Monday, March 29, 2010

Some thoughts on Avadim Hayinu

Next up, Avadim Hayinu:

Placed right after Ma Nishtana, it constitutes an answer to the question of the reason for these strange practices. This is what the gemara in Pesachim 116a states:
מתחיל בגנות ומסיים בשבח:  מאי בגנות רב אמר מתחלה עובדי עבודה זרה היו אבותינו [ושמואל] אמר עבדים היינו אמר ליה רב נחמן לדרו עבדיה עבדא דמפיק ליה מריה לחירות ויהיב ליה כספא ודהבא מאי בעי למימר ליה אמר ליה בעי לאודויי ולשבוחי א"ל פטרתן מלומר מה נשתנה פתח ואמר עבדים היינו:

Thus, according to Shmuel, the way one begins with genus is by saying Avadim Hayinu. And when Rav Nachman (a student of Shmuel) and Daru his servant fulfilled the obligation of asking (or informing so as to ask), he immediately went on went on to Avadim Hayinu.

And it seems that the shevach is also there, in the same statement, that Hashem took us out of there with a strong hand and outstretched arm. The bit of us still being there if not for this redemption is a good way of appreciating the importance of this, and why we should be thankful, and perhaps also a bit of חייב אדם לראות את עצמו...

Just as we saw before (when discussing Mah Nishtanah) that there were many ways of fulfilling the asking of the question, and being exempt from Mah Nishtanah, so too there may be several ways of fulfilling the genus to shevach. And so this might be a machlokes in which everyone wins. Or in which we could theoretically fulfill this retelling using a number of different texts.

But while this short answer might be enough (except perhaps for an obligation to mention and explain Pesach Matzah Marror), this text tells us that we should go on at length about the exodus from Egypt. Even those who already know it all, there is this Mitzvah of going on at length.

But then, we don't go on at length about Yetzias Mitzrayim, at least not immediately! Rather, we go on at length about our obligation to say over, and to go on at length! Thus, the Haggadah continues:

Some say that the roles of these particular individuals, as descendants of converts, Leviim who were not subjugated, etc., we might think they were not obligated, or not so obligated. And so we see to what extend they did it.

I would simply say that these were a group of chachamim, navonim, yod'im et haTorah, etc. And so it directly illustrates the preceding, and the extent to which one should relate the story of the exodus, because Harei Zeh Meshubach. (That it goes until Krias Shema shel Shacharis, I recall a suggestion that this despite the fact that Zecher Yetzias Mitzrayim is part of Krias Shema, and so we see this is a separate obligation. This is cute, but this is just a mark of the time, that they spent the entire night discussing Yetzias Mitzrayim. There are other Biblical aspects of the obligation of Krias Shema shel Shacharis. But see what I write below about Lod.)

Now, obviously, all these Chachomim couldn't have said the text of the Haggadah as we have before us. After all, how could they relate a story about themselves? It hadn't happened yet! That night, it seems, they were mesaprim about the actual Exodus, not the halachos about their obligation to relate.

On the other hand, we have this incident in Lod, in the last Tosefta in Pesachim:
חייב אדם [לעסוק בהלכות הפסח] כל הלילה אפילו בינו לבין בנו אפילו בינו לבין עצמו אפילו בינו לבין תלמידו מעשה ברבן גמליאל וזקנים שהיו מסובין בבית ביתוס בן זונין בלוד והיו [עסוקין בהלכות הפסח] כל הלילה עד קרות הגבר הגביהו מלפניהם ונועדו והלכו [להן] לבית המדרש

Here, the obligation is to engage in the hilchos hapesach. In a nice parallel to the above -- just as those Chachamim were engaged in sippur yetzias Mitzrayim and then transitioned to zechiras Yetzias Mitzrayim, Rabban Gamliel and the Zekeinim were engaged in discussing hilchos haPesach all that night (and viewed this as the obligation), and transitioned to go to the Beis Hamidrash where they continued learning, perhaps other things. (Perhaps one can argue that these are the same...)

