Individual Postings 1st appeared(& were copied in html form) on the Email List Mail Jewish

From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu> Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 22:08:17 -0400 (EDT) Subject: ANI=Confrontational I, ANOCHI=Supportive I:Old Bible Criticism A very quick answer to Yacov Shulman's question on the difference between ANI and ANOCHI. This was a favorite during previous centuries. People who attacked the Bible use to say that it was not a unified document: To prove their point they said that certain parts of the Bible use the word ELOKIM for God while others use ADNAY for God etc. Similarly certain sections use ANI for "I" while others use ANOCHI. To sum it up certain keywords---God, I....---were used to suggest that different parts of the Bible were written by different authors. To refute this literature the orthodox (and secular camps) developed a whole literature on why different words were used in different sections. This in turn led to higher appreciation of the Bible. These multi-section views of the Bible are no longer popular due to the successful refutations of these scholars. As an example of a refutation: ELOKIM is used to denote God when He is EXERCISING JUSTICE while the ineffable tetragramaton is used to denote God when He is EXERCISING MERCY. In a similar manner ANI denotes the CONFRONTATIONAL I--a person who is confronting the desires of someone else--I vs YOU. By contrast, ANOCHI denotes the CARING I--a person who is responding to the needs of someone else. Perhaps one nifty example will illustrate this. In Dt 32:39 God is confronting the Jews for observing idolatry--hence He says "...See now that I (Ani), it is I who am God"--the confrontational I is used. By contrast in the next verse, Dt 32:40 God promises to care for the Jews and punish their enemies ((Dt 32:41-42) and hence the caring I (ANOCHI) is used. Of course the full development of this theme on the roughly 600 ANI and 250 ANOCHI requires more analysis and details then this introduction could produce. I hope however that this whets the appetite. All modern commentators (Rav Hirsch, Malbim) discuss this issue. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu Moderator Rashi Is Simple http://www.shamash.org/rashi/