scholars who try to place the second "inquiry" before the first, that is: they have some idea or conception in mind and then try to impose it upon the text; they are thus explaining themselves--but not the text.
Luzzatto's insistence on peshat in interpreting the Bible was responsible for his opposition to the allegorical al·le·gor·i·cal also al·le·gor·ic
Of, characteristic of, or containing allegory: an allegorical painting of Victory leading an army. method embraced by some of his contemporaries:
But in this generation insolence has broken down all barriers, and Philippson (22) arose and wrote that all these sons [of Isaiah-Maher Shalal Hash Baz and Shear Yashuv] never existed, but everything was meant symbolically, as a person's thoughts are called his sons, and when the Lord told Isaiah, "Go out with your son Shear Yashuv to meet Ahaz" [Isa. 7:3], the meaning was: Go out with the idea implied by the words "Shear Yashuv" [= only a remnant will return] ... But this method, that of allusions, is good for whoever wishes not to understand the Holy Scriptures but to impose his own ideas upon them, and it was thus that all the leaders of foreign sects and faiths [= Christians] walked; but we shall walk the path of the peshat and hold fast to it, heaven forfend that we should distort the meaning of things written as simple statements. (23)
One must not interpret "things written as simple statements" allegorically al·le·gor·i·cal also al·le·gor·ic
Of, characteristic of, or containing allegory: an allegorical painting of Victory leading an army. . Whoever does so is not interpreting the Bible but endeavoring to corroborate To support or enhance the believability of a fact or assertion by the presentation of additional information that confirms the truthfulness of the item.
The testimony of a witness is corroborated if subsequent evidence, such as a coroner's report or the testimony of other his own views. This approach, says Luzzatto, constitutes "insolence in·so·lence
1. The quality or condition of being insolent.
2. An instance of insolent behavior, treatment, or speech.
Noun 1. ."
Luzzatto's maskil friend, R. Samuel Hayyim ben David Lolli, wrote him:
When you closely examine the words [of the book of Ecclesiastes] and its commentators, you will become convinced that it is quite impossible to interpret that book according to the plain meaning.
And the matter causes me amazement without measure. How could there be a book that has no content, and what was its author's intention? Did he write it so that it should not be understood? That is truly impossible, and if so how could it be interpreted truly and correctly? (24)
Luzzatto's basic assumption is that the book was written so that the author's intention should be understood, and one cannot claim that the author did not mean what he wrote, unless he gave some explicit indication to that effect.
Interpretation according to peshat aims to reveal the true message of Scripture. The quest for Verb 1. quest for - go in search of or hunt for; "pursue a hobby"
quest after, go after, pursue
look for, search, seek - try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of; "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], for the meaning of the text in its primary connotation con·no·ta·tion
1. The act or process of connoting.
a. An idea or meaning suggested by or associated with a word or thing: , is a religious duty; such an interpretation is an important means toward discovery of the truth, which should be stated fully and impartially. Luzzatto is inspired, so he declares, by the search for truth.
This declaration is reiterated more than once in his writings, as he himself writes:
But I, just as I love the truth and will champion its cause without prejudice toward any person or persons, be they our contemporaries or our predecessors--so do I love our Lord's Torah, which is the true Torah. (25)
Similarly, in the introduction to his commentary on Isaiah:
The fourth principle [in Bible exegesis] is love of truth. And that will be the goal of our endeavor, to understand the true intention of the writers. (26)
Describing himself at the age of thirteen, he writes:
I perceive in the education [that 1 received] the merit of love of and search for the truth, in a matter from which one could not hope to derive any advantage or honor. (27)
And in the second introduction to Yesodei ha-Torah he writes:
From my earliest childhood till now I have always loved inquiry and contemplation to find out the truth and to understand what is hidden, to recognize falsehood and error, and my heart has never desisted from the quest for truth. (28)
It was difficult for Luzzatto to see derash as a true approach to biblical exegesis. At first, he observes, he greatly admired R. Mordecai Isaac Cologna, who taught him at the age of nine, but
my admiration for him gradually lessened while I was studying under him, because I saw that the innovative interpretations with which he used to adorn his sermons were mere illusions and castles in the air, for his way was not the way of peshat but that of derash, and he was desirous not of knowing and proclaiming the truth, but of demonstrating his proficiency and wit. (29)
Luzzatto was well aware of the opposition his interpretive method would arouse among Orthodox circles, on the one hand, and among the modernist critical scholars, on the other; this may be inferred from a letter to Raphael Judah Leib Kirchheim:
For all my life, in my inquiries into the depths of the books of our prophets and our wise men, inquiring freely, [I have been] aiming at the truth alone, not to find favor in the eyes of the older scholars, nor to earn fame among the moderns ... (30)
He further emphasizes this element in the introduction to the Isaiah commentary:
Above all, the commentator should not try to find favor in the eyes of his contemporaries and to seek glory and honor for himself and ensure that many people purchase his books; for that will induce him (though this may not be his intention, and he will not cease to love the truth) to distort the words of the ancients and bring them near to the customs of more recent times. (31)
In one of his letters, he describes his work as a professor at the rabbinical seminary seminary
Educational institution, usually for training in theology. In the U.S. the term was formerly also used to refer to institutions of higher learning for women, often teachers' colleges. of Padua. Among other things, he taught Jewish history Jewish history is the history of the Jewish people, faith, and culture. Since Jewish history encompasses nearly four thousand years and hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes. since the finalization Writing the table of contents (TOC) on a recordable CD or DVD disc. The finalization process ensures that the disc can be played back on most CD and DVD players. See disc-at-once. of the Bible. Having acquired Jost's famous text, he discovered that he could not use it because of
the fulminations and curses of which his book is full to overflowing, for from the ... of his words it is clear that he is not looking to God. But I, just as I love the truth and will champion its cause without prejudice toward any person or persons, be they our contemporaries or our predecessors--so do I love our Lord's Torah, which is the true Torah. (32)
Luzzatto undertakes to exercise his reason with intellectual integrity, for only so may one reach the truth and see also things "upon which the scholars who preceded me have not gazed." (33)
In a letter to Solomon Judah Rapoport, he insists:
I set my mind to study and to probe the depths of language and the profundity of the plain meaning of Scripture, for that is indeed a great aspect of the Torah and a peg upon which everything hangs, and negligence in this task is the source of every error among our people. (34)
Toward the end of the first academic year in the Padua rabbinical seminary (July 16, 1830), Luzzatto wrote his friend Samuel Judah Goldenberg a letter in which he described his students and his teaching methods. Among other things, he wrote:
And this is the burden of my labors, to explain the Holy Scriptures to them [= the adult students] from Genesis--not to tell them what the commentators have said (for that is not what they need, and they have already read and reread them in their childhood), but to seek with them the profound, simple meaning of the words, a solution that will enter their ears and settle in their hearts ..., to solve for them anything obscure and to cause the Torah to be pleasant for them and its study sweeter to them than honey, as they hear from me daily new things, easy to understand and suitable for lovers of knowledge. (35)
2. COMMITMENT TO CONTEXT ACCORDING TO LUZZATTO
One of the most characteristic features of Luzzatto's commentaries is his endeavor not necessarily to explain words of uncertain meaning, but to understand the context of the passage being studied and its implications. One might say that for him the correct interpretation is not content to explain words in isolation; rather, it attempts to understand the content of the text by considering its broader meaning and the implications of that meaning. (36)
The principle of the literary context receives considerable emphasis in Luzzatto's commentaries. To illustrate, we cite a few examples of his exegesis.
