Friday, January 11, 2008

The Age of Trup -- part ix

Continuing Shadal's Vikuach al Chochmat haKabbalah. The preceding text set up Rabbi Eliyahu Bachur against others, about whether the trup and nikkud is post-Talmudic, with those against noting that Zohar, which they claim is early, mentions trup and nikkud. This has been dismissed, since it could have been written with Divine Inspiration (later Shadal will claim late authorship), and now they proceed to consider reasons supporting R' Elijah Bachur's position. On to the text:

The guest: Indeed, we shall do as you have spoken. And behold, the first proof to the opinion of Rabbi Eliyah Bachur is that he says that he reviewed all of the Talmud and all of the midrashim, and he did not find to Razal that they mentioned in any place either a single vowel point or a single cantillation mark. {Josh: That is, a vowel point or trup symbol by name, such as revii.} And also, the gentile scholars add that also Hyronimos {= Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, Jerome}, the translator and commentator of Latin Scripture, does not ever mention in any of his many books either nikkud or trup.

The author: But I have seen to R' Moshe Konitz, in his sefer Ben Yochai, that he testifies that in Masechet Eruvin daf 18, the Sages of Tosafot wrote that
"Rabbenu Chananel is gores {that is, he has a girsa as text in his gemara}: they read in it hanneshammah, with a dagesh {that is, with a patach under the shin and a dagesh chazak in the mem; see below}."
Now, it is true that I reviewed the statement of Tosafot that he mentions, and I did not find it with the language which he says, but rather this language I found:
Rabbenu Chananel explains.
And it is known that there is a great difference between "explains" and "has a girsa." And in order to judge Rav Moshe Kunitz favorably, I say that perhaps he chanced across an alternate girsa {of Tosafot}.

The guest: This girsa never was and never came to be. I have searched much and have not found it. Also the Maharsha, in Chidushei Aggadot {on this Tosafot} brings this statement with the language of "Rabbenu Chananel explains." And so too Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto brings it down.

And not only that, but Rav Moshe Kunitz himself, in his sefer haIyyyun, brings down this statement with the language of "Rabbenu Chananel explains."

And I took the sefer haIyyun, and the matter was sought out, and it was found on page 80, and these are his words:
However, Tosafot wrote, and these are his words:
"Rabbenu Chananel explains: They read in it hanneshammah, with a dagesh."
And the man {=the guest} laughed and said to me: Did I not tell you yesterday that the mekubalim are under the assumption of forgers. And so too this wise man, since he comes to mediate on behalf of the sefer haZohar, he needs to make himself for one hour a wicken one before the Omnipresent.

{Note: Here is Eruvin 18b, followed by Rabbenu Chananel -- click to be able to read it, as the preview size is quite small -- and finally, Tosafot citing Rabbenu Chananel.

In terms of the gemara, Rabbi Yirmiyah ben Eleazar cites Tehillim 150:6, the very last pasuk in Tehillim:
ו כֹּל הַנְּשָׁמָה, תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ: הַלְלוּ-יָהּ. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. {S} Hallelujah. {P}
He uses it as a prooftext that since the day that the Temple was destroyed, it suffices for the world two make use of the two letter Divine Name.

Rabbenu Chananel explains: פי' הנשמה [ בדגש] ש and then cites prooftexts to explain. Note two points. First, that the word 'פי is written in this girsa, meaning that he explains rather than he is gores. Secondly, even the word בדגש is in brackets, with the strong implication that certain girsaot do not have even the word בדגש there. This would work, because the prooftext Rabbenu Chananel cites immediately thereafter makes it evident that the intent is haneshamma with a dagesh. But Tosafot cites it with the word בדגש! True, but our text of Rabbenu Chananel also omits the words Tosafot uses, קרי ביה. It could well be that this all is Tosafot's explanation and summary of Rabbenu Chananel's position, rather than a direct citation. And that the word בדגש was placed in some girsaot based on the quote from Tosafot. I don't know, because I have not looked at manuscript evidence, but it seems possible.

Next, we have Tosafot. And indeed, see that he says פר"ח, meaning Rabbenu Chananel explains.

Just to wrap up, what is the idea of haneshama with a dagesh? Rabbenu Chananel gives a verse in Yechezkel 36:
לה וְאָמְרוּ, הָאָרֶץ הַלֵּזוּ הַנְּשַׁמָּה, הָיְתָה, כְּגַן-עֵדֶן; וְהֶעָרִים הֶחֳרֵבוֹת וְהַנְשַׁמּוֹת וְהַנֶּהֱרָסוֹת, בְּצוּרוֹת יָשָׁבוּ. 35 And they shall say: This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.
Thus, read it as if it said הַנְּשַׁמָּה, "the desolate," with a patach rather than kamatz under the shin, and a dagesh forte in the mem. Therefore, כֹּל הַנְּשָׁמָה, תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ means that while it is desolate, praise the two-letter Name.}

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