Posts Tagged ‘Rashi’

I have rendered Jeremiah Chapter 1 into a flowing English narrative incorporating selections of classic commentaries, primarily Rashi, also drawing from Targum and Radak. I would love for this to be a springboard for discussion.

Jeremiah, Chapter 1

Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, a Kohen (priest) from Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, was descended from Rahab the harlot. Despite his humble lineage, he was more righteous than those in his generation who were of prestigious lineage, and therefore was chosen by God to rebuke his generation. Jeremiah began prophesying in the 13th year of King Josiah son of Amon, when the Divine Presence (Shechinah) began to dwell upon him. He prophesied throughout the rest of Josiah’s reign, and throughout the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, and the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah, until the 11th year of Zedekiah, in the 5th month, when Jerusalem was exiled.

God said to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. I had already revealed to Adam, from the beginning of time, who the prophets of each generation would be for all time, including you. Before you emerged from the womb, I prepared you for this purpose. I already told Moses, ‘I will raise up a prophet for them… like you’ (Deuteronomy 18:18). This prophecy refers to you, Jeremiah. You are a prophet like Moses, for just as Moses rebuked Israel, so shall you rebuke Israel. Just as Moses prophesied for forty years, so shall you prophesy for forty years. I have made you a prophet who will prophesy to Israel, a nation that behaves as though it is the same as the other nations of the world, not fulfilling the unique mission that I have commanded them. You will also prophesy regarding the calamities that will befall the nations of the world because of their wickedness.”

Jeremiah said to God: “But Lord, behold, I am unable to rebuke the people, for I am yet a lad. Moses rebuked the people close to his death. By that time, Israel already regarded Moses highly because of all the miracles he had performed for their benefit throughout many years. He took them out of Egypt and split the sea for them. He brought down the manna and swarms of quail for them to eat. He gave them the Torah and drew water from the rock. Therefore he could also rebuke them and they would listen. But you ask me to rebuke them at the very beginning of my career!”

God said to Jeremiah: “Do not say, ‘I am a lad,’ for you shall go to the nations of the world if I send you to them, and you shall speak to the people of Israel the words I tell you. Do not fear them, for I am with you, to save you.”

God sent His prophetic words and arranged them in Jeremiah’s mouth. God said to Jeremiah: “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms to uproot and to smash and to annihilate and to destroy, for as you prophesy regarding them, so shall befall them. But as for Israel, you are appointed to build and to plant, if they listen and repent.”

God spoke to Jeremiah, saying, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

Jeremiah said, “I see an almond branch, representing a king who is quick to do evil, as the almond tree is quicker to blossom than other trees.” 

God said to Jeremiah, “You have seen well. Just as this almond blossoms more quickly than other trees, so am I quick to carry out my word. It takes twenty-one days for the almond to ripen, just as there shall be twenty-one days from the 17th of Tamuz, when the walls of Jerusalem will be breached, until the 9th of Av, when the Temple will be destroyed.”

God spoke to Jeremiah again, saying, “What do you see?”

Jeremiah said, “I see a boiling pot, bubbling up on the north side.”

God said to Jeremiah, “From Babylonia, which is in the north, shall the evil come forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. For behold, I am calling to all the families of the kingdoms of the north, and each man shall set his seat at the opening of the gates of Jerusalem, and upon all its walls around, and upon all the cities of Judah. And I shall pronounce judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem for all their evil, for abandoning me and burning incense to other gods, and bowing to the works of their hands. And you, Jeremiah, brace yourself, and rise up, and speak to them all that I shall command you. Do not fear them, lest I break you before them. Behold, today I have made you strong as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as copper walls to pronounce retribution against all the inhabitants of the land: the kings of Judah, its officers, its priests and the common people. They will judge you and strive against you to suppress your prophetic words, but they will not succeed against you, for I am with you, to save you.”

Rashi spoke Italian, too?

Posted: February 23, 2016 in Hebrew
Tags: , ,

While explaining the word מחשים in I Kings 22:3, Rashi uses the Hebrew for “we are being lazy,” then uses a non-Hebrew colloquial term for further clarification to the reader. Here, he uses the phrase סיאמ”ו פיגר”י. Usually Rashi used a French idiom, but the word סיאמ”ו converts phonetically roughly to “siamo,” a decidedly non-French sounding word. The second term I phonetically converted roughly to “figre,” which looked like it could resemble a French word.

