Sunday, April 26, 2009

תעוף עיניך בו ואיננו

I live, I observe, and I think. Those thought nuggets have to be developed by further reading, otherwise I will lose them.

Here are some topics I should have read more about, but I wasted my time sleeping in and checking Facebook profiles. Maybe I’ll never get to it, or, as I hope, I’ll get to it at some point in the future. It’s either חבל על דאבדין or עוד חזון למועד.


Biblical Significance: Aside from being the bread of Passover to commemorate the Exodus, matzo is also the only bread allowed on the Altar, and most sacred breads in the Temple were matzo. Also, Lot baked matzos for the angels, (Gen. 19:3) and so did Gideon (Jud. 6:19).

Etymology: Is matzo etymologically related to similar Hebrew roots for feud, glimpse, flower, drain, juice, or suck?

(ריב ומצה, מציץ מן החרכים, ויצץ ציץ, ונמצה דמו, מיץ ענבים, מציצה בפה. הי הי)


Color: Usually white. See Moses (Ex. 5), Miriam (Num. 12), and Gehazi (2 Kings 5). However, Leviticus 13 discusses red, green, and yellow besides white.

Causes: Gossip, per classic commentators on Deuteronomy 24: 8-9. Another cause: Trespassing of the priestly privilege, per Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26. Are the two related? After all, the Torah makes it clear time and again priests have the exclusive license the handle leprosy cases.

Place: Moses: on one hand. Uzziah: on the forehead. Miriam: significant part of her body. In addition, Leviticus 13 discusses full body, the scalp, beard, clothing, and house.

Prevalence: It would have no relevant Halachic ramifications, but does the disease still exist today? If not, when did it cease to exist, and why? R’ Yochonan, a third century Talmudic sage, was familiar with the phenomenon in his days. See Brochos 5b.

5th of Iyar

Why was the State named Israel? If you were going to build a homeland for Jews, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call it Judea? The ancient Kingdom of Israel fell a long time before its sister Judean Kingdom, and while Jews returned from Babylonia and reestablished Judea, Israelites were forever lost.

Why are the people of ancient Israel called Israelites, while the people of the modern state are called Israelis?

The Satmar camp refers to Independence Day with the Hebrew phrase יום המר והנמהר. The source is a verse in Habakkuk (1:6) that describes the Babylonians as ruthless and impetuous. I understand the Satmar zealots believe the State of Israel to be evil and its Independence Day a sad day, but frankly this phrase makes little sense. Call it a tragedy; call it a disaster; call it even Al Nakba, but ruthless and impetuous?



JK from KJ said...

If you were going to build a homeland for Jews, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call it Judea?I’m not an historian, and I suspect the true reason could be found somewhere. But I’m thinking that they chose the name Israel over Judah, perhaps, because reclaiming the Kingdom of Judah would also have meant reclaiming only those territories ruled by that kingdom, that is the South. Why not reclaim all the territories apportioned to the Israelites, which spanned not only to the North but also eastward into Transjordan?

Anonymous said...

thanks for allowing anon to comment...

I think Germans call Jews "Israelites." I read that somewhere once I think.

Also: your blog profile is pretty darn funny. You're a funny guy -- the attitude you take is rare in the J-blog, which is filled with either bitterness or G-d awful self-righteousness and is boring.


JK from KJ said...

I agree Hershey's profile is funny, albeit a bit contradicting in my view: He first asserts that he "should’ve been" a scholar, but then, tuch kdie dibur, concludes that he "doesn't care to know more" than the "little" he does know.

A Pusheter Yid said...

JK and Anon,
I just speculated. Israel is indeed more appropriate.

Thank you. I corrected my profile.

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