Netziv_HaAmek_Davar_10

This is the final shiur in the series.

Sefer Bamidbar: Chapter 10:35-36 two verses contained within two upside down letters nun

Shabbat 115b-116a. These verses are out of places. They are not connected to this subject matter, but belong earlier in Parshat Bamidbar

Bechor Shor points out that even though there are many parallels between Shemot and Bamidbar, we don’t find punishment in Shemot (with the exception of the Golden Calf) but only in Bamidbar. For apparently similar sins.

This is the explanation underlying the question of the Netziv. He writes (in the introduction to Bamidbar) that the change in paradigm begins with the complainers.

The problem with the Netziv’s explanation is that it really happens in parshat Chukat. But he locates the beginning of the change in Beha’alotecha, with the simanim mentioned by the Gemara.

Even though Chazal speak of seven books of the Torah, Rabbi Triebitz wants to claim that the beginning of Bamidbar is really the continuation of Shemot.

There is a contradiction between Shemot, where Moshe cannot enter the Mishkan, and Bamidbar, where he enters. Rashi explains that in Bamidbar the cloud rose up so that Moshe could enter. However, this is obvious. What is it teaching? Rabbi Triebitz explains that in Shemot it was all Written Torah, and there was no room for Moshe. Netziv points out that “He spoke with him” means a dialogues. God speaks with Moshe, allowing the creation of Oral Torah. Then there is room for Moshe in the mishkan.

Rabbi Triebitz explains that this is the basis of the machloket between Saducees and Rabbis with regard to the cloud of incense on Yom Kippur. Because the Saducees did not believe in the Oral Torah, they held that the incense must be placed on the coals before the Cohen Gadol entered the Holy of Holies. However, the Rabbis said that the incense must be placed on the coals only after the Cohen enters, because there is room for Oral Law and the role of Yisrael in defining that Torah.

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At the moment, these shiurim are free of charge because Rabbi Triebitz has generously volunteered his time and there are no overheads. If you would like to show your appreciation to Rabbi Triebitz, please contribute to this site by pressing the ‘donate’ button on the side of the page. Contributors will receive American tax receipts for charity upon request.

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Netziv_HaAmek_Davar_09

In this shiur Rabbi Triebitz explains Ibn Ezra’s “secret of the twelve” which has been interpreted in many (incorrect) ways by others.

Ibn Ezra Bereishit 12:6
“והכנעני אז בארץ יתכן שארץ כנען תפשה כנען מיד אחר. ואם איננו כן יש לו סוד. והמשכיל ידום:”

Also in Devarim 1:2 he writes:
ואם תבין סוד (השרים) [צ"ל: השנים] עשר, גם ויכתוב משה (דברים לא, כב), והכנעני אז בארץ (ברא’ יב, ו), בהר ד’ יראה (שם כב, יד), והנה ערשו ערש ברזל, (דברים ג, יא) תכיר האמת. יש אומרים, כי באחד (באדר) [ס"א: בשבט] מת משה, ואמר כי התאבלו שלשים יום, וישבו שם (שתי) [צ"ל: שש] שבתות. והראיה שלהם ויהי בעצם היום הזה (דברים לב, מח), כי ביום אחד קרא זה הספר אל כל ישראל ובו מת. וזאת איננה ראיה, כי בעצם היום הזה הוא על השירה, והנה כתוב: אתה עובר היום את הירדן (דברים ט, א):

See Ibn Ezra on Devarim 34:1
ויעל משה – לפי דעתי, כי מזה הפסוק כתב יהושע, כי אחר שעלה משה לא כתב, ובדרך נבואה כתבו.
From 34:1-12 (end of the chumash) is 12 verses. Ibn Ezra holds that these last 12 verses were not written by Moshe but by Yehoshua. This is the secret of the 12.

Bava Batra 15a brings an opinion that the last 8 verses were written by Yehoshua and not Moshe.
אמר מר: יהושע כתב ספרו ושמונה פסוקים שבתורה. תניא כמאן דאמר: שמונה פסוקים שבתורה יהושע כתבן, דתני’: וימת שם משה עבד ה’ – אפשר משה (מת) +מסורת הש”ס: [חי]+ וכתב וימת שם משה? אלא, עד כאן כתב משה, מכאן ואילך כתב יהושע, דברי ר”י, ואמרי לה ר’ נחמיה; אמר לו ר”ש: אפשר ס”ת חסר אות אחת? וכתיב: לקוח את ספר התורה הזה! אלא, עד כאן הקדוש ברוך הוא אומר ומשה אומר וכותב, מכאן ואילך הקדוש ברוך הוא אומר ומשה כותב בדמע

Ibn Ezra understands that it was not specifically the last 8 verses, but the last 12, and some other verses elsewhere in the chumash.

