AL-QIBLAH AND BE’ER ZAMZAM

Saadia Gaon qiblah.jpg

Saadia’s Targum, Sefer Bereshit 24:62

וכאן אסחק קד גא פי מגיה מן אלביר אלתי ללחי אלנטאר והו מקים פי בלד אלקבלה.

Wa kana Ishaq qad ja’a fi maji’ihi min al-bi’r allati lil-Hay Al-Nadhir wa huwa muqim fi balad Al-Qiblah.

(“And Isaac came in the way of Be’er Lahai Roi and he dwelt in the country of Al-Qiblah”),

(See J. Derenbourg, Version Arabe du Pentateuque de R. Saadia Ben Iosef Al-Fayyoumi (Paris: Ernest Leroux, Editeur, 1893), p. 37.

Ibn Ezra’s commentary on Sefer Bereshit 16:14

באר לחי לאשר יהיה חי לשנה האחרת. כי בכל שנה היו חוגגים הישמעאלים אל הבאר הזות גם היום יקרא באר זמזם

Be’er Lachai la’asher yihyeh chay lash-shanah ha-acheret. Ki be chol shanah hayu Hoggim ha-Yishmaelim el ha-Be’er hazzot gam hayyom yiqqare Be’er Zamzam.

“Be’er Lachai means the well of him who will be alive next year. The well was so called because the Ishmaelites held the Hajj at this well. It is still in existence and is called the well of Zamzam”, see Asher Weiser, Ibn Ezra: Perushi ha-Torah le Rabbainu Avraham Ibn Ezra (Yerushalayim: Mossad Harav Kook, 1977), p. 151

Saadia’s Targum, Sefer Bereshit 16:7

פוגדהא מלאך אללה עלי עין מא פי אלבריה עלי אלעין פי טריק חגר אלחיגאז

Fa wajadaha malak ALLAH ‘ala ‘ain ma’in fi al-bariyyah, ‘ala al-‘ain allati fi thariq Hajr Al-Hijaz.

(see J. Derenbourg, Version Arabe du Pentateuque de R. Saadia Ben Iosef Al-Fayyoumi. Paris: Ernest Leroux, Editeur, 1983), p. 24

Based on the rabbinical texts, Isaac came in the way of well of Zamzam (Ibn Ezra’s commentary, Sefer Bereshit 16:14; 24:62), he dwelt in the country of Al-Qiblah (Saadia’s Targum, Sefer Bereshit 24:62), which Al-Qiblah was in the South, in Hajr Al-Hijaz (Saadia’s Targum, Sefer Bereshit 16:7).

Negev, according to Saadia’s is the Qiblah, to refer to the HOLY PLACE, not only a place (an sich). In Saadia’s Targum, Negev is not Jerusalem as the (future) Qiblah. But Negev is the (future) Qiblah itself which lies in the south of Judea.

According to Rabbi Samson Rapael Hirsch – Hebron, now the name of Hebron beforetime was Kiriath Arba also lies in Judea, not in Negev. According to him, Negev exactly means ערבה (Arabia). When Abraham lived in Mamre, district of Hebron (south of Jerusalem), Abraham then took a journey to the Negev, to the SOUTH, to the Qiblah. So, Abraham took a journey to the Qiblah in Arabia, not to the Qiblah in Judea. Obviously,
Isaac also took a journey to Be’er Lachai Roi, the Be’er Zamzam, a holy place in the South, a holy place of the Ishmaelites and Abraham dwelt. It is so clear.

Our topic here is about the meaning of THE QIBLAH correctly according to Saadia’s on the Sefer Bereshit 12:9. So, we have to compare the other traditional rabbinical sources, such as Ibnu Ezra, Rashi, Radak, Hirsch etc.

1. The Qiblah (Saadia Gaon).
2. The place of ADONAI (Rabbi Bachya ben Asher)
3. The Neqba – dry land, hot there (Ibn Ezra).
4. The South: the whole district from Jerusalem SOUTHWARDS which so called ערבה – ‘Araba, the wilderness territory (Hirsch).

Conclusion:

The Qiblah lies in ערבה (Araba), in the wilderness, not on the mount in Judea. The Qiblah lies in the South of Jerusalem, not in Jerusalem itself as the Qiblah.

Pls read Rashi’s words carefully, לדרומה של ארץ ישראל והיא לצד ירושלים (li-drumah shel eretz Yisrael ve hiya letzad Yerushalayim (to the South of the land of Israel which is the direction of Jerusalem). The keyword of Rashi’s words here is the preposition לצד which implies that it is not Jerusalem itself but “adjacent” or “on the side of.” Therefore we can be certain that what Rav Saadia Gaon meant was Mecca as the Qiblah, as the SOUTH in Arabian peninsula (Al Hejaz). In the Chamisha Chumshe Torah: Bereshit. The Pentateuch: Translated & Explained. Genesis, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch said:

“the South of Palestine was by no means the most flourishing part, the whole district from Jerusalem southwards is called in the book of Zacharia ערבה (‘Araba), meaning “Wilderness” (London: L. Honig & Sonss Ltd., 1963), p. 235.

The whole district from JERUSALEM SOUTHWARDS is called in the book of Zacharia ערכה (‘Araba), meaning WILDERNESS. What does it mean? THE SOUTH of Palestine is not JUDEA, but ערבה (‘ARABA) itself, and Jerusalem is not a part of ערבה (‘ARABA). Jerusalem as the (future) holy place is not a part of ערבה (Araba), and according to Rabbi Somson Raphael Hirsch it means that Jerusalem is not the Qiblah, Jerusalem is not a part of Araba, Jerusalem is not a part of the South, and Jerusalem is not a part of the Neqba. Hirsch’s commentary refers to the Genesis Rabbah 39:16 “And Abram journeyed, going on still toward THE SOUTH (xii,9): he drew a course and journeyed “TOWARD THE (FUTURE) SITE OF THE TEMPLE.” Which temple is it? Of course the temple site of the South, the temple site of Neqba, the temple site of ARABA. Now we understand that THE QIBLAH which was meant by Saadia’s must be the future temple site of Araba, not in Jerusalem.