What is meant by "Pesach" in Hilchos HaPesach? This Pesach night occurred in Lod, post-Churban Habayis. Two possibilities strike me. The first is the halachos of the Korban Pesach, as we see in the same Tosefta Pesachim, but in perek 4, with what they asked Hillel Hazaken (as I would understand it). And learning something is like doing it, just as we learn/recite korbanos every morning. Perhaps we could then view this as reenactment of the Korban Pesach by learning it. Alternatively, the gemara discusses learning Hilchot Hapesach, HaAtzeret, and HaChag 30 days before, so perhaps these are general rules of the holiday.

This discussion about the obligation to discuss might be a response to the Chacham (or, in other variants, the Tipesh), to tell him ke-hilchot haPesach ... ain maftirin achar hapesach afikoman. Perhaps different parts of the Haggadah address different sons, and this is chanoch lanaar al pi darko.

One final thought -- despite staying up all night learning the halachos of Pesach (as in the Tosefta), or staying up all night discussing the exodus from Egypt (as in the Haggadah), they did not neglect eating the Matzah, Maror, or meal. They did not neglect drinking the four cups of wine! If students would interrupt them for a tangential mitzvah, like Shema of the morning, they would certainly interrupt them to let them know that they were not going to fill the mitzvos of the night. Unfortunately, people often neglect the other mitzvos of the night in favor of Maggid. Forget about the obligation of finishing by chatzos halayla. At least, this is a machlokes. But in some houses, they extend Maggid such that the children, or young adults, fall asleep and do not drink the four cups! (Meanwhile תניא רבי אליעזר אומר חוטפין מצות בלילי פסחים בשביל תינוקות שלא ישנו.) Divrei Torah for the child's Rebbe, or that you yourself want to say over is nice, but when you optimize one thing, it is often at the expense of another. Save this for Shulchan Orech, for the meal. Or save it for after Nirtzah; or for the Yom Tov meal the next day.

Some thoughts on Ma Nishtana

Next up is Ma Nishtana. Here, the son asks.

Why should the son ask? Because in Shemot 12:

כו  וְהָיָה, כִּי-יֹאמְרוּ אֲלֵיכֶם בְּנֵיכֶם:  מָה הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת, לָכֶם.26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you: What mean ye by this service?
כז  וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח-פֶּסַח הוּא לַה', אֲשֶׁר פָּסַח עַל-בָּתֵּי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמִצְרַיִם, בְּנָגְפּוֹ אֶת-מִצְרַיִם, וְאֶת-בָּתֵּינוּ הִצִּיל; וַיִּקֹּד הָעָם, וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ.27 that ye shall say: It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S passover, for that He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.' And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

The answer about the Zevach Pesach, which is a fulfillment of vehigadta levincha, all about the story of the redemption from Egypt, is in response to a question of the son. (In this instance, the question usually associated with the rasha, but never mind that.) And so, this should be a sippur yetzias Mitzrayim in response to a question.

The question:

But where did he see all these things? I suppose, at the least, that the son has experienced some of these things. This was just after Ha Lachma Anya, so he just saw the matza. And that was just after kiddush, where everyone leaned, and after karpas, where there was dipping. In terms of marror, this could be because it is sitting on the seder plate before him. Though the second dipping has not yet occurred!

Yet, it is rather formulaic. And we all know that the kid prepares the question(s) beforehand. Yet the seder of the Haggadah is just one possible way of fulfilling it. We see in the gemara, Pesachim 115b:
למה עוקרין את השולחן אמרי דבי ר' ינאי כדי שיכירו תינוקות וישאלו אביי הוה יתיב קמיה דרבה חזא דקא מדלי תכא מקמיה אמר להו עדיין לא קא אכלינן אתו קא מעקרי תכא מיקמן אמר ליה רבה פטרתן מלומר מה נשתנה:

They moved the (portable) table away so that the children should ask. And (young) Abaye was sitting before Rabba. They moved the table away. He objected, wondering why they were moving away the table when they had not yet eaten. Rabba said to him that he had thus exempted them from saying Ma Nishtana. And on 116a:
מאי בגנות רב אמר מתחלה עובדי {עבודה זרה} היו אבותינו [ושמואל] אמר עבדים היינו אמר ליה רב נחמן לדרו עבדיה עבדא דמפיק ליה מריה לחירות ויהיב ליה כספא ודהבא מאי בעי למימר ליה אמר ליה בעי לאודויי ולשבוחי א"ל פטרתן מלומר מה נשתנה פתח ואמר עבדים היינו:
Rav Nachman said to Daru his servant: A slave who goes out from his master to freedom, and he gave him silver and gold, what does he need to say? He {=Daru} said to him: He needs to thank and praise. He {=Rav Nachman} said to him {Daru}, "you have exempted us from saying Ma Nishtana."

This is not even a question!

But they "mixed it up." It was not always this formula, which they recited by rote. And the text in the Haggada is just one way to fulfill the obligation. (The implication, to me, is that having fulfilled, they did not bother to actually say Ma Nishtana separately.)

But it is OK, I think, if the child does prepare it and it is this formula. It is also indicative of how, nowadays, the kids come with all sorts of divrei Torah prepared by their rebbe, and they end up saying a lot of maggid, rather than it being a vehigadta levincha -- although the father does get to say a lot of the actual haggadah. Perhaps this is excess.

Another answer is that if we look at the actual Mishna, the Mishna of kan haben shoel, together with Ma Nishtana, is placed after a Mishna detailing all the things they do first. One is that the bring the gufo shel Pesach. This is appropriate, since the in the pasuk, the question the son asks is sparked by the Pesach, such that he asks  מָה הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת, לָכֶם. And the response is  זֶבַח-פֶּסַח הוּא לַהשם

Dr. Richard Steiner, in JSIJ, 7 (2007), wrote an article addressing just how many questions there are in Ma Nishtana, as understood throughout the ages. It is well worth a read, not that he needs any haskama from me.

I would suggest that there are zero questions here! The relevant Mishna reads:
מזגו לו כוס שני וכאן הבן שואל אביו ואם אין דעת בבן אביו מלמדו מה נשתנה הלילה הזה מכל הלילות שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין חמץ ומצה הלילה הזה כולו מצה שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין שאר ירקות הלילה הזה מרור שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין בשר צלי שלוק ומבושל הלילה הזה כולו צלי שבכל הלילות <אין> אנו <חייבים לטבל אפילו> [מטבילין] פעם אחת הלילה הזה שתי פעמים ולפי דעתו של בן אביו מלמדו מתחיל בגנות ומסיים בשבח ודורש (דברים כו) מארמי אובד אבי עד שיגמור כל הפרשה כולה:
Here, the son asks whatever he asks. But, if the son does not have daas -- his father instructs him. That is, the she'aino yodeia lish'ol, at petach lo. And there should not be a comma, or pause, between the word melamdo and the word ma. Rather, אביו מלמדו מה נשתנה הלילה הזה מכל הלילות, the father instructs him just how this night is different from all other nights. And this might then prompt the child to ask why. Each שבכל הלילות is then not another question, but the father continuing to instruct just how the night is different. And the phrase ולפי דעתו של בן אביו מלמדו brackets it at the end. Perhaps even for this last phrase, the idea is that in the father instructs him how the night is different according to the daas of the son, needing to do more or less. 

If so, perhaps the son should not be saying this language, but rather the father! Of course, if the son does ask it, it is a way of asking, which is good. But perhaps this was not the intent of the Mishna, at all.

There are all sorts of girsological variations on the four questions. And of course, we took out the roasted meat question from the Mishna, which was perhaps only appropriate bizman hamikdash, and instead have a question about leaning.