Look at the Netziv on the verse “the Canaanites were then in the land” who disagrees with Ibn Ezra.
Even though they were not yet Canaanites, but the Canaanites ruled the empire and would eventually conquer the country, so he referred to those people as Canaanites.

Similarly, when Avraham sent Eliezer, “Do not take a daughter for my son from the children of Canaan” they were not Canaanites, but it refers to the fact that the Canaanites were about to conquer the land.

Ibn Ezra there gives two explanations. His second is based on his “secret” but the first is similar to Netziv, that perhaps the Canaanites already began conquering the land.

Bereishit 22:14. Avraham called the place “G-d will see…”

This was not written at the time that Jerusalem was the site of the Temple (chas ve-shalom) but rather at the time when G-d commanded Moshe to tell the people that three times a year the people would have to appear in Jerusalem. The same word yera’e appears in the akeida and also in the mitzva of appearing in the Temple. Even though a person cannot make his own gezeira shava in matters of halakha, to understand p’shat in the chumash one may do so.

Bereishit 27:9

Why did Yitzchak require two goats to eat? Netziv makes it into a gezeira shava referring to the two goats of Yom Kippur.

Why was Yaakov punished with the rape of Dina? Netziv does not explain, but it requires explanation.
The name Yisrael refers to “higher than nature”
A person cannot aspire to live higher than nature unless there is an explicit Divine command to do so. Before there is a command, a person has to live according to nature. Part of this is an awareness of the natural and social environment. Because Yaakov tried too early to live beyond nature, (and the Netziv calls it a sin), he misunderstood the nature of the people who he was living amongst, and ignored the reality. This led to the rape of Dina.

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At the moment, these shiurim are free of charge because Rabbi Triebitz has generously volunteered his time and there are no overheads. If you would like to show your appreciation to Rabbi Triebitz, please contribute to this site by pressing the ‘donate’ button on the side of the page. Contributors will receive American tax receipts for charity upon request.

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Netziv_HaAmek_Davar_08

Rape of Dina.

This is the beginning of a new parsha. The verse 18-20 state: “Yaakov came to Shechem… and he built there an altar and prayed to the G-d, G-d of Yisrael.”

Rashi says: I am only giving the p’shuto shel mikra.

People think that Rashi is interested in p’shat. This is not so. In general he makes sure to explain the verses according to Chazal. Only occasionally he says that he is only giving the p’shat.
Netziv says: Chas ve-Shalom that Yaakov would call himself ‘G-d’, but rather the verse means that he called himself ‘Yisrael’ so that G-d is called “Kel El-kei Yisrael”

Gid HaNashe

Netziv 33:20 “This is according to Chazal who say that gid hanashe was given at Sinai.
There are two ways of learning the Netziv, but this is how Rabbi Triebitz learns it.

The Torah refers here to Yaakov as Yisrael even though his name was not changed until later.
Chullin 101b (and see also 101a). They said to Rabbi Yehuda, “It refers to Bnei Yisrael, but they were not called Bnei Yisrael until Sinai. So this verse was stated at Sinai.”

The Netziv says that according to Rabbi Yehuda, Yaakov was already called Yisrael even before the angel changed his name. See Harchek Davar ad loc. So Yaakov’s sin which caused the rape of Dina cannot have been that he called himself Yisrael.

There was a pre-existing Torah of Bereishit, and later the mitzva of gid hanashe was added into that Torah of Bereishit.

Bereishit 34:5. Dina’s brothers come to Yaakov. “For they have done a terrible thing in Yisrael”
Netziv Harchev Davar (33:20:1). We see here that the Chumash refers to Yaakov as Yisrael, even before Sinai. However he answers that the nation (tribes) were referred to as Yisrael.

The Torah uses the word ye’aseh which is pluperfect future. Netziv is sensitive to this, and therefore explains that the verse was inserted later into the narrative.

Similarly, in Akeida it uses the term “behar hazeh yira’eh”. There too Netziv explains that this verse was inserted after Sinai.

