Chavarah- Jewish Community Learning

A blog of Jewish study and traditions. Notes from classes: Torah Study with Rabbi Marder, Toledot and Shabbaton as well as other details found of interest.

IF you want to be part of our Chavarah email group let me know at

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Consequences of Mortality

Torah Study 12/20 Genesis 6:1-3

People … Daughters … back to 120 years

“Most enigmatic verses”

In the beginning people tried to “be divine” and they lived such long lives it is easy to imagine that they didn’t even consider their immortality.

It is all about seeing the boundary between human and Devine.

This does seem to be a fragment with reference to a possible larger documentation about this.

Three Readings of this:

1. Benei Elohim” seen as the daughters and sons of God
Link to interesting article on this topic
Seraphim,Cherubim & Ezekiel's Wheels Aliens,Nephilim & the Days of Noah

“Divine beings” mythological concept that is referenced in many other places in the Bible such as:
• Isiah 14 –“fallen from heaven”, “son of dawn” (reference to Lucifer and Paradise Lost by Milton)
• Psalm 29 – “Ascribe to the Lord … divine beings…” (sometimes Kings sometimes not)
• Psalm 89:7 – “A God … in the council of the holy ones…” image of a King surrounded by a court.
• 1st Kings 22:19 “Micaiah said, "Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left.”

However throughout the Bible it emphasizes that there is only ONE God and yet we have this image of God surrounded by other divine beings that can be confusing….

2. Sons of Rulers and Magistrates (Rashi)
The term “Elohim” doesn’t always refer to Diety. Sometimes, as in Exodus, it can refer to judges or magistrates.
There is a yearning for humans to unite with the divine or with a higher class which can be related to the desire to move toward the divine.
What is wrong with what is happening? An improper co-mingling of humans?
(God viewed people as abusing their power and thus lowered the life span)

3. (Leon Kass) The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis (BOOK)

Points out that Adam was alive the whole time that these generations were growing. Noah was the first birth after Adam dies – the first natural death.
This shattered expectations and changes attitudes of man.
There are different reactions.
They go “wild”
They are offended and angry
They achieve ‘glory through warring’
Ref: Homer Epoch – a quest for immortality.

1. They go out to ‘meet death’ as a challenge
2. Death is the ‘mother of beauty’ and they create beautiful objects to transcend their mortality.
3. Heroic ambition to seek beautiful – as in women – (Helen of Troy)

Looking for what leads up to the flood:

Male attitudes toward the ‘daughters’

The line of Seth and the line of Cain get mixed and leads to corruption.

What role does ‘beauty’ play in this? Appearances are deceiving.
Beauty does not satisfy the desires and it doesn’t ward off death.
Sometimes what looks good turns out to be bad.
Human love of beauty often has unfortunate consequences.

Paul Simon poem: Leaves Green turn Brown…

Book of Job gives a wider perspective of this.

Why is the life span shortened to 120 years?

One thought is that it was to ‘curb power’ – the longer one lives the ‘more trouble they can cause’ and arrogance will be tempered with a shorter life.

This is a sign of our “learning” God testing to see if a shorter life span will curb corruption.

“Memento mori is a Latin phrase that may be translated as "Remember that you are mortal," "Remember you will die," "Remember that you must die," or "Remember your death". It names a genre of artistic creations that vary widely from one another, but which all share the same purpose, which is to remind people of their own mortality.”
In ancient Rome, the phrase is said to have been used on the occasions when a Roman general was parading through the streets of Rome during the victory celebration known as a triumph. Standing behind the victorious general was a slave, and he had the task of reminding the general that, though he was up on the peak today, tomorrow was another day. The servant did this by telling the general that he should remember that he was mortal: "Memento mori." It is also possible that the servant said, rather, "Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento!": "Look behind you! Remember that you are but a man!", as noted in Tertullian in his Apologeticus.[1]

These influences are reflected in art as well – symbols of death in many paintings to remind man to lead a virtuous life.

This is also evident in our Yom Kippur liturgy – to focus on our end of days to help us remember to live a better life.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Live Long and...

Torah Study 12/13 Rabbi Marder

The list of genealogy for 10 generations from Adam to Noah is written in a very significant and purposeful way.

There are many theories about the years being so long.

