Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And Even You Shall Break His Teeth, pt ii

In the past section, I noted the position of Ramban, that it means break or weaken the teeth. Now I would like to consider two instances in Bavli.

The first is in Sanhedrin 109b, and deals with Korach who was הקהה the teeth of his forebears. This relationship to parents in this context appears a reversal of the imagery in Yirmeyahu, where the fathers eat and the sons have their teeth affected.

תלמוד בבלי מסכת סנהדרין דף קט עמוד ב
קרח - שנעשה קרחה בישראל, בן יצהר - בן שהרתיח עליו את כל העולם כצהרים, בן קהת - בן שהקהה שיני מולידיו, בן לוי - בן שנעשה לויה בגיהנם.

What does this mean? Weaken? Break? Set on edge? I don't know, but given that they were probably displeased with these actions, and were disgraced by them, "set on edge" makes sense. As Soncino translates:
Now Korah took …8 Resh Lakish said: He took a bad bargain for himself, being plucked out9 of Israel. The son of Izhar: a son who incensed10 the whole world with himself as the [heat of] noon.11 The son of Kohath,12 a son who set the teeth of his progenitors on edge.13 The son of Levi: a son who became an inmate14 of Gehenna.
And as Rashi explains there:
רש"י מסכת סנהדרין דף קט עמוד ב
הקהה שיני מולידיו - שנתביישו אבותיו במעשיו הרעים.
Does "blunt the teeth" make sense? Perhaps.

Another instance of this idiom is in Sotah 49a. Here Soncino is inconsistent and renders it "blunt the teeth."

תלמוד בבלי מסכת סוטה דף מט עמוד א
שמבזבזין דין אביהם לעתיד לבוא, אומרים לפניו: רבונו של עולם, מאחר שאתה עתיד ליפרע מהן, למה הקהיתה שיניהם בם! אמר ר' אילעא בר יברכיה: אלמלא תפלתו של דוד - היו כל ישראל מוכרי רבב, שנאמר: +תהלים ט+ שיתה ה' מורה להם. וא"ר אילעא בר יברכיה: אלמלא תפלתו של חבקוק - היו ב' תלמידי חכמים מתכסים בטלית אחת ועוסקין בתורה, שנאמר: +חבקוק ג+ ה' שמעתי שמעך יראתי ה' פעלך בקרב שנים חייהו, אל תקרא בקרב שנים אלא בקרוב שנים ואמר ר' אילעא בר יברכיה
AND MEN OF FAITH DISAPPEARED. R. Isaac said: These are men who had faith in the Holy One, blessed be He. For it has been taught: R. Eliezer the Great40 declares: Whoever has a piece of bread in his basket and Says. 'What shall I eat tomorrow?' belongs only to them who are little in faith. And that is what R. Eleazar said: What means that which is written: For who hath despised the day of small things?41 [It signifies,] What is the cause that the tables of the righteous are despoiled in the Hereafter?42 The smallness [of faith] which was in them, that they did not trust in the Holy One, blessed be He. Raba said: They are the little ones43 among the children of the wicked of Israel who despoil the verdict upon their fathers in the Hereafter, Saying before Him, 'Sovereign of the Universe! Since thou art about to exact punishment of them, why hast Thou blunted their teeth?'1
Where the reference of "blunting their teeth" is to the death of the children. Nothing in particular about this tells me what the meaning is. "Set teeth on edge" suggests to me some sort of shock. But blunt/break there teeth can also work, I suppose. And Soncino chooses it here, for some reason.

A bit later on the same daf:
תניא ר"ש בן אלעזר אומר טהרה בטלה טעם וריח מעשר ביטל שומן דגן רב הונא אשכח תומרתא דחינוניתא שקלה כרכה בסודריה אתא רבה בריה א"ל מורחינא ריחא דחינוניתא א"ל בני טהרה יש בך יהבה ניהליה אדהכי אתא אבא בריה שקלה יהבה ניהליה א"ל בני שמחת את לבי והקהיתה את שיני היינו דאמרי אינשי רחמי דאבא אבני רחמי דבני אבני דהוו ליה רב אחא בר יעקב איטפל ביה ברב יעקב בר ברתיה כי גדל א"ל אשקיין מיא אמר לו לאו בריך אנא והיינו דאמרי אינשי רבי רבי בר ברתך אנא:

THE DEW HAS NOT DESCENDED FOR A BLESSING AND THE FLAVOUR HAS DEPARTED FROM THE FRUITS etc. It has been taught: R. Simeon b. Eleazar Says: [The cessation of] purity has removed taste and fragrance [from fruits]; [the cessation of] tithes has removed the fatness of corn. R. Huna once found a juicy date which he took and wrapped in his mantle. His son, Rabbah, came and said to him, 'I smell the fragrance of a juicy date'. He said to him, 'My son, there is purity in thee',22 and gave it to him. Meanwhile [Rabbah's] son, Abba, came; [Rabbah] took it and gave it to him. [R. Huna] said to [Rabbah], 'My son, thou hast gladdened my heart23 and blunted my teeth'.24 That is what the popular proverb Says, 'A father's love is for his children; the children's love is for their own children.
Did he blunt the teeth because he displayed more love for his son than for his father, if he was not going to eat it anyway? Or is this intended in some literal manner, that the teeth were blunted in that he was not allowed to eat the date? Once again, this could mean either of the two ("set on edge" vs. "blunt"), and I don't really see a basis for choosing one over the other.

Forget about which of these two. Can we transfer this meaning to the haggadah? Perhaps. הקהה את שיניו seems in these cases to be non-literal, just as we would expect. And it means to cause someone some emotional hurt. Thus, Korach did this to his progenitors via his action, God did this to the wicked by taking away their children, and Rabba did it to Rav Huna by showing more concern for his son than for his father.

Similarly by the Haggadah, the forceful answer with be hurtful to the wicked son.

We should perhaps check what meforshim say on these gemaras, to get a better sense of what they see as the meaning, and such that we may revise our opinion as well. Next up, the midrash Rabbah.

