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Shemot

  
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 3:2
 3:3
3:2 God's angel appeared to [Moses] in the heart of a fire, in the middle of a thorn-bush. As he looked, [Moses] realized that the bush was on fire, but was not being consumed.
Vayera mal'ach Adonay elav belabat-esh mitoch hasneh vayar vehineh hasneh boer ba'esh vehasneh eynenu ukal.
3:3 Moses said [to himself], 'I must go over there and investigate this wonderful phenomenon. Why doesn't the bush burn?'
Vayomer Moshe asurah-na ve'er'eh et-hamar'eh hagadol hazeh madua lo-yiv'ar hasneh.



Commentary:

heart
  (Tanchuma 14; Ibn Ezra; Moreh Nevukhim 1:39; Radak, Sherashim, s.v. Lavav). Or 'flame' (Targum; Rashi; Sekhel Tov), or 'essence' (Ibn Janach).

thorn-bush
  S'neh in Hebrew. This is most probably the black raspberry (rubus sanctus), which has berries that turn red and then black (Yerushalmi, Ma'asroth 1:2, 3a; cf. Septuagint; Vulgate). The Midrash also identifies it as a species of thorn-bush (Sh'moth Rabbah 1:9, 2:9). Others identify it as the sana plant (Casia obovata), the shurbu (Colutea istria) of the wild juju (Zizyphus spina).

It is most probable that the name Sinai is derived from this word S'neh (Ramban on Deuteronomy 6:1; Radak, Sherashim, s.v. S'neh). Some note that the rocks of Sinai have crystalline markings looking like a s'neh-bush (Rabbi Moshe of Narbonne on Moreh Nevukhim 1:66). Cf. 1 Samuel 14:4.





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