This raises an interesting question. Rabbi Triebitz asks, why can I not say in verse 34:5 “And so shall not be done” that this also refers to after Sinai?

This verb form has a long history amongst the Rishonim, and will be discussed in the next shiur. But to answer for the Netziv here: He is learning according to Chazal. Since Chazal do not say here that this verse was inserted later, the Netziv is also unable to give this explanation.

Other Rishonim learn that the prohibition here is based on the Noachide laws.

Bava Kama 38b discussing the seven Noachide laws, and the Netziv there also speaks about it.

Netziv writes that while he was writing his commentary, the Ibn Ezra was on his table the entire time.
On the verse here Ibn Ezra refers the reader to Devarim 1:2. There Ibn Ezra speaks of the secret of the twelve verses

We hope you enjoy these shiurim.
At the moment, these shiurim are free of charge because Rabbi Triebitz has generously volunteered his time and there are no overheads. If you would like to show your appreciation to Rabbi Triebitz, please contribute to this site by pressing the ‘donate’ button on the side of the page. Contributors will receive American tax receipts for charity upon request.

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Video of shiur 08

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Netziv_HaAmek_Davar_07

The chumash uses different names of G-d, particularly YK-VK vs. Elokim.
In Parshat Noach, most of the verses use the name Elokim, but some verses have YK-VK
The Netziv’s approach is interesting and is a springboard for the methodology that Netziv uses in other parts of the chumash.
Bereishit 7:1 “G-d (YK-VK) said to Noach, ‘Come into the ark because I see that you are righteous before Me…”
HaAmek Davar: The entire story before the flood and immediately afterwards uses the name Elokim. Except for this narrative, where it uses YK-VK. Ramban has already discussed this. What is unique about this narrative is that G-d commands Noach to bring seven animals (as opposed to the two he was instructed to bring above), and these animals were to be used as sacrifices after the flood.
Ramban speaks about this at the beginning of Vayikra that with reference to sacrifices the name YK-VK is always used. He cites the Gemara in Menachot.
There is a lot of discussion about this Ramban, since it does not always fit with the verses of the Torah.
SIDE COMMENT:
The scholars question the difference between the chumash and other ancient texts from a literary point of view.
Erich Auerbach wrote many essays which were published as a book called Mimesis.
In the first essay, Odysseus’ Scar he compares the Odyssey with the story of the akeida. He claims that the Greek text uses rhetoric, to bring the emotions and motives of the characters etc. Nothing is hidden from the reader. However, in the Torah there is a lot of information hidden from the reader. It is clear that there is an oral Torah which accompanies it.
Netziv takes a similar approach.
Most of the story of the flood is to ensure the preservation of the species, hence it is part of nature, and uses Elokim. However, here it describes that animals will serve man, and is ethical. So it uses the name YK-VK.
The name YK-VK shows us how we should read the chumash.
For example, when Chava says “I have acquired a man for G-d” Netziv points out that it uses YK-VK, so it cannot be speaking about the physical, natural process of birth, but rather an ethical message/dimension of the purpose of children and the relationship with G-d.
Netziv does not ask what the names of G-d mean, but rather, how we are to understand the chumash given the different meanings of those names.
The interpretation is built into the text (as implied by Rashi’s commentary on the word Vayikra at the beginning of Vayikra).
The purpose of the chumash is to bring the reader into the text and allows him to become part of the text.
It is only the reader who can complete the “literary work” – the technique is to draw the reader into the text.
Bereishit 12:17 the Netziv uses Chazal as the means by which one is supposed to interpret the text. Not to understand how Chazal interpret, but Chazal lay down principles which are to be used by the reader.

I apologise if the picture is shaky – I accidentally forgot the tripod, and had to improvise. Luckily it should not affect the sound quality.

We hope you enjoy these shiurim.
At the moment, these shiurim are free of charge because Rabbi Triebitz has generously volunteered his time and there are no overheads. If you would like to show your appreciation to Rabbi Triebitz, please contribute to this site by pressing the ‘donate’ button on the side of the page. Contributors will receive American tax receipts for charity upon request.