2.1 Genesis 5:29
"And he named him Noah, saying: 'This one will comfort us [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] from our work and from the toil of our hands, out of the very soil which the Lord placed under a curse."' This verse, explaining the name "Noah" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) deviates from the normal pattern of this literary unit, in which no other names are explained. Luzzatto comments:
Through the birth of a son he was comforted from the toil of his hands in working the land. There is no need to interpret this passage as being a prophecy, (37) but it is as if one said: "This good thing will be my comfort ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) from another, bad thing." In truth, a person who has offspring finds comfort in his labor and his toil, for he toils for the benefit of his beloved offspring. While a childless person is generally lazy in his labor, saying: "For whom shall I toil and deny myself enjoyment?" But perhaps the subject of the phrase "he named" is not Lamech, but some anonymous person, who named him Noah not upon his birth but many years later, after he had invented wine. For then his contemporaries said: "This one will comfort us from our work," referring to wine, which cheers the hearts of men and comforts laborers from their toil and work.
The verse alludes to a verse in the Garden of Eden Garden of Eden
Noun 1. Garden of Eden - a beautiful garden where Adam and Eve were placed at the Creation; when they disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they were story: "Cursed be the ground because of you; by toil shall you eat of it all the days of your life" (Gen 3:17). According to Luzzatto's first explanation, the subject of the sentence is Lamech, the father, who named the child Noah in the hope that he would comfort men from the constant hard work and manual toil. But Luzzatto--tentatively, as indicated by the word "perhaps"--also suggests an interpretation derived from the broader context of the verse: the name was not given by Lamech but much later, by Noah's contemporaries, applauding his invention of wine. This explanation is indeed in harmony with larger context of the Noah stories, which portray him not merely as the father and savior of humanity, but also as the person who planted the first vineyard and established viticulture (Gen 9:20-27): since wine "cheers the hearts of men" (Ps 104:15), it was said of Noah, who would invent it, "This one will comfort us from our work and from the toil of our hands." (38)
2.2 Genesis 48:7
And I, when I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, while I was journeying in the land of Canaan, when still some distance short of Ephrath; and 1 buried her there.
Jacob, speaking to Joseph, is here expressing his regret at not having been able to bury his beloved wife Rachel in his ancestral tomb. The relationship between this verse and the previous ones is unclear; so is Jacob's intention in making this statement at this particular time. According to the Midrash, which inspired the comments of many later commentators, (39) Jacob is apologizing to Joseph for his failure to give Rachel a proper burial as he is now asking his son to do for himself (Gen 47:29-31). Luzzatto, however, fits the verse into its context. Jacob's expressed preference for Joseph, to the extent that he makes him the father of two tribes, testifies to his love for Rachel:
It seems to me that Jacob meant to say, "It grieves me greatly that I was not able to bury her in the cave of Makhpelah, and yet I cannot tell you to bury me next to her, because for all that I love her, my greater obligation is to honor my father. However, as testimony of my love for her, I have said that your two sons will be regarded as two tribes." (40)
2.3 Genesis 49:18
"From You, Lord God, I hope for salvation." The literal meaning of this verse is clear, but the context is obscure. Luzzatto proposes to explain the verse as introducing the blessing of the tribe of Gad The Tribe of Gad (גָּד "soldier" or "luck", Standard Hebrew Gad, Tiberian Hebrew Gāḏ) was one of the Tribes of Israel. in the next verse; Jacob is not hoping for the god of luck Gad (Isa 65:11), but for the Lord's salvation:
As he was about to bless Gad, it occurred to Jacob to employ a play on words concerning him as well, for Gad means "good fortune", and he could have said Gad, tov yehi gado ("Gad, may his fortune be good") or Gad yehi itto ("May good fortune be with him"), or the like. However, he immediately thought better of it, seeing that only in the Lord was it proper to trust, not in lucky stars or the host of heaven. Therefore he said, "From You, Lord God, I hope for Salvation"--not fortune's salvation. At once he sought and found another play on words that made no reference to fortune, and he said Gad gedud yegudennu [next v.]("Gad, attacked by enemy hordes, will cut their heel"). (41)
In this case, Luzzatto identifies the source of the explanation and expresses agreement: "[This interpretation is due to] my esteemed father, of blessed memory, and it is very correct."
2.4 Exodus 11:4-7
Luzzatto finds a unique interpretation according to context for the verse: "Not a dog shall move his tongue ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])" (Exod 11:7). In the story of the Exodus, after the announcement of the plague of the firstborn and the details of those who are destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. to die (Exod 11:4-5), the Bible describes the immediate effect of the plague: "And there shall be a loud cry ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in all the land of Egypt" (Exod 11:6). This detail, with an explanation added, recurs in the description of the plague itself "there was a loud cry ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in Egypt; for there was no house where there was not someone dead" (Exod 12:30). The severity of the plague of the firstborn is stressed by the great cry of the Egyptians, a just punishment, measure for measure, for the suffering they had caused their Israelite slaves. The suffering Israelites raised their voices and cried out for help--and when their cries reached heaven, God went into action against the Egyptians (Exod 2:23; 3:7, 9).
In contrast to the great clamor among the Egyptians, explains Luzzatto, the Israelites will remain perfectly calm and quiet; so much so that not even a dog will bark:
There will be no cry among Israel, and everything belonging to Israel will be silent, not crying out, and even the dogs will not bark, for dogs bark upon hearing shouting.
Thus, according to the literary context, Luzzatto explains the dogs' "moving their tongues" as making a sound--in the case of a dog, barking. No dog will bark that night among the Israelites, for "there will be no cry among Israel" since none of them will die, "from man to beast." Luzzatto arrived at this interpretation after a penetrating scrutiny of the context, where he found the contrast between the great cry of the Egyptians and the silence among the Children of Israel The Children of Israel, or B'nei Yisrael (בני ישראל) in Hebrew (also B'nai Yisrael, B'nei Yisroel or Bene Israel) is a Biblical term for the Israelites. . (42)
2.5 Deuteronomy 29:13-28
In this passage, continuing the ceremony of the covenant, Moses declares that the covenant has not been made merely with those present at the ceremony:
I make this covenant, with its sanctions, not with you alone, but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here this day (Deut 29:13-14).
Commentators explain this as saying that the covenant concluded with the people also applied to future, as yet unborn, generations. (43) Luzzatto, however, argues that the verse should be understood in its context and in its time. Of necessity, not all the people could have participated in the covenant ceremony; hence those present are seen ideally as representatives of "all the men of Israel" (Deut 29:9), and their commitment is binding upon all their contemporaries, including those not actually present. As Luzzatto writes in his comment on v. 14:
And with those not with us here: This does not mean the coming generations at all, for nowhere in this passage have future generations been mentioned or even alluded to. But he said, "You stand here this day, all of you ..., and if perhaps, there be someone who has not come here, being sick or for some other reason, know that I am also making this covenant with those not with us here." (44)
2.6 Isaiah 51:6
Anyone intending to interpret the Bible according to peshat must first consider single words. In order to determine a word's meaning, however, it is not enough to analyze its etymology etymology (ĕtĭmŏl`əjē), branch of linguistics that investigates the history, development, and origin of words. It was this study that chiefly revealed the regular relations of sounds in the Indo-European languages (as described . The word must also be examined in its syntactic and literary context. Only then is it possible to ascertain its meaning. The understanding of any written text is based, of course, on an apprehension of its broader context. This central principle, according to which the interpretation of a word depends on its position in the context, may also be found in medieval exegesis. (45) Luzzatto, however, accords it particular significance.
An example of Luzzatto's originality in explaining words according to their context may be found in Isa 51:6, where the prophet contrasts the destruction of the world and its inhabitants
The game is based loosely on the concepts from SameGame. with the eternal deliverance Deliverance
See also Freedom.
epithet of Zeus, meaning ‘releaser.’ [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 292–293]
(1783–1830) the great liberator of South America. [Am. Hist. of God:
Raise your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: Though the heavens should melt away like smoke, and the earth wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants die out like [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], my victory shall stand forever, my triumph shall remain unbroken.
The metaphors of smoke and a worn garment are readily understood: they express destruction, utter devastation. But the sense of the metaphor "and its inhabitants shall die out like [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" is unclear. Some explain the Hebrew phrase as meaning simply "as well." Luzzatto proposes a unique explanation:
To my mind, the meaning of 'like [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]' is 'in an instant,' that is, in the time it takes for a person to utter this little word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] perhaps that is the meaning of the German idiom in einem Nu. (46)
2.7 Ezekiel 3:12
The importance of context in Luzzatto's interpretations is obvious in his explanation of an emendation e·men·da·tion
1. The act of emending.
2. An alteration intended to improve: textual emendations made by the editor.
Noun 1. to the Masoretic Text in Ezek 3:12, which reads "Then a spirit carried me away, and behind me I heard a great roaring sound: Blessed ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) is the Presence of the Lord, from His place." Luzzatto notes several difficulties. First, the words "great roaring sound ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) cannot refer to speech, for in the next verse the biblical text itself uses the very same phrase to describe "the sound of the wings of the creatures beating against one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them--a great roaring sound." Second, nowhere in the account of Ezekiel's vision are the beasts mentioned as speaking; it is hardly likely, therefore, that these words were uttered by them. Third, biblical style would require the Hebrew word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "saying," before the supposed quote. Fourth, the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "from His place," is almost incomprehensible in this context. All these difficulties troubled Luzzatto, who devoted special attention to the verse--an integral part of Jewish liturgy familiar to any observant Jew. (47) After citing explanations given by David Kimhi David Kimhi (Hebrew: דוד קמחי, also Kimchi or Qimchi) (1160 – 1235), also known by the Hebrew acronym as the RaDaK , Abravanel, and Maimonides (in that order!), he rejects them, concluding instead that Ezekiel had written not [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] but [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], yielding the clause: "as the Presence of the Lord rose from its place." And he adds:
For it seemed to [Ezekiel] as if the spirit of the Lord had born him from his place to another place and the Chariot-Throne, too, traveled with him. He therefore heard a great roaring sound, for the sound of the beasts' wings as they moved was surely like that of mighty waters. (48)
Luzzatto thus explains the text as follows: When the Presence of the Lord [= the Chariot-throne = the Aferkavah] rose from its place to move, a great roaring sound was heard. This conjecture CONJECTURE. Conjectures are ideas or notions founded on probabilities without any demonstration of their truth. Mascardus has defined conjecture: "rationable vestigium latentis veritatis, unde nascitur opinio sapientis;" or a slight degree of credence arising from evidence too weak or too has been accepted by several commentators. (49)
3. "SECONDARY MEANINGS IN LUZZATTO's COMMENTARIES
Despite Luzzatto's insistence that there is only one true explanation to a biblical text in the sense of peshat, he too admitted that words may occasionally have several meanings, and that the use made by, say, a prophet of such an ambiguous word may be designed to allude to allude to
verb refer to, suggest, mention, speak of, imply, intimate, hint at, remark on, insinuate, touch upon see see, elude two meanings in parallel. We cite a few such cases from the book of Isaiah.
