65 terms

Bible intro

list the elements on the page of tanakh
a. Tripartite Division (Torah, Nevi'im or Ketuvim)
b. Name of Book
c. Chapter Number
d. Verse Number
e. Hebrew Letters (K'tav Ashuri)
f. Vowels (This is optional)
g. Cantillation Marks
h. Parasha Breaks (Only in Torah)
i. Aaliyah Breaks (Only in Torah)
j. Verse Divisions
k. פ and ס to indicate Parasha Petuhah and Setumah, respectively.
l. Page Numbers
what does one need to know in order to print a tanakh on a blank page?
In order to print a page of Tanakh on a blank paper, one needs to learn the forms of the Hebrew letters and vowels, and the order and spelling of words. He must know the names of the Tripartite Division and book, and the breaks of chapter, verse, Parashah, Aaliyah, Petuhot, and Setumot. He must know the order of books, and organize the papers by pagination.
What is the basic question which is bothering Rashi and Tosafot in bShabbat 55b?
The question bothering Rashi and Tosafot here stems from the conclusion of Rav Huna B'reih D'rav Yehoshua that a Pasuk in I Samuel 2 says מעבירם, while our Sefarim indicate that the correct spelling is actually מעבירים. Additionally, Rashi points out that the Masorah HaGedolah, which lists all of the Keri U'ketiv situations in which words are written Haser and read Malei does not include this instance.
How do they respond to the problem?
Rashi resolves the problem by explaining that the root of this word מעבירים must be one of proclamation and not of transgression, and that the word is plural, because מעבירים is referring to the entire עם ד'. He thus confirms the מעבירים version. Tosafot identifies this as an instance in which the Shas differs from our texts of the Tanakh. Gilyon HaShas provides many more similar examples of this phenomenon.
If you see a pasuq in a printed text of the gemara which differs from that which we find in our Tanakh's what does that mean? Is it a printer's error in the gemara or does it mean that the gemara had a different text than we do? How do you decide?
If you see a pasuq printed in the Gemara with different wording than we have in our Sefarim, the way to ascertain if it is an argument like the one above is very simple. First, you should check other Gemarot to see if the same text is provided in them. Second, check the Rishonim, such as Tosafot, to see if the difference is classified as an argument between the Shas and our Masorah. It may just be a typographical error in the Gemara.
When you look at this issue what theological problem (real or imagined) must be dealt with and what pragmatic problem emerges?
A seeming theological problem that arises from encountering these differences concerns the legitimacy of our tradition from Mount Sinai. If w received and transmitted one Torah from God, how are there so many differences of opinion regarding its text? The pragmatic problem that emerges is the difficulty in deciding which version is more authoritative to use in Torah reading.
Look at the traditional commentaries (Mizrahi) on Rashi on "כלות משה". How do their approaches compare to that of Tosafot and the Ran?
Tosafot and the Ran conclude that this difference represents an actual dispute over the text of the Torah between different traditions (i.e. Ben Asher, Ben Naftali). The later commentaries on Rashi, however, try to use logic to reconcile the two different versions, in order to preserve the notion of one true text from Sinai.
1. aWhat might one find disturbing about the baraita in bSanhedrin (21b)?
a. One might find disturbing the baraita's characterization of Ezra as equally fitting to Moshe to receive the Torah. We are taught to believe as an ikar hadat that Moshe was the greatest of all Nevi'im, and that no others arose at his caliber. Additionally, the baraita indicates that Ezra changed the writing of the Torah, and we are taught to believe that the Torah has persisted in the same form from its reception at Mount Sinai until today.
bNote the three views in the Bavli regarding the history of the script in which the Torah was written? What opinions are recorded in the Yerushalmi?
