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Coats, Dreams and Jealousy
Video 17 of 21
Here's what I came up with. So the first red flag over here - pardon the pun over here, because of my red pen - is this word right over here. Senu'ah. It turns out that that's actually a very unusual word in the Torah, it sounds even strange even as you listen to this - and one way you can find it by the way is just listening for the strange words here in this text. Ki tiheyena l'ish shtei nashim ha'achat ahuva v'ha'achat senu'ah - if a man will have two wives - at that in Torah law a man was allowed to marry two wives, later on the Rabbis prohibited it. So we're talking about a man who has two wives. Ha'achat ahuva - one wife that he loves, but there's another wife that; Senu'ah - means that he hates, a hated wife. It's just so jarring as you listen to this, a hated wife. I mean why has he married her if he hates her? Maybe she's not as loved as much, but hated? That's pretty strong. You see over here JPS 1917 translation actually preserves the word hated, as jarring as it sounds over here. So what's the deal with his hated wife? That's one of these jarring words.
There's other jarring words over here, other words that kind of seem out of place in this text. If you keep on reading; V'yaldu lo banim ha'ahuva v'hasenu'ah vehaya haben habechor laseni'ah - he has children from both of these wives, from the loved wife and from the wife that is not as loved. The wife that's, so to speak, hated - we'll put this kind of in quotation marks. It turns out; Vehaya haben habechor laseni'ah - it turns out that the oldest child, the Bechor - the firstborn, ends up being born to the wife that he doesn't love as much.
Vehaya b'yom hanchilo et banav et asher yiheye lo - it shall turn out that on the day that he apportions his inheritance to the children that he has; Loh yuchal levaker et ben ha'ahuva al pnei ben hasenu'ah habechor - he shall not make the child of the loved wife - illegitimately consider him the Bechor - the firstborn, on the face of the; Ben hasenu'ah bechor - in place of the child of the wife that's not as loved. Rather - and here's where we get to some of these words that seem odd; Ki et habechor ben hasenu'ah yakir latet lo pi shnayim b'chol asher yimotzeh lo - rather, the firstborn child of the wife that he doesn't love as much; Yakir latet lo pi shnayim - he shall recognize him to give him a double portion in everything that is found to him. Ki hu reishit ono lo mishpat habechora - for he is the first of his strength; Lo mishpat habechora - literally the first of his loins; Lo mishpat habechora - to him, to that child, devolves the right of the Bechor.
Now there are a few unusual words, especially given the context over here. One of these unusual words is this one over here; Yakir. Ki et habechor ben hasenu'ah yakir latet lo pi shnayim. This word is really kind of extra. This whole phrase really is kind of extra. We could have really gotten the exact same idea across had the verse just said; Ki et habechor ben hasenu'ah yiten lo pi shnayim - rather, the child of the wife that he doesn't love as much he should give a double portion in all that he has. What is this idea; Ki et habechor ben hasenu'ah yakir - he must recognize? Recognize by the way is a better word than the English over here, acknowledge, it really means recognize, which is also kind of strange, I mean what does it really mean he should recognize him?
But anyway, you should recognize him to give him a double portion; B'chol asher yimotzeh lo - and this word over here; Yimotzeh Lo is also a little odd, because if I was writing this in Hebrew I would have said; B'chol asher yesh lo - which really means in all that he has. In fact, by the way, this translation which usually is pretty good actually translates it that way; By giving him the double portion of all that he has. In Hebrew the way you would say all that he has is actually Yesh Lo. Go ask an Israeli, Modern Hebrew, all that he has, the words are Yesh Lo. Over here; B'chol asher yimotzeh lo - if you translate that literally, that word is going to mean found. So literally it is going to mean, in all that is found to him. The father has to give him a double portion in all that is found to him. What does that mean, all that is found to him? You give him a double portion of everything that he has.
So over here what do you mean you have to recognize him to give a portion? Just give him a double portion. A double portion in all that he has, yeah, but how come it says, all that's found to him? So these kinds of words are strange
Finally, so if this word is strange - hated over here seems a little jarring. Over here this word kind of seems extra - recognize. Over here this word seems a little bit awkward, over here - found - this is going to be number 3. So number 4 is going to be right over here and it's this phrase over here; Reishit Ono - which literally means the first of his loins or the first of his strengths, the first fruits of his strength. This is - it's all very fine, but this is poetry. The entire rest of this is all prose. The one little piece of poetry, the one sort of poetic flourish you get, is over here, it seems a little out place along with all this prose.
So it turns out that we have all this language over here, these four things that seem to not kind of fit, and what I want to show you is that these four ideas, these four phrases are actually lifted out of another story. These are intertextual references to another story. The Torah is linking us here, is linking this whole piece over here in Deuteronomy, this whole piece over here in Sefer Devarim, is linking it, seemingly, to a story that we're kind of familiar with from Sefer Bereishit. What story is that? So hang on and we'll figure that one out.
1. What Were They Thinking?
2. Building Tensions
3. From Hatred to Jealousy
4. What Was Jacob Thinking?
5. A Break From the Action
6. The Original Internet
7. The Hidden Hyperlinks
8. A Confluence of Echoes
9. Where Have I Heard This Before?
10. The Brothers' Perspective
11. When Three Are One
12. Will the Real Firstborn Please Stand Up?
13. Bechor: A Tale of Twos
14. Rabbi Soloveitchik's Theory
15. Joseph's Undershirt
16. The Meaning of the Second Coat
17. Four Links
18. Double Entendre
19. The Riddle of the Bowing Moon
20. The Hidden Angel
21. Chain of Words
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