3.1 Isaiah 28:1
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "wilted wilt 1
v. wilt·ed, wilt·ing, wilts
1. To become limp or flaccid; droop: plants wilting in the heat.
2. flowers"). The prophet opens his prophecy with a call to the people of Samaria: "Ah, the proud crowns of the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is but [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] on the heads of men bloated with rich food." He then (Isa 28:3-4) goes on to speak of "The proud crowns of the drunkards of Ephraim, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]--on the heads of men bloated with rich food--that are his glorious beauty." The word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is used here in the primary connotation of "flower," but the preceding word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] = "crown" and the phrase "on the heads of that follows it in both verses hint that the prophet chose this particular word because of its secondary meaning--an ornament ornament, in architecture
ornament, in architecture, decorative detail enhancing structures. Structural ornament, an integral part of the framework, includes the shaping and placement of the buttress, cornice, molding, ceiling, and roof and the capital and on a headdress headdress, head covering or decoration, protective or ceremonial, which has been an important part of costume since ancient times. Its style is governed in general by climate, available materials, religion or superstition, and the dictates of fashion. , as in [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] = "the frontlet front·let
1. An ornament or band worn on the forehead as a phylactery.
2. The forehead of an animal.
3. The forehead of a bird when of a different color or texture of plumage.
4. for the holy diadem diadem, in ancient times, the fillet of silk, wool, or linen tied about the head of a king, queen, or priest as a distinguishing mark. Later, it was a band of gold, which gave rise to the crown. In heraldry, the diadem is one of the arched bars that support the crown. " (Exod 39:30), or "the gold frontlet, the holy diadem" (Lev lev-,
pref See levo-. 8:9), in the High Priest's vestments. (50) Luzzatto noted the implied ambiguity of the text:
It seems to me that the word 1--3 occurs here primarily as a synonym for n^o. and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], as in [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and it duplicates the phrase [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or [= "proud crown"]; but after using the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [the prophet] changed the meaning of the word and placed the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [= "wilted"] near it, to imply that it is no crown but a wilted flower.
And he goes on to point out that
Jeremiah learned from Isaiah to play with changing the meaning of the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], as he said: "Give a [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to Moab, for she must go hence ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])" (Jer 48:9). He first mentioned the word as if he meant a crown, and then shifted its meaning to that of departure [[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and exile. (51)
3.2 Isaiah 52:15
"Just so [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [NJPS NJPS National Jewish Population Survey
NJPS New Jewish Publication Society (Bible version)
NJPS New Jersey Paleontological Society
NJPS New Jersey Poetry Society : he shall startle startle /star·tle/ (stahr´tl)
1. to make a quick involuntary movement as in alarm, surprise, or fright.
2. to become alarmed, surprised, or frightened. ] many nations. Kings shall be silenced because of him" (Isa 52:15). Luzzatto agrees with Gesenius that the usual connotation of the verb [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is "leap": "the leaping of the blood from place to place" (sprinkling or spattering of blood or some other liquid), (52) the meaning of the verse being that the Lord's Servant will amaze the nations, so that they will leap up in amazement from their places. (53) He now adds:
And since he mentioned the subject of leaping [in the word nr] he then said: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [literally: "because of /upon him they shall leap"] as in "leaping over mountains, bounding ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) over hills" (Song 2:8); but he shifted to a different idiom, saying [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], meaning: "they will close their mouths." In other words, the primary meaning of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] induced the prophet to use the synonymous verb [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which in turn aroused the association of the idiom [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in the sense of "to close the mouth" = "to be silent." (54)
Thus, the meaning of the passage is: People who have been used to opening their mouths and ridiculing the Lord's Servant will no longer open their mouths at his new status but will close their mouths, remaining silent, in awe of his newfound new·found
Recently discovered: a newfound pastime.
Adj. 1. newfound - newly discovered; "his newfound aggressiveness"; "Hudson pointed his ship down the coast of the newfound sea" splendor Splendor
built of marble, gold, silver, and jewels. [Arab. Lit.: Arabian Nights]
the palatial 13th-century Moorish citadel in Granada, noted for its lofty situation, beautiful courts, and fountains. . Luzzatto is thus pointing out that the verse contains an ambiguity, one meaning being explicit and the other implicit. (55)
Thus Luzzatto, guided by his sharp interpretive instinct, recognized the phenomenon of ambiguity as used by the biblical author. Later scholars have published numerous studies of the literary-linguistic device. (56)
4. THE PROBLEM OF "TORAH AND SCIENCE" IN UNDERSTANDING
Luzzatto, receptive to the best of secular culture, readily adapted its scholarship and modes of thought to the service of Bible exegesis. As an Italian Jew, brought up in an open society, such thinking was quite natural to him, and he willingly defended it. (57) Not surprisingly, therefore, he did not perceive any contradiction between religion and science and would not distort the plain meaning of Scripture in order to avoid a possible clash between these two distinct modes of thought. He declared this sophisticated position firmly at the beginning of his commentary on the Torah:
The wise understand that the intent of the Torah is not to teach of the natural sciences, but that the Torah was given only to direct humankind on the path of righteousness and justice, and to establish belief in the Unity and Providence of God in their hearts, for not to the scholars alone was the Torah given, but to the entire people.... The story of the Creation is not told (and properly not told) in the Torah in a philosophical manner-for as the Rabbis said, to impress upon flesh and blood the power of the Creation is impossible. Therefore it is not proper for the Torah scholar to force the Scriptures from their literal meaning to make them conform with the natural sciences, nor is it proper for the critic to deny the Divine origin of the Torah if he finds things in its stories that do not conform with scientific research. (58)
This realization is a major turning point in the history of religious thought. It is one of the first declarations by a traditional exegete ex·e·gete also ex·e·ge·tist
A person skilled in exegesis.