b. The three opinions are those of R. Yose/ Mar Zutra/ Mar Ukva (Torah was originally written in Hebrew script and lashon hakodesh, and was changed by Ezra to Ashuri script and Aramaic, and was eventually settled at Ashuri script and lashon hakodesh), Rebbi (Torah was originally given in Ashuri script, which became an impediment when Israel sinned, but was then restored following repentance), and R. Elazar Hamoda'I (Torah script never changed). The Yerushalmi records the same opinions, as well as of that of R Hiyya bar Abba/ R. Simon that the Biblical mem and hei were not closed (but everything else was the same).
cWhat does כתב עברי look like? (Hint: Look in the reader).
c. It looks like the Samaritan Hebrew script, with many lines and fewer curves than our Ashuri script.
dCompare the daled and the reish in כתב עברי and in כתב אשורי
d. I observed the letters and noticed the differences. In Ancient Hebrew script, these two letters were very similar to one another, but were distinguishable. The Dalet is a little smaller, and has extra protruding but on top. The reish also appears very similar to our reish.
aWhen we speak about "כנה הכתוב" or "תקון סופרים" - who was responsible for the text as we have it?
bWhat is the difference between the two terms?
a. The ba'alei haMasorah between the years 450-100 BCE were the ones primarily responsible for the text and all changes made to it.
bWhat is the difference between the two terms?
b. Tikkun Sof'rim refers to any change made by these editors, while kinah haKatuv refers particularly to changes made to the text for the purpose of eliminating phrases disrespectful to God.
cWhat common denominator exists in pretty much all of the כנה הכתוב examples in the Sifrei?
c. See answer b above.
dWhat is Rashi's opinion regarding these two terms?
eWhat would seem to be theologically problematic from Rashi's perspective?
d. Rashi certainly indicates that human sofrim changed the text.
e. The conception that the divine Torah was changed by human beings based upon their own logic seems somewhat theologically challenging.
How might one explain (according to Rashi) the basis on which what Hazal did rests?
f. I couldn't discern a basis for this action from the words of Rashi.
3. aWhat is the Radaq's view on the origin of the קרי וכתיב phenomenon?
a. Radak explains simply that some letters which look or sound similar to one another (i.e. dalet and reish in appearance, alef and hey at the end of a word in sound) were passed down and recorded differently in different locations. Instances of kerei u'ketiv is to preserve the uncertainties of correct spelling. In particular, the majority opinion was accepted as the kerei, and the minority version preserved as the ketiv.
bRead the Radaq very slowly and very carefully. What source in Hazal do you think is in the Radaq's mind when he writes this? (Hint: You should have seen it already for the previous class.)
b. The likely Hazal source for this position of Radaq is the statement regarding מעבירים\מעבירם in Shabbat 55b.
cOn what grounds (two different kinds) does the Abravanel object to Radaq?
c. Abravanel's primary objection to Radaq is a theological one. We believe, and are, in fact, required to believe, that the Torah which we have today is the exact text given to Moshe at Mount Sinai, without any changes whatsoever. This appears to be the meaning of the 8th tenet of faith of Rambam. Another objection is historical. It seems that Ezra gave strong preference to the kerei over the ketiv. Why would he do this, if the kerei and ketiv are just two possible, competing versions of the text?
dIs the Abravanel's reading of the Rambam correct?
d. His reading of Rambam is the intuitive way to understand the tenet of faith, but it is not necessarily correct. It is feasible that the entire point of Rambam is that we must believe that the fundamental truth of Torah never changed, and will never change, but that minute details may have changed and don't really matter all that much.
is it possible that there is more than one kind of קרי
f. It is certainly possible that there exists more than one kind of kerei u'ketiv, and that the different explanations which we study here actually account for different instances of kerei u'ketiv.