So, what is the reason to think that Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s commentary and Bereshit (Genesis) Rabba 39:16. contradict with Saadia’s Judeo-Arabic Targum?

Nothing at all.

AL-QIBLAH AND BE'ER ZAMZAM

Saadia Gaon qiblah.jpg

Saadia’s Targum, Sefer Bereshit 24:62

וכאן אסחק קד גא פי מגיה מן אלביר אלתי ללחי אלנטאר והו מקים פי בלד אלקבלה.

Wa kana Ishaq qad ja’a fi maji’ihi min al-bi’r allati lil-Hay Al-Nadhir wa huwa muqim fi balad Al-Qiblah.

(“And Isaac came in the way of Be’er Lahai Roi and he dwelt in the country of Al-Qiblah”),

(See J. Derenbourg, Version Arabe du Pentateuque de R. Saadia Ben Iosef Al-Fayyoumi (Paris: Ernest Leroux, Editeur, 1893), p. 37.

Ibn Ezra’s commentary on Sefer Bereshit 16:14

באר לחי לאשר יהיה חי לשנה האחרת. כי בכל שנה היו חוגגים הישמעאלים אל הבאר הזות גם היום יקרא באר זמזם

Be’er Lachai la’asher yihyeh chay lash-shanah ha-acheret. Ki be chol shanah hayu Hoggim ha-Yishmaelim el ha-Be’er hazzot gam hayyom yiqqare Be’er Zamzam.

“Be’er Lachai means the well of him who will be alive next year. The well was so called because the Ishmaelites held the Hajj at this well. It is still in existence and is called the well of Zamzam”, see Asher Weiser, Ibn Ezra: Perushi ha-Torah le Rabbainu Avraham Ibn Ezra (Yerushalayim: Mossad Harav Kook, 1977), p. 151

Saadia’s Targum, Sefer Bereshit 16:7

פוגדהא מלאך אללה עלי עין מא פי אלבריה עלי אלעין פי טריק חגר אלחיגאז

Fa wajadaha malak ALLAH ‘ala ‘ain ma’in fi al-bariyyah, ‘ala al-‘ain allati fi thariq Hajr Al-Hijaz.

(see J. Derenbourg, Version Arabe du Pentateuque de R. Saadia Ben Iosef Al-Fayyoumi. Paris: Ernest Leroux, Editeur, 1983), p. 24

Based on the rabbinical texts, Isaac came in the way of well of Zamzam (Ibn Ezra’s commentary, Sefer Bereshit 16:14; 24:62), he dwelt in the country of Al-Qiblah (Saadia’s Targum, Sefer Bereshit 24:62), which Al-Qiblah was in the South, in Hajr Al-Hijaz (Saadia’s Targum, Sefer Bereshit 16:7).

Negev, according to Saadia’s is the Qiblah, to refer to the HOLY PLACE, not only a place (an sich). In Saadia’s Targum, Negev is not Jerusalem as the (future) Qiblah. But Negev is the (future) Qiblah itself which lies in the south of Judea.

According to Rabbi Samson Rapael Hirsch – Hebron, now the name of Hebron beforetime was Kiriath Arba also lies in Judea, not in Negev. According to him, Negev exactly means ערבה (Arabia). When Abraham lived in Mamre, district of Hebron (south of Jerusalem), Abraham then took a journey to the Negev, to the SOUTH, to the Qiblah. So, Abraham took a journey to the Qiblah in Arabia, not to the Qiblah in Judea. Obviously,
Isaac also took a journey to Be’er Lachai Roi, the Be’er Zamzam, a holy place in the South, a holy place of the Ishmaelites and Abraham dwelt. It is so clear.

Our topic here is about the meaning of THE QIBLAH correctly according to Saadia’s on the Sefer Bereshit 12:9. So, we have to compare the other traditional rabbinical sources, such as Ibnu Ezra, Rashi, Radak, Hirsch etc.

1. The Qiblah (Saadia Gaon).
2. The place of ADONAI (Rabbi Bachya ben Asher)
3. The Neqba – dry land, hot there (Ibn Ezra).
4. The South: the whole district from Jerusalem SOUTHWARDS which so called ערבה – ‘Araba, the wilderness territory (Hirsch).

Conclusion:

The Qiblah lies in ערבה (Araba), in the wilderness, not on the mount in Judea. The Qiblah lies in the South of Jerusalem, not in Jerusalem itself as the Qiblah.

Pls read Rashi’s words carefully, לדרומה של ארץ ישראל והיא לצד ירושלים (li-drumah shel eretz Yisrael ve hiya letzad Yerushalayim (to the South of the land of Israel which is the direction of Jerusalem). The keyword of Rashi’s words here is the preposition לצד which implies that it is not Jerusalem itself but “adjacent” or “on the side of.” Therefore we can be certain that what Rav Saadia Gaon meant was Mecca as the Qiblah, as the SOUTH in Arabian peninsula (Al Hejaz). In the Chamisha Chumshe Torah: Bereshit. The Pentateuch: Translated & Explained. Genesis, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch said:

“the South of Palestine was by no means the most flourishing part, the whole district from Jerusalem southwards is called in the book of Zacharia ערבה (‘Araba), meaning “Wilderness” (London: L. Honig & Sonss Ltd., 1963), p. 235.

The whole district from JERUSALEM SOUTHWARDS is called in the book of Zacharia ערכה (‘Araba), meaning WILDERNESS. What does it mean? THE SOUTH of Palestine is not JUDEA, but ערבה (‘ARABA) itself, and Jerusalem is not a part of ערבה (‘ARABA). Jerusalem as the (future) holy place is not a part of ערבה (Araba), and according to Rabbi Somson Raphael Hirsch it means that Jerusalem is not the Qiblah, Jerusalem is not a part of Araba, Jerusalem is not a part of the South, and Jerusalem is not a part of the Neqba. Hirsch’s commentary refers to the Genesis Rabbah 39:16 “And Abram journeyed, going on still toward THE SOUTH (xii,9): he drew a course and journeyed “TOWARD THE (FUTURE) SITE OF THE TEMPLE.” Which temple is it? Of course the temple site of the South, the temple site of Neqba, the temple site of ARABA. Now we understand that THE QIBLAH which was meant by Saadia’s must be the future temple site of Araba, not in Jerusalem.

So, what is the reason to think that Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s commentary and Bereshit (Genesis) Rabba 39:16. contradict with Saadia’s Judeo-Arabic Targum?

Nothing at all.

Qurban Yahudi itu bernama AQEDA YITZHAQ

Rav Saadia Gaon in his Judeo-Arabic Targum on the Chamisha Chumshe Torah, Sefer Bereshit 12:9

תם רחל אברם כל מא מר רחל אלי אלקבלה

Tsumma rachala Abram kulla ma marra rachala ila al-Qiblah

“And Abram journeyed, going and journeying towards the Qiblah.”

“Abram partit ensuite, allant et se deplacant vers le Qiblah.”

The readers may refer to the Sefer Bereshit Lech Lecha 12:9), R. Saadia Ben Iosef Al-Fayyoumi. Volume premier. Version arabe du pentateque (Paris: Ernest

In the Chamisha Chumshe Torah: Bereshit. The Pentateuch: Translated & Explained. Genesis, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch also said:

“the South of Palestine was by no means the most flourishing part, the whole district from Jerusalem southwards is called in the book of Zacharia ערבה (‘Araba), meaning “Wilderness” (London: L. Honig & Sonss Ltd., 1963), p. 235.

The whole district from JERUSALEM SOUTHWARDS is called in the book of Zacharia ערכה (‘Araba), meaning WILDERNESS. What does it mean? THE SOUTH of Palestine is not JUDEA, but ערבה (‘ARABA) itself, and Jerusalem is not a part of ערבה (‘ARABA). Jerusalem as the (future) holy place is not a part of ערבה (Araba), and according to Rabbi Somson Raphael Hirsch it means that Jerusalem is not the South, Jerusalem is not the Neqba, Jerusalem is not the Qiblah. Obviously, Jerusalem is not a part of Araba.

Jerusalem is not a part of the South, and Jerusalem is not a part of the Neqba. Hirsch’s commentary refers to the Genesis 12:9 which the verse also refers to the Genesis Rabbah 39:16

“And Abram journeyed, going on still toward THE SOUTH (xii,9): he drew a course and journeyed “TOWARD THE (FUTURE) SITE OF THE TEMPLE.”

Which temple is it? Of course the temple site of the South, the temple site of Neqba, the temple site of ARABA. Now we understand that THE QIBLAH which was meant by Saadia’s must be the future temple site of Araba, not in Jerusalem.

So, what is the reason to think that Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s commentary and Bereshit (Genesis) Rabba 39:16 contradict Saadia’s Judeo-Arabic Targum?

Nothing at all

JERUSALEM AND MECCA: THE QURBAN OF ABRAHAM & THE HOLY TEMPLE

Kaaba.jpg

واذ ابتلى ابرهم ربه بكلمت فاتمهن قال اني جاعلك للناس اماما

(البقرة 2:124).

God said: “And remember that Abraham was tried Lord with certain commands which he fulfilled them. He said: I will make thee a Leader to the nations.” (al-Baqarah 2:124)

The Quran states that Abraham was subjected to various tests, and the great test was the binding of his son, Ishmael as the sacrifice of Abraham which so called the Qurban, see al-Shaffat 37:100-102. However, this verse must be presumed that what is meant here is simply Abraham’s complete submission to whatever commandments he received from God. Thus, in everything Abraham fulfilled God’s tests, and Ishmael as the sacrifice of Abraham was the gretest. After doing the binding of Ishmael and Abraham fulfilled it, he was promised the leadership of the world.

The Hebrew Quran states:

כאשר ריבונו של אברהם ניסה אותו בכמה מצוות שעמד בהן. אמר ריבונו הנני ממנה אותך אימאם לאנשים.

kaasher ribono shel av’raham nisah oto b’khamah mitz’vot sheamad bahen. amar ribono hin’niy m’maneh ot’kha ymm laanashiym.

The Hebrew word ניסה (nisah) in this Hebrew Quran is to represent the “tests” of the commands, mitzvot (מצוות).

The Mishnah (Torah she be’al phe), Pirke Avot 5:3 also stated that Abraham was subjected to the עשר ניסה (ashar nisah), meaning “ten tests”, but the sages differ as to which of his life experiences were tests. All sages agree that the call to leave his homeland (see Sefer Bereshit 12:1), and the binding of Isaac described in this Pirke Avot 5:3 are included. Sefer Bereshit 22:2 also states:

וימר קח נא את בויך את יחידך אשר אהבת את יצחק ולך לך ארצ המריה

vay-yomer qach-na et bincha et yechidecha asher achavta et Yitzhaq ve lech lecha el eretz ha-Moriyah.

“And he said, “Take now your son, your only one whom you lovest, Isaac, and go into the land of Moriah (Genesis 22:2)

Based on the Torah, Isaac as the Qurban of Abraham is a specific trial of Abraham than other previous ones.

According to the Quran, after Abraham was tried to sacrifice Ishmael as the great test (al-Baqarah 2:124) God then promised Abraham as the Leader of all nations, so that why God ordered Abraham himself to build the sacred refuge of the Ka’bah, the holy Temple with Ishmael as the sacred site, the qiblah for all nations (see al-Baqarah 2:127). Rav Saadia Gaon also confirmed the existence of the ruins of this sacred site, before Abraham was appointed by God to build the refuge of the Ka’bah. In the Judeo-Arabic Targum of Chamisha Chumshe Torah, Saadia Gaon translated the Sefer Bereshit 12:9 as follows

תם רחל אברם כל מא מר רחל אלי אלקבלה

Tsumma rachala Abram kulla ma marra rachala ila al-Qiblah

“And Abram journeyed, going and journeying towards the Qiblah.”

“Abram partit ensuite, allant et se deplacant vers le Qiblah.”

The readers may refer to the Sefer Bereshit Lech Lecha 12:9), R. Saadia Ben Iosef Al-Fayyoumi. Volume premier. Version arabe du pentateque (Paris: Ernest Leroux, Editeur, 1893), p. 19.

Ishmael was 13 years old (Sefer Bereshit 17:25), and the Sefer Bereshit 18:6-7 also confirms: “So Abraham hastened to the tent to Sarah and said, “Hurry! Three seah’s of unsifted flour, sifted flour! Knead and make cakes!” The Abram ran to the cattle, took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the youth who hurried to prepare it. Amazingly, Rashi also explained the Hebrew phrase אל הנער (el han-Na’ar), lit. “au jeune homme. C’est Ismael, afin de l’initier a l’accomplissement des Mitsvot. “Chamisha Chumshe Torah. Le pentateuch avec commentaires de Rachi et notes explicatives (Paris: Fondation Samuel et Odette Levy, 1979), p. 103.

Mikraot Gedolot: Bereshit. Volume One. A New English Translation by Rabbi A.J. Rosenberg on the Sefer Bereshit 18:7, he said:

“to the Youth – this was Ishmael, to train him to perform mitzvoth (Rashi from Aboth d’Rabbi Nathan, chapter 13).

Derech Tov explains that the definite article means the Youth mentioned above who was ISHMAEL. Now why did Abraham give the calves to Ishmael? The Answer is that he wished to train Ishmael in the performance of mitzvoth.” (New York: the Judaica Press, 1993), p. 211a.

Rashi himself also explains that the definite article “the” is expressed by prefixing a “hay” to the noun. This is called הי הידיעה (hay-hayedi’a), see , Sampson A. Isseroff. An Introduction to Rashi’s Grammatical Explanations in the Book of Genesis. Sha’ar le Diqduqei Rashi. Sefer Bereshit (the Torah Education Department of the World Zionist Organization, 1985), p. 9.

In addition, it is important to note that according to the Midrash, הנער (han-Na’ar) is to be explained as ISHMAEL. The language clearly defines this Hebrew word not as any ordinary “young boy” or “lad” because it uses the Hebrew letter ה (hay) to designate the special “young boy.” The letter ה (hay) added emphasis to the importance and greatness of this “young boy”, even, his position for Abraham, so that why Rashi confirms that this young boy is ISHMAEL.

The Hebrew word הנער (han-Na’ar) means “the young man”, however, is to refer to Ishmael whom he bade to do this in order to train him to the performance of the religious duties, the Mitzvoth. Ishmael was 13 years old, according to the Mosaic Law, the age of Bar Mitzvah. But how to do this? How to slaughter the calf according to the Mitzvoth for the Bar Mitzvah (the son of the Mitzvoth? Is it a must to slaughter animal with the existence of the Qiblah? Yes, it is right. Sulchan Aruch explained it, about the important thing of the Qiblah when the one wants to slaughter the animal according to the Mitzvoth. But the Temple of Jerusalem did not exist in that moment. Did Ishmael slaughter the calf directed to the Temple of Jerusalem? Of course not. Amazingly, according to the Quran, Abraham and Ishmael already built the Temple of Mecca with his son, Ishmael. Ka’bah is the Qiblah, the direction to which Ishmael and Ishmaelites turn in prayer. Therefore, the Quran confirms that the first, Abraham took Ishmael as the Qurban, and the second, Abraham then built the Temple of Mecca with Ishmael (al-Baqarah 2:124-127).

Obviously, the Qiblah אלקבלה (al-Qiblah) that was really meant by Rav Saadia Gaon is the direction of Mecca, to the Ka’bah, not to the direction of Jerusalem, to the mount of Moriah as Rashi’s commentary. If we received Rashi’s commentary, there are many problems. Did Ishmael slaughter the animal to the direction of Jerusalem, to mount Moriah as the Qiblah? Did Ishmael slaughter the animal to the direction of Mecca, the Kaaba as the Qiblah? Where did Ishmael do to slaughter the animal? The Torah said that Abraham and Ishmael lived in Mamre (Sefer Bereshit 18:1-7). Firstly, Jerusalem however is not the south of Mamre. Secondly, Abraham never knew the holy place which God had told him, mount Moriah as the Qiblah. It seems Ishmael slaughtered the animal in the direction of Ka’bah. There was no holy Temple or direction prayer in Jerusalem at that time. Mostly likely the direction was towards the Ka’bah. Thus, Abraham never knew the mount Moriah as the Qiblah before God ordered him to slaughter his son, Isaac. Therefore, Rav Saadia Gaon mentioned the Qiblah, the southward is to refer to the direction of Mecca. Amazingly, Rav Saadia Gaon also confirmed the existence of Mecca in Sefer Bereshit 10:30.

1. Sefer Bereshit (Genesis) 18:1 “ And the Eternal appeared unto him in the oaks of Mamre …. “

2. Sefer Bereshit (Genesis) 18:6 “And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah and said, Hasten three seahs of fine meal, knead it, and make hearthcakes.”

3. Sefer Bereshit (Genesis) 18:7 “And Abraham ran unto the herd and took a calf tender and good, and gave it unto THE LAD or THE YOUTH (Ishmael) and HE (Ishmael) hasted to dress it”.

Based on these verses, Abraham and his son, Ishmael lived in Mamre. Where is the territory of Mamre? Mamre is a place in the Hebron district, WEST of Machpelah and SOUTH of Jerusalem. It indicates that Jerusalem is not a direction of prayer at that time before the binding of Isaac as the Qurban. Jerusalem, NORTH of Mamre, and Ishmael clearly slaughtered the animal to the direction of the SOUTH of Mamre as the Qiblah according to Rav Saadia Gaon, that is in Mecca, not to Jerusalem. Ka’bah is a Qiblah in Mecca, south of Mamre. Obviously, based on the Sefer Bereshit (Genesisi) 12:9 Abraham lived in Mamre, he then journeyed, going and journeying towards the Qiblah, the South. What does it mean? Abraham already knew הנגבה (han-Neqba), was literally refer to the South, as the direction of the Qiblah, the South of Mamre. Jerusalem lies North of Mamre; and Mecca lies South of Mamre. Thus Abraham traveled South, not North.

Interestingly, based on the verse of the Sefer Bereshit 12:9, Rabbi Bachya ben Asher in his Midrash ‘al Chamisha Chumshe Torah: Bereshit, he said:

וכל המסעות האלו כדי להשיג השגת נבואתו של אל שדי הוא כנוי של אל”ף דל”ד שכולל אותו הנגבה. ועל כן יזכירנו תמיד בדבריו

Ve chol ham-massa’ot ha-ellu kedei le-hassiq has-sagat nevuato shel El-Shaddai, Hu kinnui shel alef-daled (65) shekolel oto han-Neqba. Ve ‘al ken yazkirenu tamid Midbaraiv.

“All of these journeys had as their purpose that he should qualify for the gift of prophecy on the level of communication with the attribute of God known as שדי (Shadai). This is an attribute of the אדני (ADONAI) level of God. It is alluded to in the word הנגבה, meaning “Southward”, whose numerical value 65 equal to the name אדני (ADONAI), see Rabbeinu Bachya ben Asher (Yerushlayim: Mossad Harav Kook, 1977), 53.

However, this is the Torah’s hidden message in the light of gematria (number patterns) according to Rabbi Bachya ben Asher on the meaning of the South – the holy place of ADONAI, or the Qiblah in the Saadia’s commentary. Amazingly, Rabbenu Bachya ben Asher and Rav Saadia Gaon exactly explained that the South has a link with the Qiblah and ADONAI (Hashem).

Ibn Ezra in his Perushi ‘al ha-Torah le Rabbenu Avraham ben Ezra on the Sefer Bereshit (Genesis) 12:9 he also describes:

הנקבה: פאת דרום. ונקרא כן בלשון ארמית נגיבו מיא כי צד דרום חן. ומרוב החום ייבש. וכן טעם כי ארץ הנגב נתתני

han-Neqba. Peat darom ve niqrea ken be leson Aramit Negivu-mayya ki tzat darom chen, u merov hachom yibash, ve ken tha’am ki eretz han-Negev netattani (יהושע טו, יט)

Toward the South. Negev means South and it means the same in Aramaic. Negev in Aramaic means dry as we see from Onqelos who renders the waters were dried up (Genesis 8:13) as Negivu-mayya. The South is called Negev (dry) because it is hot there, and the heat parches the land. This is the way for that thou hast set me in the Southlands, eretz ha-negev give me therefore springs of water (Joshua 15:19), see Ibn Ezra (Yerushlayim: Mossad Harav Kook, 1977), p. 52.

Furthermore, in the Chamisha Chumshe Torah: Bereshit. The Pentateuch: Translated & Explained. Genesis, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch said: “the South of Palestine was by no means the most flourishing part, the whole district from Jerusalem southwards is called in the book of Zacharia ערבה (‘Araba), meaning “Wilderness” (London: L. Honig & Sonss Ltd., 1963), p. 235. Hirsch’s commentary also agree that the South is another name of ARABIA, the territory of the Wilderness, במדבר (Bemidbar). And Ibn Ezra confirms it, that eretz ha-negev means “a dry land.” So, it is a clear that Ishmaelites are B’nei Bamidbar (the sons of the Wilderness), who lived in a dry land in Arabia.

Meanwhile, according to the Torah and Pirke de Rav Eliezer, Abraham took Isaac as the Qurban with the first born-son of Abraham himself, he was Ishmael. Rashi also confirms this. Ibn Ezra also states that Isaac was 13 years old, the age of Bar Mitzvah when he was sacrificed by Abraham. “It thus appears logical to assume that Isaac was close to 13 years old.” Based on this verse, Abraham took Isaac as the Qurban with Ishmael in the land of Moriah. And Rashi explained that the land of Moriah is to refer to Jerusalem. He said: “This is Jerusalem”, and so we find 2 Chron. 3:1 “to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem Mount Moriah. Our rabbis have explained that it is called Moriah – Instruction – because from it ( i.e. from the Temple built on that mountain) instruction (huraah) הוראה came forth to Israel (Bereshit Rabba 55). The Torah depicts how Abraham really did the trial command to sacrifice his son, the binding of Isaac before the sacred place was then built by King Salomon as the Temple of Jerusalem. The Temple was not built by Abraham himself.

However, both Quran and the Torah agree in the grand narrative of the great trial of Abraham, the Qurban. After the Qurban, God prepared to establish His holy Temple. Thus, the grand narrative of both holy Temples through the Qurban are similar, but not exactly the same.

********

Summary

1. Rav Saadia Gaon confirms the real name of מכה (Makkah) in his Targum, Sefer Bereshit 10:30.

2. Rav Saadia Gaon confirms Al-Qiblah אלקבלה (the South) in his Targum, Sefer Bereshit 12:9.

3. The Torah confirms Abraham and Ishmael lived in Mamre, Sefer Bereshit 18:1 and Mamre, the South of Jerusalem.

4. Rashi confirms that Ishmael slaughtered the animal, see Perush Rashi ‘al ha-Torah, Sefer Bereshit 18:7

5. Ibn Ezra confirms באר לחי (be’er Lahai) as באר זמזם (be’er Zamzam), see Perush Ibn Ezra, Sefer Bereshit 16:14

6. Rav Saadia Gaon in his Targum also confirms the name of Hajr Al-Hijaz, Sefer Bereshit 14:7.

7. Rabbi Bachya ben Asher also confirms the name of Zamzam in his Perush Bachya al ha-Torah as well as Ibn Ezra. (Sefer Bereshit 16:14). Rav Saadia Gaon confirms this holy place in חגר אלחגאז (Hajr Al-Hijaz), אלקבלה (Al-Qiblah) and מכה (Makkah).

8. Radak also confirms the name of Mecca as well as Rav Saadia Gaon’s, see Sefer Bereshit 10:30.

Rav Saadia Gaon dan Ibn Ezra confirmed the existence of the Qiblah, the South of Mamre, so that why Rav Saadia Gaon and Ibn Ezra mentioned the name of Hajr Al-Hijaz, the name of Zamzam, the name of Mecca, all are refer to the South, the Qiblah as Rav Saadia Gaon said. These prove that the Qiblah according to Rav Saadia Gaon is to refer to the South of Mamre, that is Mecca, not Jerusalem. It proves clearly accoding to Rav Saadia Gaon.

Critical Notes

According to traditional Jewish understanding such as Ibn Ezra and Radak, the book of Zechariah 13:7 refers directly to the suffering Messiah. The only possible interpretation for this scripture relates to the suffering Messiah, as Ibn Ezra suggested, who will die, as the scripture clearly states by crucifixion, see Itzhak Sapira, The Return of the Kosher Pig: the Divine Messiah in Jewish Thought (Maryland: Lederer Books – Messianic Jewish Publishers, 2013), 128. Do you think that Ibn Ezra and Radak have been influenced by theological power of Christian term when he explained that the verse referred to the suffering Messiah? Do you also think that the use of באר זמזם (be’er Zamzam) is the influence of Islamic term when Ibn Ezra explained the verse in the Sefer Bereshit 16:14? Maybe you will say “case by case.”

Rabbi Saadia Gaon also connecting Daniel 7:13 to Zechariah 9:9 declares: “As a sign of humality, the Messiah will come riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). He will however be accompanied by the clouds of heaven (Daniel 7:13), i.e. the angels of heavens, see Itzhak Sapira, The Return of the Kosher Pig: the Divine Messiah in Jewish Thought (Maryland: Lederer Books – Messianic Jewish Publishers, 2013), p. 200. Do you also think that Rav Saadia Gaon was influenced by Christian theology on the coming of Christian Messiah based on the New Testament? Maybe you will say “case by case too.” The Islamic terms in Ibn Ezra’s works are the influence of Islam, but the Christian terms and its theology in Ibn Ezra’s works are not the influence of Christianity. Indeed, you really did a selected judgement to make a critical episteme to the rabbinic texts.

Targum Onkelos and Pirke de Rav Eliezer

Onkelos who is called Akilas in the Talmud, he converted to Judaism right before the Bar-Kochva revolt, and was a disciple of Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef (17 – 137 CE.), a Tannaitic generation of the latter part of 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century. In his work, “Treasures of the Talmud” (Jerusalem: Keren Ahvah Meshihit, 2007) Paul Isaac Hershon says: “the Targum of Pentateuch (Targum Onkelos) was executed by Onkelos the proselyte at the dictation of Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua … Onkelos the proselyte is said to have been a relative of Titus, and that before he abjured paganism and became a proselyte … He therefore embraced Judaism.” (see the Talmud Bavli, Gittin 56b.)

Meanwhile, Rabbi Eliezer ha-Gadol/ the Great, son of Hyrcanus (45 – 117 CE) who wrote Pirke de Rav Eliezer was one of the most prominent Tannaim of the 1st and 2nd centuries. However, Onkelos transmitted the rabbinic knowledge of Rabbi Eliezer ha-Gadol and both represented a link in the heritage of the Torah she be’al phe (the Oral Torah). In fact, the Targum Onkelos was written in Judeo-Aramaic during the end of the 2nd century ( 2 CE.) after the writing process of the Pirke de Rav Eliezer.