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Video of shiur 07

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Netziv_HaAmek_Davar_06

The Netziv discusses the metaphysical aspect of man explicitly in Bereishit 1:26, “Let us make man in our image and in our form”
The concept of man exists before his creation. It does not say “G-d called him man” or similar
However in 5:2 it states, “G-d created them, male and female, and He blessed them, and he called their name Adam on the day they were created.”
Here it seems that Adam is a name given only at the time of creation
Netziv explains that mankind is different than all other species. Every other species has one purpose and its own nature. However mankind operates in two aspects. 1. He cleaves to G-d and is spiritual. 2. He operates within a physical, political, social, framework.
When man performs the will of G-d, he operates within a natural context.
The first aspect is the nature of Adam, which means “adama le-Elyon” (Isaiah ) like the firstborn son of a king who imitates the king. It is apparent that he imitates G-d.
However, a second born son who is given a task, he is not really imitating the king, but is given a specific task.
Shabbat 152b: לית דין בר איניש/כגון דא בר איניש
Therefore in chapter 1 man is called Adam without requiring being called by that name, because that is his spiritual essence. However in chapter 5 he is called by that name because it is how he interacts with the physical world.
Rav Yosher Ber Soloveitchik takes this concept and develops it further, with Adam 1 and Adam 2.
Netziv uses the concepts in a slightly different way. It provides an important theme in the Netziv throughout his commentary on Chumash.
Netziv 2:4 referring to the previous verse (3). “He created the Sabbath day and sanctified it… to do.”
What is “to do”? According the simple reading of the verse creation was not yet complete, because there are natural changes which will occur after the six days of creation. Rather, at this point, G-d thought that the creation will take place in such a way that nature will evolve and change itself.
The fact that the natural world evolves is part of the revelation of G-d’s glory. Through this it is revealed that G-d guides the world with Divine Providence.
Netziv is arguing on Intelligent Design. He claims that there is evolution which attests to Divine Providence.
3:2 Evolution expresses continual Providence in the world.
3:4 “These are the …”
Netziv: We have already explained that the purpose of creation is to reveal G-d’s Glory, i.e. Providence.
Man has two aspects, Divine and physical/social
By linking the two Netziv claims that man’s developments bring the world to its ultimate purpose. If man still lived on the level of Adam and Eve there would be no reward and punishment, and we would not see G-d acting in the world to reward or punish.
It is man’s role as a social/political actor which reveals G-d’s providence.
Why is there a need for an angelic aspect of man? Through this he connects with G-d on a metaphysical level.
Human progress reveals the glory of G-d.

We hope you enjoy these shiurim.
At the moment, these shiurim are free of charge because Rabbi Triebitz has generously volunteered his time and there are no overheads. If you would like to show your appreciation to Rabbi Triebitz, please contribute to this site by pressing the ‘donate’ button on the side of the page. Contributors will receive American tax receipts for charity upon request.

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Netziv_HaAmek_Davar_05

When G-d breathed life into Adam, Adam reached his highest level of perfection
There are 5 verses which seem out of place. After creating Adam and before commanding him, the Torah speaks of rivers.
Netziv says that from these rivers we can learn about the world, and about the role of man within it. If there is nothing to learn, what difference does it make? Why are these rivers mentioned? There are many other rivers in the world.
He cites Gemara in Bechorot 55a (Chazal will give us an insight into the background to the verses, and as a result the Netziv will explain what we can learn from this for human life).
According to Chazal the Euphrates is the name of the river before the separate into four rivers. Only Euphrates comes from Eden.
Netziv explains that there are four types of people, and their enjoyment in the physical world. These four types are represented by the four rivers.
RT What emerges from the commentary of the Netziv?
The “insertion” of these verses 10-14 is an expression/metaphor of man’s relationship with G-d. When I speak of creation of man from “G-d’s point of view” – that’s the first verses of Bereishit. However there is a dimension from “man’s point of view” which is represented by the rivers which metaphorically describe man’s relationship with G-d.
This is the Torah’s way of telling us that man has tzelem Elokim.

There is a switch in the names of G-d. Chapter 1 is Elokim. Chapter 2 is Hashem Elokim.
Netziv explains that when man describes G-d as the Creator of the world, the Torah uses Elokim.
YK-VK (See Parshat Noach) represents man’s personal connection to G-d.
There are actually three levels:
1. G-d – G-d side (which we cannot understand)
2. G-d – man side
3. Man – G-d side
Therefore it is natural that the first chapter of Bereishit speaks of Elokim because it speaks of creation
Chapter 2 is the shift from Elokim(mode 1) to YK-VK (mode 3) so it makes sense that the two names are used in combination.