On to Google Translate. I set it to “detect language,” and typed in “siamo.” It returned “we are” in Italian! “We are” is exactly what I hoped for, but since when does Rashi use Italian words?

On to “figre.” This did not yield anything that made sense. So I decided to try “lazy” in English, matching the Hebrew term Rashi used, and translate it to French. Of the words returned by Google, the closest match was “feignant,” meaning “idle.” Not bad. But I was not satisfied. So I put “feignant” back into Translate, and translated it into Italian. What came back? “Pigrone”!  This apparently means “lazybones” in Italian. When I entered “pigre” or “pigri” into Translate, and translated it to English, it comes back as “lazy,” the exact term I was looking for, and this Italian word is once again an exact phonetic match to the one Rashi uses.

Just to be thorough, I ran the full phrase “we are lazy” through Translate and got “siamo pigri,” Rashi’s exact words!

But this leaves me with a different mystery. Why was Rashi, the French commentator, writing in Italian?

Rashi to I Kings 7:51RashiMelachimA7-51

Rashi offers two reasons:

1) Solomon knew the Temple would one day be destroyed, and he did not want the heathen nations to say that it was destroyed as retribution for King David having gotten the materials for the Temple (gold, silver, etc.) by conquering and pillaging other nations.

2) Since there was a 3-year famine in the days of King David, the money that David set aside for the Temple should have been used to feed the poor and save them from starving to death. Solomon felt his father misappropriated this money and did not want to benefit from it, or use it in the construction of the Holy Temple.

Yehoash did what was upright in the eyes of the Almighty all his days, as Yehoyada the Kohen taught him.”

Rashi:

‘All his days, as Yehoyada taught him’ — But once Yehoyada died, then ‘the officers of Judah came to prostate themselves to the king’ (II Chronicles 24:17), and they deified him. They said to him: ‘One who enters the Holy of Holies for even one moment is in danger of death, but you hid there for six years! You are fitting to be a god!’ ‘Then he listened to them’ (ibid).

Seder Olam Rabah 18:

After the death of Yehoyada the Kohen, Yoash made himself into a deity, as it says, ‘They prostrated themselves to the king… Then the king listened to them’ (II Chronicles 24).

Shemoth Rabah 8:3:

From where do we know that Yoash made himself into a deity? As it says: ‘And after the death of Yehoyada, the officers of Judah came and prostrated themselves to the king. Then the king listened to them’ (II Chronicles 24). What is the meaning of, ‘and they prostrated themselves to the king’? That they made him into a deity. They said to him: ‘If you were not a god, you would not have come out after seven years in the Holy of Holies.’ He said to them, ‘It is so!’ And he accepted upon himself to become a deity.

Matenoth Kehunah (comments to Sh”R):

‘After seven years’ – from his birth. But he was only hidden six years, for so it is written in II Chronicles 24.

‘You would not have come out…’ – As it is written, ‘And the stranger who approaches shall die,’ and even the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) would only enter on Yom Kipur (the Day of Atonement), and with incense, and prayer and immersion, and if you were not a god, you would not have been able to remain alive there.

B’Midbar Rabah 23:13 (also Tanchuma Masey 12):

You find as long as Yehoyada was alive, Yoash acted according to the will of his Creator, as it says, ‘Yoash did what was upright in the eyes of the Almighty all his days that Yehoyada the Kohen guided him.’ ‘After the death of Yehoyada, the officers of Judah came and prostrated themselves to the king. Then the king listened to them’ (II Chronicles 24), accepting upon himself to made into a deity.

See also Agadath B’Reshith 49

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Chapters 9 and 10 of the book of II Kings (Melachim II) detail the career of Yehu, a soldier turned renegade turned king, who, at the command of Elisha the Prophet, mounts a campaign to annihilate the house of the evil (former) King Achav (Ahab), whose son Yehoram then sat on the throne. Along the way, Yehu also kills Achazyah, the king of Judah, who, although Davidic by paternal lineage, was of the house of Achav through his mother’s side.