How does Abravanel envision the origin of the קרי וכתיב?
e. Abravanel believes that kerei u'ketiv resulted from instances in which Ezra found certain words in the Tanakh to be grammatically incorrect, or misspelled. He figured that this must have been caused by one of two things. Either the grammatical "error" or misspelling is intentional and reflects some deep, mystical message, or it is simply an error on the part of the one being quoted, even if that person's words were inspired divinely. So Ezra came and established the reading tradition (kerei) based upon what makes grammatical sense, but preserved the spelling which he found, out of respect for the saintly individuals who uttered them, or out of reverence for the deep messages that they may reflect.
gWhat does the gemara in Nedarim say about קרי וכתיב?
g. The gemara in Nedarim indicates that kerei u'ketiv is Halakhah L'Mosheh Misinai.
hHow might one reconcile the views of Radaq and Abravanel with the gemara?
h. Radaq can say that the HL"M rules that we must follow the majority opinion in reading the Torah, and preserve the possible other opinions. Abravanel can say that the HL"M mandates the preservation of even grammatically incorrect or misspelled words, for the purposes of whatever messages they contain.
1) aWhat reason does the Radaq (quoting Rambam) offer for the division of Nevi'im and Ketuvim?
...a. The books of Nevi'im contain Godly messages transmitted through actual Nevuah, prophesy, whereas those in Ketuvim feature messages transmitted through Ruah haKodesh. The essential difference is that a vision of prophesy, whether achieved in sleep or in waking, is totally consuming. A person prophesying does not experience his normal senses, but rather sees or hears the prophesy as if it physically occurs. One who experiences Ruah haKodesh, however, can live, sense, and act normally as he receives Godly wisdom or words of praise. Some prophesies do appear in certain books of Ketuvim as well, but the primary nature of these books is Ruah haKodesh and not prophesy.
bRun down each of the books of Nevi'im and Ketuvim and identify the authors (see bBava Batra 14b-15a - it's in the reader) - does the Radaq's approach fit all of the books?
b. Yehoshua- Yehoshua, Shoftim- Shmuel, Shmuel- Shmuel, Melakhim- Yirmiyahu, Yirmiyahu- Yirmiyahu, Yehezkel- Anshei K'nesset Hag'dolah, Yishayahu- Hizkiyahu and his people, 12- AKH. Tehilim- David and 10 Elders, Mishlei- Hizkiyahu etc., Iyov- Moshe, Shir haShirim- Hizkiyahu etc., Rut- Shmuel, Eikhah- Yirmiyahu, Kohelet- Hizkiyahu etc., Esther- AKH, Daniel- AKH, Ezra- Ezra, DH- Ezra. Radaq's approach seems not to work entirely, because Hizkiyahu, who was not a Navi, penned the book Yishayahu, which is among the Nevi'im.
cWhat is the Meiri's objection to the Radaq's view?
c. Me'iri's objection to Radaq is in the fact that many expressions of actual prophesy seem to appear in the books of Ketuvim, in particular through David and Daniel.
dWhat explanation does the Meiri himself proffer?
...d. Me'iri prefers to explain that Ketuvim actually contains some legitimate words of Nevuah, and that the distinction between Nevi'im and Ketuvim concerns whether the prophesy is meant to convey important national messages, and affect national decisions or not. If it does, it goes in Nevi'im. If not, it belongs in Ketuvim.
eWhich books' placement are the most difficult to explain for the Meiri?
...e. Me'iri has difficulty explaining Ezra, DH, and Daniel, because all present messages from God to the people, for the purposes of making important decisions.
fHow would you conceptually define the difference between the Radaq and the Meiri?
...f. The difference between Radaq and Me'iri concerns whether Nevi'im and Ketuvim feature qualitative distinctions in the level of prophesy (Radaq), or are just divided based on the importance of the messages for practical national decisions (Me'iri).
2) aRead through the gemara in Bava Batra. Compare the order there to any Tanakh in your own library (or the YU library, or the Beit Midrash). What differences are there?
...a. The Gemara places Yishayahu after Yirmiyahu and Yehezkel, whereas in our tradition it precedes Yirmiyahu. The order of Ketuvim is very different.
bHow would you explain the difference?