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At the moment, these shiurim are free of charge because Rabbi Triebitz has generously volunteered his time and there are no overheads. If you would like to show your appreciation to Rabbi Triebitz, please contribute to this site by pressing the ‘donate’ button on the side of the page. Contributors will receive American tax receipts for charity upon request.

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Netziv_HaAmek_Davar_04

The Torah states in creation that “There was no man to work the ground…” (Bereishit 2:5).
HaAmek Davar explains that there are two activities which provide reward in this world – korbanot (prayer) and work.
Thus working the ground is in fact equivalent to prayer

He cites Gemara Chullin 60b as evidence: G-d desires the prayers of the righteous.
The suspense of the Chumash (terem yitzmach) leads to the revelation that the natural world is waiting for man to be created (i.e. HKBH waiting for man to pray).

We hope you enjoy these shiurim.
At the moment, these shiurim are free of charge because Rabbi Triebitz has generously volunteered his time and there are no overheads. If you would like to show your appreciation to Rabbi Triebitz, please contribute to this site by pressing the ‘donate’ button on the side of the page. Contributors will receive American tax receipts for charity upon request.

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Netziv_HaAmek_Davar_03

In this shiur, Rabbi Triebitz looks at a specific example of how the Netziv resolves apparent difficulties with the text by looking at the historical context of the event.

In Bamidbar (chapter 20) Moshe is punished for hitting the rock to bring forth water. However, in Shemot (chapter 17) Moshe was instructed to hit the rock to provide water. The Netziv answers that while the Children of Israel were in the desert they were subject to miraculous providence, and were not subject to natural laws. However, in preparation for entering the Land of Israel, from Parshat Chukat, in Bamidbar, God began gradually weaning them off, to live by the laws of nature. Hence, the first time Moshe hit the rock. In Bamidbar he was supposed to speak, not to the rock, but to the people, to instruct them with words of mussar and halakha, as described in the Talmud (Ta’anit) as the correct procedure when there is a lack of rain.

Thus, the Netziv views the Chumash not as a ‘flat’ text, looking simply at the words, but as a contoured text taking into account the historical realities of the time (and understood through the eyes of Chazal).

Rabbi Triebitz then explains the difference between “proza” and “shir” (which seem to me to be exactly the opposite of their parallel English words, “prose” and “poetry”).

We hope you enjoy these shiurim.
At the moment, these shiurim are free of charge because Rabbi Triebitz has generously volunteered his time and there are no overheads. If you would like to show your appreciation to Rabbi Triebitz, please contribute to this site by pressing the ‘donate’ button on the side of the page. Contributors will receive American tax receipts for charity upon request.

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Netziv_HaAmek_Davar_02

In the second shiur, Rabbi Triebitz continues with the Netziv’s Introduction to HaAmek Davar (Kidmas HaEmek) and explain what the Netziv meant when he refers to the Torah as Shira (poetry), and discuss the distinction between philology and poetic structure.

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Netziv_HaAmek_Davar 01

Kidmas HaAmek – Netziv’s Introduction

In the first shiur, Rabbi Triebitz begins to study the Netziv’s introduction to his Commentary on the Chumash (HaAmek Davar) entitled Kidmas Ha’amek. There the Netziv speaks about Esoteric/Exoteric interpretation of Torah and we discover his “secret” agenda

Here is a link to the HaAmek Davar from HebrewBooks.org
Here is another link from Wikitext which is not a pdf

Even though the work is normally known as HaAmek Davar (and even though sometimes it is punctuated as such on the title page), Rav Herczeg pointed out to Rabbi Triebitz that his first work was named HaAmek Sheila, where ‘sheila’ is a verb. If so, this work should follow the same pattern and ‘daber’ must be a verb.

We hope you enjoy these shiurim.
At the moment, these shiurim are free of charge because Rabbi Triebitz has generously volunteered his time and there are no overheads. If you would like to show your appreciation to Rabbi Triebitz, please contribute to this site by pressing the ‘donate’ button on the side of the page. Contributors will receive American tax receipts for charity upon request.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. As always please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


Video of shiur 01

Click here to download the shiur as an flv file
HaAmek Daber 01
(you may have to right click on the link and click ‘save target as’)

Click here to download the shiur in audio mp3 format
HaAmek Daber 01

AND FOR APPLE I-POD USERS:
Click here to download the shiur in mp4 video format
HaAmek Daber 01