Here is from the Rambam's perush hamishnayot:

Foremost, note the spacing, and the red mark above the word matchil. Ulefi daato thus belongs to the previous section. Of course, this can be so without saying like I am suggesting. Rather, in accordance with the daas of the son -- whether he is a Chacham, Rasha, Tam (/Tipesh), SheAino Yodea Lishol, the father responds to the son's question(s).

Note also how the question about Maror is crossed out. It this a girsological issue? Yes. While the Mishna in the gemara has this (see above), the Mishna by itself appears to lack it. Thus, from snunit:
י,ד  מזגו לו כוס שני, וכאן הבן שואל.  אם אין דעת בבן--אביו מלמדו, מה נשתנה הלילה הזה מכל הלילות:  שבכל הלילות, אין אנו מטבלין אפילו פעם אחת; והלילה הזה, שתי פעמים.  שבכל הלילות, אנו אוכלין חמץ ומצה; והלילה הזה, כולו מצה.  שבכל הלילות, אנו אוכלין בשר צלי שלוק ומבושל; והלילה הזה, כולו צלי.  לפי דעתו של בן, אביו מלמדו.  מתחיל בגנות, ומסיים בשבח; ודורש מ"ארמי אובד אבי" (דברים כו,ה), עד שהוא גומר את כל הפרשה.

and so too the Mishna in Yerushalmi, without the question of Maror:
דף ע, א פרק י הלכה ד משנה  מזגו לו כוס שני וכאן הבן שואל אם אין דעת בבן לשאול.  אביו מלמדו מה נשתנה הלילה הזה מכל הלילות שבכל הלילות אנו מטבילין פעם אחת והלילה הזה שתי פעמים שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין חמץ ומצה והלילה הזה כולו מצה שבכל הלילות אוכלין בשר צלי שלוק ומבושל והלילה הזה כולו צלי ולפי דעתיה של בן אביו מלמדו מתחיל בגנות ומסיים בשבח ודורש מארמי אובד אבי עד שהוא גומר כל הפרשה

The idea that there are particularly four questions, in a night of fours (four sons, four cups, four questions), does not hold true.

But it may make some sense. As we said above, if they did not yet eat maror, how could they ask this question. But I'll turn around and note that the previous Mishna did say metabel bechazeret (=maror) ad shehu magia lefarperet hapat {or lefat, or ulefat}.

Some thoughts on Ha Lachma Anya

The text of Ha Lachma Anya:

Some variant texts begin with ke-Ha Lachma Anya instead:

What is the difference between them? Perhaps nothing, and we should not make any big deal about it. It is either This is the bread of affliction, or like this was the bread of affliction. Either way, the idea is that this is matza; it is the bread of affliction; it is what our ancestors ate in Egypt.

But perhaps we should make a big deal of it. The Mishna in Pesachim reads:
י,ה  רבן גמליאל אומר, כל שלא אמר שלושה דברים אלו בפסח, לא יצא ידי חובתו; ואלו הן--פסח, מצה, ומרורים.  פסח, על שם שפסח המקום על בתי אבותינו במצריים; מרורים, על שם שמיררו המצריים את חיי אבותינו במצריים; מצה, על שם שנגאלו.  בכל דור ודור, חייב אדם לראות את עצמו כאילו הוא יצא ממצריים; לפיכך אנחנו חייבין להודות להלל לשבח לפאר להדר לרומם לגדל לנצח למי שעשה לנו את כל הניסים האלו, והוציאנו מעבדות לחירות.  ונאמר לפניו, הללו יה.

But Rambam writes this as leharot et atzmo:
ח  [ו] בכל דור ודור, חייב אדם להראות את עצמו כאילו הוא בעצמו יצא עתה משיעבוד מצריים, 
And so, apparently in all Kitvei Yad of Rambam on the seder ha-hahagadah. But, we see in perush haMishnayot that it just לראות (credit to Rav Kapach). See e.g. this perush ha-Mishnayot:

The answer, says R' Kapach, is that the vocalization is to be larot, with a patach under the lamed rather than a heh. Which then means le-harot.