...b. We have found that Hazal sometimes differ from our Masorah in issues of Tanakh. This difference can stem from a disagreement on the factors driving the order. Perhaps one order is chronological and the other is in order of importance. (Radaq and Me'iri both indicated that different gradations exist within the population of people fit for prophesy.)
cPractically speaking, does it matter what order the books are in? (see Rambam Hilkhot ST"M 7:15) (Extra: See the אגרת רב שרירא גאון, where R. Sherira talks about the order [or lack thereof] within the masekhtot of the Mishnah and then look at out Mishnah and explain the ordering principle - then figure out how long each of the books of the Nevi'im Aharonim are.)
...c. Practically speaking, the order shouldn't matter, because, as Rambam indicates, the different books can be cut from each other and read in separate scrolls.
dWhat books almost didn't make it into our Tanakh? Why?
...d. Shir haShirim, Kohelet, and Yehezkel almost didn't make it into Tanakh, because they contain contradictory statements, as well as statements that seem to contradict the Torah.
eHow do you think Hazal made a determination - divine inspiration or human analysis? Why?
...e. I think that Hazal determined this by using human rationale, for two reasons. First of all, if they had Divine inspiration, what would distinguish their words from Tanakh itself? Second of all, the fact that they argued about the validity of these books indicates that they weren't divinely inspired to determine this. If they would have been, these disputes would not have risen.
aWhat was Hazal's attitude toward Ben-Sira.
...a. Hazal presented a variety of view on Ben Sira. Many statements express respect for its wise and holy words, but also express caution against the more challenging elements of the book. Gemara in Sanhedrin even includes it among the Sefarim Hitzonim which cause their readers to lose Olam Haba. Still, the response is definitely mixed.
bWhat difference exists between the Bavli and the Yerushalmi on this matter?
...b. The Bavli presents disputes on the matter, and does not have a united force against Ben Sira. The Yerushalmi states clearly and unequivocally that Ben Sira is a prohibited work, and is grounds for loss of Olam Haba.
cCan you venture a guess as to why the Yerushalmi expresses unequivocal oppostion to Ben-Sira whereas the Bavli's opposition is in many ways equivocal?
...c. It is possible that the sages of Jerusalem struggled more with competing strains of Judaism than those of Babylonia, and therefore were more cautious with works like this one.
1) Study the gemara in Bava Batra (14b-15a).
aNote the reason given by the gemara for the order of Nevi'im Aharonim.
...1. Gemara Bava Batra 14b-15a
a. One factor given is size and chronology. The smaller nevi'im come last, in the book of Trei Asar. The reason that this book is last is because it includes Hagai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who were the final Nevi'im. More importantly, though, the Nevi'im Aharonim have a thematic order. They begin with Jeremiah, because the end of Kings is about destruction, which segues into Jeremiah which is entirely about destruction. Then comes Ezekiel, which begins with destruction, and ends with comfort. Finally, Isaiah is entirely comfort, so it closes off the section.
bWhat other reason might there be?
...b. We could explain that they are all organized based on size, beginning with the largest (Isaiah), and descending until the small books of Trei Asar.
cNote for each book of Tanakh who you would have expected to have been the author and then note to whom Hazal attribute authorship?
...c. There are some discrepancies from our expectations. For example, the books we traditionally attribute to Solomon are here said to have been written by Hezekiah and his people. And Esther, which we traditionally assume to have been written by Mordecai and Esther, is said here to be composed by AKH.
dWho challenges some of the assertions of the baraita? On what basis do they do so?
...d. The stama de'Gemara raises a number of questions on the Baraita, interpolated within the words of the Baraita itself. For example, one question concerns the placement of Job. If he lived during the time of Moshe, why isn't his book first in Ketuvim? Another challenge and discussion arise from the Baraita's assertion that Joshua wrote the final 8 verses of the Torah. Doesn't the Torah itself indicate that God transmitted, it in its entirety, to Moshe?
2) Read the eigth iqqar of the Rambam very slowly and carefully - in both the regular printed edition and in the edition of R. Kapah (Mossad HaRav Kook.) aWhat major difference exists?
Please identify for yourself the following three elements in the iqqar:
bThe way the Rambam presents it intially.
cThe discussion where he elaborates.
dThe proof that Rambam brings from scripture to this iqqar.
