hebrew
1)

Why did the donkey give Bil'am such a lengthy response?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan: When they asked Bil'am why he was not riding a horse, he replied that he had forgotten it in the meadow, 1 to which the donkey retorted "ha'Lo Anochi Asoncha!"; When he replied that that was only for transporting loads, but not for riding, it retorted "asher Rachavta alai"; And in response to his reply that that was only temporary, it replied "me'Odcha ad ha'Yom ha'Zeh!" 2


1

Targum Yonasan, and the donkey was only borrowed.

2

Targum Yonasan: Also, the donkey mocked Bil'am, if he was unable to curse it, a Tamei creature that lives only in this world, how could he expect to curse the children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov on whose merits the world was created?! Refer also to 22:30:2:2. See also Ba'al ha'Turim.

2)

What is the meaning of "ha'Hasken Hiskanti ... "?

1.

Rashi #1 (citing Onkelos) and Seforno: It means 'Am I accustomed to doing this to you'? - a sign 1 from Heaven that he was not destined to succeed on his mission, and should therefore retract.

2.

Targum Yonasan: It means literally 'Did I ever intentionally do such a thing to you?'


1

Seforno: As the Gemara says in Chulin, 95b 'Even though one may not divine (act based on superstitions), one may heed a Siman'.

2

'Sochen' also refers to intimacy, like we find in Melachim 1, 1:2. Hadar Zekenim (on Pasuk 22) and Ba'al ha'Turim - based on Sanhedrin 105a: The Gematriya of "Rachavta Alai" is the same as "Riv'asani" (You had Bi'ah with me).

3)

Avodah-Zarah 4b learns from "u'S'hi Lo Sochenes" (Melachim 1, 1:2) that Hiskanti refers to Bi'ah. It says there (verse 4) that David did not have Bi'ah with her!

1.

Moshav Zekenim citing Ri: Since a verse needed to say that he did not had Bi'ah with her, we infer that normally, it refers to Bi'ah. 1


1

Moshav Zekenim: His servants intended that he have Bi'ah with her, but he did not want to, for he could not marry a 19th wife, and he did not want to divorce one of his wives.

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