[Greek exg that one should not consider the Creation story in Genesis as a scientific account. Luzzatto directs his readers to the primary intent, as he sees it, of the Torah in recounting that story (a directive that has still not been internalized even today). His appeal is addressed to those who insist on interpreting the Genesis story of Creation literally, ignoring all the achievements of science; to those scientifically inclined individuals who, in the attempt to resolve the seeming contradiction between "science" and "religion," have invented a pseudo-science based on creation of the universe in six days; to bona fide scientists in the religious camp who devise complicated astrophysical as·tro·phys·ics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of stellar phenomena.
as theories to harmonize the six days of creation with billions of years; and, on the other hand, to those non-religious individuals who conclude that, if the Creation story does not conform to Verb 1. conform to - satisfy a condition or restriction; "Does this paper meet the requirements for the degree?"
coordinate - be co-ordinated; "These activities coordinate well" modern science, it has nothing to offer to the modern reader. (59)
Samuel David Luzzatto's considered opinion, as a traditional commentator, of the account of Creation in the book of Genesis Noun 1. Book of Genesis - the first book of the Old Testament: tells of Creation; Adam and Eve; the Fall of Man; Cain and Abel; Noah and the flood; God's covenant with Abraham; Abraham and Isaac; Jacob and Esau; Joseph and his brothers
Genesis typifies his overall outlook with regard to peshat, which is a combination of faith with an open attitude and a spirit of intellectual curiosity--an outlook that earned him both the criticism of modern thinkers and the reproof of conservative scholars, neither of which deterred him in the least.
* This year marks the bicentennial bi·cen·ten·ni·al
1. Happening once every 200 years.
2. Lasting for 200 years.
3. Relating to a 200th anniversary.
A 200th anniversary or its celebration. Also called bicentenary. of Luzzatto's birth (August 22, 2000). The present article is an updated and expanded version of an article originally published in Hebrew in Talpiy;vot (199912000): 59-73 honoring Professor M. Z. Kaddari, Hebrew linguist lin·guist
1. A person who speaks several languages fluently.
2. A specialist in linguistics.
[Latin lingua, language; see and scholar, on the occasion of his receiving the Israel Prize.
(1) On Luzzatto's exegetical approach see B. M. Margolis, Samuel David Luzzatto: Traditionalist Scholar (New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , 1979), and the references therein.
(2) E. Z. Melammed, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Bible Commentators] (Jerusalem, 1978), 5-6.
(3) S. Kamin, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Rashi's Exegetical Categorization: In Respect to the Distinction Between Peshat and Derash] (Jerusalem, 1986), 14, our subject is discussed there in general, pp. 11-22, 31-32. See also the following studies: 1. Heinemann, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ["On the Development of Professional Terminology for Bible Exegesis"], Lesonenu 14 (1946): 182-189; R. Loewe, "The 'Plain' Meaning of Scripture in Early Jewish Exegesis," Papers of the Institute of Jewish Studies Jewish studies also known as Judaic studies is a subject area of study available at many colleges and universities in North America.
Traditionally, Jewish studies was part of the natural practice of Judaism by Jews. 1 (1964): 140-186; D. W. Halivni, Peshat and Derash (New York & Oxford, 1991),52-88; M. M. Ahrend, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" ["The Concept 'Peshuto Shellamiqra' in the Making"], in The Bible in the Light of its Interpreters: Sarah Kamin Memorial Volume, ed. Sara Japhet, (Jerusalem, 1994), pp. 237-259; D. Hanschke, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ["On the Nature of Tannaitic Halakhic Midrash: Two Issues"], Tarbiz 65:3 (1996): 417-420, 434-436.
(4) E. Greenstein, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" ["An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth?-Peshat, Derash and the Question of Context"], in Resling--A Multi-disciplinary Stage for Culture 5 (Summer 1998): 31-34; and cf. E. Greenstein, "Medieval Bible Commentaries," in Back to the Sources, ed. B. W. Holtz, (New York, 1984), 213-257, esp. 217-227.
(5) S. D. Luzzatto, Ha-Mishtaddel--Perush 'al Qezat Meqomot min ha-Torah (Wien, 1847), Introduction.
(6) S. D. Luzzatto, Sefer Yesha'Yahu Aleturgam Italkit u-Meforash Writ (Padova, 1855), "The Fourth Principle,' p. 4. The Introduction to this commentary, pp. 3-7, contains the most succinct suc·cinct
adj. suc·cinct·er, suc·cinct·est
1. Characterized by clear, precise expression in few words; concise and terse: a succinct reply; a succinct style.
2. summary of the ten principles ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) on which Luzzatto based his exegetical work.
(7) Midrash Psalms 18:1: "Everything that David said in his book was directed at himself, and at all Israel, and at all the nations." The Rabbis do not inquire as to the identity of the "I" in the book of Psalms; neither do they wonder whether the poets were alluding to contemporary events. They answered such questions-typical of modern scholars-by virtue of their faith in the multi-dimensionality of the Bible, "for there is no verse whatever that does not have two or three meanings" (Song Rabba 1:11). Cf. J. Heinemann, Darkhei ha-Aggadah (Jerusalem, 1954), 12, 122, 124, 126, 129, 136, 153.
(8) My emphasis. For the letter see Hammagid 5:8 (1861): 30 (= Pirqei Hayyim, collected, translated and published by M. A. Shulvass (New York, 19511, 92-93).
(9) Hammagid, 30.
(10) Shadal, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [Hebrew Correspondence], 2 vols. in 9 parts, ed. S. 1. Graber (Przemysl & Cracow, 1882-1892),1138.
(11) Scholar and author (1818-1895), one of the key figures in the second generation of Judische Wissenschaft in Galicia, who devoted most of his time to study and literary work. For his public standing and writings see "Schorr, Joshua Heschel; " Enclud (Jerusalem, 1971), 14:996-997.
(12) Shadal, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 230.
(13) Bikkurei ha-'Inim 8 (1827): 94-95.
(14) Luzzatto advocated this principle in the teaching of Bible too. In a letter to R. Moses Hayyim Hakohen, a teacher from Lemberg employed in Joseph Perl's school, he writes, among other things: "Needless to say, when reading the Bible you should alert the youngsters to the rules of grammar that they have already studied, for one hour of praktisch study is worth more than four hours of theoretisch" (Shadal, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]306).
(15) S. D. Luzzatto, Prolegomena to Bible Criticism and Exegesis, originally written in Italian in 1829 for the students at the Padua seminary; Hebrew translation in Shadal, Ketuvim, 1, ed. M. 1. Hartom (Jerusalem, 1976),128-129.
