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A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Moshe became horny and suspicion of TMS

Exodus 34:29 . And it came to pass When Moses descended from Mount Sinai, and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand When he descended from the mountain and Moses did not know That the skin of His face had become radiant while He had spoken with him '
30th . That Aaron and all the Children of Israel saw Moses and behold! the skin of his face had become radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.And it came to pass When Moses descended: When he brought the Latter [second] tablets on Yom Kippur.
 
And Rashi enlightens us regarding "radiant", that the Hebrew expression literally means horns. Rashi is correct, the Torah literally says the Moshe's face sprouted horns. But Rashi then unjustly changes the meaning of the text to mean the face radiated.) 

 After changing the meaning of verse 29, Rashi has to explain the fear in verse 30 somehow in relation to radiation: Come and see how great the power of sin is! Because when they had not yet stretched out their hands to sin [with the golden calf], what does He say? "And the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire atop the mountain, before the eyes of the children of Israel" (Exod. 24:17), and they were neither frightened nor quaking. But since they had made ​​the calf, even from Moses' rays of splendor they recoiled and quaked. 

But there is parsimonious explanation that is consistent with both the actual Torah text (Moshe's face horned) and comparative religion.

In the book Mythmaking in the Biblical Tradition by Bernard Batto 1992  we find the following:

Batto confirms that Torah text literly says Moshe's face horned [just like Rashi]. Furthermore, in the Ancient Near East horns are symbols of divine status and in Mesoptamia gods wear horned caps. Syro-Canaan  have horns protruding from a deity's head. [The God El  was symbolised by the bull and wore horns. What OJ custum reminds us of a horned head ? I hope to discuss this in a future post]

Does versus 29-30 cast suspicion on the entire Sinai revelation story ?

{ETA July 8,2014 From A God of Volcanoes: Did Yahwism Take Root in Volcanic Ashes? Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 2014 38: 387  by Jacob E. Dunn


"If indeed Sinai is understood as an active volcano, Moses’
facial disfigurement no longer remains a mystery. In other words, the scorching heat from the volcanic vent near the summit likely caused his facial skin to melt, or to blister. Interestingly, William Propp argues that the usual translation of [kuf-reish-nun] (Exod. 34.30) should not be ‘horns (of light)’ or ‘radiance’, but rather ‘to blister’ or to become ‘calloused’, resulting in the following translation: ‘the skin of his face was burnt to the
hardness of horn’. Thus, according to Propp, ‘[this] story honors Moses as the human most intimate with Yahweh, but it also species the price he paid’." [William H. Propp, ‘The Skin of Moses’ Face––Disfigured or Transfigured?’, CBQ 49 (1987), pp. 375-86 ] }

{ETA 4/2/2014 A related post that speculates on phylacteries, tzitzit and tallit is Proof of God from Kosher Animals Part 2}

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