People tend to gloss over this list and not give it much merit other than a basic listing of names and a sense of time. However it is interesting to note that Adam was still alive through most of the 10 generations.

Richard Friedman ( of Who Wrote the Bible fame)
Book of Genologies

Reminds us that it is important to look at the Bible as a total book with a continuity and therefore this listing is important to document the total story.

The long lives are not typically as long as in other ancient cultures.

Maimonades: Only the individuals listed lived that long, everyone else lived more normal life spans.

Nachmonades: A Kabalistic view – Adam was born at a time of perfection. As time goes forward that perfection diminishes thus causing shorter lives.

Kempe: French scholar: Their lives needed to be longer because the cultural development took a long time.

Nets…. – 19th Century : looked at the juxtaposition of the numbers of life before and after children to indicate the the productive life vs the life in decline.

Enoch – 7th Generation was different. (v 21 – 24)
Enoch walked with God and it says it two times which is significant.
Enoch didn’t die, he was taken by God (parallel to Elijah)
Enoch’s lifespan was relatively short.

Different interpretations of “walked with God” and the short life of Enoch

Hassidic took a critical view that he only thought of God and not of others.
Hoshor(?) – said he died young because he was wicked.
Rashi – he died before his time. Not because of what he did. Good people die young and it isn’t connected to what he did.
It is also seen as a fragment of a longer story…

Talmud says to “cleave to God” one must:
Follow the ways of God:
1. clothe the naked
2. visit the sick
3. comfort the mourners
4. bury the dead

There are many legends about Enoch making him a mythological character.

Book: Tree of Souls
By Howard Schwartz, Caren Loebel-Fried, Elliot K. Ginsburg

He invented the solar calendar. Connected to mathematics and more…

But the key issue is that it doesn’t say that he ‘died’ it says that ‘God took him’ and thus it is said that he went directly ‘to paradise’ similar to Elijah.

There are 9 people who are attributed to have entered paradise alive…

Enoch, Eliezer, Abraham's servant, Serah, the daughter of Asher (Soṭah 13a), Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh (I Chron. iv. 18), Hiram, King of Tyre, Elijah, Messiah, Ebed-melech the Ethiopian (Jer. xxxviii. 12), and Jabez b. Judah ha-Nasi (probably an error; should be Jabez the Judahite, mentioned ib. iv. 10). Others substitute Joshua b. Levi for Hiram, King of Tyre (Derek Ereẓ Zuṭa i., end; Yalḳ., Gen. 42). Joshua thus became the hero of nearly all the paradise legends. He often met Elijah before the gates of paradise (Sanh. 98a; see "'En Ya'aḳob" ad loc.); and he obtained permission from the angel of death to visit paradise before his death and to inspect his assigned place. He reported the result of his investigation to Rabban Gamaliel ("Seder ha-Dorot," ed. Warsaw, 1893, ii. 191). Probably the original accounts are in the Zohar, which contains all the elements in fragmentary documents (Zohar, Bereshit, 38a-39b, 41a, and Leka 81a, b). One of these accounts is credited to Enoch. Midrash Konen is probably the first compilation and elaboration of these fragments; it reads as follows:

"The Gan 'Eden at the east measures 800,000 years (at ten miles per day or 3,650 miles per year). There are five chambers for various classes of the righteous. The first is built of cedar, with a ceiling of transparent crystal. This is the habitation of non-Jews who become true and devoted converts to Judaism. They are headed by Obadiah the prophet and Onḳelos the proselyte, who teach them the Law. The second is built of cedar, with a ceiling of fine silver. This is the habitation of the penitents, headed by Manasseh, King of Israel, who teaches them the Law.

In another reference I found these names: Enoch, Elijah, Jonah, Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher [that is, Elisha], and Akiba

It is noted that Methuslah was one of the longest lives and he is the son of Enoch, the shortest.

Then in Torah Study Tradition – reference to the Gershwin song:

It ain't necessarily so
It ain't necessarily so
The t'ings dat yo' li'ble
To read in de Bible,
It ain't necessarily so.

Li'l David was small, but oh my !
Li'l David was small, but oh my !
He fought Big Goliath
Who lay down an' dieth !
Li'l David was small, but oh my !

Wadoo, zim bam boddle-oo,
Hoodle ah da wa da,
Scatty wah !
Oh yeah !...

Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale,
Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale,
Fo' he made his home in
Dat fish's abdomen.
Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale.

Li'l Moses was found in a stream.
Li'l Moses was found in a stream.
He floated on water
Till Ol' Pharaoh's daughter,
She fished him, she said, from dat stream.

Wadoo ...

Well, it ain't necessarily so
Well, it ain't necessarily so
Dey tells all you chillun
De debble's a villun,
But it ain't necessarily so !

To get into Hebben
Don' snap for a sebben !
Live clean ! Don' have no fault !
Oh, I takes dat gospel
Whenever it's pos'ble,
But wid a grain of salt.

Methus'lah lived nine hundred years,
Methus'lah lived nine hundred years,
But who calls dat livin'
When no gal will give in
To no man what's nine hundred years ?

I'm preachin' dis sermon to show,
It ain't nece-ain't nece
Ain't nece-ain't nece
Ain't necessarily ... so !

On to Verse 28 that is much different in describing Lamech and his son Noah.

There are stylistic differences and linguistic structure differences we explored.
Bet / Nun / Tav becomes Bet / Nun / Vav / Tav
Son is constructive continuation of the parent’s work.
Reflection of the legacy from parent to son.

Verse 29 Noah – problematic in Hebrew.
‘this one will comfort us from the toil of his hands’
But the name means ‘REST’ rather than comfort in Hebrew.

Rashi interprets it as ‘rest FROM the toil of his hands’

The curse of Cain is lifted and implements of agriculture are invented.

Noah does not have children for 500 years. Much longer than others.
Theory that it is because of the impending flood and God didn’t want to destroy the direct children and the line of Noah’s children.

There is a special cantillation mark on ‘zeh’ that refers to Noah and God and adds emphasis.

Genesis 6:1 – Mysterious verses

Tells of humans multiplying, strife increases, trouble coming.

Bnei Elohim:
1. Sons of God – devine mythology – mingling of mortals and immortals – reflected in the beginning of the Book of Job.
2. Elohim not always mean God – it can mean ‘judges’.
3. Sons of the rulers – aristrocrats – married daughters of the lower class.

More to follow…

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Generations, Marriage and Children

Torah Study 12/6/2008 Genesis 5 Rabbi Marder led

10 generations and very long life is detailed in a schematic style in Genesis Chapter 5. It is a distinct literary pattern.

Richard Friedman Commentary:

A perspective from 13th Century Spain: (____)
God is longsuffering – after 10 long generations came the flood. This is parallel to the exile and how difficult life is in Diaspora.

This perspective looks at the flood and finds comfort rather than destruction.

The genealogy from Seth To Noah
- the blessing of the gift of procreation
- commentaries of Eliazar : not having children is like shedding blood – man is in the image of God and not having children is like not propagating that image.

- Reform Jews changed this attitude and made procreation a more personal decision.
- Orthodox Jews consider it a mitzvah / obligation.
In fact it is the first mitzvah in Torah.

There was a lot of discussion about the different views on having children to continue the Jewish faith and community.

The Torah commands this of men and not of women. (women are in control of birth control)

The Torah commands us to do things that we would not do under ordinary circumstances.

The word “Zelem” in Hebrew for “formed” as in God’s image. The term is more relating to intellectual rather than physical image. However there are differing opinions on whether “image” is applied in physical form or not.

Interesting historical look at this concept:

Then the discussion turned to marriage and the fact that the purpose of marriage is not to have children. Eve was created as a “helper” and companion. In the 7 blessings in a wedding ceremony the emphasis is on ‘joy, gladness… good things’ but no mention of children.

The look at a complete Jewish family has changed over the years and even among the early rabbi’s:
We are told that an important dispute took place between the two leading and contesting schools of thought, the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai, over the question of how many children a man must have in order to fulfill the commandment to be fruitful. Shammai opts for two sons as fulfilling the obligation while Hillel talks of the need for one son and one daughter. There are those who will point to the fact that the “winning” opinion here is that of Hillel (as nearly always in such disputes!), in order to counter the charge of bias in favour of males. But in fact, the truth is very different. A society in which one of the two leading schools of opinion could side with such a strong preference for boys as the key to fulfilling the Halachic (legal) obligation, is a society where the issue is very much alive and kicking!

