Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Altering, Changing, Good for Bad, Bad for Good, and how they bind

In parshat Bechukotai, perek 27:
ט וְאִם-בְּהֵמָה--אֲשֶׁר יַקְרִיבוּ מִמֶּנָּה קָרְבָּן, לַיהוָה: כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן מִמֶּנּוּ לַיהוָה, יִהְיֶה-קֹּדֶשׁ. 9 And if it be a beast, whereof men bring an offering unto the LORD, all that any man giveth of such unto the LORD shall be holy.
י לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ, וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ טוֹב בְּרָע--אוֹ-רַע בְּטוֹב; וְאִם-הָמֵר יָמִיר בְּהֵמָה בִּבְהֵמָה, וְהָיָה-הוּא וּתְמוּרָתוֹ יִהְיֶה-קֹּדֶשׁ. 10 He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good; and if he shall at all change beast for beast, then both it and that for which it is changed shall be holy.
The trup and parsing on pasuk 10 is interesting. Shadal writes (here and here)

לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ, וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ -- this encodes the general, and afterward it explains the specifics, that one should not yamir it, neither good for bad nor bad for good.

And according to the position of the author of the trup, it appears that the temurah is good for bad, while chiluf is bad for good. And there is support for this. Thus (Yeshaya 9:9)
ט לְבֵנִים נָפָלוּ, וְגָזִית נִבְנֶה; שִׁקְמִים גֻּדָּעוּ, וַאֲרָזִים נַחֲלִיף. 9 'The bricks are fallen, but we will build with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but cedars will we put in their place.'
{where cedars are better than sycamores.} And (Yeshaya 40:31)
לא וְקוֹיֵ ה יַחֲלִיפוּ כֹחַ, יַעֲלוּ אֵבֶר כַּנְּשָׁרִים; יָרוּצוּ וְלֹא יִיגָעוּ, יֵלְכוּ וְלֹא יִיעָפוּ. {ס} 31 But they that wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.
{where it is new, and thus better strength}
And {in terms of יָמִיר} (Tehillim 106:20):
כ וַיָּמִירוּ אֶת-כְּבוֹדָם; בְּתַבְנִית שׁוֹר, אֹכֵל עֵשֶׂב. 20 Thus they exchanged their glory for the likeness of an ox that eateth grass.
{where it is good replaced with bad.}

However, it is difficult (Bereishit 31:7):
ו וְאַתֵּנָה, יְדַעְתֶּן: כִּי, בְּכָל-כֹּחִי, עָבַדְתִּי, אֶת-אֲבִיכֶן. 6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father.
ז וַאֲבִיכֶן הֵתֶל בִּי, וְהֶחֱלִף אֶת-מַשְׂכֻּרְתִּי עֲשֶׂרֶת מֹנִים; וְלֹא-נְתָנוֹ אֱלֹהִים, לְהָרַע עִמָּדִי. 7 And your father hath mocked me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.
{where Lavan replaced bad for good; though we could read this as neutral, rather than bad.}
And perhaps the intent was that from the perspective of Lavan the switches were from bad to good, since he always sought gain for himself.

But it is true that if לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ is connected with רַע בְּטוֹב, the word או is extraneous. And the truth is that Moshe Rabbenu, peace be upon him, did not intend to divide in accordance with this trup, but rather, in accordance with his intent, the following is fitting to encode the trup: לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ with a pashta under יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ and a zakef on אֹתוֹ, and afterwards, it opens with what it ended "good for bad" corresponding to yamir, "or bad for good" corresponding to yachlifenu.
I would guess that he is saying, opposite a precise reading into implications of specific Hebrew words, that each word can mean either, depending on context. And then that in this context it means the reverse, such that there is some cross-over. And this explains why we need the word "or." Personally, I do not see the word "or" as extraneous, and can read it even as the author of trup, according to Shadal, read it, with "or" helping along the retrospective assignment of phrases.

An alternative parsing of Shadal would perhaps take וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ out of the dibbur hamatchil. Then, לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ is the general, and the specifics are that one should not yamir it, neither good for bad nor bad for good. Though if he means this, I don't see how it would fit with his proposed emendation of the trup either. Still, it is an alternative parse, and so I can propose it as a possibility.

What does Shadal intend with the trup here, in both the standard trup and as per his suggestion? Well, the trup as written is as it exists to the right.

That is, we start out with:
לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ טוֹב בְּרָע--אוֹ-רַע בְּטוֹב
That gets divided into:

לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ טוֹב בְּרָע
אוֹ-רַע בְּטוֹב

because the tipcha is the trup symbol which divides a phrase ending in etnachta. We then divide the first phrase into:
לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ
וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ טוֹב בְּרָע

because a both revii and tevir divide a phrase ending in tipcha, but revii occurs earlier in the pasuk.

Finally, we divide the second half into:

וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ
טוֹב בְּרָע

because of the tevir. Does this give Shadal the explanation he attributes to the author of the trup? It would seem the opposite, assuming he understands (as per Rashi, and his own elaboration) "tov bera" as a good one in exchange for a bad one! Lo yamir should link with ra betov! We need to also be sure that Shadal agrees precisely with the rules of trup division Wickes gives. Maybe he holds by a different theory of different levels from emperor to servant, in a way that could explain this all. Indeed, other discussions Shadal has about trup made me think this as well. I should really delve into earlier trup theories, and see how they manifest.

Meanwhile, recall the trup Shadal gives at the end.

This division would accord with:
לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ טוֹב בְּרָע--אוֹ-רַע בְּטוֹב

becoming, because of the zakef on oto, a division at the same level as tipcha but earlier in the pasuk, a division of:
לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ
טוֹב בְּרָע--אוֹ-רַע בְּטוֹב

and then the first phrase would divide, because of the pashta, into:
לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ
וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ

I would like this for either explanation Shadal gave, even in accordance with the meaning attributed to the author of the trup.

What could the author of trup be intending here, with the trup as written? Is it merely mechanical, as a result of part-of-speech? I am not certain. According to the rules of Wickes, only the major dichotomy (usually etnachta) is written on logical grounds, while the rest is on syntactic grounds. Since it begins with this negation (or negation - verb), subphrases are knocked off the end, one by one. Again, the division was the intial:

לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ טוֹב בְּרָע--אוֹ-רַע בְּטוֹב

לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ טוֹב בְּרָע
אוֹ-רַע בְּטוֹב

לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ
וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ טוֹב בְּרָע


וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ
טוֹב בְּרָע

The first to be knocked off is the "or" phrase. Then, the next phrase is the second full verb phrase of וְלֹא-יָמִיר אֹתוֹ טוֹב בְּרָע. And within that second verb-phrase, it makes sense to knock it off at טוֹב בְּרָע. On the other hand, it is possible that different parsings would lead to different understandings of what the respective phrases were. I am not certain.

But it would seem, according to this, that the trup is exactly what Shadal intends for himself, that טוֹב בְּרָע matches yamir, while אוֹ-רַע בְּטוֹב, which was knocked off initially, matches לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ. And this without any need to rewriting the trup. With his emendation, he does get more symmetry, admittedly. But it does not really seem necessary.

So unless I am applying this theory wrong, perhaps Shadal has some other, slightly variant theory of trup, which would explain what he is doing here. Does anyone else with a knowledge of trup want to take a shot at this?

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