Rav Yochanan, Rav Chanan, Rav Avin, on

The following is an interesting gemara. And it has a meaning one can discuss. I am not going to discuss that meaning. My dad sometimes likens this to someone pointing at something wondrous in the distance, and the foolish person focuses on the finger and not on the thing being pointed at. That is true, but focusing on the finger is sometimes necessary, to ensure that we understand who is doing the pointing, or to determine just exactly what is being pointed at.
{Bava Kamma 93a}
אמר רבי יוחנן כל המוסר דין על חבירו הוא נענש תחלה שנא' ותאמר שרי אל אברם חמסי עליך וכתיב ויבא אברהם לספוד לשרה ולבכותה
והנ"מ דאית ליה דיינא בארעא
Rabbi Yochanan said: He who invokes the judgment {of Heaven; yes, based on context, but we may interpret otherwise} against his fellow is himself punished first, as it says {Bereishit 16:5}:
ה וַתֹּאמֶר שָׂרַי אֶל-אַבְרָם, חֲמָסִי עָלֶיךָ--אָנֹכִי נָתַתִּי שִׁפְחָתִי בְּחֵיקֶךָ, וַתֵּרֶא כִּי הָרָתָה וָאֵקַל בְּעֵינֶיהָ; יִשְׁפֹּט יְהוָה, בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶיךָ. 5 And Sarai said unto Abram: 'My wrong be upon thee: I gave my handmaid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.'
and it is written {Bereishit 23:2}:
ב וַתָּמָת שָׂרָה, בְּקִרְיַת אַרְבַּע הִוא חֶבְרוֹן--בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן; וַיָּבֹא, אַבְרָהָם, לִסְפֹּד לְשָׂרָה, וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ. 2 And Sarah died in Kiriatharba--the same is Hebron--in the land of Canaan; and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

And these words are where there are {existing} courts in the land {to judge it}.
My question is just who the author of the statement is. In the version above, it is Rabbi Yochanan. But that is just in the Rif's girsa. In our own gemara, we have:
אמר רב חנן המוסר דין על חבירו הוא נענש תחילה שנאמר (בראשית טז) ותאמר שרי אל אברם חמסי עליך וכתיב (בראשית כג) ויבא אברהם לספוד לשרה ולבכותה והני מילי דאית ליה דינא בארעא

In Rosh HaShana 16b:
דא"ר (אבין) [חנן] כל המוסר דין על חבירו הוא נענש תחלה שנאמר (בראשית טז, ה) ותאמר שרי אל אברם חמסי עליך וכתיב (בראשית כג, ב) ויבא אברהם לספוד לשרה ולבכותה

Yalkut Shimoni (but this is no proof):
אמר רבי חנן כל המוסר דין על חברו הוא נענש תחלה שנאמר ותאמר שרי אל אברם חמסי עליך וכתיב ויבוא אברהם לספוד לשרה ולבכותה.

Thus, we have three alternatives: חנן אבין יוחנן. With three combinations, and presumably one of them (rather than some outside name not represented), we have several possible combinations, but only a few plausible combinations. The possible are that any of the three can be the original, and that original could spark both of the other two; or else that there is an original, it sparks the intermediate, and the intermediate sparks the final. Thus:

1) Yochanan to Avin; Yochanan to Chanan.
2) Yochanan to Avin; then Avin to Chanan.
3) Yochanan to Chanan; then Chanan to Avin.

4) Chanan to Yochanan; Chanan to Avin.
5) Chanan to Yochanan; then Yochanan to Avin.
6) Chanan to Avin; then Avin to Yochanan.

7) Avin to Yochanan; Avin to Chanan.
8) Avin to Yochanan; then Yochanan to Chanan.
9) Avin to Chanan; then Chanan to Yochanan.

Some of these are not as plausible as others. Thus, Avin/Chanan requires a reinterpretation of a bet as a nun, or in Chanan/Avin, a nun as a bet. There is also a disappearing or appearing yud, but that is fairly easy.

Rabbi Yochanan to Rav Chanan is fairly plausible -- the yud at the end of Rabbi and the yud at the beginning of Yochanan merge together and disappear, or are interpreted as the apostrophe in ר' חנן. The other direction seems more probable to me. רב חנן to become ר' חנן to become ר יחנן to be interpreted and rewritten as ר' יוחנן.

But some are less plausible. רבי יוחנן to רבי אבין -- well, perhaps the aleph from the yud vav, depending on the font, but then a disappearing chet and an interpretation of nun as bet? There are so many more edit operations that need to be done to accomplish this transformation, in either direction. Therefore, I would discard any transformations involving a link between Avin and Yochanan. Thus, I would discard, off the bat: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8.

We are then left with three possibilities:
3) Yochanan to Chanan; then Chanan to Avin.
4) Chanan to Yochanan; Chanan to Avin.
9) Avin to Chanan; then Chanan to Yochanan.

Of these three remaining, all are somewhat plausible, but I would favor (4). This for two reasons. First, each of these options, it is true, involves two transformations. What is more likely, though, that a text goes through one transformation, and then independently, that transformed text goes through a further transformation; or alternatively, that a single text, with some "difficulty" in it, prompts to different corruptions?

This might be quite subjective, but my inclination is that the latter is most plausible, with Chanan standing as the nexus.

Furthermore, I would point out that under the principle of lectio difficilior, the rule of the more "difficult" word being original, I would guess Rav Chanan to be the most "difficult." Certainly Rav Chanan is less common than Rabbi Yochanan. And I would say the same for Rabbi Avin.

Yirmeyahu sources

I found myself on more than one occasion trying to find the meforshim on Yirmeyahu. Especially since Daat does not have Rashi, Ibn Ezra, et al., but just Shadal and Yalkut Shimoni. These links to HebrewBooks.org will make it easier for me, and perhaps for you as well, dear reader. I'll try to update as I encounter more sources on Yirmeyahu I find useful.

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Rashi in English
Mahari Kara on Yirmeyahu
Daat, which includes Shadal and Yalkut Shimoni.

to be continued...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #135

  1. Saudi clerics want women banned from TV, media. Hamodia and Mishpacha are way ahead of them.

  2. MOChassid about a hockey brawl between two yeshivot, and how in the end the yeshiva hockey league commissioner did not impose any penalty, possibly because of the extreme consequences of imposing the rule.

    I don't know that I can judge. Moshe Rabbenu's Ahavas Yisrael was first manifest in intervening when he saw a fellow Jew being beaten up, and he in turn smote. So what do you do when you see your teammate being hit? What about if there are massive amounts of people beating up on someone you consider innocent. It it moral to stand by? What about if you see some thug hitting your kid? Would you intervene? What if you then saw a parent intervening and hitting your kid?

