Jewish Forum & Discussions - Chabad Talk  

Go Back   Jewish Forum & Discussions - Chabad Talk > Torah and Judaism > Torah

Reply
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Unread 11-27-2011, 06:45 AM   #1
FlyingAxe
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 607
Avimelech seeing Yitzchok and Rivka

In many translations of the passage regarding Avimelech seeing Yitzchok and Rivka behaving like a husband and wife, it says that he looked out the window of his palace. Rashi, however, says that וישקף אבימלך וגו': שראהו משמש מטתו

So, did Avimelech look out of his palace's window, or he looked into Yitzchok Avinu's window? (Or both?)
FlyingAxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 10:45 AM   #2
awonderingjew
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 20
Could it be both? Is it the Zohar that says that this window was a crystal ball, of sorts? If I remember right, the Chiddushei HaRim (verify this) ties this 'chalon' (window) into the reason that chanukah menorah is placed in the 'chalon'.
awonderingjew is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 10:53 AM   #3
awonderingjew
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 20
Yep. It's in the Zohar, daf 140a, where the Chalon is a reference to advanced astrology. The Lekach VeHalibuv has an extended peice showing all references to Chalonos, and how they represent teh epitome of the Greek's knowledge of the natural world.
awonderingjew is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 02:04 PM   #4
Malkizedek
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 49
2. Things:

1. The Zohar doesn't say that the window was a crystal ball. It says that the window refers to "אצטגנינותא" which is usually translated as astrology. In this context, there are those (like the Sulam) who hold that this term literally translates to astrology - as in looking up at the stars and determining reality through them (which the Ramba''m says is impossible; anyone who believes in astrology is a fool). There are those who say that it means Avimelech realized through observing Yitzchak and Rivka that they did not treat one another like brother and sister. This makes some sense given the hemshech of the Zohar, which I will explain in a minute.

2. The Zohar does not have anything to do with the Greeks. It does not mention the Greeks in this section directly or by implication. The Zohar also does not waste time praising the Greeks or their "knowledge of the natural world." Astrology is referred to, sometimes obliquely, and sometimes directly, throughout Tanach. Tanach predates the Greeks. In fact, this section in particular only mentions astrology in passing. Here's the full hemshech (at 140b, not a, by the way):
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Zohar, 140b
וכי ס"ד דיצחק הוה משמש ערסיה ביממא, דהא תנינן ישראל קדישין אינון ולא משמשי ערסייהו ביממא, ויצחק דהוה קדיש הוה משמש ערסיה ביממא, אלא ודאי אבימלך חכים הוה, ואיהו אסתכל באצטגנינותא דיליה דאיהו חלון, כתיב הכא בעד החלון, וכתיב התם (שופטים ה כח) בעד החלון נשקפה ותיבב אם סיסרא, מה להלן באצטגנינותא אוף הכי נמי באצטגנינותא, וחמא דלא הוה כמה דהוה אמר יצחק, אלא ודאי איהו מצחק עמה ואיהי אתתיה, וכדין ויקרא אבימלך ליצחק ויאמר וגו
The Zohar asks how Avimelech was able to see Yitzchak and Rivka engaging in marital relations, as the verse suggests. It does not even mention the possibility that Avimelech was able to view them from a public area (which would imply that they were so careless and immodest in their act that Avimelech did not even have to leave his palace to catch them in the act). That possibility makes no sense in the context of Yitchak and Rivka, who were obviously extremely modest people. But if Avimelech was able to see them, it would make sense that the act occurred during the day, such that they could be readily seen. This, however, is not possible, since, as the Zohar says, Jews are holy people and therefore do not have marital relations during the day. The Zohar then says that Avimelech was very bright, and was therefore able to glean the truth through astrology. In other words, Yitchak and Rivka were not doing anything wrong or imprudent. Avimelech was nonetheless able to discern the truth through his keen intellect. The fact that the tool he used is called astrology is an afterthought in the Zohar, and should likely be viewed as an afterthought.