Read very carefully the gemara in Heleq (10th pereq of Sanhedrin) which the Rambam cites.
eWhat is its primary thrust and does Rambam go beyond what the gemara says?
Eighth Ikkar of Rambam
a. The text printed in the R. Kappah edition indicates that the Ikkar requires us to believe that the Torah we have today is the exact Torah transmitted to Moshe from God. The original text, however, just mandates that we believe that the Torah which Moshe received came from God, without any reference to the Torah that we have today.
b. He initially presents the core of the belief- namely that God transmitted the Torah directly to Moshe etc. Moshe did not falsify anything but just transcribed etc.
c. His elaboration addresses how every verse, no matter how central or how peripheral, were all given by God to Moshe, and addresses the terrible violations of kefirah committed by one who doesn't believe this, and the special importance of every word in the Torah as created by God's transmission, etc.
d. He cites the verse ויאמר משה בזאת תדעון כי ה' שלחני אליכם לעשות כל המעשים האלה כי לא מלבי.
e. The primary thrust is that if one claims that even the smallest detail of Torah was not from God, but from Moshe himself, then he is an Apikores. Rambam, however, goes further, to declare this person the worst of all kofrim, who totally undermines the special nature of the Torah transmitted to Moshe.
Read the gemara in BB 15a about the last eight verses in the Torah.
aWhy does one view in the gemara believe that Moshe could not have written them.
...a. The view believes that Moshe could not have written it, because it records his death, and how could Moshe write about his own death in the past tense?
bLook at Ibn Ezra in Devarim 34:1. Does he follow either opinion in the gemara?
...b. He follows the opinion that Joshua wrote these verses. (Although he also indicates that they were written in prophesy, which is unclear to me, because that seems to imply that Moshe wrote them.)
cLook at Ibn Ezra on Devarim 1:2 - first read the pasuq and see if you can figure out what is troubling about the pasuq. What does Ibn Ezra seem to be suggesting?
...c. Ibn Ezra's concern is that this verse employs names of geographic locations that are anachronistic to Moshe's time period. His suggestion is that 12 particular verses throughout the Torah were written later than Moshe. (I think!)
dNow look at Breishit 12:6. What is the problem in the pasuq?
...d. The seeming problem with this verse is that the reference to the Canaanites presence in the land seems to place the authorship of the story after Moshe, when the Canaanites no longer controlled the land.
eHow does Rashi respond?
...e. Rashi addresses this by saying that the verse makes sense in its own historical context. It is intended to show us that this took place after the Canaanites conquered the Semites from the land.
fWhat two answers does Ibn Ezra give, and how do they solve the problem in the pasuq?
...f. One answer is the same as Rashi, and the other refers to this "Sod", about which the wise man should be quiet. (i.e. Moshe didn't write it.)
gNow see the Ibn Ezra in Breishit 36:31. How can you reconcile his comments there with his comments on Breishit 12:6 and Devarim 34:1?
...g. In this case, unlike in his other comments, Ibn Ezra is avoiding claiming that this was written later, because kings didn't arise over Israel until hundreds of years after Moshe. He can make a case that the other verses were written soon after Moshe's life, but not this one, which could only have been much later. This possibility he was not willing to consider.
hDo Ibn Ezra's comments conflict with the eight iqqar as presented by the Rambam?
iDo they contradict the passage in the Bavli?
...h. It only conflicts with the 8th Ikkar as presented in the R. Kappah edition, because that one indicates that the entire Torah we have today came from Moshe, but not according to the other edition, which merely states that whatever Moshe gave over came from God. This latter version does not is not contradicted by the conception that other parts of the Torah were added later.
iDo they contradict the passage in the Bavli?
...i. They contradict the opinion in the Bavli that Moshe wrote everything, including the verses about his death, but not the other opinion, which holds that Joshua wrote some.
4) Look at the comments of Rashi, Abravanel, Ibn Ezra and Malbim.
aAre they disagreeing with the gemara in Bava Batra?
bIf so, on what basis?