    I am not saying this situation was optimal in any way. But not knowing the details, I don't think I would judge any individual.

    However, the idea that there are regulations in place to deal with this sort of behavior, in a bounded way, troubles me. It means that it is an expected part of the game. Like going into the penalty box. And indeed, hockey is well known as a sport prone to breaking out in fights, and even without it, it is physical to the point of thuggery.

    The question, perhaps, is whether yeshivot have any business running a hockey league in the first place. Yes, there is a value to sports, in terms of excercise, giving kids an outlet other than gemara, developing character and values such as sportsmanship and being a team player, and so on.

    But do this with other sports, not with something so prone to thuggery. Certainly there should not be a standard rule as to how to deal with this. (Namely, being eliminated for the next game, rather than, I guess, just being in the penalty box?) Rather, when something like this happens, the result should be shock and dismay -- wonder whether the offender should be allowed to participate in any more hockey games; heartfelt discussion between rabbeim and talmidim about lama takeh rei'echa, and that emotions over a mere game should not possibly lead to blows; whether there should be a league if minor incidents like this occur.

    Perhaps I am being to overwrought. But IMHO the most important thing any yeshiva can do is inculcate middot tovot. VeAhavta LeReicha Kamocha. That which you do not want done to you, do not do to your fellow. The rest is commentary, but if you miss out on that basic one and learn all the commentary, I wonder what value all that commentary has.

  3. Little Green Footballs criticizing those who publicly hope for Obama to fail. I agree to a large extent, just as I did when Bush was the target.

  4. Hirhurim on whether people lost jobs in the current economy due to hashgacha pratit.

  5. A roundup on preventing women from speaking at funerals, or going to the cemetary. Here is WolfishMusings, then DovBear, then Emes veEmunah, and finally, a defense of the practice from Daas Torah.

    The thing is, while the Gra personally did not visit the cemetery because of kabbalistic reasons, and people (e.g. Rav Ovadiah Yosef) cite this when trying to discourage certain cemetery practices, I am pretty sure the Gra himself would not be so cruel as to prevent a grieving widow from visiting her husband, because of his own kabbalistically-based chumras. There is an unfortunate trend of taking kabbalistic chumras -- which are fine for kabbalists and those who buy into the whole system -- and imposing it on others who do not. This goes for women visiting cemeteries as well. The Shemesh Tzedaka goes on and in in several teshuvot about how it is inappropriate to impose kabbalistic chumrot on non-kabbalists as normative, and mandatory halacha. It of course goes beyond that, to all chumrot extending past individuals and being imposed on the community.

  6. Divrei Chayim has a response to R' Slifkin's response, in part I and part II.
    I disagree, but don't have the time or space to elaborate in this post. Perhaps later. Perhaps not later. These disputes have a habit of sucking up incredible amounts of time.

  7. Life In Israel has a post about "kosher" restaurants serving non-kosher. Worth a read. And his daughter has a homework assignment to report on any special chumrot of her family for Pesach. Go there and suggest your own.

    The most recent chumra I have heard for Pesach is that the wheat for the matzos should be shemurah mishaas zeriah.

And Even You Shall Break His Teeth, pt i

In the Haggadah, we are instructed regarding the Rasha:
ואף אתה הקהה את שיניו ואמר לו בעבור זה עשה ה' לי בצאתי ממצרים. לי ולא לו. אלו היה שם לא היה נגאל.
People like to translate this as "break his teeth," or "blunt his teeth." Others will claim that it means "set his teeth on edge." Regardless of what it means, it does not mean it literally. They were certainly not recommending violence at the seder. Rather, with the response, one is setting his teeth on edge, or else figuratively blunting/breaking his teeth.

What does this mean? We should see how the phrase occurs in Rabbinic texts. And it might mean different things in different times. It might have one meaning in Biblical Hebrew, another in Tannaitic Hebrew, another for the Amoraim, another for the Geonim, another for the Rishonim, and so on. It might also vary by location. Still, the best we can do is investigate its usage in these different texts and try to intuit what it means in the Haggadah.

In this first part, I cite the Ramban on parshat Vayechi, in Bereishit 49. This in order to establish at least one Rabbinic position that it means "break" or "weaken." As we will see, even so, this is not intended literally.

The pasuk states {Bereishit 49:10}:
י לֹא-יָסוּר שֵׁבֶט מִיהוּדָה, וּמְחֹקֵק מִבֵּין רַגְלָיו, עַד כִּי-יָבֹא שִׁילֹה, וְלוֹ יִקְּהַת עַמִּים. 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, as long as men come to Shiloh; and unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.
And upon that last phrase, Ramban states:
ולו יקהת עמים -
אסיפת העמים, שנאמר (ישעיה יא י): אליו גויים ידרשו, ודומה לו עין תלעג לאב ותבוז ליקהת אם (משלי ל יז), לקבוץ קמטים שבפניה מפני זקנתה. ובתלמוד (יבמות קי ב): דמקהו קהיאתא בשוקא דנהרדעא. ויכול לומר קהית עמים, לשון רש"י:

ואינו נראה לפרש ביקהת אם, אסיפת אם, ולשון "מקהו קהיאתא" אינו אלא לשון פירכות וקושיות שהיו מקשים ומפרכים בה קושיות הרבה, כי המתקשה בדבר יקרא "קוהה" בלשון חכמים, כמו שאמרו במדרש חזית (שה"ש ג ח): כולם אחוזי חרב, שהיו כולם שונים הלכה כחרב, שאם בא מעשה אל ידיהם לא תהא הלכה קוהה להם. וכן עוד שם רבים, וממנו אמרו בגמרא (נזיר סה א): ר' יהושע קיהה וטהר, שהקשה בו דברים רבים ושבר כל דברים המטמאים עד שטיהר בהכרח.

וכן מצינו בנוסחאות ישנות בגמרא בבבא מציעא (נב ב): מאן דקהי אזוזי מיקרי נפש רעה, שמדקדק בו ומתקשה לקבל אותו מחברו.

