Thursday, 26 November 2009

The Hidden Dimension

"And Reuven went in the dates of the wheat harvest, and found duda'im, and brought them unto his mother Leah." (Bereshis 30:14)

The Gemara in Sanhedrin tells of how Menashe HaRasha, the wicked king of Yehudah used to mock the Torah.  Amongst other supposed complaints he had against it was one of superfluity of words.  Why, he asked, did the Torah need to tell us that it was the time of the wheat harvest?  No point, hence the Torah is full of useless words and the contention of the sages that every single letter has meaning is false.
Most of the commentators howver do find a meaning for the mention of the time of year.  Many praise Reuven for not taking private property (ripe wheat) but rather ownerless flowers, a testament to his integrity even at such a young age when such a property might not yet be expected of him.
The Chasam Sofer, on this gemara, looks at it in a different and fascinating way.  He starts off by noting that whenever the Torah uses the term "wheat harvest" elsewhere, it inevitably is talking about the holiday of Shavous.  Hence, just as the seemingly superfluos detail about Lot baking matzos for the angels in S'dom is taken to mean that they destroyed the city on Pesach, here the Chasam Sofer notes that the Torah is hinting that the incident of the duda'im happened on Shavous. 
Why is this important?  He points out that the child conceived that night was Issachar, the son of Yaakov Avinu that would be most closely associated with Torah (see Devarim 33:18-19).  Thus the son of Torah was conceived on the night of the giving of the Torah.
What's more, I would note that in addition to being important Torah scholars, the Bible later reckons the b'nei Yissachar as the ones responsible for the intercalation of an extra month into our lunar calender to ensure Pesach always comes out in the spring.  Assuming a nine month pregnancy, what month would Yissachar have been born in?  Adar, the same month that is intercalated.
For those who will not see past the simple surface of the text, the Torah may seem to contain many difficulties.  For those willing to see it as it truly is, a complex document containing layers upon layers of interpretation, these observations simply reinforce that every single part of the Torah is a segment of the complex, perfect whole.

4 comments:

SJ said...

LOL the Torah from Dimension X. :D

Shalmo said...

Garnel could you please come and post on this blog:

http://eaazi.blogspot.com/

Shalmo said...

Speaking of Deutoronomy the following findings are interesting:

"Ten Reasons for Dating Deuteronomy to the Late Persian or Hellenistic Periods"

http://dunedinschool.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/ten-reasons-for-dating-deuteronomy-to-the-late-persian-or-hellenistic-periods/

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

Shalmo, I was giving a drasha out of Bereshis, not Devarim.

If you don't have anything relevant to contribute like SJ, then please keep your incorrect opinions to yourself.