hebrew
1)

Why does the Torah punctuate the word "la'Elohim" with a 'Kamatz'?

1.

Rashi, Rashbam, Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonasan: "la'Elohim", refers to the gods that are mentioned elsewhere. 1

2.

Ramban #1: This is a prohibition against worshipping angels, 2 which are often called by that name, 3 only to Hashem directly.

3.

Ramban #2 (according to Kabalah) and Targum Onkelos: It is a prohibition against bringing Korbanos in the Name of Elokim, only in the Name of Hashem. 4

4.

Seforno: It refers to all the deities, to whom one may not bow collectively - even if one includes Hashem as well.


1

In Sh'mos 20:3, whereas "l'Elokim" would refer to Hashem (Rashbam). And had the Torah written only 'Zove'ach Yochoram' we would have interpreted the Pasuk with reference to Shechting Kodshim outside the Azarah (Sanhedrin, 60b).

2

Even though one does so in their capacity as servants of Hashem, in order to find satisfaction in with their Master.

3

See for example, Devarim 10:17 and Tehilim, 86:8 (Ramban).

4

See Ramban, Vayikra, 1:9.

2)

What are the connotations of "Yochoram"?

1.

Rashi, Ramban #1, Rashbam and Targum Yonasan: It means that he is Chayav Misah. 1

2.

Ramban #2 and Seforno: It means that both the worshipper as well as whatever is worshipped is deemed a Cherem - a hint that the latter is Asur be'Hana'ah.

3.

Targum Yonasan: It means that he is Chayav Hereg (death by the sword) and his property is destroyed.


1

Rashi in Sanhedrin: As in Bechukosai, Vayikra 27:29. Ramban and Seforno: The Torah uses the word "Yochoram" because it writes in Eikev, 26:27 (in connection with someone who worships Avodah-Zarah) "Vehayisa Cherem Kamohu".

3)

Why did the Torah specify Zevichah (Shechitah)?

1.

Rashi: Bearing in mind the Pasuk in Shoftim, Devarim 17:5, which states that one is Chayav Misah for idolatry, but does not teach which Avodos, the Torah here is teaching us that it applies exclusively to Avodos like Zevichah that are performed in the Beis-ha'Mikdash (and that are subject to Misah


1

Rashi: But not to sweeping or settling the dust before idolatry, or hugging or killing it. These are not performed before Hashem, and are only subject to a La'av (unless they are normally worshipped in this way (in which case he is Chayav Misah

4)

Why is this written shortly after witchcraft?

1.

Hadar Zekenim (20): This is like witchcraft, for it is normal for witches to slaughter and offer incense to demons and others gods. 1


1

Hadar Zekenim (17) explained why bestiality was written in between. Refer to 22:18:151:1.

5)

What are the implications of "Bilti la'Hashem Levado"?

1.

Seforno and Hadar Zekeinim (on Pasuk 20): It implies a prohibition against worshipping Hashem together with any other deity. 1

2.

Avodah Zarah, 51a: It implies that one is only Chayav if one Shechts an animal to Avodah Zarah that would have been Kasher had it been brought to Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu, to preclude someone who Shechts a blemished animal.


1

Hadar Zekeinim (Ibid.): Like the Kutim did, Sanhedrin, 63a (based on this Pasuk): Anyone who combines the Name of Hashem with anyrhing else will be uprooted from the world.

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