Showing posts with label iyov. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iyov. Show all posts

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why did Dinah recommend cursing Hashem?

Summary: Or, dybbyk min ha-Torah minayin?

Post: Since dybbuks, and dybbuk hoaxes, are in the news, this short and to the point devar Torah on last week's parasha, Vayishlach, is appropriate.

Dinah was a good, frum, Jewish girl. She grew up in Yaakov's household, and so learned to be meticulous not just in dinnim deOraysa but in derabbanans and minhagim as well. While the Avos learned in yeshiva Shem veEiver, Dinah learned in the very first Beis Yaakov. Yet, as we learn in Bava Basra, she later married Iyov.

Thus, it was Dinah who said to Iyov {2:9}:
ט  וַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ, עֹדְךָ מַחֲזִיק בְּתֻמָּתֶךָ; בָּרֵךְ אֱלֹהִים, וָמֻת.9 Then said his wife unto him: 'Dost thou still hold fast thine integrity? blaspheme God, and die.'

This is mystifying. It boggles the mind that someone with such an upbringing -- who would have even reformed Esav had she married him -- could say such a thing. It is near impossible!

But then, during laining yesterday, I noticed the following pasuk, regarding Shechem ben Chamor:

ג  וַתִּדְבַּק נַפְשׁוֹ, בְּדִינָה בַּת-יַעֲקֹב; וַיֶּאֱהַב, אֶת-הַנַּעֲרָ, וַיְדַבֵּר, עַל-לֵב הַנַּעֲרָ.3 And his soul did cleave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spoke comfortingly unto the damsel.

As we know, his soul was dispatched towards the afterlife shortly thereafter, courtesy of Shimon and Levi. But this pasuk tells us that  וַתִּדְבַּק נַפְשׁוֹ בְּדִינָה. This is the Biblical source, in nigleh, for dybbuk. While Dinah was more or less a good girl, she was possessed by the dybbuk of this rasha, Shechem. When she spoke to Iyov, telling him to curse God and die, she presumably spoke from her stomach, rather than her lips.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Still more evidence of shaving as mourning ritual

Both Kedoshim and Emor discuss prohibitions of shaving, and those prohibitions are in context of carving into the flesh, and in context of dealing with the death of relatives. Thus, Ibn Ezra and Shadal say that on a peshat level it refers to a prohibition on shaving as a mourning ritual. (See here and here.) This post is the latest in the series, with further evidence that shaving could be regarded as such in the ancient world.

In the first perek of Iyov, after hearing of the destruction of his wealth and the death of his children, Iyov has the following reaction.
כ וַיָּקָם אִיּוֹב וַיִּקְרַע אֶת מְעִלוֹ, וַיָּגָז אֶת רֹאשׁוֹ; וַיִּפֹּל אַרְצָה, וַיִּשְׁתָּחוּ. 20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped;
כא וַיֹּאמֶר עָרֹם יָצָתִי מִבֶּטֶן אִמִּי, וְעָרֹם אָשׁוּב שָׁמָּה--יְהוָה נָתַן, וַיהוָה לָקָח; יְהִי שֵׁם יְהוָה, מְבֹרָךְ. 21 And he said; naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither; the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
כב בְּכָל זֹאת, לֹא חָטָא אִיּוֹב; וְלֹא נָתַן תִּפְלָה, לֵאלֹהִים.
22 For all this Job sinned not, nor ascribed aught unseemly to God.
Tearing his mantle is surely a sign of sorrow. So is shaving his head. I would translate וַיִּפֹּל אַרְצָה וַיִּשְׁתָּחוּ similarly, not as above as falling on the ground and worshiping, but falling on the ground and laying prostrate. And all the above as a sign of mourning. Compare Moshe's reaction in the midbar while being challenged. But certainly the removal of hair here is mourning.

Rashi says similarly here in Iyov. He writes:
tore: Heb. ויגז, tore out, as in (Jer. 7:29), “Tear out (גזי) your hair for your great men,” which Jonathan renders: תלישה tear out, and like (Ps. 71: 6) “From my mother’s womb You pull me (גוזי) ,” pull me.
Indeed, look at Yirmeyahu 7:29:
כט גָּזִּי נִזְרֵךְ וְהַשְׁלִיכִי, וּשְׂאִי עַל-שְׁפָיִם קִינָה: כִּי מָאַס יְהוָה, וַיִּטֹּשׁ אֶת-דּוֹר עֶבְרָתוֹ. 29 Cut off thy hair, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on the high hills; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath.
Even without Rashi, the context of lamentations shows that it is mourning, but Rashi there writes:
So tear off your diadem: Heb. נזרך גזי, tear out your hair. Comp. (Num. 11:31) “And He caused quails to fly (ויגז) ” ; also (Job 1:20), “And he shaved (ויגז) his head.” Another explanation is that נזרך means ‘your diadem,’ an expression of greatness, and so did Jonathan render: רברביך your great ones, and so did Menahem classify it (p. 83).


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