One premise that is very basic to the student of the Talmud and can be found on nearly every page of the Gemorrah is the concept that the Torah was written with great precision and that every single word, maybe every single letter, is expected to mean or convey something. And, therefore extraneous words are used to infer new laws or details within a law.First let us see these two pesukim. In Vayikra 11:14:
Many years back, on a Shabbat, I am sitting in shul during kri-at hatoreh. To be honest, I’m quite an impatient person and have trouble listening to the leining, so I usually spend the time quietly reading something on my own. But on this particular occasion I am actually listening to the parsha. It was Re-ay and the baal korei is intoning the section on forbidden animals (Devarim 14). Now, aside from a few differences in choice of verbiage and one major contradiction in law, superficially, this section seems a shortened repetition of the same laws as promulgated back in Parshat shimini.
As is well known that within the section, the Torah provides a listing of 21 birds that are forbidden to be eaten (Only 20 in Lev.). As the reader chants verse Dev 14:13 V’hara, v’et ha-eiya, v’ha’da-ya l’mina.
I flip back to Lev. (11:14) and read the corresponding verse as given there.
V’et ha’da-ya v’et ha-eiya, l’mina.
So, as can readily be seen, in the verse (Dev. 14:13) consisting of only 5 words there are 3 textual variations vis-à-vis Lev. Three in one tiny verse. Now, for a precision document, this just doesn’t make sense. What exactly is the meaning of these changes? Did Moishe forget what he wrote just 40 years ago? Did he not bother to check his copy of the earlier text?
So, I consulted the standard commentaries. It doesn’t/didn’t seem to bother anyone among the main ones. (or did I miss someone). Over the years, I’ve asked the question to many of our learned crowd and most just shrug their shoulders. It troubles no one. Some call upon the famous “fun a kashei shtarbt men nisht” (I.e. One doesn’t die from a question.), as if that provides a very insightful response. Obviously there is something wrong with me.
However, in my most humble opinion, the invocation of this famed sound bite should only be permitted when there is truly NO conceivable reasonable response.
I know, I know, the simple, quite obvious and very likely correct explanation cannot be invoked as it is considered to be “outside the pale”.
|14. the kestrel, and the vulture after its species,||יד. וְאֶת הַדָּאָה וְאֶת הָאַיָּה לְמִינָהּ:|
and in Devarim 14:13:
|13. and the white vulture, and the black vulture, and the kite after its species;||יג. וְהָרָאָה וְאֶת הָאַיָּה וְהַדַּיָּה לְמִינָהּ:|
There is indeed an extra species here. That is the one real distinction. Yes, there are other minor changes, such as whether there is a leading et, the order of the words, and the spelling (yud vs. aleph) of daya, but I would not consider this to be
3 textual variations vis-à-vis Lev. Three in one tiny verse.Yes, this is Mishneh Torah, a restatement. There is no need, on a peshat level, to use the exact same language in each location, nor should we expect it. And if you want to know the reason for a moved et, ask Shimon HaAmsuni, who darshened every es. Or ask the Torah codes experts, or kabbalists who consider the entire Torah to be a lengthy name of God. To those who maintain this, these minor variations are meaningful, even if we aren't aware of the cause for every variation. I don't believe that we have an explicit explanation of every es in the Torah, even though Shimon HaAmsuni presumably delineated them.
But on a peshat level, only the extra species is really meaningful and need be addressed. The other textual variants don't bother me in the slightest. (I am not sure what this guest poster wants to be the "obvious and very likely correct explanation" -- either that the variations don't matter, a la Ibn Ezra elsewhere, or that the text is deficient, or that it is from a different author. Or that the author of Devarim was unsure of the daled or resh? (I think he means this one.) That the Samaritan text is the correct one? He doesn't say, because he believes it to be so obvious. Though he elaborates in the comment section there.)
Now, this variation was certainly noticed in the time of Chazal. The Samaritans spotted it and changed it -- one of the reasons Chazal told them ziyaftem et Toratchem. Thus:
This text is of parashat Reeh. The text on the right is our Masoretic text, while the text on the left is the Samaritan Torah. Note how they change not just this pasuk, but the surrounding pesukim as well, so that it precisely matches that of Vayikra. This sort of harmonization is precisely what the Samaritans did, and why Chazal accused them of forging their Torah. Meanwhile, on a peshat level, any retelling will have slight meaningful or non-meaningful differences, and on a derash level, these slight variations may be all-important. It is to the credit of the Masoretic text that it does not try to "fix" such problems, even if some of the problems may have originated at some point due to scribal error.
(I would note that while the Samaritan Torah removes leminah, the Samaritan Targum does have it.
Consider also the Septuagint:
13 καὶ τὸν γύπα καὶ τὸν ἴκτινον καὶ τὰ ὅμοια αὐτῷ
13 and the vulture, and the kite and the like to it,
where they only have the two, as well as leminah.