...4. These Rishonim seem to conflict with the Gemara in Bava Batra, in that they all, in one way or another, introduce conceptions of authorship in parts of books of Tanakh that are not in accordance with those presented in the Gemara. The basis of this dispute is presented as a matter of logic. It is sometimes impossible to read the texts otherwise.
1. aWhat language did the Jews at the time of Matan Torah speak? (English, Yiddish, Hebrew or Hungarian)
...1. Language:
a. The Jews spoke Hebrew at Matan Torah.
bWhat dialect of that language?
b. Biblical Hebrew.
cNow ask yourself what assumption underlies your answer.
...c. The assumption underlying the answer is that the Torah was actually written during the time of its reception. For this reason, it can be concluded that the people spoke the language in which the books were written.
dNow assume that the Jews had spoken a different language than the one you answered - what problem would that have created?
...d. If the Jews had spoken a different language, then the language of the Torah would be puzzling, and it may lead us to believe that it was written by a different generation.
eWhere does the term לשון הקודש come from? (Hint: see Ramban on Shemot 30:13.)
...e. According to Rambam in Moreh Nevukhim, "Lashon haKodesh" is so called because the language contains no obscene terms. Ramban disagrees, on the grounds that that would be reason to call it "Lashon Naki", a term the Gemara uses. Rather, the term is similar to "Shekel haKodesh," deriving from the usage of the language for holy things (like the Shekel that is used for holy purposes). This is the language that God speaks, and in which He created the world, and with which He composed the Torah and addresses His prophets. It is the language of Kedusha, which contains the name of God and all of His angels.
2. Suppose that archeologists discovered the following two fragmentary passages in a cave near Jericho:
a. "If the owner of the ox did not guard it, he shall pay the damages ..."
b. "If the owner of the car turned away, he shall pay twofold ..."
aWhich one is a planted forgery?
bHow do you know?
cDo Hazal have an expression that encapsulates this point? (Hint: See Mish. Bava Qamma 5:7)
Archaic Phrases
a. "If the owner of the car turned away" is clearly the planted forgery.
b. I know this becomes the concept of the car is only one century old, and people don't live and write things in caves anymore. These passages are generally assumed to date back to BCE occurrences.
c. Hazal have a phrase דבר הכתוב בהווה. This means that the Torah speaks using its own contemporary terminology, namely the terms significant to the ancient Near East. ...
3. Please see the source sheet - Rashi (Source II), Ramban (Source IV) and Rambam (Source I) in the Moreh Nevukhim.
aWhat does Rashi do with word "נא"?
bWhy and when did Ramban change his interpretation of the term "כברת ארץ"?
That Rambam understood many of the commandments as relating to idolatry is well known, even for those who never have actually read the Moreh. What is not as well known is the Rambam's source for these ideas
cWhat does the Rambam use as his proof for the reasons that he gives for the commandments?
dAccording to Rambam, how might we have better understood the reasons for the commandments of the Torah?
eHow does Rambam relate to the disappearance of the idolatrous Sabaen sect? (Good, bad, indifferent.)
...3. Using Outside Sources to Interpret the Torah
a. Rashi understands that this word derives from Arabic and means "uncooked."
b. Ramban changed his interpretation of these words upon his arrival in Jerusalem, when he measured the distance between the Tomb of Rachel and Bethlehem on his own, and discovered that it is much shorter than all of the earlier interpretations had made it out to be. He therefore chose a different interpretation for the word כברת, which indicates a shorter distance.
c. It seems that Rambam's proof for the reasons he provides is the words of the Prophets. They would often invoke the dangers of straying into the ways of sin and futility, as part of the direction that they would provide to guide the nation to the Torah. The goal was to distance the nation from contemporary practices of idolatry.
d. Rambam writes that were we to see idolatry in action, we would better understand the importance of acting contrary to it, which is the very purpose of many of the commandments.
e. He sees the loss of this sect as a negative reality, because we can no longer see their ways and understand so clearly the importance of the laws of the Torah.