Book Reference:
The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage by Maurice Lamm
Reference to the Holocaust and our obligation to have children for survival and to replace those lost. Continuity of the community depends on having more children.

Responsa question :

QUESTION: Is it possible to have a valid Jewish marriage without children? Should a rabbi perform such a marriage when a couple specifically states that they plan to have no children? (Michael A. Robinson, Croton-on-Hudson, New York)

Official answer:

“In Jewish law, the marriage is valid, yet given the Reform emphasis on the underlying spirit of the law as a guide to modern practice, marriage without children is very distant from the Jewish ideal of marriage. The letter may permit it, but we must encourage every couple to have at least two children.”

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ten Generations

11/29 notes from Howard Selznick - THANKS
Genesis 5
• This entire chapter seems to be a repetitious genealogy of the ten generations from Adam to Noach.

• It follows a pattern of ancient Near East texts, specifically a list of ten Sumerian kings, the last of whom was a hero of a flood story. A similar literary structure appears in Ruth 4:18-22 and I Chronicles 2:5, 9-15 where the line of David is traced back to Ruth. It will appear again beginning in Genesis 11:10, ten generations from Noach to Abram.

• Each of these ten-generation listings has a theme of destruction and rebirth where the turning point is in the tenth generation. The pattern is used for demonstrating theological meaning in history, i.e., how God shapes history.

• In contrast:

• According to Thomas Carlyle (Scottish essayist, 1795-1881), “history is a great dust heap” with no value whatsoever.
• Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (German philosopher, 1770-1831) believed that “we learn from history that we never learn anything from history.”

• Lord Chesterfield declared that history was “a useless heap of facts.”

• Arnold J. Toynbee (British historian, 1889-1975) stated that that history was “one damn thing after another.” However, Toynbee tried to find meaning in history, i.e., why some civilizations thrived and others didn’t. Toynbee wrote a twelve-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations, A Study of History, 1934-1961, a synthesis of world history based on universal rhythms of rise, flowering and decline that examined history from a global perspective.

• There are numerous books documenting the rise and fall of empires and societies. What can we learn from this?

• Jews were the first people to bring meaning to history, perceiving God to have a place in history as well as the natural order.

• In “Yosef Hayyim Yerushalmi’s little book called Zachor, Jewish History and Jewish Memory, you will understand that the distinction between memory and history is crucial to Judaism. Three-quarters of the Hebrew bible is historical. Jews were, in Baruch Halpern’s phrase, “the first historians”. They were as J.H. Plum says in The Death of the Past the first people to see meaning in history, history as a narrative. Yet it’s very inter-esting to ask what the biblical word for history is and there isn’t one. When Hebrew was revived for the modern state of Israel and they wanted a word for history, they came up with ‘historic, they chose the Greek word. Instead the bible uses a quite different word [that] appears 169 times, zachor [זצור], remember. There is a difference between history and memory; to be very crude, history is his story – it happened some time else to someone else. Memory is my story.”

• The books of Kings are an essay in which history is used to make theological points. In this case, the points were that the Kings didn’t rule wisely in accordance with God’s plans, the result of which was the decline of Israel and Judah. However, the history was not complete. The authors use selected events to illustrate their position. For example, the narratives in 2 Kings 21 and 2 Chronicles 33 are concerned only with the rise of idolatry, not other aspects of King Amon’s life. In other words, the bible is an ideologically infused narrative.

• There is value in learning history. The entire book of Deuteronomy is essentially a look-ing back to Exodus and Numbers. We attach meaning to the past to provide guidance for the future.

• Throughout Chapter 5, there is no mention of women.

• The purpose of this chapter is to trace the patrilineal generations; it was not until the Mishnaic era that matrilineal descent became official in Judaism. Also, Cain’s line is not relevant here.

However, in 5:2 there is clear mention of creating both male and female (ונקבה זכר) equally in God’s image, indicating that women play a “crucial but secondary role” in childbearing of the subsequent generation. If women are so “crucial”, why is their role considered “secondary”?

• Many names are repeated from the line of Cain in Chapter 4, such as Chanoch (Enoch), Lamech, Kenan (Cain), Jared (Irad). The may be the result (1) reworking of one list from the other or (2) both lists derived from a common source.