In Chapter 11, this mother of the house of Achav, whose name was Athalyah, upon the death of the king of Judah, commences exterminating the male offspring of the king so that she may succeed to the throne with no opponent. One child, Yoash, is rescued and hidden in the Temple for six years, guarded and attended to by the High Priest, Yehoyada. When the boy is seven years old, Yehoyada, together with a band of his loyal followers, brings the young heir out of hiding and announts him. Verse 12:

Melachim

They brought forth the son of the king, and they put upon him the crown and the testament, and they coronated him and anointed him, and they clapped hands and said, ‘May the king live!’

What is this “testament” that they “put upon him”?

Rashi offers two suggestions:

Rashi

The first is that “the testament” refers to the scroll of the Torah that a king is commanded in Deuteronomy (Devarim) 17:19 to keep with him and read daily.

The second suggestion is based on a fascinating opinion in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 44A) that this crown would only fit upon the head of one who was fit to be the king. Here, a king’s crown miraculously fit itself to the head of this seven year old child, thus testifying that he was fit to be king of Judah.

Let us examine the origin of this crown more closely.

In II Samuel 12, we read of a military victory of Israel over Amon. Verse 30 tells of a remarkable crown among the spoils:

ShemuelShemuelB

[David] took the crown of Malkam (מלכם) from upon his head, and its weight was a kikar of gold, with a precious stone, and it was upon the head of David…

The translation of the Hebrew word “malkam” here is controversial. The word appears plainly to be a composite of the word “melech” (“king”) with the “-am” ending meaing “their.” The verse would then read, “He took the crown of their king from upon his head.” This makes perfect sense. Rashi, however, notes that “Malkam” is actually the name of the Amonite deity, synonymous with the false god Molech mentioned in the Torah that was commonly worshiped by local peoples in those days, including the people of Amon.

RashiShemuel

If so, the crown would have been an adornment of an idol. This is the opinion of the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 44A).

AvodahZarah2

The crown is described as weighing a kikar. Well, how much is a kikar? According to this handy-dandy biblical measurement conversion table, a kikar weighs either 27kg or 34kg (depending on which scholarly opinion you follow). For us Americans, that’s the same as around 60lbs or 75lbs. To make it even more graphic, 60lbs is like 3 car tires or 5 bowling balls. 75lbs is about the weight of an 11 year old child, or 2 and 1/2 cinderblocks. If that was the weight of this crown, it is certainly not reasonable to think any human king actually wore this! Rather, it makes more sense to be an adornment for an idol, as the Talmud understands.

The next question, however, should be obvious. The verse in II Samuel says the crown was on David’s head! If it was so impossibly heavy, how could David have worn it!

The Talmud offers several possibilities:

1. The verse doesn’t literally mean that David wore it, but that David was so great as to be fitting to wear such a valuable crown.

2. The verse means that the crown was suspended over David’s head. Specifically, a magnet caused the crown to float above the throne so that when David sat it hovered above his head.

3. The crown did not actually weigh a kikar, but the value of the stone in the crown was the equivalent of a kikar of gold.

Finally, the Talmud tells of the miracle of the crown fitting itself to its bearer as a testament to the worthiness of said bearer. The crown served as a testament to David’s worthiness then, and once again as a testament to the worthiness of Yoash in our chapter. The implication is that all worthy royal descendants of David wore this crown.

AvodahZarah

As a matter of fact, the Talmud goes on to relate that Adoniyah, the son of David who declares himself king at the end of David’s life in the beginning of I Kings, tried wearing this crown to prove his worthiness for the throne, but was unsuccessful; the crown would not for him.

But was this a “magical” property of the crown, or a unique miracle that G-d brought about for the sake of David and his righteous offspring?

The answer may lie in an episode from I Samuel.

ShemuelA

In I Samuel, Chapter 17, as David is about to confront Goliath, King Saul offers David his own implements of war, including his armor. Now, Saul was much larger than David, in fact, the text describes Saul as “head and shoulders” above the rest of the nation, i.e. he was very tall. How could the vestments of a much larger man fit on David? The hint is in v. 38. The word מדיו in Hebrew is translated as “his apparel,” as in, “Saul dressed David in his apparel.” But the word מדיו has the same root as the word מדה, meaning “measure.” The verse could then read, “Saul dressed David to his measure,” i.e. the vestments of Saul fit David, though they were not at all the same size.

Indeed, the Talmud in Yevamoth 76B, as well as the Midrash in VaYikra Rabah 26:8 and Tanchuma Emor 4 explain that this is exactly what happened. Rashi’s comments to I Samuel 17:38 reflect this view of our Sages.