I read it to mean that Avimelech was able to figure it out by the way they spoke with one another, or acted in public. Yitzchak did his best, but you can't trick a trickster.
Malkizedek is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 02:40 PM   #5
FlyingAxe
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkizedek View Post
I read it to mean that Avimelech was able to figure it out by the way they spoke with one another, or acted in public. Yitzchak did his best, but you can't trick a trickster.
Yeah, but Rashi says something different.

Thanks for the Zohar.
FlyingAxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 04:46 PM   #6
Lamp Lighter
Senior Member
 
Lamp Lighter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingAxe View Post
Yeah, but Rashi says something different.

Thanks for the Zohar.
Rashi quotes Bereshis Rabbah and the Zohar.

Maskil L'David explains Rashi's comment based on the above zohar that through astrological means (not necessary "astrology") that they were having relations.

(IMHO) gazing doesn't necessarily mean physically looking with your eyes. Gazing can simply mean thinking deeply on a subject. From Yitzhak and Rivkah's interaction in public that did not seem like a sister and brother relationship, he gazed on the subject using impure forces and came up with the truth.

Shar HaYichud discusses gazing when describing hisbonenut

Chodesh Tov.
Lamp Lighter is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 07:50 PM   #7
awonderingjew
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 20
But, since 'ain mikreh yotzei mip'shuto', if the pasuk says looking through the window, shouldn't we try to understand how looking through a type of 'looking glass' could be part of the answer to flying axes' original question?

Surely, 'gazing' can mean pondering, but so can hearing ('sh'ma').

Apologies to Malkitzedek, who misunderstood my Greek/zohar reference. This was a d'rush from Rav Avraham Schorr who put together the "Chalon-->Astrology-->Greek-->Menorah in the chalon" connection together, not the Zohar. Are there any other classical sources , besides the Rambam, that are anti-astrology?
awonderingjew is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
FlyingAxe
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 607
Quote:
Rashi quotes Bereshis Rabbah and the Zohar.
Rashi quotes Zohar?
FlyingAxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 08:15 PM   #9
FlyingAxe
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 607
My wife says that every teacher she’s ever had (all of whom were non-Lubavitchers) told her that Avimelech was a nosy person who’d look into people’s windows.

Even then, presumably, they were tzanua, and this was happening at night...
FlyingAxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 11:26 PM   #10
Malkizedek
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingAxe View Post
Even then, presumably, they were tzanua, and this was happening at night...
This is exactly the Zohar's question.
Malkizedek is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 11:27 PM   #11
FlyingAxe
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 607
Well, Rashi needs to make sense independently from Zohar.
FlyingAxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-27-2011, 11:53 PM   #12
Lamp Lighter
Senior Member
 
Lamp Lighter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingAxe View Post
Rashi quotes Zohar?
That is incorrect. Source i meant. His source seems to be B.R. and in the end the Zohar had some influence on his statement.

Rashi does not go into such detail as his statement seems to satisfy the pshat. He saw them having relations.

The commentators later are surprised because the pshat is misleading and confusing.

Maskil L'David bring the zohar proper explaining the zohar. Other commentators explain that he didnt physically see them having relations.

I have not found a source (but am open to one.) There are Sichas on this exact subject no? that he physically looked through their window and saw them.
Lamp Lighter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Search judaism by rabbi yitzchok fingerer Fern Sidman Book Reviews 0 11-01-2009 03:34 PM
Rabbi Yitzchok Ginsburg noahidelaws The World of Lubavitch 9 03-20-2008 01:36 PM
Rav Yitzchok Raitport Kapote The World of Lubavitch 1 09-14-2004 06:39 PM
Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson- the Rebbe's Father Jude Stories about the Rabbeim and Chassidim 11 04-09-2004 01:50 PM
Bais Rivka Teachers Breal Chinuch 22 01-19-2004 03:40 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2001 - 2016 ChabadTalk.com