• The meaning of history is linked to whoever [whomever?] tells the story. Consider the events in Israel-Palestine in 1948; was this a “war of independence” (Israeli view) or a “disaster" (Arab view)? Similarly, was the capture and reunification of Jerusalem 1967 a case of God acting in history? Do Jews chant Hallel (songs of praise) for such situations?

• Why are the life spans in Chapter 5 so long?

• Those life spans are considerably shorter than those of the Sumerian kings on which they were (presumably) based: 241,200 vs 1,656.

• According to Rambam these were extraordinary people liv-ing extraordinary lives; other people lived normal life spans
("Maimonides"; Egypt; 1135-1204) "Only the people mentioned by name in the Torah lived such long lives. Other people lived normal, natural lives. Those who lived exceptionally long lives did so either through exceptional attention to their diets and their health or through miracles. It cannot be any other way." (Moreh Nevochim II 47)
“The idea that men in primeval times lived extraordinarily long lives is common to the traditions of most ancient peoples.”

• According to Radak such long lives were essential to sustain the culture.

R' David Kimchi z"l ("Radak"; Provence; 1160-1215) explains: It may be that all people lived that long, or it may be that only the named people did, while their contemporaries chased worldly pleasures which shorten a person's life. It also may be that G-d wanted these people to live exceptionally long lives so that they would have time to discover the various branches of human knowledge and record them for posterity. After all, there is no way that a person can learn enough in a normal life time if he does not have exist-ing works on which to build. (Radak: Commentary on the Torah)

• According to Ramban, the atmosphere was different then; since then, it has deteriorated
Ramban (Spain and Eretz Yisrael; 1194-1270) disagrees vehemently. He writes in part: Why should the people mentioned in our parashah have experienced such miracles? There is no evidence that most of them were prophets or even particularly righteous! And if you will attribute their longevity to their diets, how can even the best diet cause a person to live more than ten times the normal life span? Furthermore, if those generations knew the secret of such longevity, would they not have shared it with their contemporaries so that they too would have lived such long lives? And, how was the secret lost after the Flood, when life expectancy declined markedly?
Rather, Ramban explains, Adam lived as long as he did because he was made by the Hand of G-d. Even after he sinned and death was decreed on him, his nature (as the prod-uct of G-d's direct handiwork) allowed him and his earliest descendants to live superlatively long lives. All people before the Flood had similar life spans.

In other words, since Adam was created by G-d, he was physically perfect as were his descendants.

Following the Flood, however, the world experienced atmospheric changes [that] caused man's life expectancy to decline. Shem, the son of Noach, was the last to live nearly as long as the early generations (i.e., 600 years) because he was born before the Flood, al-though he lived most of his life after the Flood. After the generation of the Tower of Bavel, the atmosphere changed for the worse again [apparently as a punishment for their sins] and life expectancy became shorter still. In the time of the Patriarchs, Ramban writes, the ordinary life span was similar to our own. That is why Pharaoh was so amazed (47:8) when he met Yaakov, who was then 130 years old. (Ramban: Commentary on the Torah)

• According to Sarna , the meaning of the precise age figures is not known. They may be symbolic representations or “constituents of some comprehensive schematization.”

• The life of Enoch (Chanoch, חנוך, Genesis 5:21-24) appears to be anomaly. The previous generations sank into depravity, idolatry, and witchcraft.

• He lived for 365 years, the current (approximate) number of says in a solar year; perhaps this foreshadowed the current calendar.

• The text does not state that he died like the others. Instead, he “walked with God, then he was no more, for God took him.” [JPS translation]. Folklore is that he never died, like Elijah [2 Kings 2].

  • • This may refer to a sudden, unexplained disappearance or euphemism for premature death or apotheosis.
  • • Richard Elliot Friedman is blunt, honest, and succinct in writing, “I do not know what this means.” He points out that the word for “he was no more [JPS transla-tion]”, איננו [ay-nay-noo, whose base word is, אין, nothing, not there] also appears in Genesis 42:13 in the context of Joseph’s brothers expressing their lack of knowl-edge of his whereabouts, dead or alive. In this context, it may mean that Hanoch’s fate was unknown. At a minimum, use of איננו suggests that Hanoch’s life was unique and different in terms of his relationship to God and his “death” was not in the same manner as his ancestors.
  • • According to Rashi, [Enoch] was a righteous man, but he could easily be swayed to re-turn to do evil. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, hastened and took him away and caused him to die before his time. For this reason, Scripture changed [the wording] in [the account of] his demise and wrote, “and he was no longer” in the world to complete his years. — [from Gen. Rabbah 25:1].
  • for God had taken him Before his time, like (Ezek. 24:16):“behold I am taking from you the desire of your eyes.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 25:1]
  • • Hertz agrees in concept with Rashi. Because of his piety, Hanoch did not “die” in the same way as his ancestors.
• Chanoch was one of nine right-eous people who entered Gan Eden alive. He was a shoemaker by trade and isolated himself to focus on tefilla and self-improvement and influencing his contemporaries. When God saw that he would be unable to keep his piety in an environment of wickedness, He was taken to Gan Eden alive

The others were
• Eliezer, servant of Avraham
• Serach, daughter of Asher
• Basya, daughter of Pharaoh
• Eliyahu
• Miahiach
• Eved Melech Hakushi, who saved Jeremiah from the pit
• Chiram, king of Tzur, who assisted Solomon in building the Temple
• 5:2 recalls 1:27 – these are Godly blessings for the divine gift of procreation, the rejuvenation of the human race.
  • Without marriage and children, a man some-thing less than a man. Not utilizing your seed is compared to death by warfare. Hav-ing no children diminishes God’s presence.
  • However, what if a man chooses not to marry and procreate? There are some exceptions when a man loves the Torah.
  • Unlike some branches of Christianity, Juda-ism does not consider celibacy to be a higher plane of morality.
• Procreation is an expression of faith in the future of mankind. Children were conceived even in the Nazi camps. Perhaps, but procreation may also be an unintended side effect of the short-term pleasure of unprotected sex. In such cases, there is no expressed or even im-plied “faith” in the future.

  • According to Talmud Yevamot 63a , R’ Elazar said:
  • A man who does not have a wife and own land is not a whole man. In Genesis 5:2 it is said that God created both male and female (ונקבה זכר) and called them “man”. Thus, man and woman are collectively called “man”; they are enjoined to build a home to-gether. If a man lives alone by and for himself, he cannot be a “man.”
  • From Ps 115:16, as the heavens were God’s, He gave the earth to man. Thus, if a man does not own land, he is not a “man” in the fullest sense.
  • The remainder of this section is devoted to other statements of R’ Elazar on marriage, engaging in crafts, and working the land; and other teachers on agricultural and per-sonal economics.


    Much of Rabbi Marder’s lecture is summarized in Sarna, JPS Commentary, pages 40-41.
    Also attributed to Augustine Birrell, British essayist (1850-1933) in his Obiter Dicta. However, in the quote is attributed to Winston Churchill.
    Also attributed to Edna St. Vincent Millay.
    Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “Power and Responsibility: Science, Humanity and Religion in the 21st Century”. An edited transcript of a discussion after a lecture delivered at the Cockcroft Lecture Theatre, University of Cambridge. 25th November 2003. Subsequent to the lecture, a dinner/discussion with the speaker was held at St Edmunds College, Cambridge. .
    Etz Hayim, page 30
    Sarna, JPS Commentary, page 41
    (Guide for the Perplexed) Accessed 30 November 2008.
    Hertz, J. H., ed. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs. Second Edition. London: Soncino Press, 1965. Page 17 Accessed 30 November 2008 Sherman, Nosson. The Chumash. The Stone Edition. Mesorah Publications, Ltd., 2003. Page 25 Accessed 30 November 2008.
    JPS Commentary, page 41
    Weismann, Moshe. The Book of Beraishis. New York: Bnay Yakov Publications 1999. Pages 71 ff.
    Apotheosis: a transformation to a deity. Sarna, JPS Commentary, page 43
    Commentary on the Torah. HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. Pages 32, 140; see also Holladay, William L. A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. E. J. Brill [Leiden, Netherlands]. 1988, page 13
    Hertz, J. H., ed. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs. Second Edition. London: Soncino Press, 1965. Page 18
    Weismann, page 73, who continues to explain the reason why each was granted such a special privilege. Other commentaries have seven or thirteen.
    Soncino edition in Bet Am library.