Elijah and Horeb - More Questions

Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at cua.edu
Sat Jun 29 05:57:51 EDT 2002


>===== Original Message From Alastair Haines <haines at alastairs.com> =====
>You've pushed me to another question.
>In what sense is Hashem "*lo* b'ruach," "*lo* b'ra'ash," & "*lo* b'esh?"
>How should I understand "lo b'..." in verses 11 and 12?

I'd say grammatically it's pretty much what it seems to be. Hashem was not in 
those things. Beyond that, I think we're off the scope of this list :-) But 
between you and me, I'd be interested to know what the Rabbinic commentators 
had to say about it.
>
>I suggested Hashem was showing his presence but answering with silence-
>Is it the "dvar-Hashem" that is *not in* the great disturbances?
>This reading seems fair, but was it the writer's intention?

I suppose it's a possibility. I don't have the Targum handy for that passage, 
but I wouldn't be surprised if it used memra here. (Anyone?) Still, I think we 
have to go with what the text says, and it seems to be focused through these 
meteorological disturbances on the absence of Hashem.
>
>About "shema" in verse 13 referring to "ruach," "ra'ash" and "esh",
>is it so far back to go?
>But I agree it is more natural for the referent to be "qol," even if a
>"qol demama daqqa."

I'm not saying it's impossible. I'm just saying that the way the text reads to 
me, I see Elijah cowering in the cave until it gets quiet.

I'd be happy to discuss this further off-list, but I think we may be coming to 
the end of what's relevant to this forum.

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics




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