Still Looking for that Word
Shapira speaks here on Isaiah 9:5 (6).
Here is what I have posted on the subject:
Make your own judgment.
You may find the following facts useful:
1) Shapira himself (yes, the one with “encyclopedic knowledge”) complains in his book that the Targum does not see this passage as a Messianic prophecy (page 145).
2) Contrary to Shapira’s assertion, the Talmud twice explains this passage in reference to King Hezekiah (Shabbat 55, Sanhedrin 94).
3) Contrary to Shapira’s assertion, the Vilna Gaon explicitly says that this passage is talking about Hezekiah. Shapira creates one of his “connections” and he arrives at the conclusion that the Vilna Gaon understood that the passage is speaking of the Messiah. But the Vilna Gaon himself did not arrive at the same conclusion. This should tell you just how reliable Shapira’s “connections” are.
4) The commentators who explain that the prophecies could potentially have been fulfilled by Hezekiah but ultimately will be fulfilled in Messiah obviously did not see a divine Messiah in this passage. No one, not even Shapira, believes that Hezekiah could “potentially” have been divine.
5) Rashi, Radak, Ibn Ezra, Mahari Kara, Metzudat David and Malbim (all of the standard commentaries printed in the typical Jewish study Bible) explain this verse in reference to King Hezekiah.
So why am I still looking for the word? You see, I pointed out to Shapira (in “The School of Matthew”) that the phrase “Almaya Meshicha” is meaningless. The word “Almaya” is the last word in one phrase while the word “Meshicha” is the first word in the next phrase. Shapira simply missed a critical comma in the text. Yet in this video he goes ahead and proudly makes the same ridiculous mistake again.
Shapira had to outdo himself. He quotes from the tractate “Masechet Zuta” (approx. at the 16:30 mark). There is no such tractate. There is a tractate with a similar name which is probably what confused Shapira here. But there is one thing that Shapira keeps confirming time and again. And that is that he is completely unfamiliar with the basics of rabbinic literature.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal