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"וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם בַּבֹּקֶר אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־עָמַד שָׁם אֶת־פְּנֵי ה'" Genesis.19.27

The Talmud concludes (Berakhot.26: "וְאֵין ״עֲמִידָה״ אֶלָּא תְּפִלָּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (Psalms.106.30): ״וַיַּעֲמֹד פִּינְחָס וַיְפַלֵּל״."

I don't understand how the conclusion follows:

  1. The original verse in Psalms uses two verbs "עמד" and "פלל", so it clearly differentiates between Pinhas' resistance and whatever יפלל means. It could not mean "Pinchas prayed and prayed".
  2. According to the original Biblical narrative, Pinhas didn't pray, he did פלילים meaning a revengeful act (compare "ונתן בפלילים").
  3. IIRC, (I looked up Even Shoshan dictionary) the word עמד is never used as prayer in the scripture, so the conclusion is simply factually wrong. Otherwise we should use it in verses like "וּפַרְעֹה חֹלֵם וְהִנֵּה עֹמֵד עַל־הַיְאֹר׃"

So what's the logic of this conclusion, or is it just a Tirutz to attribute the prayer to Abraham?

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  • לפענ״ד פשט =! דרש
    – Joel K
    Nov 19 at 10:35
  • 1
    Throughout the Talmud we find this kind of derasha, where a word's meaning is decided from the context in which it is stated elsewhere, meaning other words. You want a list? I don't know what kind of answer you're looking for.
    – robev
    Nov 19 at 10:48
  • @robev Indeed, frequently a meaning can be derived from its context. Here, there are two serious problems: 1. Pinchas didn't pray, 2. יפלל does not elaborate עמד those are two different actions. Following your logic, rabbis went too far without thinking or hoping nobody will notice.
    – Al Berko
    Nov 19 at 11:14
  • You misunderstand me. I don't mean the context alone informs a word's meaning. That's not a derasha. I'm saying Chazal tell us what a word means because it appears in a different verse adjacent to a different word. That different word informs us of the meaning. Thus, since we see עמד in a verse together with פלל, we can say עמד elsewhere means פלל. In this case, they understood פלל to mean תפילה, even though you disagree for some reason.
    – robev
    Nov 19 at 11:46
  • Fyi Torah Temimah understands even without Pinchas we would assume עמד with Avraham means pray, as he is described as praying to Hashem
    – robev
    Nov 19 at 11:51

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