As Dawn Spread Over the Mountains
In the summer of 2013 Itzhak Shapira published a book entitled “The Return of the Kosher Pig”. In this book Shapira attempts to bring support to various Christian doctrines from the writings of Judaism’s sages. I have written two reviews demonstrating that Shapira’s arguments are based on his lack of understanding of the texts he quotes. In the review entitled “The School of Matthew” I listed over 80 errors that I found in Shapira’s book (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/the-school-of-matthew/ ).
On December 14 2013 Shapira presented this response to one of my objections: Response to Objection 2: “Hebrew 101” – Blackness vs. Dawn. An Answer to R’ Blumenthal objection.
With this response Shapira has only further confirmed his abysmal lack of comprehension of the basic Jewish texts.
In both of my reviews I exposed Shapira’s mistranslation of the comments of Metzudat David on Malachi 3:20. I hereby quote from Spiritual Responsibility (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/spiritual-responsibility/ ):
“On page 191 of his book Shapira quotes the comments of Metzudat David (a popular Jewish commentator) on Malachi 3:20 (4:2). The commentator elucidates Malachi’s metaphor which attributes “wings” to the sun with a reference to a passage in Joel 2:2. In the book of Joel the dawn is described as “spreading” over the mountains. The Metzudat David explains that the spreading of the light of dawn that Joel speaks of can help us understand the spreading of wings in the verse from Malachi.
Shapira completely missed the point of the Metzudat David and he translated the verse in Joel with the words: “as blackness spread upon the mountains”. Check out these passages in your own Bible (Joel 2:2; Malachi 3:20 (4:2) – see Strong’s concordance #7837).
The commentary of Metzudat David is written in a simple Hebrew. The style of the Metzudat David is not complicated. The comments of the Metzudat David are enjoyed by school-children. Yet Shapira cannot navigate his way through a simple comment that is designed for the child and for the layman.”
Shapira defends himself by telling us that the JPS translates the word “k’shachar” with the words “as blackness.”
The JPS on Joel 2:2 has nothing to do with my objection. My objection was focused on Shapira’s mistranslation of the comments of the Metzudat David. I present here the full translation of the Metzudat David’s comment on the phrase in question: “and healing in its wings. With its shining you will have healing and pleasure, he (the prophet) compares the spreading of the light and its shine to the spreading of wings because the sun spreads its light over the land like outspread wings as it is written “k’shachar parus al he’harim” (Joel 2:2).”
Here are Metzudat David’s comments on Joel 2:2: “k’shachar. Like the light of dawn spread over the mountains so will the locusts cover the mountains.”
Shapira goes on to say that the purpose of my critique was to demonstrate that the verse in Malachi was not Messianic. Shapira did not understand my review. I was not discussing if the verse in question is or isn’t Messianic. I was demonstrating that Shapira is incapable of reading a comment that a sixth grade school-child should be able to read.
In his defense Shapira has demonstrated that he is incapable of admitting a mistake even when his error is as obvious as the dawn spread over the mountains.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal