Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 3:5-6

Genesis 3:5-6
ה כִּי יֹדֵעַ אֱלֹהִים כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְכֶם מִמֶּנּוּ וְנִפְקְחוּ עֵינֵיכֶם וִהְיִיתֶם כֵּאלֹהִים יֹדְעֵי טוֹב וָרָע:
ו וַתֵּרֶא הָאִשָּׁה כִּי טוֹב הָעֵץ לְמַאֲכָל וְכִי תַאֲוָה־הוּא לָעֵינַיִם וְנֶחְמָד הָעֵץ לְהַשְׂכִּיל וַתִּקַּח מִפִּרְיוֹ וַתֹּאכַל וַתִּתֵּן גַּם־לְאִישָׁהּ עִמָּהּ וַיֹּאכַל:
Translation:    For Gd knows that on the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like Gd, knowing good and evil.  The woman saw that the tree was good for food and a desire to the eyes and the tree was pleasant for enlightenment and she took some of its fruit and the woman also gave to her husband with her and he ate.
Vocabulary in this lesson:
Shall be opened
Your eyes
To enlighten
“Opened” has two features.  One is that the nun at the start shows that it is the passive nifil which goes with the paal.  The binyanim work like this:
paal or qal
The second thing about this word is that the root is pe qof chet  and that root not only means “to open,” it also means sharp of senses or in one’s right mind.  Once she saw that she hadn’t died, she was ready to keep listening.
Also notice that the serpent copies the verbage in the original commandment, using that intensive construction.  When somebody is trying to pervert how you think about things you have been told, copying the construction of the phrase disguises the fact that what follows is incorrect. 
“To enlighten” comes from a verb used in the 1700s as a movement for people to come up to date in culture with the nations of Europe while remaining Jews.  It was supposed to be rationalistic and to do away with European prejudices against Jews.  Unfortunately it seemed only to increase the assimilation rate and to confuse Jews about what Judaism really was.  At least that’s my opinion.  There’s no reason observant Jews shouldn’t know everything everybody else knows, because it can help defend Judaism against illogical and unfactual claims, but to change Judaism to conform to non-Jews isn’t really Jewish.  A century after the Haskalah movement, R. Samson Raphael Hirsch said the same thing.  Only he was criticizing Maimonides for insisting that you had to understand Aristotle's Physics to understand a mystical subject in Judaism; this was brought to my attention by a tweet from a Chabad Chassid I know from the internet.  And that's also the lesson of the snake; he was an outsider pretending to be an insider, and look what happened!

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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