ובעלי הדקדוק (הרד"ק, ור' יונה בן ג'נאח):
אומרים ביקהת ששרשו יקה, ופירשו בו לשון משמעות וקבול המצווה, יקהת עמים, שישמעו אליו ויעשו כל אשר יצווה עליהם, תבוז ליקהת אם לקבל מצותה:

והנכון בעיני שהוא מלשון האוכל הבוסר תקהינה שניו (ירמיה לא כט), ושרשו קהה, והיו"ד בו כיו"ד יצהר, וענין כלם החולשה והשבירה, יאמר שלא יסור שבט נוגש מיהודה עד שיבא בנו אשר לו חולשת העמים ושבירתם שיחליש את כלם לפי חרב, וכן אם קהה הברזל (קהלת י י), שנחלש ואינו יכול לכרות, כסכין שעמדה בלשון חכמים (ביצה כח ב), או שנשבר קצת ונעשו בו פגימות:

וכן מצאתי עוד שם במדרש חזית (שה"ש א יב ג):
הופיע להם הקב"ה ריח טוב מבשמי גן עדן והייתה נפשם קוהה לאכול, אמרו לו רבנו משה תן לנו מה נאכל, אמר להם כך אמר לי הקב"ה כל בן נכר לא יאכל בו (שמות יב מג), עמדו והפרישו הנכרים מביניהם והייתה נפשם קוהה לאכול וכו'.
והענין, שהייתה נפשם נחלשת ומשתברת בגופם מרוב תאותם לאכול מן הפסח שנדבק בו הריח הטוב. וכן לא תהא הלכה קוהה להם, נחלשת ורופפת בידם. ומקהו קהיאתא, מקשים קושיות מחלישות הנפש מרוב הצער והעיון, או הוא לשון שמשברין ומפרכין, כלשון פריך רב אחא (קדושין יג א). וכך אמרו (מכילתא בא יח): אף אתה הקהה את שניו, שבר אותם, או תחלישם בדבריך, כי הבוסר מחליש ואינו משבר, אלא שהחלישות והשבירה ענין שוה, והקהיה תכלול את שניהם:

That is a lot of Hebrew, and a lot of theories and prooftexts. Let us turn for a moment to Artscroll's Ramban, which translates and explains. You can buy this volume (Bereishit volume 2) at Artscroll.com for about 30 bucks. Really start reading from the middle of the third image:

Thus, he first discusses and rejects Rashi, that it means gather; then discusses the position of the grammarians, that it means obedience/acceptance; and finally, his preferred explanation, that it means to break, שבר, or weaken. In terms of a pasuk in Kohelet, it means that the iron of the sword has become weakened and cannot cut. Then, some examples from the language of Chazal. It can mean weaken, and it can mean to refute a question. And the last example he offers if from the Mechilta, which we have in our Haggadah, about the Rasha. And he renders it as break, שבר, his teeth, or weaken his teeth, with your words.

(One nitpick with the translation is that when they translate verses quoted by Ramban, they quote the standard translation rather than as Ramban understands them, and that can be confusing. I know I often do the same in translating Rif. But then, we see a pasuk as setting teeth on edge when from context it is clear that is not how Ramban means it, and we see a pasuk about the iron being blunted, when I am not certain that he would regard it as blunt but rather as weak.)

So here we have not just Ramban's opinion, but evidence from many pesukim and gemaras about the meaning of the word.

This is not the end of it, though. How are the words הקהה את שיניו used as a phrase in particular? Ramban reads it as break. But if הקהה can take this whole range of meanings, what does it mean in this phrase? We can argue, and say that even in pesukim, and in gemaras, it means "set his teeth on edge," rather than "break."

The Rasha is a son, and we have the pasuk in Yirmeyahu 31:28 (and the equivalent in Yechezkel 18:2):
כח בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם--לֹא-יֹאמְרוּ עוֹד, אָבוֹת אָכְלוּ בֹסֶר; וְשִׁנֵּי בָנִים, תִּקְהֶינָה. 28 In those days they shall say no more: 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.'
כט כִּי אִם-אִישׁ בַּעֲו‍ֹנוֹ, יָמוּת: כָּל-הָאָדָם הָאֹכֵל הַבֹּסֶר, תִּקְהֶינָה שִׁנָּיו. {ס} 29 But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man that eateth the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
and the context is the teeth of sons.

The idea of breaking teeth does exist elsewhere. Thus, in Iyyov 4:10:
י שַׁאֲגַת אַרְיֵה, וְקוֹל שָׁחַל; וְשִׁנֵּי כְפִירִים נִתָּעוּ. 10 The lion roareth, and the fierce lion howleth--yet the teeth of the young lions are broken.
And the best, Tehillim 3:8:
ח קוּמָה ה, הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי אֱלֹהַי-- כִּי-הִכִּיתָ אֶת-כָּל-אֹיְבַי לֶחִי;
שִׁנֵּי רְשָׁעִים שִׁבַּרְתָּ.
8 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God; for Thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek, {N}
Thou hast broken the teeth of the wicked.
This is, after all, the idea of breaking the teeth of the wicked, the reshaim.

If there is time, in later posts, we shall explore how the phrase is used, especially in the context of teeth, by Chazal. Because it really does not matter how the pasuk intended it, if Chazal understood the word, and the phrase, differently.

Pesach Related Posts


  1. Why eat marorIt is to remind of the bitterness, or from some medical reason? Can we ascribe it to practical cause against the Rabbinic tradition (which also happens to make good sense)? Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Ibn Caspi. Also, how Ibn Ezra is thus frum.
  2. Is blood on the doorposts le-dorotTwo parses of a pasuk yields the blood on the doorposts as a command for just in Egypt, and as a recurring commandment. Similar to the structure by amah ivriya. I strongly favor the traditional parse as the better parse.
  3. Was it the Israelites of the Egyptians on the seashoreTwo parses of the pasuk וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-מִצְרַיִם מֵת עַל-שְׂפַת הַיָּם? The traditional one is that the Egyptians were dead on the seashore. Rashbam and Ibn Ezra differ from Rashi and the midrash, and claim that the Israelites were standing on the seashore when they saw the Egyptians dead. I side with Rashi and Shadal, in the traditional explanation. Also, does the trup indicate anything in this regard?
  4. Charoses and the authenticity of the Zohar -- If named Tannaim or Amoraim mentioned in the Zohar think the tapuach is the apple, but according to true Chazal the tapuach is the citron, then how could the Zohar be anything other than a forgery?
  5. Does an orange belong on the seder plate?
  6. Introducing the Absolut Haggadah, 2010 Vintage -- a link, and positive review, of that haggadah. I focus on one dvar Torah therein, about the meaning of varav, as mature. You can download the Haggadah here.

  1. My review of the 2009 edition of the Absolut Haggadah. You can download the haggadah here.
  2. Prepare for Pesach by learning through all of Rif on Pesachim. This year, I put it into a single convenient PDF.
  3. "And even you shall break his teeth": parts one, two, three, four, five.
  4. Does Oto HaIsh is the Haggadah refer to Jesus?
  5. And even you shall break his teeth -- what does this mean? part i, ii, iii, iv, v.
  6. The text of kol chamira. Times are from that year, though, unless I get around to updating it.
  7. Is Nirtza a violation of ain maftirin achar hapesach afikomen?
  8. Rav Shmuel Palagi's objections to the songs after Hallel (during the seder) -- part i ; part ii; part iii. And his objections against piyutim in general.
  9. Another take on minei zemer (as definition of Afikoman)
  10. The dot on the heh of rechokah, and Pesach Sheni.
  11. Who likes Gazalot? Further analysis of that Yerushalmi about minei zemer.
  12. Does Arami Oved Avi refer to a wandering / poor Aramean, or to Lavan who sought to destroyThis post deals with an interpretation of Arami Oved Avi by Ibn Ezra and Radak which goes against the classic midrashic interpretation, and the reaction of two supercommentaries of Rashi to this "daring" interpretation. What comes into play is whether Ibn Ezra and Radak can claim to have absolute knowledge of Hebrew to be able to declare the midrashic interpretation to not work out according to the rules of dikduk; and whether one can argue on midrash, as they are doing, if after the midrashic interpretation goes all the way back to Sinai! It could also be that as supercommentators of Rashi, they are simply defending Rashi's interpretation as one of peshat.a
  13. The Rav on Arami Oved Avi -- Dr. David Segal told me over a peshat he heard from the Rav zt"l, in which Arami Oved Avi as expounded in the haggadah is in line with Ibn Ezra and Radak's insistence that Oved is an intransitive verb. Rabbi Wohlgelenter also heard this from the Rav. I repeat this from memory, and from a brief conversation; therefore, I hope I have the details right.
  1. Absolut Haggadah, 2008 Edition
  2. All of Rif on Pesachim
  3. One Who Dons Tefillin On Chol Chol haMoed is Chayyav Misa?
  4. Early Seder
  5. Some Fascinating Info On Dayenu, pt i
  6. One Who Eats Matzah On Erev Pesach
  7. A Redefined Kezayis, Because They Had a Smaller Strain of Olives
  8. What should I feed my goldfish on Pesach?
  9. Dueling Chumros
  10. Reclining Be-Benei Berak According to Abarbanel
  11. Rasha Mah Hu Omer -- How Do We Know This Is The Rasha?
  12. Elijah Drinks
  13. Soft Matzah
  14. The Prayer for an Edible Matzah
  15. Davening Maariv early on Shabbos on Erev Pesach
  16. The Pizza after Pesach segulah?
  1. When did the heirs slaughter the son
  2. It Is Permitted To Own Kitniyot On Pesach!
  3. Why do we care that Lot ate matza on Pesach?
  4. Does Eliyahu haNavi Really Visit Every Seder?
  5. Eating Original Chazeres
  6. What Do You Mean, It Would Have Been Enough Had God Stranded Us On The Shore of the Reed Sea At The Mercy of the Egyptians?
  7. The Absolut Haggadah, 2007 Edition -- my review
  1. The Learner/Burner Question (7 posts)
  2. The Rif on Sefirat HaOmer
  3. Cute: Pesach seder in 60 seconds
  4. Sources for Yoshev Lifnei Rabbo Devar for Pesach
  5. Naghei vs. Leilei (7 posts)
  1. Cute Pesach Flash
  2. Blunt his teeth because of his attitude, not because of his actions
  3. Feeding Gorillas Matzah in the run-up to Pesach. But what will they feed him Erev Pesach?
to be continued...

Tzav sources

by aliyah
rishon (6:1)
sheni (6:12)
shlishi (7:11)
revii (8:1)
chamishi (8:14)
shishi (8:22)
shevii (8:30)
maftir (8:33)
haftara (Yirmeyahu 7:21)

by perek

perek 6 ; perek 7 ; perek 8

Judaica Press Rashi in English
Shadal (and here)
Daat -- with Rashi, Ramban, Seforno, Ibn Ezra, Rashbam, Rabbenu Bachya, Midrash Rabba, Tanchuma+, Lekach Tov, Yalkut Shimoni, Gilyonot.
Gilyonot Nechama Leibovitz (Hebrew)
Tiferes Yehonasan from Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz -- not until Tazria
Chasdei Yehonasan -- not until Shemini
Toldos Yitzchak Acharon, repeated from Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz -- not until Shemini
Even Shleimah -- from Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich
R' Saadia Gaon's Tafsir, Arabic translation of Torah (here and here)
Collected commentary of Saadia Gaon on Torah -- not until Shemini
Rashbam (and here)
Torah Temimah
Kli Yakar
Zohar, with English translation
Baal Haturim
Baal Haturim (HaAruch)
Torat Hatur
Ibn Janach
Rabbenu Ephraim
Ibn Caspi -- not until Acharei Mos
Dubno Maggid
Imrei Shafer, Rav Shlomo Kluger
Ateret Zekeinim
Mei Noach
Arugat HaBosem
Yalkut Perushim LaTorah
R' Yosef Bechor Shor
Meiri -- not until Shemini
Ibn Gabirol -- not until Kedoshim
Rabbenu Yonah
Aderet Eliyahu (Gra)
Kol Eliyahu (Gra) -- not until Shemini
Sefer Zikaron of Ritva -- not until Acharei Mot
Chiddushei HaGriz -- not until Bemidbar
Noam Elimelech
Michlal Yofi
Nesivot Hashalom

The following meforshim at JNUL. I've discovered that if you click on the icon to rotate sideways, change to only black and white, select only the portion which is text, it is eminently readable on paper.
Ralbag (pg 205)
Baal HaTurim (35)
Rabbenu Bachya (156)
Chizkuni (89)
Abarbanel (237)
Shach (155)
Paneach Raza (51)
Yalkut Reuveni (pg 115)
Sefer Hachinuch (pg 43)
Aharon ben Yosef the Karaite (147)

Daat, Rashi In Hebrew (perek 6)
Judaica Press Rashi in English and Hebrew
MizrachiMizrachi (on Rashi, 165)
Gur Aryeh (Maharal of Prague)
Siftei Chachamim
Berliner's Beur on Rashi
Commentary on Rashi by Yosef of Krasnitz
R' Yisrael Isserlin (on Rashi, 11)
Two supercommentaries on Rashi, by Chasdai Almosnino and Yaakov Kneizel
Rav Natan ben Shishon Shapira Ashkenazi (16th century), (JNUL, pg 92)
Levush HaOrah
Yeriot Shlomo (Maharshal)
Moda L'Bina (Wolf Heidenheim)
Dikdukei Rashi
Mekorei Rashi (in Mechokekei Yehuda)
Yosef Daas
Nachalas Yaakov
Also see Mikraos Gedolos above, which has Rashi with Sifsei Chachamim

Daat, Ramban in Hebrew (perek 6)
R' Yitzchak Abohav's on Ramban (standalone and in a Tanach opposite Ramban)
Kesef Mezukak
Kanfei Nesharim
Rabbi Meir Abusaula (student of Rashba)

ibn ezra
Daat, Ibn Ezra in Hebrew (perek 6)
Mechokekei Yehudah (Daat)
Mechokekei Yehudah (HebrewBooks)
Mavaser Ezra
R' Shmuel Motot (on Ibn Ezra, pg 36)
Ibn Kaspi's supercommentary on Ibn Ezra, different from his commentary (here and here) -- not until Acharei Mos
Mekor Chaim, Ohel Yosef, Motot
Avi Ezer
Tzofnas Paneach
Ezra Lehavin
Also see Mikraos Gedolos above, which has Ibn Ezra with Avi Ezer

Targum Onkelos opposite Torah text
Targum Onkelos and Targum Pseudo-Yonatan in English
Shadal's Ohev Ger
Chalifot Semalot
Avnei Tzion -- two commentaries on Onkelos
Bei`urei Onkelos
Or Hatargum on Onkelos
Targum Yonatan
Commentary on Targum Yonatan and Targum Yerushalmi
Origen's Hexapla (JNUL)

Tanach with masoretic notes on the side
Commentary on the Masorah
Minchas Shai
Or Torah
Taamei Masoret -- not until Tazria
Masoret HaKeriah
Shiluv Hamasorot
Masoret HaBrit HaGadol
Rama (but based on alphabet, not parsha)
Vetus Testamentum

Midrash Rabba at Daat (6)
Midrash Tanchuma at Daat (6)
Vayikra Rabba, with commentaries
Midrash Tanchuma with commentary of Etz Yosef and Anaf Yosef
Commentary on Midrash Rabba by R' Naftali Hirtz b'R' Menachem
Matat-Kah on Midrash Rabba
Nefesh Yehonasan by Rav Yonasan Eibeshutz

haftarah (Yirmeyahu 7:21)
In a separate Mikraot Gedolot -- with Targum, Rashi, Mahari Kara, Radak, Minchat Shai, Metzudat David.
Gutnick Edition Haftara
Rashis in English, from Judaica Press
Daat, with links to
Aharon ben Yosef the Karaite, pg 77

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coins of Dancho and Issar

This is my chiddush; I believe it to be true. If true, it is yet another example how knowledge of archeology and ancient history can help us find the correct peshat in the gemara, and how lack of this knowledge can lead even Rishonim astray.

Here is the gemara, taking the text and translation from my Rif Yomi blog:
המראה דינר לשולחני ונמצא רע
תני חדא אומן ה"ז פטור הדיוט ה"ז חייב
ותניא אידך בין אומן בין הדיוט חייב
אמר רב פפא כי תניא ההיא אומן הרי זה פטור כגון דנכו ואיסור דלא צריכי למיגמר כלל:
If one showed a dinar to a moneychanger {who recommended it as good} and it was found to be bad:
One Tannaitic source taught: An expert, he is exempt; a normal person, he is liable.
And another brayta: Whether an expert or a normal person, he is liable.

Rav Pappa said: When that brayta taught that an expert is exempt, it is such Dancho and Issar {Rashi: renowned experts in moneychanging} who need no instruction at all.
I admit that I was stuck when trying to translate כגון דנכו ואיסור. And so I turned to Rashi, who said that they were experts in moneychanging. And I checked Soncino, who followed Rashi's lead and said the same thing.

But that Rashi says this does not impress me. No, I do not think he had a tradition as to the names of famous Jewish Babylonian moneychangers in the time of Rav Pappa. I think he looked for the interpretation of the difficult phrase which would make it read intelligibly, and decided that these must be the names of people.

However, I know that an Issar is the name of a famous coin. Now, this moneychanger might have been eponymous, but still, it struck me that perhaps כגון דנכו ואיסור might be the names of coins rather than people. And if so, Rav Pappa's statement would mean something different, but it would be more likely that his statement would make sense to people even far off. Then, I realized that the daled in דנכו could be separate from the root, and it is "de-Nachu," meaning "of Nachu." I also knew that on occasion in the laguage of Chazal, the khaf is used to render x of other languages. And so I formed my hypothesis: that the coinage of Naxo was some standard currency.

To test my hypothesis, I decided to search google for the words:
naxo ancient coin
and indeed, I found it to be true. Here is one such site:
Naxos coin - silver stater
The output of the Archaic mint came to an end in 490 BC, when the Athenians settled five hundred cleruchs on the island. The minting of coins, on the Rhodian standard, was resumed in the 4th c. BC. The surface of the silver and bronze coins was engraved with a depiction of the head of Dionysos and the kantharos.
Another example:
Naxos (wikipedia)
The coins of Naxos, which are of fine workmanship, may almost all be referred to the period from 460 BC to 403 BC, which was probably the most flourishing in the history of the city.
A search for Naxos coins yields 61,000 hits, and here is an article on JSTOR all about Naxos coins. Coins of Naxos are thus well known. And an Issar coin is also well known.

