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Postby aries » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:43 am

In the list of spices for the oil of anointment Rashi transates Zuri or balsam as Theriac. This is obviously incorrect. Theriac (comes from the same root as therapy comes from) is a mixture of ground up scorpions with honey and spices. I don't think that Rashi was suggesting that the oil for annointing the high priests and kings should be made of ground up scopions. However, I just looked at a new Series called Rashi made simple (in Hebrew) which according to them is the most correct up to date Rashi available with everything explained. They bring theriac without comment.
In any event, the theriac was used to treat scorpion and snake bites. The Rambam was so convinced of its efficacy that he convinced the sultan to have a first aid station with theriac in every villiage and town. Well the idea of local first aid stations in every town was certainly a good idea and probably an original one at that.

The version in the Ramban is dragee. This is better but not particularly good as dragee is either a type of cereal or a sugar candy. I guess it was a very sweet smelling spice.
Aryeh Shore
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Re: balsam

Postby Enora » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:01 pm

Interesting... and amusing since I'm smack in the middle of a debate on a FB page of ladies about how Rashi made mistakes... and how some just can't accept that!
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Re: balsam

Postby aries » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:34 pm

well in this case, it is clearly a scribal error as the ramban has a different version of the rashi which is probably the correct one. the scorpion problem is that of the editors. in general the copiests make mistakes because they did not know any French or German. i would say that at least twenty percent of the glosses are incorrect but this is the scribe not rashi. i do not know where rashi makes mistakes like adding up numbers wrong or citing the wrong sentence. however i can give you hundred of examples where the ramban and the ibn Ezra say rashi explanation is wrong. i mean his own grandson writes god forbid that rashi is correct on the blessing for samson. of course on the gemarra the tosephot usually start with the phrase that what rashi Issays can not be correct.
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Re: balsam

Postby mariaw » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:10 pm

Ground up scorpion:

Dear folks,
Psalms 133.2-3 contains the anointing oil poured over Aaron's head & points to the idea of Unity among Israel's people.

Rashi had a way of showing metaphors & his "ground up scorpion" was likely a rebellious people found in Torah. A good scorpion is a dead one. Ezekiel 2.6 compares "thorns & thistles and scorpions, to the rebellious nations as well as Israel sometimes. These particular people had rebelled against G-d & HASHEM was sending Ezekiel with a message....Ezekiel is told not to be afraid of their words. I've never heard a scorpion speak.

Samson, from the tribe of Dan where Israel's judges are found, had a full head of hair & seven locks.
Were Israel's judges anointed during those days? Anyway, Samson's hair represented his strength &
we all know there is strength in being unified especially in gov. Delilah has a man to cut off Samson's
seven locks of hair.

Jacob tells his son, Dan, that in the last Days his child will be the serpent by the wayside. (Genesis 49.16)
Did Delilah accomplish division when she cut Samson's seven locks of hair. (Judges 15.17) She called some man in to "pound Samson's head."

As you know, the physical anointing oil for priests, kings & I guess judges is pure & doesn't contain scorpion juice.
However, anointing oil also represents unity as found in Psalms 133.2-3. If Torah's unity is kept within it's records, add the story of the Philistinian effort to undermine Israel's unity among her judges.
Its like taking snake venom & making antidotes for a snake bite.
Thats probably where Rashi got the notion of adding ground up scorpion to the anointing oil??
Samson literally ground up the Philistines by causing their palace to fall in on them.
Grinding scorpions up is an antidote for rebellion.

I found the Philistines (scorpions in Samson story & the juice of asp in Gen. 3.15. "he will pound your head, (Delilah had some guy to do her work on Samson's head) and you will bite his heel. (Samson tears down the Philistine gov. by crumbling their palace pillars. The Philistines were big on chariots, axels & stuff that go with horses.

Well anyway this was a most interesting study: Thanks everybody for the ideas.
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Re: balsam

Postby ittai » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:53 am

Anointing with balsam was sweet and maybe healing.
Looking at the serpent of brass was surely healing from biting of serpent.
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Re: balsam

Postby mariaw » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:52 am

Dear Ittai,
Hi again! I'm so happy you posted. I missed you & everyone on the forum.
This is about Torah's precious oil & also Genesis 1.26
where G-d makes man in His image & likeness & gives him dominion over things.
This is a looooong outline about Israel's LOVE & UNITY
The elevated place for G-d's dominion can be seen from Joseph & Benjamn's shoulders
when Joseph hugs his little brother for the first time. Most think heaven is a mysterious
spot in the sky somewhere & that we have no idea where G-d dwells in all that expanse;
however, the following include Torah's records on Love & Unity among Israel's brothers
that I thought the forum had room for. Torah is a covering.

David says in Psalms 17.15 "And I___ in righteousness I shall behold Your face;
upon awakening I will be sated by Your image."

Psalms 133.1 G-d's Image & Likeness is reflected by the oil running down over Aaron's beard.
G-d's Dominion & Rule is located upon the shoulders of Aaron's garment where the oil runs
& has a message of unity among brothers "good & pleasant" even for today.