The difference is: lir`ot is that he should internalize the lesson, and see himself as if he left Egypt. Lar`ot is that he should externalize the lesson, and reenact it overtly for others as though he himself left Egypt. The pasuk cited it asah Hashem li betzeiti Mimitzrayim. This might be self-perception. But the pasuk does begin vehigadta levincha bayom hahu, such that this is a response for others.

Either way, this might entail referring to oneself as a Red-Sea pedestrian.

Back to the topic of the variant texts of ha vs. ke-ha -- Without the kaf, we are saying that this itself is the bread of affliction our forefathers ate. With the kaf, we are simply saying that it is like it, but that it is not precisely it. The former is a stronger reenactment. The latter seems more like a zecher. We might then draw a connection here. If the purpose is lar'ot, then ha is more appropriate than ke-ha.

What about the rest of it? We could cast it as (at least) one of three things: 
(1) A quote of what our ancestors said back in Egypt.
(2) A quote of what our ancestors said during the days of the Mikdash.
(3) Something we are saying today.

If (1), then our saying it might well be part of the reenactment. We say that now we are here in Egypt, but next year we will be in Israel. (If not from problems in the midbar, they would be back in the land of Canaan.) And that now in Egypt we are slaves, but next year we will be free men.

If (3), then this could be application of the lesson of Pesach to our own lives. You think that our ancestors were the only ones in need of redemption? Just like them, we are in Exile. And we are (or were) under oppression in various countries, such that we are not free.

Or it could be a combination of the above, with different sentences referring to different people or stages.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The text of Kol Chamira, for tonight and tomorrow

Here is the text of Kol Chamira for tonight and tomorrow, from a Haggadah.

Click on the image to make it larger.

Chamira is seor, sourdough, which can make other things chametz. Chami'a is the Aramaic word for chametz.

Some say, for each kol chamirah, the phrase libatel ve-lehevey hefker keafra de-ar'a, with the word hefker added.

While you are here, why not take a look around? Or download this free, funny, and scholarly Haggadah -- The Absolut Haggadah, 2010 Vintage.

Should there be a petucha before Vayikra 7:22 or before Vayikra 7:28? pt ii

See part I. If you haven't read that post, none if this will make much sense. Now, continuing the discussion, I am going to turn to investigate what various Rambams we can find have to say. I was going to jump straight to Or Torah and a discussion of his position, but a comment by Thanbo convinced me that I should first turn to consider the printed Rambams at JNUL.

In a comment to the previous post, he wrote:
By the way, another data point, the first edition printed Rambam (Rome 1480) has petuchot in both 7:22 and 7:28. 
Indeed, a very interesting data point. So I thought it would be useful to see what Mishneh Torahs they had at JNUL, and what the girsa in each case was.

The one he mentioned, Rome 1480, is available at JNUL. And here is the relevant page. They describe it as [רומא?] : (דפוס שלמה בן יהודה ועובדיה בן משה), [לפני ר"ם].
לפני ר"ם means before 1480. ere is an image. The list includes both as petuchot, and at the end of the list is a count of seven, rather than 6. This matches the Leningrad Codex, as well as what Kesef Mishnah (disapprovingly) mentions, as well as conforming to Hahahot Maimoniyot.

However, not pictured, though you can follow the link to the page,

Friday, March 26, 2010

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 onetwothreefourfive.
  4. Does Oto HaIsh is the Haggadah refer to Jesus?
  5. And even you shall break his teeth -- what does this mean? part iiiiiiivv.
  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 iipart 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...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Should there be a petucha before Vayikra 7:22 or before Vayikra 7:28?

