Tuesday, 8 February 2011

P. Toldot Sometimes a Concordance is better than a Dictionary

Quite a while ago -one fellow came over to me and asked me, re: T'hillim 104:1, what does "gadalta" mean here?
Hashem cannot be defined by SIZE.
• How can Hashem grow bigger?
• How can Hashem even grow older?

In order to answer my chaveir's question I picked up a Concordance.

Let's see what it showed us - Eureka!
One of the first entries was P. Toldot at the start of sh'lishi
Ber. 26:13
Vayigdal Ho'ish ...

Yitzckaq Avinu was not growing in size of even in spirituality in this context. Rather his r'chush - possessions, property, portfolio were on the increase! Yitzchaq was waxing into a "Billionaire"

Without recourse to a Dictionary let's look back at Tehillim 104:1
A quick review talks about the tz'va hashamayim, the wonders of the heavenly bodies.

The praise here is Hashem - YOU possess a magnificent portfolio of astronomical proportions. Not a Praise of Hashem Himself, nor really of HIS Middot, rather of HIS possessions. Hashem is GDL in the sense of "Qoneh Shamayim vo'Oretz."


Tangentially this peirush directly relates to the piyyutim of Keil Adon and Eil Baruch GD'oL dei'ah... Found in Birkat Yotzeir. And so
On Rosh Hodesh we remember the Creator and HIS Creation by means of reciting this magnificent "Kapittel"

In summary: we now know how to parse Psalm 104 and to attribute to Hashem HIS proper attributes
And we have illustrated what I term the Concordance Technique for Parshanut

Years ago, I had learned this technique from Rashi Z"L. When Rashi explains a difficult term w/o using Talmud, Midrash or Targum, he often resorts to TaNa"Ch itself as a resource. Rashi is not only giving a peirush, rather he is teaching us a technique for forming our own original peirushim. BE"H I will illustrate Rashi's usage and a few of my own based upon following Rashi's methodology


Previoulsy published on 5/27

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