Amazingly, according to Pirke de Rav Eliezer, Abraham made a burnt-offering, THE QURBAN, and he took with him Ishmael (the first-born son of Abraham) and Eliezer (son in-law of Abraham); and in fact Ishmael also knew that vision. Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus said:

השכים אברהם בבקר ולקח את ישמעאל ואת אליעזר ….. ואני הוא בכורו ואני יורש את אברהם …

” Hishkin Avraham be-boqer ve laqach et Yishmael ve et Eliezer …. Ve ani hu bechoro ve ani yoresh et Avraham… “

(Abraham rose up early in the morning and he took with him Ishmael and Eliezer …. I am his first-born son, I will inherit the possessions of Abraham … )

Rashi (1040 – 1105 CE.) also said that Abraham took Ishmael and Eliezer to make the Qurban. Rashi explained that the Hebrew words of Sefer Bereshit 22:3 את שני נעריו (et shenei na’araiv) SES DEUX JEUNES GENS Ismael et Eliezer (his two young men Ishmael and Eliezer), see Chamisha Chumshe Torah. Le Pentateuque avec commentaires de Rachi et notes explicatives en cinq volumes suivis des Haphtorath avec Targum Onqelos (Paris: 1979), p. 133

HAJI DAN SUMUR ZAMZAM

שלום עליכם

Quran menyebutkan ayat penting berkaitan dengan situs bukit Shafa dan situs bukit Marwah sebagai bagian dari situs suci pelaksanaan ibadah Haji, dan ini tentu saja terkait langsung dengan latar belakang adanya kemunculan sumur zamzam. Hal ini dapat dibaca pada nas Qs. Al-Baqarah 2:158

ان الصفا والمروة من شعاءرالله

(“Inna ash-Shafa wa al-Marwata min sha’airi-LLAH ..”)

הנה אצ-צפא ואל-מרוה מטקסי יהוה

(“Hinne atz-Tzafa ve al-Marvah mith-thiqsei ADONAI …”)

Dalam Quran memang disebutkan penyebutan situs bukit Shafa dan situs bukit Marwah, tetapi Quran tidak menyebutkan adanya penyebutan situs sumur zamzam. Sebaliknya, kitab Torah memang hanya menyebutkan narasi peristiwa Hagar, bunda Ishmael yang hal ini terkait kemunculan situs “sumur Lahai” (sumur zamzam), tetapi dalam Torah tidak disebutkan penjelasan mengenai adanya situs bukit Shafa dan situs bukit Marwah yang menjadi sebab akibat kemunculan sumur Lahai (sumur zamzam). Namun, kedua teks suci ini tidak saling bertentangan, justru saling melengkapi dan saling menguatkan tentang adanya latar belakang kemunculan sumur zamzam. Itulah sebabnya, Rav Nosson Scherman dalam Le’ houmach: Chamisha Chumshe Torah. Le’ edition Edmond J. Safra, terkait nas Sefer Bereshit 16:14 beliau menyatakan bahwa sumur tersebut akhirnya menjadi tempat doa di masa depan, lihat Sefer Bereshit 24:62. Rav Nosson Scherman ketika mengomentari ayat ini beliau berkata: Par la suite, ce puits est devenu un lieu de priere, voir plus loin, Sefer Bereshit 24:62 (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd., 2015), hlm. 75

Rabbi Bachya ben Asher ketika menjelaskan istilah באר לחי (Be’er Lahai) pada Sefer Bereshit 16:14 beliau berkata:

כי בכל שנה היו הישמעאלים חוגגים אל הבאר הזה גם היום יקרא באר זמזם

(ki be khol shanah hayu hay-Yisma’elim choggim el ha-be’er hazzeh gam hay-yom yiqqare be’er zamzam). Artinya: “karena setiap tahun ada orang-orang keturunan Ismael yang melaksanakan ibadah haji menuju sumur ini, dan juga sekarang ini disebut sumur zamzam.”

Ibn Ezra ketika menjelaskan nas Sefer Bereshit 16:14 terkait istilah באר זמזם (Be’er zamzam) juga telah menyatakan dengan tegas:

כי בכל שנה היו חוגגים הישמעאלים אל הבאר הזות גם היום יקרא באר זמזם

(ki be khol shanah hayu choggim hay-Yishmaelim el ha-Be’er hazzot gam hay-yom yiqqare Be’er zamzam). Artinya: “karena setiap tahun ada orang-orang keturunan Ishmael yang berhaji menuju sumur itu dan juga sekarang ini sumur tersebut disebut sumur zumzam.”

Dalam dokumen-dokumen Rabbinik, kesinambungan tradisi intelektual Rabbi Bachya ben Asher hingga Rabbi Ibn Ezra dapat ditelusuri secara akademik. Rabbi Bachya ben Asher (1255 – 1340 M.) murid utama Rabbi Shlomo ben Avraham Aderet/Rashba (1235 – 1310 M), dan Rashba adalah murid utama Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman/Ramban (1194 – 1270 M.), sedangkan Ramban sendiri sangat akrab dengan karya intelektual Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra (1089 – 1164 M.). Karya Ibn Ezra אבן עזרא על התורה (Ibn Ezra ‘al ha-Torah) ini merupakan karya yang disusun berdasar Torah she be’al phe (Torah Lisan).

Itulah sebabnya dalam buku עיונים בלשונות הראב”ע karya Abe Lipshitz (Chicago: the College of Jewish Studies Press, 1969) disebutkan adanya banyak kutipan dari karya Ibn Ezra yang termaktub dalam tulisan-tulisan rabbi-rabbi otoritatif era Rishonim, dan kebenaran teksnya dikonfirmasi oleh mereka sendiri, di antaranya Rabbi David Kimchi/Radak (1160 – 1235 M.), Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman/ Nachmanides (1194 – 1270 M.), Rabbi Bachya ben Asher (1255 -1340 M.) dan para Tosafis yang pernyataan mereka juga termaktub dalam teks Gemara, Talmud Bavli.

Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon/ Maimonides (1135 – 1204 M.) berkata:

“study them (Ibn Ezra’s words) with intelligence, understanding and deep insight.”

H. Norman Strickman, Ibn Ezra’s Commentary on the Pentateuch. Genesis. Bereshit (New York: Menorah Publishing Company, 1988), p. xxii

Baka Makkah.jpg

The daughter of Pharaoh

hagar

Photo credit:   Stephanie Thornton’s Daughter of the Gods

Probably not many of us knew that the rabbis such as Rashi presents Hagar, the wife of Patriarch Abraham as : Bath Par’o hayetah בַּת פַּרְעֹה הָיְתָה, or she was the daughter of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. She was an undoubtedly an Egyptian princess.

Hagar הָגָר, an Egyptian Princess

Interestingly the name Hagar is mentioned in Torah 12 times (i), as the name of Prophet Ishmael (ص) (Ar. إسماعيل‎ ʾIsmāʿīl) is also mentioned in the holy Qur’an 12 times (ii). It is obvious that God preserves the name Hagar in the Torah as He also preserves the name Ishmael in the holy Qur’an.

In Gen. 16:1: where Rashi wrote that she was the daughter of Pharaoh (Genesis Rabbah 45:1).  The midrashim present Hagar as someone who was worthy to live with Abraham because she was herself a princess, and was a fitting match for the Patriarch of all Prophets/Kings , the mother of prophet Ishmael, from whom 12 twelve kings were born, one of whom  Kedar קֵדָר  Prophet Muhammad (ص) is the direct descendant of. It is no coincidence that God also preserves the name Kedar in the TaNaKH 12 times (iii).

It is unfortunate that many christians have developed a racist view and hatred towards the Hagar and her descendant: the Arabs seeing them and muslims as the Hagarenes  a derogatory term and negative connotation. From the spread of Islam, through the middle ages until modern day phenomenon known as Islamophobia.

This attitude are based on their understanding of some passages in the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh)  for example the term “wild ass of a man” (Heb: פֶּ֣רֶא אָדָ֔ם pere’āḏāmin Genesis 16:12 which we have dealt briefly in this site:  part I of series about prophet Ishmael (p) in the Tanakh  and concluded that the translation should be a “fruitful man” which makes much more sense of  another way of stating what appears unambiguously in Genesis 17:20, Ishmael (p)  will be blessed by God him and  be made fruitful (to humankind).

Hagar through whom Abrahamic Everlasting Covenant was passed.

God has established a unique relationship with Prophet Abraham and his offsprings and subsequently His relationship with all the nations of the world.

The Abrahamic Covenant in the Tanakh is in Genesis 12:1-3:

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ׃

Now the LORD said unto Abram: ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee.

וְאֶֽעֶשְׂךָ֙ לְג֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל וַאֲבָ֣רֶכְךָ֔ וַאֲגַדְּלָ֖ה שְׁמֶ֑ךָ וֶהְיֵ֖ה בְּרָכָֽה׃

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.

’וַאֲבָֽרֲכָה֙ מְבָ֣רְכֶ֔יךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ֖ אָאֹ֑ר וְנִבְרְכ֣וּ בְךָ֔ כֹּ֖ל מִשְׁפְּחֹ֥ת הָאֲדָמָֽה׃

And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

It was through the Circumcision (Heb: בְּרִית מִילָה‎ brit milah) this covenant was sealed  (Gen. 17:9-14).

זֹ֣את בְּרִיתִ֞י אֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּשְׁמְר֗וּ בֵּינִי֙ וּבֵ֣ינֵיכֶ֔ם וּבֵ֥יןזַרְעֲךָ֖ אַחֲרֶ֑יךָ הִמּ֥וֹל לָכֶ֖ם כָּל־זָכָֽר

This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed זֶרַע (Heb:zera’)after thee: every male among you shall be circumcised. (Gen 17:10)

On the very same day, Abraham,  and his son from Hagar: Ishmael, were the first two men to be circumcised sealing this God covenant. (Ref: Genesis 17:24-27)

It is also very important to note that out of all Abraham sons only through Hagar and Sarah (ie. Ishmael and Isaac) they were called “Seeds of Abraham”  (Heb: זַרְעֲךָ֖ zera’kha-hu), No other Abraham sons were called by this very special title in the TaNaKH.

Footnotes:

i. Hagar in the Torah ii. Ishmael in the holy Qur’an iii. Kedar in the TaNaKH
1 Genesis 16:1 Al Baqarah 125 Genesis 25:13
2 Genesis 16:3 Al Baqarah 127 1 Chronicles 1:29
3 Genesis 16:4 Al Baqarah 133 Psalm 120:5
4 Genesis 16:8 Al Baqarah 136 Songs 1:5
5 Genesis 16:15 Al Baqarah 140 Isaiah 21:16
6 Genesis 16:15  (rep) Ali ’Imran 84 Isaiah 21:17
7 Genesis 16:16 An Nisa 163 Isaiah 42:11
8 Genesis 21:9 Al An’am 86 Isaiah 60:7
9 Genesis 21:14 Abraham 39 Jeremiah 2:10
10 Genesis 21:17 Mary 54 Jeremiah 49:28
11 Genesis 21:17 Al Anbiya 85 Jeremiah 49:28
12 Genesis 25:12 Sad 48 Ezekiel 27:21