Exodus 4.22----Torah's "man" made in G-d's Image is Israel as HASHEM tells Moses to explain to Pharaoh that HASHEM says,"My firstborn son is Israel."
Gen. 45.14 G-d's dominion of love resting between the shoulders of Joseph & Benjamin.
(11 Sam. 1.23) Saul & Jonathan beloved & pleasant in life, united even in death.. (Deut. 33.12) HASHEM hovers over Benjamin all day long & rests upon his shoulders. Isaiah 9:5,6 Jacob is the "child." His name is Shar-shalom because the leaders
of the 12 tribes were called Princes of Peace because of their offerings.
Isaiah 60:22 The smallest shall become a thousand
Exodus 18:1 HASHEM'S lmage & Likeness found in the names Moses & Zipporah's sons.
Gershom meaning "I was a sojourner in a strange land."
and Eliezer, for "the God of my father came to my aid, and He saved me from the sword of Pharaoh." 1Chronicles 15:15 And the sons of the Levites carry the ark of God, on their shoulders by staffs.
Exodus 28:12 Remembrance stones placed upon the shoulder straps of the Ephod.
Isaiah 9:6 The dominion will rest upon this child's shoulder.
Genesis 9:23 Shem & Japheth's garment covers both their shoulders.
Proverbs 10:12 Love as a covering
The creation is a metaphor.
Eze_32:2 Pharoah like a serpent in the seas when he muddies & fouls the nation's rivers.
Job_7:12 Job insinuates that G-d guards or watches "sea-giants."
2Sa_22:5 Waves compared to a flood of ungodly men.
Psa_65:7 The tumult of people compared to the noise of waves.
Habakuk 2:14 Earth filled with knowledge of G-d as waters cover a sea bed.
Genesis 8:8-12 Noah's dove Exodus 19:4 HASHEM'S eagle's wings
2Sa_1:23 Saul and Jonathan beloved and pleasant in life, and in death not parted.
Swifter than eagles.
Ox like one is Joseph: קרני, means “horns” and also “rays of light." I think the horns of a re'eim is Joseph's blessings on his two grandsons. The blessings of Torah (light) come thru his extended hands when he places them on their heads.
Jeremiah 23:1 thru 8----here is a great blessing & prophecy.
Habakuk 1.14----The prophet, Habakuk, imagines G-d made men as fish of the sea &
the creeping things because they seemed not to have a ruler over them & evil is devouring them in it's nets.
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Re: balsam

Postby ittai » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:47 am

Thank you mariaw for your kind words.
mariaw wrote:David says in Psalms 17.15 "And I___ in righteousness I shall behold Your face;
upon awakening I will be sated by [b]Your image.

My translation of Ps 17:15 is similar:
I in righteousness see your face. When awakening I am filled with your likeness.
Like him are we or should we be, here too, before our awakening. When not so, sorrow fills me.
"Mikhael" bears the meaning: "Who is like God?"

(The meaning of "Mikhah" seems me to be "Reduction" from "mukh")
After reduction glory, after death life.
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Re: balsam

Postby mariaw » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:10 pm

Dear Attai,
Thanks so much again for replying. I'm sorry I took so long. I'm having plumbing problems. Ha!
Who is like G-d? Who is the man made in G-d's Image?
This is about David's deep sleep & what he sees upon waking.
David's "sated" Image is a house full of children as numberless as the stars in the sky.
V.14 These are sons who bequeath their abundance to their babies.
This is gonna take at least four thousand years &
sleeping is a good way to make the night seem shorter.

Psalms 17:15 "And I___ in righteousness I shall behold Your face; upon awakening I will be sated by Your image."

Psalms 36.6--The deep can refer to G-d's judgments being like the "vast deep waters."
Not only does David not understand the extent of G-d's judgments, his short life span
does not allow him to see the fullness of G-d's Image or His assembly plan. Fullness is playground filled with kids.

Gen. 1.1----Allow me to return to an empty earth & darkness over the deep.
The empty earth means there are no children in it to study Torah & give it form.
The "darkness" is Abraham looking at the angel of HASHEM & wondering whose kids
are going to fill the empty spaces seeing Abraham goes childless.

The deep can mean three things & all related to the Covenant between G-d & Abraham.
When you look into the deep, you are either looking up into the stars or at the ocean.
1. Psalms 36.6----G-d's judgments are like the "vast deep waters."
2. Gen. 22.17----The angel of HASHEM calls to Abraham & greatly increases
his offspring like the stars & like the sand on the seashore.
3. Gen. 15.4 ---- G-d's judgment is like the darkness on the face of the deep.
Abraham's mind is dark when he hears the angel & doesn't understand who inherits him
when he seems to go childless.
G-d's judgment call in this context is that the steward doesn't inherit Abraham's land.
Any way, David wakes up from his deep & very long sleep to see his household filled
with children made in G-d's Image & as numberless as the stars & sand by the sea.

Habakkuk 2.12----Ittai, I simply LOVE this vision because it is talking about children filled
with HASHEM'S glory, as the waters cover the seabed.
This is Abraham's promise & also David's vision upon waking.
Thank you so much!
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