(16) Ibn Ezra pointed this out in the introduction to his grammar textbook, Yesod Dikduk Hu Sefat Jether, ed. N. Alloni (Jerusalem, 1985), 84-86. Luzzatto himself wrote copiously co·pi·ous
1. Yielding or containing plenty; affording ample supply: a copious harvest. See Synonyms at plentiful.
2. on linguistics. The first part of grammar-the phonology phonology, study of the sound systems of languages. It is distinguished from phonetics, which is the study of the production, perception, and physical properties of speech sounds; phonology attempts to account for how they are combined, organized, and convey meaning and morphology of Hebrew-was treated in his Italian book of Hebrew grammar This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling.
You can assist by [ editing it] now. , Grammatica delta lingua lingua /lin·gua/ (ling´gwah) pl. lin´guae [L.] tongue.lin´gual
lingua geogra´phica benign migratory glossitis.
lingua ni´gra black tongue. ebraica (Padova, 1853), which draws on a considerable amount of material, from the Masorah and the writings of medieval grammarians. The book was adapted and translated into Hebrew by A. Kahana, omitting a few chapters, such as the detailed account of the cantillation accents: Shadal, Dikduk Lason 'Ivrit (Etymology) (Warsaw, 1901). See M. Z. Kaddari, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Sh. D. Luzatto as Linguist," Bar-Ilan Volume in Humanities and Social Sciences, Decennial de·cen·ni·al
1. Relating to or lasting for ten years.
2. Occurring every ten years.
A tenth anniversary. Volume If (1955-1965) (Ramat-Gan & Jerusalem, 1969), 78-97.
(17) Introduction to his ordinary commentary to the Torah, which he called Sefer ha-Yashar as being based on peshat--in Ibn Ezra's works is a synonym synonym (sĭn`ənĭm) [Gr.,=having the same name], word having a meaning that is the same as or very similar to the meaning of another word of the same language. Some are alike in some meanings only, as live and dwell. for [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] See, e.g., his long commentary to Exod 23:19; Num 22:28.
(18) See U. Simon, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ["The Religious Significance of the 'peshat"'], in The Bible and Us, ed. U. Simon (Tel Aviv Tel Aviv (tĕl əvēv`), city (1994 pop. 355,200), W central Israel, on the Mediterranean Sea. Oficially named Tel Aviv–Jaffa, it is Israel's commercial, financial, communications, and cultural center and the core of its largest , 1979), 133-134 (For an updated English version of this paper see Tradition 23:2 (1988): 41-63).
(19) Yesod Dikduk, 85. On this issue see U. Simon, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ["Two Basic Principles of Ibn Ezra's Torah Commentary"), in Studies in Bible and Education Presented to Prof. Moshe Ahrend, ed. D. Rapel (Jerusalem, 1996),109-113, esp. 110-111.
(20) S. D. Luzzatto, Sefer, "The Fifth Principle," p. 4.
(21) introduction to Luzzatto's commentary on the Pentateuch: Perush Shadal al Hamishah Hummeshei Torah (Tel Aviv, 1966), 2 1.
(22) Ludwig Philippson Ludwig Philippson (born December 281811, at Dessau; died December 291889, at Bonn) was a German rabbi and author, the son of Moses Philippson.
He was educated at the gymnasium of Halle and at the University of Berlin, and maintained himself by tutoring and by doing literary (1811-1889), author and communal leader in Germany, was the founder and editor of the most important German-Jewish periodical, Allgemeine Zeitung
The Allgemeine Zeitung was in the first part of the 19th century the leading political daily journal in Germany. des Judentums, which was widely read in Germany, Austria, and Holland. He advocated the modernization of Judaism, but supported neither orthodoxy nor Reform. He translated the Bible into German and published numerous essays, fiction, and sermons. Among his German works was Die Entwicklung der religiosen Idee im Judenthume. Christenthum and Islam. In his newspaper, which had considerable influence in liberal circles of West-European Jewry, Philippson provided an arena for scholars of Judische Wissenschaft, including Luzzatto. See also "Philippson, " Enclud (Jerusalem, 1971), 13: 396.
(23) Sefer Yesha yahu, commentary on Isa 7:14, p. 112. There is an obvious similarity between Luzzatto's formulation of his outlook here and Ibn Ezra's presentation of the "Third Way" in the introduction to his Torah commentary; see Y. L. Krinsky, Mehokekei Yehuda (Genesis) (Minsk, 1903 [repr. Benei Berak 1966]), 54-55; Mikra'ot Gedolot "Haketer, " Genesis, Part I, ed. Menachem Cohen cohen
(Hebrew: “priest”) Jewish priest descended from Zadok (a descendant of Aaron), priest at the First Temple of Jerusalem. The biblical priesthood was hereditary and male. (Ramat-Gan, 1997), 25.
(24) "Sefer Kohelet," Mehqerei ha-Yahadut, 1 (Heb.: Warsaw, 1913), 60.
(25) Shadal, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 170.
(26) Sefer Yesha yahu, Introduction, 4.
(27) Hammagid, Year 3, p. 1. See Y. Ha-Ezrahi, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Life of Shadal"), Melilah 5 (1955): 233.
(28) S. D. Luzzatto, Yesodei ha-Torah, ed. A. Z. Eshkoli (Jerusalem, 1967), 22; Mehqerei ha-Yahadut, vol. 1, pt. 1, p. Vii.
(29) Hammagid, Year 3, p. 32. See Ha-Ezrahi, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" 233; Pirkei Hayyim, 29-30.
(30) Mehgerei ha Yahadut, vol. 1, pt. 2, 127.
(31) S. D. Luzzatto, Sefer Yesha yahu, "The Fifth Principle," 4.
(32) Shadal, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 170. One might say that "truth" in its many and diverse connotations is a constantly reiterated motif in Luzzatto's letters and other writings; he ultimately comes to regard it as a supreme ideal. See S. Werses, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Shadal as Seen by Himself"], Me assef 5-6 (1966): 214-215.
(33) Mehqerei ha-Yahadut, vol. 1, pt. 2, 131.
(34) Kerem Hemed 1 (1833): l7.
(35) Shadal, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" 169.
(36) See A. Rofe, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ["The Exegetical Approach of Shadal"], Derot 31 (1966): 49.
(37) Luzzatto is probably alluding here to Rashi's midrashic explanation: "For Eber was a prophet, who named his son [= Peleg] for the future" (ad Gen 10:25). See Gen Rabba 37:7: "A great prophet was Eber, who [named his son] for an event [that was to take place in his lifetime]"; and cf. Seder Olam Seder Olam (Hebrew: סדר עולם) is the name of two works of early rabbinical literature dealing largely with religious chronology. ch. 1: "A great prophet was Eber, who named his son Peleg inspired by the Holy Spirit."