Rif presumably thought like Rashi, and so did not see the need to cite the end of the statement. But that statement is, in full, is:

It was stated: If a denar was shown to a money changer [and he recommended it as good] but it was subsequently found to be bad, in one Baraitha it was taught that if he was an expert he would be exempt but if an amateur he would be liable, whereas in another Baraitha it was taught that whether he was an expert or an amateur he would be liable. R. Papa stated: The ruling that in the case of an expert he would be exempt refers to such, e.g., as Dankcho and Issur who needed no [further] instruction whatever, but who made a mistake regarding a new stamp at the time when the coin had just [for the first time] come from the mint.
The contrast, which I did not see at first when I made my hypothesis, because I was learning straight from Rif, is between כגון דנכו ואיסור on the one hand, and coins just coming from the mint, on the other. It is not the contrasting experts in question, but a difference in coinage. The coinage of Naxos, and an Issar, is a well-known coin, so an expert should know it well, and would indeed be an expert. But in a newly-minted coin, even an expert might not have full knowledge of it and would be as an amateur.

Now, the setama degemara compares דנכו ואיסור to Rabbi Chiyya in the continuation, which might then have influenced Rashi. Perhaps the setama was incorrect in interpreting Rav Pappa; or perhaps the comparison is of Rabbi Chiyya the person with the established coinage of Naxos and an Issar (weaker). Tzarich Iyun, but I favor the former and so am not bothered by this problem at all.

This is then shocking. And this correct interpretation would seem to be against halacha as it has been established. (Of course, in monetary matters, what people expect is determinative in court-cases, so perhaps this misinterpretation should still be encoded as halacha.) But it is nonetheless shocking. Well, not for me, because I am sitting on top of much more shocking (and straightforward) interpretations of gemara. But what do you think about this one? Correct? Incorrect? If correct, what does this mean in terms of the accepted interpretation and in terms of halacha?

Judging In Accordance With Persian Law

Random Thoughts is hosting this week's Havel Havalim, and a parshablog post it featured on it. Check out the whole blog carnival.

I saw this a bit back, and decided I wanted to mention it. A fascinating gemara. I cite from my Rif blog:
{Bava Kamma 58b}
ההוא גברא דקץ קסבא מחבריה
אתא לקמיה דריש גלותא
א"ל דיינא לדילי חזיין לי תלת תלת בקינא הויאן ושויאן מאה זוזי
זיל הב ליה תלתין ותלתא ותילתא
אמר בהדי ריש גלותא דדאין דינא דפרסאי למה לי
אתא לקמיה דרב נחמן
א"ל בששים
There was a certain person who cut down a date-palm of his neighbor. He came before the Exilarch. He said to him: 'I myself saw the place; three date-trees stood close together in one nest and they were worth one hundred zuz. Go therefore and pay the other party thirty-three and a third {zuz}. He {=the defendant} said to the Exilarch: 'What have I to do with an Exilarch who judges in accordance with Persian Law?'
He came before Rav Nachman. He {=Rav Nachman} said: In conjunction with 60 {times as much}.

{Bava Kamma 59a}
רב פפא ורב הונא בריה דרב יהושע עבדו עובדא כוותיה דרב נחמן בששים
איכא דאמרי הכי שמין דיקלא אגב קטינא דארעא בששים
והלכתא כוותיה דרב פפא בדילקא ארמאה
והלכתא כוותיה דריש גלותא בדיקלא פרסאה:
Rav Pappa and Rav Huna son of Rav Yehoshua acted in practice like Rav Nachman, in conjunction with 60. Some say so did they assess palm tree in conjunction with the small piece of ground, in conjunction with 60 {times as much}.
And the halacha is like Rav Pappa by an Aramean palm, and the halacha is in accordance with the Exilarch by a Persian palm.
In the actual gemara, the juxtaposition is not that stark. But the Rif places them together, skipping over a bunch of intervening gemara. See here fo

As Soncino explains, in accordance with Rashi on the daf:
an Aramean palm: Which is by itself of no great value.
a Persian palm: Which is even by itself of considerable value.
But is that indeed the reason for the Resh Geluata's ruling, that he was dealing with a different sort of tree? And since it was in Persia, it was a Persian palm? If so, why did Rav Nachman rule otherwise? Pashut Peshat would seem to be that he was judging in accordance with the actual law of Persia, which was then the litigant's complaint.

Rashi and Tosafot differ on this.
Rashi writes correctly:
דינא דפרסאה - שאינו דין תורה:

And Tosafot do not really argue, but offers an alternate explanation that some say, which could work:
דדאין דינא דפרסאה. י"מ של דקל פרסאי דאמר לקמן הלכתא כוותיה דריש גלותא בדקלא פרסאה ולפי מה שפירש בערוך דקשבא דקלא פרסאה אי אפשר לפרש כן:

Regardless, there is a tension here. The obvious answer, to my mind, is that the Resh Geluta indeed was judging Persian law, being an appointee in Persia. It is an interesting source for judging in Jewish courts the dina demalchuta. But halacha, when not going according to the dina demalchuta, is not as he ruled. And when it came down to the hilcheta, well that is not a statement from a named Amora. Rather, it is the anonymous setama degemara, acting on its own initiative to harmonize, and taking its cue perhaps from the detail of אגב קטינא דארעא, and reading in a difference of the type of palm tree.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Interesting posts and articles #134

  1. Just a reminder about the 2009 Version of the Absolute Haggadah. You can download it here. My review is here.

  2. On Google Books, Halachos of Pesach, by Rabbi Shimon Eider

  3. Read through all of Rif on Pesachim with an easy PDF.

  4. My treatment of Aharon ben Yosef's explanation of lo tevaaru esh attracted the attention of a present-day Karaite. Check out the discussion in the comment section. (There was a separate post about my take on the interpretation, and my own suggestion, which did not get any comments. It is lonely.)

  5. If you are looking for my posts on parshat Vayikra, you can find them here. Yes, many of the links in this roundup end up being to my own blog. Sometimes that happens.

  6. Rabbi Slifkin with an interesting article on whether tzefardeah are frogs or crocs. Also, a follow-up essay from Rabbi Slifkin about A Defense for My Critics. He responds to a post by Divrei Chaim in there. The blogpost included:
    The greatest error of many who seek to resolve contradictions between science or history and Torah is misframing of the question. The question to be asked is NOT whether espousing a certain belief or interpretation makes on a heretic or contradicts whatever list of ikkarim one subscribes to (belief in 13 ikkarim can no longer to be taken for granted, as some people feel that they can say kim li like some other list in Rishonim). One can concoct many wonderful versions of Judaism that keep to 613 mitzvos and are a hodge-podge of ideas and hashkafos that are built on a diyuk in a Rishon here and a shita of an Acharon there, etc. but which bear no resemblance to the dogma and practice of Jews in any community in our history. It's not the negation of cardinal belief which is the test of Torah true hashkafa. The real test is whether the conclusions confirm with the pattern of belief which our mesorah and people have held dear for generations. So what if there is an odd R' Avraham ben haRambam or a Pachad Yitzchak out there in our literature if there is a strong mesorah that runs contrary to these views?

