[b-hebrew] Rashi

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Thu Sep 7 03:05:08 EDT 2006

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Shoshanna Walker" <rosewalk at concentric.net>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2006 4:56 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Yitzchak: Daniel 9:25

> http://www.ou.org/chagim/chanukah/timeline.htm
> So Rashi (and Gabriel) was using the Seder Olam dates:
> First Temple destroyed on Tisha B'av  422 or 423 BC (3338)
> Second Temple destroyed on Tisha B'Av  68 or 69 CE (3828)
> Shoshanna

Which, as I explained previously, are about 150 years off for the First 
Temple period, because Seder Olam condensed the Persian period into 50 

Rashi was a genius, he had an analytical mind and the ability to connect the 
dots and explain things in a concise manner. For these reasons, he is 
rightly considered one of the greatest classical commentators on both the 
Tanakh and the Talmud. However, he lived in 11th century France. He knew 
very little about the history or the geography of the Land of Israel, 
outside what is written in the texts that he was familiar with. He had no 
first-hand knowledge of these things. And so he made a lot of mistakes.
A couple of examples: In his commentary of Num. 32:11-12 and Deut. 3:17, 
both of which describe the borders of the transjordanian tribes, he 
understands that the Jordan river flows BY the Kinnereth/Sea of Galilee, and 
does not know that it flows THROUGH the sea, in one end and out the other.
In his commentary of BT Gittin 7b, he understands that Keziv and Acco are on 
the EASTERN border of the Land.

Now this is not his fault: he was dependent on texts, which were written by 
people who: a. assumed that their readers WERE familiar with the Land and b. 
did not think that geography lessons were their responsibility. But this 
DOES mean that one should be careful when trusting Rashi on these issues.

Yigal Levin 

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