Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pinchas: A Pashta-Zakef, or a Mercha, on Uminchatam?

Well into parshas Pinchas:
ט וּמִנְחָתָם--סֹלֶת, בְּלוּלָה בַשָּׁמֶן: שְׁלֹשָׁה עֶשְׂרֹנִים, לַפָּר, שְׁנֵי עֶשְׂרֹנִים, לָאַיִל הָאֶחָד 9 and their meal-offering, fine flour mingled with oil, three tenth parts for the bullock, two tenth parts for the one ram,
Shadal notes a dispute as to the correct trup on the first word of the pasuk, uminchatam. In the above, is a pashta-zakef*.

בעל מנחת שי כתב כי גם ומנחתם של ובחדש השביעי ( פסוק ט ) הוא בפשטא זקף, ובתנ"ך כ"י משנת ק"ז אשר ביד ר' מרדכי שמואל גירונדי מצאתי כל ומנחתם שבפרשה במרכא, ואולי כן נכון, כמו ( ויקרא כ"ג י"ג ) ונסכו יין רביעית ההין

This is an accordance with Minchat Shai (and in accordance with the trup in Bemidbar 28:20, 28:28, and so on. Meanwhile, in the Tanach manuscript from the year 107 {=1247} in the hands of Rabbi Mordechai Shmuel Girondi, Shadal found all uminchatams in the parsha with a mercha.

The difference is non-trivial, since the zakef is a disjunctive accent while the mercha is a conjunctive accent. And furthermore, the zakef is not just a disjunctive accent which divides a small clause, but rather, it works to divide the clause before the tipcha present in the pasuk.

Thus, with pashta-zakef, the division of the first half of the pasuk would be:
וּמִנְחָתָם סֹלֶת בְּלוּלָה בַשָּׁמֶן
וּמִנְחָתָם | סֹלֶת בְּלוּלָה בַשָּׁמֶן
and with uminchatam off, the next division, the tipcha on solet, would yield:
סֹלֶת | בְּלוּלָה בַשָּׁמֶן

Meanwhile, if we place a mercha in place, then the first and only subdivision is the tipcha on solet. Thus, we would start with
וּמִנְחָתָם סֹלֶת בְּלוּלָה בַשָּׁמֶן
וּמִנְחָתָם סֹלֶת | בְּלוּלָה בַשָּׁמֶן

There is indeed a difference in the parsing of these two options. In the first, pashta-zakef, the idea would be akin to "and their meal-offering, which was fine flour mingled with oil." In the second, mercha, the idea would be akin to "and their meal-offering was fine flour, which was mingled with oil."

Shadal takes no sides in this dispute, other than to say that the alternative with the mercha is possible, and has precedent, in Vayikra 23:13:
יג וּמִנְחָתוֹ שְׁנֵי עֶשְׂרֹנִים סֹלֶת בְּלוּלָה בַשֶּׁמֶן, אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה--רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ; וְנִסְכֹּה יַיִן, רְבִיעִת הַהִין. 13 And the meal-offering thereof shall be two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour; and the drink-offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin.
As one can see from the parsing of וְנִסְכֹּה יַיִן, רְבִיעִת הַהִין which reflect the trup, וְנִסְכֹּה יַיִן is put together and רְבִיעִת הַהִין is put together, rather that establishing it as וְנִסְכֹּה followed by יַיִן רְבִיעִת הַהִין.

Often mistakes between disjunctive and conjunctive trup are something which requires correction of a baal koreh. Perhaps here, where each has a tradition, and both can make sense, this would not be problematic.

Let us turn to see the Minchat Shai inside (page 97), in a from Mantova.He states it should be azla-zakef, and not mercha.

This suggests to me that he had some manuscripts which had a mercha there (perhaps the Mikraot Gedolos?) and he corrected it, presumably based on manuscript evidence, that the correct trup is azla-zakef. ("Azla" is what we call kadma.)

So what is Shadal adding? Presumably that this was not some late error, but reflected a several-century old tradition, at least. Such that it should perhaps be given some weight rather than dismissed out of hand.

* He calls it this, but this does not mean that the foretone mark there is really a pashta.


Anonymous said...

Clearly the disjunction is correct syntactically, and the dispute on teamim is purely musical.

In Vayikra 23:13, "venisko" is a 2-syllable word followed by the short "solet" (accent on the first syllable), so musically venisko is too short a unit to break off.

The view that uses a mercha in Bemidbar 28:20 apparently feels that even a 4-syllable word is too short to break off.

joshwaxman said...

"followed by the short "solet""
you meant yayin, but the claim holds true.

it is an interesting theory. but what backs up this idea? after all, we find such all over the place. E.g. from the beginning of Bemidbar, we have in Bemidbar 1:6 and on:
lishimon | shlumiel ben tzurishaday
liyhudah | nachshon ben aminadav
ledan | achiezer ben amishaday

and there are many all over the place, and ledan is two syllables. is there any indication that there is dispute about such pesukim? similarly, many of the seven instances of shalshelet, which break off the word by itself, are three syllables. wouldn't this opinion have to dispute those as well? (it might be, just that I don't know of any evidence for this.) Apparently the answer is (as you say) that it is not just based on the number of syllables before the trup, but also based on the fact that the subsequent word is mile'el and has disjunctive accent as well. What about Bemidbar 2:14: Umateh (tipcha) | gad (etnachta), though one can say that functions as a foretone? I would have to think about it. Are there other examples of this is the literature?

meanwhile, I can see the syntactic argument (the alternate parsing) as plausible, so would incline towards it before claiming it is a musical distinction.

Kol Tuv,

joshwaxman said...

Though I will note that this claim as to syntactic distinction is my own, not Shadal's. He only cites the precedent. And so he *might* readily agree to the difference on musical grounds.


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