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The Talmud in Nedarim 51a cites in the name of Bar Kappara a (playful? - see previous and subsequent passages for context) derashic interpretation of the word "toevah" (literally translated "abomination"):

הכי אמר רחמנא: "תועבה" - תועה אתה בה

This is what the Merciful One is saying: "to’eva" - you are straying in it.

Do any commentators explain the seemingly extra word "אתה" - "you" (as opposed to just having interpreted: תועה בה - he is straying in it)? (Could it be that, contextually, Bar Kappara is just playfully mocking Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi's apparent inability to successfully answer his question, and the drasha has nothing actually to do with the verse?)

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    If your question is all about the playfulness of it, and the context is apparently relevant, shouldn't it be brought in the question itself? – Double AA Feb 14 at 17:17
  • @DoubleAA I was thinking of adding it, but it's a fair amount of text. (I included a link.) My question though is really if any peshat is given at all (ideally that does indeed have to do with the actual verse). – Loewian Feb 14 at 17:19
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    Notably, the Midrash Tehillim 96 reads: מהו תועבה, תועה בה – wfb Feb 14 at 21:38
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    Likewise, R. Chaim Paltiel, Shemot 22:3: נוטריקון גניבה גנאי בה, וכן מריבה מרי בה, וכן תועבה תועה בה. – wfb Feb 14 at 21:40
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Mei HaShiloach interprets the passage a bit differently than the commentaries on the page, seeing תועבה as referring to its usage by forbidden foods (Devarim 14:3) rather than its usage by intimacy with another male (Vayikra 18:22 and 20:13).

לא תאכל כל תועבה. זה האזהרה נאמרה קודם כל מאכלות אסורות כדאיתא בגמ' (נדרים נ"א.) תועבה תועה אתה בה, משל למלך שבנה אוצרות בחדרים רבים צוה לבנו שילך להחדרים אבל לא אל כולם, אף שאני בניתי את כולם אבל אתה לפי שכלך הקטן אם תלך אל כולם תתעה בהם ותבלבל דעתך ותשאר שמה ולא תוכל לצאת חזרה לחוץ.

"Do not eat any to'evah." This warning is said before all forbidden foods. Like it says in the Gemara (Nedarim 51a), "to'evah" is "you stray after it." It's analagous to a king who built storehouses in many rooms. He commanded to his son that he go to the rooms, but not to all of them. "Even though I built all of them, but you, because your understanding is small, if you go to all of them, you will stray in them, your knowledge will be confused, you will be left there, and you will be unable to return outside."

That is, the Torah is not merely describing the sin as something in which people stray; it's speaking directly to the potential sinner, warning him, "You don't understand how much harm will befall you if you do these sins; if you try to eat these foods, you will stray more than you will ever know."

I did say that he interprets the Gemara as referring to a different usage of the term. However, the analogy doesn't seem to take this into account; the same way there are many permitted "storehouses" of food which one can enter and from which one can eat, and many which one cannot, there are many "storehouses" of people which one can enter and from which one can marry, and many which one cannot.

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