(38) See Rofe, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" 50.
(39) Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, and Redak.
(40) Translation quoted from D. A. Klein, The Book of Genesis: A Commentary by Shadal (Northvale, N.J., 1998), 461.
(41) Translation quoted from D. A. Klein. The Book of Genesis. 481-482. Nehamah Leibowitz, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [Studies in the Book of Genesis), (Jerusalem, 1969), 396, quotes this explanation, calling it "strange" and "artificial." Nevertheless, it constitutes an interesting attempt to understand Jacob's motives on his deathbed.
(42) Cf. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [Commentary of R. Abraham son of Maimonides: Genesis-Exodus], trans. from Arabic by E. J. Wiesenberg (London, 1958), 262. See also E. Greenstein, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" ("Crux-The Case of Exodus (1:7"], The Bible Seen through its Commentators. Memorial Volume for Sarah Kamin (Jerusalem, 1994), 588-600, esp. 595-597.
(43) Thus, for example, Tanhuma, Nizzavim 3, as well as Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Nahmanides, Sephomo, Abravanel, and others. For an interesting discussion of such questions as: Why was the covenant made in Moab, before reaching the Promised Land, with all future generations? and: Why should the unborn generations consider themselves bound by a covenant made with the ancients?-see Abravanel on Deut 29:9. See also his commentary to Ezek 20:32.
(44) See his comment on Deut 29:9. Alexander Rofe remarked on this interpretation by Luzzatto: "The only person who explained the text thus, rightly to my mind, was Shadal." A. RofE, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [Introduction to the Book of Deuteronomy Noun 1. Book of Deuteronomy - the fifth book of the Old Testament; contains a second statement of Mosaic law
mezuza, mezuzah - religious texts from Deuteronomy inscribed on parchment and rolled up in a case that is attached to the doorframe of ) (Jerusalem, 1988), 183 n. 26.
(45) "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" (Rashi; for example: Isa 9:4; 44:8; Joel 2:7); "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" (Redak; for example: Isa 9:4; 33:20; 44:8); "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" (Ibn Ezra; for example: Num 32:41; Deut 21:14); "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" (Ibn Ezra, Amos 6:11); "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" (Rashbam; for example: Exod 16:4; Num 7:3; Deut 32:24). See Melammed, Bible Commentators, 419, 479, 623-626, 847-849, and cf. the concept of "contextual exegesis" in the commentaries of R. J. Kara Kara (kär`ə), river, c.140 mi (230 km) long, NE European and NW Siberian Russia. It flows N from the N Urals into the Kara Sea, forming part of the traditional border between European and Asian Russia. It is navigable in its lower course. , see M. Greenberg, ed., [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [Jewish Bible Exegesis-an Introduction) (Heb.: Jerusalem, 1983), 75-76. The idea of context also appears in Rabbinic rab·bin·i·cal also rab·bin·ic
Of, relating to, or characteristic of rabbis.
[From obsolete rabbin, rabbi, from French, from Old French rabain, probably from Aramaic thought, e.g., in the hermeneutical principle of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Barayta de-R. Ishmael, in Sifra, Introduction, ed. Ish-Shalom, p. 23).
(46) S. D. Luzzatto, Sefer Yesha yahu, 536. The meaning of the German idiom is "immediately, in a jiffy A fraction of time that has numerous interpretations depending on who uses it. It may refer to one computer clock cycle, one nanosecond, one millisecond or one AC power cycle. There may be others. See nanosecond.
1. ," that is, in the very short time required to say the monosyllabic word nu. Cf. the English expression "before one can say Jack Robinson Jack Robinson may refer to:
(OED) great multi-volume historical dictionary of English. [Br. Hist.: Caught in the Web of Words]
See : Lexicography , VIII (Oxford, 1898), 164, this expression is first documented in the year 1778. See Sh. Paul, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ["Expressions for Premature Death Premature Death occurs when a living thing dies of a cause other than old age. A premature death can be the result of injury, illness, violence, suicide, poor nutrition (often stemming from low income), starvation, dehydration, or other factors. in Semitic Languages Semitic languages, subfamily of the Afroasiatic family of languages. See Afroasiatic languages.
Family of Afro-Asiatic languages spoken in northern Africa and South Asia. ,"], Kamin Memorial Vol., 581 n. 41.
(47) Mehgerei ha-Yahadur, vol. 1, pt. 2, 130-131; Shadal, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" 706-707.
(48) To justify his emendation, Luzzatto cites Ezek 10:4: "But when the Presence of the Lord rose ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) from the cherubs" and points to the occurrences of the root [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Ezek 10:15, 16, 17, 19, as well as in Num 17:10. The common element in all these verses is "movement and departure." Another possible justification of Luzzatto's position may be brought from Ezek 1:24-25. Luzzatto discusses this verse at length in his commentary to Ezekiel, ad foe., and in a letter to "Hirsch [= Joshua Heschel] Schorr" in the summer of 1840 (Shadal, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" 705-706).
(49) A. Geiger also believed that the original text read [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] while [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was a later version; this was not, he believed, a copyist's error but a deliberate emendation for theological reasons, for the text as it originally stood, "and behind me I heard a great roaring sound, as the Presence of the Lord rose from its place." implies that the Presence of the Lord was something corporeal Possessing a physical nature; having an objective, tangible existence; being capable of perception by touch and sight.
Under Common Law, corporeal hereditaments are physical objects encompassed in land, including the land itself and any tangible object on it, that can be , capable of making "a great roaring sound" as it moved. In order to avoid this implication, the text was emended e·mend
tr.v. e·mend·ed, e·mend·ing, e·mends
To improve by critical editing: emend a faulty text. in antiquity from [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] See A. Geiger, Urschrift and Ubersetzungen der Bibll in ihrer Abhangigkeit von der innern Entwicklung der Judentums (Frankfurt am Main, 1928), p. 318. Many scholars have agreed with this convincing emendation. Cornill, a pioneer of critical Ezekiel studies, attributes it to Hitzig (C. H. Cornill, Das Buch des Propheten Ezechiel (Leipzig, 1866], 190). Luzzatto himself, in a letter to Geiger on August 7, 1857, questions whether Hitzig was indeed the first to propose this interpretation, suspecting that Hitzig had "borrowed" it from himself (Hebrew Correspondence, 1309-1310). It should be noted that, although Luzzatto occasionally attempts in his letters and commentaries to restore the original wording of certain obscure passages in the Bible, suggesting that they might be the result of copyists' errors, he continues to use the Masoretic Text without emendation: whenever he cites verses from the Bible, their text invariably in·var·i·a·ble
Not changing or subject to change; constant.
in·vari·a·bil adheres to the traditional Hebrew text.