Well, it depends who you ask. According to the Teimanim, over at mechon-mamre, it more certainly does have a petucha gap:

כא  וְנֶפֶשׁ כִּי-תִגַּע בְּכָל-טָמֵא, בְּטֻמְאַת אָדָם אוֹ בִּבְהֵמָה טְמֵאָה אוֹ בְּכָל-שֶׁקֶץ טָמֵא, וְאָכַל מִבְּשַׂר-זֶבַח הַשְּׁלָמִים, אֲשֶׁר לַיהוָה--וְנִכְרְתָה הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא, מֵעַמֶּיהָ.  {פ}21 And when any one shall touch any unclean thing, whether it be the uncleanness of man, or an unclean beast, or any unclean detestable thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace-offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, that soul shall be cut off from his people. {P}
כב  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר.22 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:
כג  דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר:  כָּל-חֵלֶב שׁוֹר וְכֶשֶׂב, וָעֵז--לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ.23 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: Ye shall eat no fat, of ox, or sheep, or goat.

But according to this Tanach, with masoretic notes on the side, there is no petucha. And the same in our Mikraos Gedolos.

As we might expect, the Teimanim follow the Rambam. The Rambam based his listing of petuchot and setumot on the Ben Asher, Aleppo Codex. And Rambam writes in his

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Did Chazal have the Samaritan spelling of Yimatzei? pt ii

Summary: In this second part, I consider how the Chizkuni on parashat Vayikra stacks up against various gemaras in Zevachim, and against differing girsaot of various gemaras in Zevachim.

Post: In part i, I noted how the Samaritans were consistent by spelling two words against the Masoretic text -- the word ונמצא in Vayikra 1:15 and the word ימצא in Vayikra 5:9. In both cases, the Masoretic text has it (correctly) as with a ה in place of the aleph, such that it conveys squeezing, rather than taking out. The Samaritan text is not generally to be trusted, because of an overt harmonizing and simplifying trend. However, Chizkuni on 1:15, though not realizing it as an issue, quotes the word as ונמצא with an aleph. And on 5:9, he goes out of the way to note that though the word means ימצה, it is written ימצא with an aleph. And that this is how Chazal, and Rashi, darshen it in the gemara in Zevachim. This Rishon thus has an alternate sefer Torah, and alternate masorah, in line with the Samaritans, and he thinks that this is the only masorah. There is no evidence that he thinks that what he is saying is controversial. And further, that it was clear to him that Chazal and Rashi had the same.

I analyzed a gemara or two, and a Rashi, in Zevachim, but I think that in my haste I analyzed one other than the one intended by Chizkuni. Minchas Shai takes issue with Chizkuni, by pointing out that the gemara in Zevachim cites Rava that the basis of the derasha discussed by Chizkuni is מי כתיב ימצה ימצה כתיב, which Rashi also has. Since both ימצהs are spelled with a heh, the derasha must be based on the vowel pattern, and that we pronounce it yimatezei. Though I point out that is slightly difficult since they lacked vowel points in the time of Chazal, such that the word ketiv is slightly inappropriate in context -- it should read krei. Minchas Shai says, in defense of Chizkuni, that perhaps he had a different girsa of that gemara where it read מי כתיב ימצה ימצא כתיב, where the second word was aleph. Well, I discovered such a manuscript! Ktav Yad Vatican has precisely this!

I would now like to go back and analyze the Chizkuni and the relevant gemaras. The pasuk (Vayikra 5:9) read:

ט  וְהִזָּה מִדַּם הַחַטָּאת, עַל-קִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחַ, וְהַנִּשְׁאָר בַּדָּם, יִמָּצֵה אֶל-יְסוֹד הַמִּזְבֵּחַ; חַטָּאת, הוּא.9 And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin-offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar; it is a sin-offering.

Chizkuni writes:

It is written ימצא with an aleph, which implies sprinkling as well, that in any case the man squeezes against the wall. So did they teach in the Brayta and so does Rashi write in Zevachim, in perek Kodshe Kodoshim.