4. aWhat do the comments of the three Rishonim above (Rashi, Ramban and Rambam) have in common?
Many of you in your study of history in elementary school or high school have encountered the "Code of the Hammurabi." In light of the common assumptions of the Rishonim in #3 (especially Rambam), would you expect bthe scenarios to be similar to or distinct from those in Parashat Mishpatim and cthe legal principles involved to agree or disagree with those delineated in the aforementioned parasha?
...4. The Code of Hammurabi
a. A common characteristic of the comments of these 3 Rishonim is the use of outside sources and contemporary realities for the interpretation of the Torah.
b. Based on this, I would expect the scenarios presented in Hammurabi's Code to be similar to those of Parashat Mishpatim, since it is likely that both sources, even the divine Torah, would refer to scenarios common to the time and setting.
I would expect the legal principles of the Torah to differ from Hammurabi's in at least a few important ways, because the Torah presented a resolved challenge
1. Please read Prof. Moshe Greenberg's article very carefully. Please pick five laws of the attached sheet of Ancient Near Eastern Laws and identify what laws in the Torah bear some similarity to each of the laws you choose. For each one identify the similarities and the differences.
...1. Parallels in Ancient Near Eastern Law
a. Hammurabi Law #209,210 is similar to Exodus 21:22-23. Both relate to the case of one man striking a pregnant woman and causing a miscarriage. There are many differences, though. First of all, the monetary penalty is a standard of ten shekels in Hammurabi's Code, whereas in the Torah it is determined by the woman's husband. Hammurabi's Code is written from the perspective of the girl's father, not her husband. In the Torah, the fight began as a struggle between two men that affected this woman inadvertently, and in Hammurabi's Code there is no such inadvertency. Lastly, in the event of the woman's death, the Torah mandates capital punishment for the killer; Hammurabi requires taking the life of the killer's daughter (reciprocal vicarious punishment).
b. Eshnunna Law #54 is similar to Exodus 21:29, except that Eshnunna mandates a standard rate of silver, whereas the Torah demands that the often-goring ox be put to death, and the owner shall die as well; the owner can escape this fate by paying כפר value).
c. Hammurabi #129 and Numbers 5 both address the fate of a married woman who has been caught lying with another man. The Torah prescribes the complicated process of Sotah, culminating in her drinking the Sotah water to test her for wrongdoing. Hammurabi mandates a different test, of trial by water. In both cases, the husband may turn a blind eye, but in the Torah, if someone else catches her, then the husband no longer has this prerogative. Additionally, in Hammurabi's law, if the husband forgives his wife, then the King may pardon the other man.
d. Hittite Law #1 rules that if someone commits manslaughter in a quarrel, he must make restitution by paying slaves and pledge his land as security. The Torah (Exodus 21:12) says that such a person must die.
e. Hittite Law # 44 rules that if one kills another by pushing him into fire, he shall give his son. The Torah never allows such vicarious punishment, but rules unequivocally in all cases of murder and manslaughter (as in Exodus 21:12 above) that the killer must die.
a. When was סנחריב assassinated, with respect to his unsuccessful campaign in Judah (in 701BCE)? (Sources - VI)
...a. Sannecherib was assassinated by his sons after they learned of his plot to sacrifice them to his gods. He was doing this because he inquired of his advisors regarding the merit of Israel which led God to fight for them by smiting his entire camp. His advisors replied that this merit stems from the act of Abraham binding his own son to sacrifice him for God. From this, Sannecherib concluded that he will find success by doing the same, and thus met his end.
b. Why was פרעה נכה going to the Euphrates River? Please be very specific in your answer. (Sources - VII)
...b. The Pharaoh was going to the Euphrates to make war on Assyria.
c. What is the פתיל which is referred to by Tamar according to Rashi, Rashbam and Ramban? (Sources - VIII)
...c. Rashi understood P'til as a garment, Rashbam said it was a girdle, and Ramban explained that it was either some sort of head covering, or a signature seal that Yehuda carried with him.