RashiShemuelA

Rashi explains (in accordance with the view of the Sages in the above sources) that since David had been anointed by Samuel to be king, the king’s clothing miraculously fit themselves to David’s measure.

So returning to the crown, it appears that it was not the unique quality of this crown to “magically” choose its bearer based on whether or not that person was worthy to be king. Rather, it appears that it was the unique quality of the righteous Davidic kings that any clothing fit for a king miraculously fit them.

Let us end off on a beautifully positive note. Rabbi Yoseph Chayim of Baghdad, in his commentary to the agadic passages of the Talmud, Ben Yehoyada, connects the passage in Avodah Zarah to a section of Zachariah (4:7).

Zecharyah

Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubavel you will become a flatland. And he shall bring forth the even haroshah with shouts of, ‘Grace! Grace!’ for it.

The Hebrew words “even haroshah” here are usually translated as, “cornerstone,” “foundation stone,” “keystone,” or “top stone.” The prophecy is understood by many to refer to messianic times, meaning that not even the mightiest power will be able to stand in the way of the Messiah. Rather, he will bring forth the “even haroshah” as the Jewish people cheers on. If translated as above, the reference is to the construction of the Third Temple. However, Ben Yehoyada offers another understanding:
BenYehoyada

“Even haroshah” literally means “head stone” (not the kind that goes over a grave), i.e. “stone of the head.” Well, what kind of stone did we just learn about that goes on the head? It is the precious stone that featured prominently in David’s crown!

If so, the prophecy here is that this very same crown will be worn by the King Messiah, scion of David, for whom it will be a testament that he is the true Messiah! May we see this speedily in our days!

In the area of study known as Quantum Physics, there is a remarkable phenomenon known as “quantum entanglement.”

Without going into too much detail, the relevant information about quantum entanglement for the purposes of this post is to understand that particles that are part of a system react to a change that occurs to another particle in the system simultaneous with that change, without even the delay necessary for the information to travel at the speed of light from one particle to the other. In other words, you and I cannot know about anything that has happened anywhere else until the information reaches us. Then we can react. But this information takes time to travel. In quantum entanglement, particles that are part of a system react to one another IMMEDIATELY, without the necessary time it would take for the information regarding the change of one particle to reach the other particle(s) even if that information were travelling at the speed of light. Since faster than light travel is not possible, there must be some other factor that causes these particles to be “entangled” with one another at all times and places, despite the space between them. This is sometimes called, “spooky action at a distance.”

Here is a question someone emailed me:

Since TIME is one of the dimensions of the universe, shouldn’t entanglement not only be “spooky action at a (linear) distance”, but, also, “spooky action across expanses of time”?!  Cannot an action taken or decision made “now” impact events in the future — even the distance future?  Since, according to physics, the past, present, and future are not fundamentally different, could not an action taken in the “present” affect even PAST events?!!  Is it possible that a righteous act done today can mitigate the suffering undergone by someone in our distant past?  What do you think of this idea?  Did any of our Gaonim (sages) have similar thoughts? Am I way off the mark? or is this possible?
      I would like to propose that this is indeed plausable, based on an incident in the Tanach (Hebrew Bible), according to our Oral Tradition. Let us examine a passage in I Samuel 14:
Shemuel14blood
      At the end of a (successful) war against the Philistines, the Israelite army is famished and desperate to eat. They begin slaughtering animals for food, but word reaches King Saul that the people, in their haste, are not allowing the blood of the animal to drain sufficiently before eating it, thereby violating the prohibition against eating blood. Saul calls for the people to gather and he oversees the slaughtering of the animals to ensure no one eats meat before the blood is properly drained.
      Verse 34 contains a puzzle. Saul commands the people, “ושחטתם בזה,” meaning, “slaughter in this,” or “slaughter with this,” but the verse does not tell us what the “this” was that Saul referred to. Rashi offers that the plain meaning is either “in this place,” or “with this knife,” though it is peculiar that the verse leaves these specifics out of the narrative.
      Indeed, the Midrash (VaYikra Rabah 25) tells us that Saul referred to a knife, and the wording was chosen to hint that the word בזה — “with this” — is a description of the knife itself. How so?
VaYikraRabah25Shaul
      The numerical value of the word בזה is 14. According to the Midrash, the knife Saul showed the people to use for slaughter was a knife 14 “fingerlengths” long (about 14 inches). Until the time, it was typical to use a smaller knife, which complicated slaughter and often caused problems that rendered the animal unkosher. Saul’s knife, however allowed the slaughter to be performed more easily and with less risk of botching the procedure. This knife-length was thenceforth embraced as standard Jewish halachic (legal) practice. According to the Midrash, Saul was the innovator of this improvement in the practice of kosher slaughter.
      The Midrash goes on to ask: “When was Saul rewarded by G-d” for this? The Midrash answers: On the day the Israelites went to war against the Philistines, and cites a verse at the end of Chapter 13:
Shemuel13
Shemuel13-22
“And it was on the day of the war, there was no sword nor spear found in the hand of the entire nation that was with Saul and Jonathan, and it was found for Saul and Jonathan.”
      Without getting into too much analysis, on the face of it, the verse appears to contradict itself. At first it says no weapons were found for anyone, and then it says they were found for Saul and Jonathan. According to Rashi (apparently based on the above Midrash), the verse indicates a sequence of events. At first there were no weapons, but then, miraculously, weapons become found by Saul and Jonathan such that now the Israelite army could fight and defeat the Philistines.
Rashi
      According to the Midrash, THIS was the reward for Saul having upheld and enhanced kosher meat slaughter in the above incident. As a reward for using knives to uphold the Torah, Saul was rewarded with knives (swords, etc.) when he needed them.