It would seem that Chizkuni was referring to this gemara, in Zevachim 64b:
גמ' ת"ר  (ויקרא ה, ט) והזה מדם החטאת מגוף החטאת הא כיצד אוחז בראש ובגוף ומזה על קיר המזבח ולא על קיר הכבש ולא על קיר היכל ולא על קיר אולם ואיזה זה קיר התחתון או אינו אלא קיר העליון ודין הוא ומה בהמה שעולתה למטה חטאתה למעלה עוף שעולתו למעלה אינו דין שחטאתו למעלה ת"ל  (ויקרא ה, ט) והנשאר בדם ימצה אל יסוד המזבח קיר שהשירין שלו מתמצים ליסוד ואיזה זה קיר התחתון ונעביד מעילאי והדר נעביד מתתאי 
אמר רבא מי כתיב ימצה ימצה כתיב דממילא משמע

Rashi on the daf writes this:
מי כתיב ימצה ימצה כתיב - אי הוה כתיב ימצה הוה משמע שמזהיר את הכהן שיחזור וימצה אחר הזאה השתא דכתיב ימצה משמע נמי לענין הזאה דממילא יהיה דם מצוי אצל היסוד:

Aren't both these words written the same way??Our Vilna Shas, as on e-daf (and HebrewBooks as well)  helpfully adds nikkud, as above. Footnote 12 above, also from e-daf, is Shitta Mekubetzet (1700s) who gives a variant of the first word as ימציא, though noting that Rashi is not gores like this. HebrewBooks has a listing of variants from the first instance of ימצה , but not the second, because the second is, after all, our Masoretic text. Thus:

However, it seems rather clear that Chizkuni

Monday, March 22, 2010

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

Is nature incapable of making squares and right angles?

So was the devar torah I heard on parashat Tetzaveh, in terms of how so many things in the construction of the Mishkan was ravua. Such as, in Shemot 28:16,

טז  רָבוּעַ יִהְיֶה, כָּפוּל; זֶרֶת אָרְכּוֹ, וְזֶרֶת רָחְבּוֹ.16 Four-square it shall be and double: a span shall be the length thereof, and a span the breadth thereof.

And this has a particular meaning. The basis of this is a statement from Rav Shamshon Rephael Hirsch:

But then, what about the Giant's Causeway, pictured above? I suppose they are not exactly square -- most are hexagonal, though there are some with four sides, and they do have angles. And they look hewn, though the result of natural processes. I suppose there is always the exception that makes the rule. And this is why the Giant's Causeway seems so out of the ordinary.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

posts so far for parshat Tzav

  1. Tzav sources -- links by aliyah and perek to an online Mikraos Gedolos, and many meforshim on the parsha and haftara. Because of Pesach posts, probably will be all we have for tzav this year. See previous years, though.

  2. Does parshat Haazinu include a promise that Israel will enjoy forbidden fats? cross-listed from Haazinu. Based in part on an Ibn Ezra in Tzav, that Biblically, cheilev of non-korbanos is permitted.
  1. Was a Copper Vessel Purged and Rinsed With Water?
    • Or purged with something else (namely sand), and then rinsed with water, as Shadal suggests. This would have an impact on trup, Shadal suggests, and I illustrate with helpful trup charts. Then I defend the traditional cantillation, even assuming Shadal's semantic shift, making use of Wickes and his rules of cantillation based on part-of-speech tags as determiners of place of syntactic dichotomy.
  2. The definition of shok -- which is what one gives as a gift to the kohen from the shelamim. But what part is the shok on the cow. And relating to tznius, what is the shok on a person?
  1. Cross-listed from Behaalotecha: Why the repetition of Isha Kushit Lakach?
  2. and again: Why Was Miryam, and not Aharon, punished?
  1. Cross listed from parshas Chayyei Sarah: Why A Shalshelet?
    • In which we discuss the semantic and syntactic causes of the shalshelet, an extremely rare cantillation mark, which appears once in parshat Tzav, and only seven times overall in all of Tanach.
  • Human Sacrifice As Hell On Earth
    • The haftara mentions Gei Ben Hinnom, which was a place for child sacrifice to the idol Molech, where the child was passed between the fires (and perhaps burned). This name, Gei Hinnom, is the word for Hell, and thus it was hell on earth. Unlike some other religion(s), Judaism does not relish child sacrifice.
to be continued...


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