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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 22:59:55 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Some explicit sources/lists on Gn18-22 and its Rashi In discussing Gn18-22 Rashi says that the Biblical phrase "And Abraham was still standing before God" is a "correction of the sages" and the text should really read "And God still stood before Abraham". About a dozen commentators explain that "correction of the sages" doesn't mean that they changed the text but rather that it APPEARS as if they changed the text. Chaiim Mateh in Mail Jewish Volume 32 Number 36 then asks > Does any Rashi expert (Russell?) have an old or accurate Rashi wherein the > above words are yes or not in parentheses? How can I refuse a request like that. The following is a synopsis of a full discussion of the matter which may be found at http://www.shamash.org/rashi/v1b18-22.htm (Volume 6 Number 13 of Rashi is Simple--Full credit is given to Chaiim and Mail Jewish).We can make 5 points. 1) The Yfay Toar on Midrash Rabbah 49:7 explicitly says that "The extra phrase in Rashi 'which the sages changed the text' is a textual error in Rashi---this phrase was erroneously added by some student and is not found in most texts" 2) Furthermore EVEN if the phrase "which the sages HFACH" existed in Rashi we would explain it as "Which the sages INVESTIGATED" since the word "HFACH" means "TO INVESTIGATE" as in the Father of the Ethics Phrase "INVESTIGATE INVESTIGATE(HFACH) and don't depart from Torah study" 3) But the real focus in the Rashi is Simple email group is not on investigating language of Rashi but rather on investigating Language of Chumash. We must ask the obvious question what the phrases "God stood.." and "So and so stood before God" mean. 4) The MARZU a commentator on Midrash Rabbah explicitly states that ABRAHAM STOOD BEFORE GOD means he was still in the original prophetic state that had begun in Gn18-01. In particular the famous dialogue where God says He will destroy Sedom and Gmarrah and Abraham begs for mercy if there are righteous people found... that whole dialogue was not real but rather took place in a prophetic vision! In fact it is easy to construct a list of verses where "standing before God" refers to a prophetic vision (cf Gn19-27,Dt29-14, Zech3-1). 5) More conclusively the phrase GOD STOOD does occur but is always used when God is about to do something. It might be out of place here since God and Abraham were having a dialogue and God was not about to do anything(cf Nu14-14 , Ez03-23, Zech03-05,1Chr21-15). In summary it seems clear BASED ON BIBLICAL USAGE that the original phrase was "And Abraham (prophetically) still stood before God" Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; RHendel@Towson.Edu; Math; Towson Moderator Rashi is Simple http://www.shamash.org/rashi/