(50) See also Ps 132:18.
(51) See also D. Yellin, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" ["Ambiguity in the Bible"), in Liqqutei Tarbiz: The Linguistic Study of Biblical Hebrew--A Reader Selected from Tarbiz--A Quarterly for Jewish Studies (Jerusalem, 1982), 11 (first published in Tarbiz 5 [19351: 1-17, and in D. Yellin, Ketavim Nivharim, vol. 11 [Heb.: Jerusalem, 19351, 86-100).
(52) See Lev 6:20;2 Kgs 9:33;Isa 63:3.
(53) Gesenius pointed out that the cognate Arabic root nzh denotes "to jump, to leap," and explained the present occurrence of the verb as meaning: he will cause them to spring up from their places to honor and venerate him; see D. W. Gesenius, Commentar uber den Jesaia (Leipzig, 1821), 175. Luzzatto points out a similar similarity in general between a verb meaning "to throw"--sprengen--and another meaning "to jump"--springen. This similarity was noted later by Skinner with regard to English: "sprinkle" vs. "spring"; see J. Skinner, The Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapters XL-LXYI (The Cambridge Bible for School and Colleges, 1917, ), 122.
(54) The expression "to close the mouth" (cf. Ps 107:43: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; see also Job 5:16) contrasts with "to open the mouth" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), meaning "to ridicule, disparage dis·par·age
tr.v. dis·par·aged, dis·par·ag·ing, dis·par·ag·es
1. To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; belittle. See Synonyms at decry.
2. To reduce in esteem or rank. ," as in [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (NJPS: "I gloat over my enemies"; 1 Sam 2:1); [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (NJPS: "They open wide their mouths at me"; Ps 35:21); [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Job 16:10); see also Lam 2:16, 3:46.
(55) See also D. Yellin, ", [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 12-13.
(56) See D. Yellin, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]"; M. Paran, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" ["on Ambiguity in the Bible;' Beer Sheva Sheva (shē`və), in the Bible.
1 Son of Caleb.
2 David's scribe: see Shavsha. 1 (1973): 150-161, who discusses "three fundamental patterns in the use of ambiguity"; Mazal Dori, "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" ["The Ambiguity of Secondary Meanings"], Hagige Givaa 7 (1999): 11-23, who distinguishes ten different usages of ambiguity in the Bible; A. Weiser, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ["Ambiguity in the Book of Proverbs'], Sefer Neiger (Jerusalem, 1959), 25-32; R. Gordis, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ["On the Qualities of Metaphor in the Holy Scriptures"], Sejer Zaidel (Jerusalem, 1962), 253-267; E. Y. Kutscher, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [Words and Their History] (Heb.: Jerusalem, 1965), 85-89. For a comprehensive bibliography of the subject see M. Weiss, [The Bible and Modern Literary Theory] (third ed.: Jerusalem, 1987). See also C. H. Gordon, "Asymmetric A difference between two opposing modes. It typically refers to a speed disparity. For example, in asymmetric operations, it takes longer to compress and encrypt data than to decompress and decrypt it. Contrast with symmetric. See asymmetric compression and public key cryptography. Janus Parallelism An overlapping of processing, input/output (I/O) or both.
1. parallelism - parallel processing.
2. (parallel) parallelism - The maximum number of independent subtasks in a given task at a given point in its execution. E.g. ;" Eretz-Israel 16 (Harry M. Orlinsky Volume; Jerusalem, 1982), 80*-81*; S. B. Noegel, Janus Parallelism in the Book of Job (Sheffield, 1996).
(57) See N. Lamm, Torah Umadda Torah Umadda (Hebrew: תורה ומדע, "Torah and secular knowledge") is a philosophy of Modern Orthodox Judaism, concerning the interrelationship between the secular world and Judaism, and in particular between secular knowledge and Jewish : The Encounter of Religious Learning and Worldly. Knowledge in the Jewish Tradition (Northvale, N.J., 1990), 23.
(58) Translation quoted from D. A. Klein, The Book of Genesis, xxii.
(59) This outlook was apparently widespread in the Haskalah period; as Moses Mendelssohn Moses Mendelssohn (Dessau, September 6, 1729 – January 4, 1786 in Berlin) was a German Jewish philosopher to whose ideas the renaissance of European Jews, Haskalah, (the Jewish enlightenment) is indebted. wrote in his commentary on Gen 1:2: "And the spirit of God.... Presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. , Scripture had no intention here of expounding ex·pound
v. ex·pound·ed, ex·pound·ing, ex·pounds
1. To give a detailed statement of; set forth: expounded the intricacies of the new tax law.
2. the subject of the four elements and how they are arranged, one above the other, in nature, their thickness and fineness; for that is not the concern of the Torah and of religion" (Bereshit-Sefer Netivot Shalom sha·lom
Used as a traditional Jewish greeting or farewell.
[Hebrew [Wien, 1837], 2).
The traditional commentator Benno Jacob Jacob, Benno (1862-1945), Reform Rabbi and Bible scholar. Biography
Jacob studied in the Rabbinical Seminary and University of his native Breslau. He served as a Rabbi between the years 1891-1929 until he retired to Hamburg to concentrate on his exegetical work. (1868-1945) also discusses the issue in B. Jacob, The First Book of the Bible: Genesis (abridged, edited, and translated by E. I. Jacob and W. Jacob; New York, 1974), I: "The story of creation leads up to man, the subject of all history. The earth is prepared for him so that he may live, work and rest upon it. All this is placed into the frame of 'six days,' not to write a historical account in the sequence of time, but to construct before our eyes the universe as a meaningful cosmos. It shall be concluded with God's resting at the beginning of the seventh day. The story is not intended to present scientific speculation or definitions; it is to serve practical religious interests, namely to assign man his place on earth."