Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Double Yod continued

וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם, עָפָר מִן-הָאֲדָמָה, וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו, נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים; וַיְהִי הָאָדָם, לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה.

Then the LORD God formed (+)the human of the dust of the humus, and breathed into its nostrils the breath of life; and the human became a living being.

One ought to notice that double yod, יִּי is a common abbreviation of 'the name'. So one could say that the LORD God, mentioned first only at the end of the 7 days, is also hidden in the creation of the one from the dust. The 'image' is hidden in the act. This accidental misspelling could be seen as prefiguring the incarnation. I say accidental in much the way that accidentals are used in music - to enrich the harmony and the counterpoint.


beyondimensions said...

Would you provide some additional examples of the double yod for consideration? Thanks.

Bob MacDonald said...

It appears to be a unique reading -

Did you see the Talmud section on it? The Talmud relates an intriguing commentary on a verse describing the creation of humanity, "The Lord God formed man from the dust of the earth" (Genesis 2:7): "Rav Nahman, son of Rav Hisda, taught: 'Why in "the Lord God formed man" is formed written with two yods?'" (Berachot 61a). Any idiosyncrasy in the biblical text is fodder for rabbinic interpretation, and here the Talmud raises a spelling concern. Rav Nahman is questioning why, in this verse, the word for formed (yayyitzer) is written with two of the Hebrew letter yod, instead of in its normal manner with one yod.

Answering his own question, Nahman insists that we are created with two inclinations, one convincing us to be good and the other pulling us to be evil. A fitting commentary on the spelling discrepancy, but, after some give and take, we are presented with an alternative reason: "It must be interpreted [the point of the two yods] as Rav Shimon ben Pazzi said: 'Woe is me because of my Creator [yozri], woe is me because of my inclination [yizri]!'"

see the commentary at JTS from April 5 by Rabbi Marc Wolf here

Needless to say, though this is one reading, I expect we could find others as I suggested above.