      But there’s something MAJORLY difficult here. You may have noticed that the CAUSE of the reward (Saul’s actions in Ch. 14) come AFTER effect (the reward in Ch. 13). How is this possible?

Most classic commentaries choose to understand that the Midrash means to identify the incident with Saul and the knife as an example of many similar incidents in which Saul introduced this reform. The Midrash cites this one because this is where it appears in the text. But undoubtedly, there were many similar incidents to this prior to the one in Ch. 14 for which Saul was rewarded in Ch. 13. This resolves the apparent paradox.

However, the Etz Yoseph commentary shares a different and radical view.

EtzYoseph

According to Etz Yoseph, since G-d knows the future, in this incident G-d payed Saul the reward for his future merit, even though he had not yet performed the act for which he would merit the reward.

If we were to reword the Etz Yoseph‘s comments in the terminology of modern quantum mechanics, we might say that this is no paradox at all, since all moments in time are linked along a dimensional plane. That being the case, just as we find “entanglement” between two particles within a system across the dimension of space, the same could be said about events across an expanse of time (even “backwards” in time). So that Saul’s CAUSAL action in the (so-called) future produced an EFFECT in the past.

More on quantum entanglement in time, from a purely scientific (not religious) perspective here: http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/what-quantum-entanglement-means-for-time-travel/.

As I heard Rabbi Berel Wein once say (though I’m sure he’s said it many times), “Tanach (Bible) is not a history book, it’s today’s newspaper.”

I have been energized by Israeli MK’s Naftali Benet’s recent initiative to have as many Israelis (and Jews generally) learn one chapter of Tanach a day, in order to strengthen our understanding of our historic mission and unbreakable link to our destiny in the Land of Israel. Nonetheless, I haven’t been following the daily prescription according to the “new order,” that is, starting all together from Chapter 1 of Genesis and proceeding forward. Since, as a Torah-observant Jew, I read the weekly Torah portion, I will complete the Five Books of Moses once annually anyway. So, in addition to my weekly “dose” of Torah, I am adding one chapter a day of the books of the Prophets.

That said, I have been, for years, trying to make slow progress through these books, and have already completed Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Isaiah. (I skipped Kings because I had intended to learn that together with a study partner, though that didn’t materialize, so I started it on my own after finishing Isaiah.) I am now completing the 20th chapter of I Kings (Melachim Aleph), and I have some thoughts to share.

We live in a time in which Israel’s continued existence constantly comes under threat from its enemies (who are everywhere, not just in the Arab countries surrounding the Land of Israel, or within its tiny borders). And despite our efforts to “defend ourselves,” our issues of security never seem to become resolved.

What can we learn, or shall I say, what are we CALLED UPON to learn from our holy books? (For that is their purpose, is it not? To learn from them, not to coldy read from them as some kind of quiet entertainment.)

