May 22, 2005

Do you believe in magic

Dov Bear does not.

But he's also wrong.

The Ramban is not one of them. He clearly beleived in supernatural powers, but he didn't beleive that Billam had them. Despite what the Talmud says, the Ramban (who undoubtably had passed his eyes over the Talmud at least once) rules that Billam was no prophet. He calls him a soothsayer, which is someone who performs magicians tricks, and pretends that he posseses real powers, when in fact he does not.

Actually since the Ramban used the term koseim (soothsayer) to describe Bilaam and elsewhere describes a kosem as someone as having powers that are non-Divine in origin. (As I noted in my earlier post on the subject.) Not someone who possesses no powers at all and merely pretends to as Dov Bear asserts.

Earlier Dov Bear has written:

Superiority? Let's not project our feelings of insecurity, ok?
Well acutally I didn't write the following words:
You see, the (other) dirty secret of Jewish education is that most of your top Middle School and High School instructors never tell you that Rashi's view on the subject is often rejected by other authorities. I would be glad to suggest that this is because they don't know that Rashi isn't the final word on biblical exegesis but that would be disrespectful, and I am all about the respect.
If that's not an expression of superiority I don't know what is.

Posted by SoccerDad at May 22, 2005 06:30 AM | TrackBack