    But who is to judge what mesorah consists of? I honestly don't see what the confusion is in this regard. R' Akiva Eiger is an acharon; were I to fomulate an opinion on an issue, I too would be an "acharon" -- does anyone in their right mind think my opinion is worth 2 cents compared with R' Akiva Eiger's shikul hada'as, no matter how many ra'ayos I have or proofs to my position? Anyone who has sat in a beis medrash knows that even to have such a hava amina is ridiculous. When R' Baruch Ber would say shiur and answer up a R' Akiva Eiger he would say that his shiur is just a hava amina of R' Akiva Eiger but should not be taken as an absolute conclusion because R' Akiva Eiger said otherwise. Rav Solovetichik (Shiurim l'Zecher Aba Mori, Two Types of Mesorah) taught that there are certain great chachami hador who are ba'alei mesorah. They are not just poskim who decide what is permitted or prohibited, but they are responsible for setting the tone and tenor of Judaism and passing it to the next generation of leaders. R' Akiva Eiger, the Ktzos, R' Chaim Brisker -- these are ba'alei mesorah not just because of an insightful particular tshuvah or chiddush, but because they established what Jewish tradition in all its flavor means and represents. That line of ba'alei mesorah continues to our own day. Whether it is R' Elyashiv, R' Chaim Kanievsky, etc., there are people who klal yisrael look to as the flagbearers of tradition.
    R' Slifkin has a lengthy response, but it a good one, IMHO. Check it out inside.

  7. Frum Kiruv Maniac on Chazal and Anthropomorphism. I disagree with him on most of his major points here -- whether to accuse a source as a forgery because it was discovered and published my maskilim, and whether language in Zohar, and midrashic works redacted in later times, can demonstrate that a particular expression and thus ideology was popular even among Chazal, and from there that something else must be a forgery.

    This was motivated in part by R' Slifkin's article in Hakirah about whether Rashi was a corporealist. See also my own post about an interesting Rashi in this regard.

  8. Divrei Chaim on heseiba as an independent mitzvah, or not.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The trup on Min HaBeheimah

To the right is much of the pasuk in Vayikra 1:2. Note the etnachta on LaHashem, and the revii on Min-HaBeheima.

There are actually two subtly-different ways to parse this pasuk, related to how we view the Olah of birds, and Ibn Ezra and Ramban are on opposite sides.

One way of translating this verse, ignoring other irrelevant ambiguities, is:

If a person from you offers a korban to Hashem, then from the domesticated animals, namely from the herd or from the flock shall you offer your korbanot.

This is in line with the trup, which has an etnachta on LaHashem. Therefore, the entire category of Olah is being given. And one should offer beheimah for this purpose, and specifically, from the herd or the flock.

Ibn Ezra appears to say this:

מן הבהמה -
יהיה הקרבן כלל, ואחר כן: מן הבקר ומן הצאן, שהם מין כבש ועז פרט, גם מלת קרבנכם כלל.
Thus, from the domesticated animals yihyeh hakorban, shall be the offering. The "problem" with this is that an olah need not only come from a beheima. Sure, it must come from a beheima rather than a chayah, but as we see a bit later in the same perek:
יד וְאִם מִן-הָעוֹף עֹלָה קָרְבָּנוֹ, לַה': וְהִקְרִיב מִן-הַתֹּרִים, אוֹ מִן-בְּנֵי הַיּוֹנָה--אֶת-קָרְבָּנוֹ. 14 And if his offering to the LORD be a burnt-offering of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtle-doves, or of young pigeons.
If so, this section about an olah from fowl seems like an afterthought. Perhaps we can say that it is indeed an afterthought, or it is a bedieved for those who cannot afford the larger animals. But still, it would be nice to have mentioned it earlier, and not give the false impression that it must be from the beheimot.

That is presumably what is "bothering" Ramban. He has a different parsing and interpretation of our pasuk He writes:

ב): אדם כי יקריב מכם קורבן לה' מן הבהמה -
שיעור הכתוב הזה אדם מכם כי יקריב מן הבהמה קורבן לה' מן הבקר ומן הצאן תקריבו. והעניין, בעבור שיצווה אחרי כן בקורבן העוף ובקורבן המנחה, אמר כאן כשיקריב אדם קורבן בהמה יקריב מאלה השנים, ולא חיה ולא שאר בהמות. והנה זה לאו הבא מכלל עשה במקריב חיה, כמו שאמרו בזבחים פרק שלישי (לד א): ק
המעלה איברי חיה, ר' יוחנן אומר: עובר בעשה.
Thus, he effectively rewords the pasuk, moving min habeheima earlier. If one sacrifices from the beheimah, it should be of the following two groups, the tzon or the bakar, to the exclusion of wild animals or other domesticated animals.

I would add that then there is no contradiction to the later olah of birds. He is saying the pasuk is saying that if you sacrifice from beheimot these are the parameters; and later the pasuk is saying that if you sacrifice from ofot these are the the parameters. This all leads to a nice structure.

However, as Shadal notes, this goes against the trup. If it were as Ramban said, the etnachta should be moved two words later -- so that the pasuk would read:
A person among you who brings a korban to Hashem from the beheima || from the bakar and the tzon you should bring your korban.

In Shadal's Vikuach al Chochmat haKabbalah (follow link for my translation), he uses this as evidence that Ramban, among other commentators, have absolutely no problem arguing with the trup in offering peshat; and that therefore they regard trup as the work of an excellent exegete but not necessarily does it go all the way back to Sinai.

Now, I would say one might be able to still kvetch it with the existing trup, at least for this particular example. (The others are mre difficult, IMHO.) Thus: If one offers a korban olah, then, if from the beheimah, from the bakar or from the tzon. That is not strictly what Ramban says in that particular structure, but we can say that he was just rewording it for the sake of clarity.


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