How did Chazal deal with this change in an added species of non-kosher bird? Rashi cites the gemara in Chulin:
|the white vulture and the black vulture: (אַיָּה)(דַּיָּה) are [names for] the same [or similar] bird. Why is its name called רָאָה ? Because it sees (רוֹאֶה) very well. And why does [Scripture] admonish you with all its names? In order not to give an opponent any opportunity to disagree, so that the one who wishes to prohibit should not call it רָאָה, and the one who wishes to permit it will say,“This one is named דַּיָּה,” or“This one is named אַיָּה,” and Scripture did not prohibit this one!" And in the case of birds, [Scripture] enumerates the unclean species, to teach that the clean birds are more numerous than the unclean [in contrast with Rashi on verses 4-5, regarding animals]. Therefore, it enumerates the fewer ones. - [Chul. 63b]||והראה ואת האיה וגו': היא ראה היא איה היא דיה. ולמה נקרא שמה ראה, שרואה ביותר. ולמה הזהיר בכל שמותיה, שלא ליתן פתחון פה לבעל דין לחלוק, שלא יהא האוסרה קורא אותה ראה והבא להתיר אומר, זו דיה שמה או איה שמה, וזו לא אסר הכתוב. ובעופות פרט לך הטמאים, ללמד שהעופות הטהורים מרובים על הטמאים, לפיכך פרט את המועט:|
See the gemara inside, as well as the Point by Point Summay of the daf. My take on it is that there is one position that two or three are the same species, and another which maintains that Devarim repeated this section to add an additional species, just as elsewhere different accounts supplement one another -- that the Torah is "rich" in one place and "poor" in the other, as it focuses on various details. (Though the gemara harmonized all the positions in braytot to say the same thing.)
Other classic meforshim deal with this as well. For example, we have Ibn Ezra, who writes on pasuk 11:
|11. You may eat every clean bird.||יא. כָּל צִפּוֹר טְהֹרָה תֹּאכֵלוּ:|
[יד, יא]Thus, tzipor is the general term. So too, in terms of daya and aya in place in daah (or perhaps be goes raah -- see Mechokekei Yehuda, Yahel Or). Thus, either the list here in Shofetim is an expansion of the list there, or else the word raah in the beginning of the pasuk in Shofetim is then elaborated to be the two species listed later in the verse.
כל צפור טהורה תאכלו -הנה צפור שם כלל ותור וגוזל על השני מינין, שהם תחת צפור.
וכן: דיה ואיה תחת דאה, כי עתה הוסיף לבאר.
Chizkuni says as follows:
Ibn Janach also writes about this at length, citing various Geonim on the matter -- I'm not going to translate, so read it carefully:
הראה . הוא שם מין מן העוף נוסף על העשרים מין
חנזכרים בספר ויקרא ופרושו בו בערבי אל ג׳אריח, וזה
שם כולל לכל העוף הדורס, והמקום הזה איננו כי אם מקום
מין ידוע מן העוף, וראוי אם כן שיהיה לו שם מיוחד לו,
מבלי זולתו ממינו. וכבר אמרו קצת החכמים, כי דאה
בדל״ת וראה בר״ש שני שמות למין אחד. אמרו (חולין
ס״ג:) מאי שנא הכא דכתיבא דאה ומאי שנא הכא
דכתיבא ראה? אלא שמע מינה דאה וראה אתת היא. ועל
המאמר הזה סמך חפץ ראש-כלה ז״ל בספרו המצות. ורבנו
שמואל בן חפני ז״ל סמך על הנראה מהכתוב, ואנו נוטים
אל דעתו, כי אם היה דאה וראה שני שמות למין אחד, לא
היה שונה בפרשה אתת למין אחד שני שמות רצונו לומר
הראה ברש והדיה והיה אוסר המין ההוא בשני השמות
האלה [באמרו והראה ואת האיה והדיה למינה] וזה מה
שלא יתכן ואין לו ענין מפני שהוא ללא צורך ואין זה
ראוי בדברי הנבואה. ואמרתי כי הראה בריש והדיה שני
שמות למין אחד, מפני שהדיה היא הדאה בדלת עצמה׳
והאחת משני הלשונות נזכרה בספר ויקרא והשנית
במשנה תורה וכן פרשם הגאון רב סעדיה ז׳׳ל פרוש אחד
ואם הדאה בדלת היא הדיה והראה בריש היא הדאה בדלת
תהיה בריש הדיה עצמה, וכבר הוסיף אחת על השנית
באסור וזה מה שאינו ראוי בדברי בני אדם כל שכן בדברי
הבורא יתעלה, כי זה מדברי בטלה שיאמר השמר מן הארי
.( והלביא, והלביא הוא הארי עצמו, וזה מבואר. (סה״ש 463
He continues that the aya is a separate creature.
See, also, and consider, Tg. Yonatan:
the daitha (lammer geyer?) white or black, which is a bird of prey, a kind of vulture
At the end of the day, one possibility which stands out is that since daled and resh switch off because of orthographic similarity, it is quite possible that one is a variant for the other, which somehow entered the text of sefer Devarim. Yet the pattern of veEt vs. not veEt but standing at the end seems somewhat against it. And these might be similar species with similar names (aya, daya, raya) which are then listed together (see the pattern by Midian), or the more general followed by the specific (as Ibn Ezra says). While the Torah text gives species and no explicit reason, one might derive a general rule from the specifics (e.g. those species which are dores). And then these are just examples, and another example may be added. No harm, no fowl. :) Or else it was a subspecies and covered under leminah from earlier. Alas, we don't know definitively the identities of each of these species, so it is hard to tell.