Here is what I found in my reading for today. In short, Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram (modern-day Syria), wages war on Israel time and again, continuously seeking its destruction, but is thwarted again and again, not because of the righteousness of its kings, but because of the mercy of the great G-d of Israel. Before Ben-Hadad can attack Israel again, a prophet comes to the king of Israel and tells him (I Kings, 20:28):

Melachim20

“The Man of G-d (i.e. prophet) approached and said to the King of Israel, and said, “Thus said the Almighty (HaShem): Since Aram said that the Almighty is a G-d of mountains (only), but He is not a G-d of valleys, I have given all this great multitude (the army of Aram) into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Almighty.”

Did you catch it? No, it was not a typo, because it’s in the Hebrew, too. That’s right — the verse says “and (he) said” twice. “The Man of G-d (i.e. prophet) approached and said to the King of Israel, and said…” Why twice? What does this add?

Rashi’s comments are illuminating.

Melachim20-28Rashi

Rashi points out that there must have been a SECOND statement, in addition to this one, that the text does not record. Based on a comparison with later context, Rashi concludes that the second statement was that once the king has Ben-Hadad in his grasp, he should NOT show him any mercy! As we will see, the king will be reprimanded for not following this dictate (yet if the prophet had not said it, it would not have made sense later for the king to be taken to task for this, as we shall see).

So, of course, G-d was right and Israel defeats Aram again, and this time, the King of Aram is desperate for his own survival. Of his army of over one hundred thousand men, only he and a few close servants survive and find hiding.

Melachim20-31

“[The king of Aram]’s servants said to him: ‘Behold now, we have heard that the kings of Israel are kings of kindness. Let us please put sackcloth upon our loins and ropes upon our heads and go forth to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will allow you to live.”

Isn’t it amazing how our reputation as kind and merciful (and our predilection to be duped by our enemies’ false sincerity) hasn’t changed in three millenia? But you don’t think the King of Israel falls for this one, right?

Melachim20-32

Wrong! “They girded sackcloth upon their loins and ropes upon their heads, and they came to the King of Israel and said: ‘Your servant Ben-Hadad said: ‘Please allow me to live!” [The King of Israel] said: ‘Does he yet live? He is my brother!'”

At the first sign of a peaceful overture, the Jewish king is filled with nothing but love for his former enemy.

The King of Israel then makes a pact with his newfound “brother,” and sends him peacefully back to Damascus to his rule.

The prophet then disguises himself and appears to the King of Israel on the road, and asks him to resolve a dilemma:Melachaim20-39-40

The prophet in disguise tells the king that he was among the soldiers of Israel who had gone out to war with Aram. While at war, another soldier brought him a prisoner, telling him to guard the man with his life, or deserve a penalty. Nevertheless, the prisoner escaped. The king replied, “You decided your own sentence!” I.e. You accepted upon yourself the terms when you agreed to guard the prisoner, now face the penalty!

The prophet then reveals himself and explains that this was a metaphor for the king’s own actions.

Melachim20-42 Melachim20-42b“[The prophet] said to him: ‘Thus said the Almighty: Since you sent away My enemy from your hand, your life shall be in place of his life, and your nation in place of his nation.”

This confirms Rashi’s explanation earlier that the King of Israel must have been likewise commanded to “guard his hostage” and not let him go as he did, just like the man in the prophet’s parable.

So as Berel Wein said, these scriptures are today’s news. Will we learn from history and cease to accept the false promises of those who have sworn to destroy us? As Rashi has explained, sometimes the seemingly merciful course of action is that which is most unwise.

J-Street needs to read the Tanach.

[Paranthetically, I think it worthwhile to examine one more of Rashi’s comments to this passage. HaShem calls the king of Aram “איש חרמי,” which I have translated, based on Rashi, as “My enemy.” Rashi offers an alternative translation of the word חרם, that is, “entrapment.”

Melachim20-42Rashi

It was as if HaShem was saying to the King of Israel: “How many traps did I set for you until [the king of Aram] fell into your hands!” Over and over HaShem offered the King of Israel divine assistance in entrapping his enemies to that he may be victorious over them, yet the King of Israel has squandered all these efforts. Will we make the same mistakes? It appears to me that, G-d forbid, we are.]