Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The pesik after ועל

Summary: And how these are not actually pesiks, but rather munach legarmeihs. As such, perhaps we should not be darshening them.

Post: In the fourth perek of parashat Bamidbar, we encounter the following vertical lines, each a trup symbol. I underlined them in red:

On the one in pasuk 9 and the one in pasuk 11, Birkas Avraham writes:

That is, he darshens these pesiks. However, I would point out that are not pesiks. A pesik is a trup symbol used when we have conjunctive (joining) accents, yet we want to impose some other, slight pause between the words nonetheless. What we see underlined in red above are munach legarmeihs. That is, the Masoretes reused the same symbol for both meanings, because one can distinguish them anyway based on context. What we see above is a vertical bar following a munach symbol, and preceding the revii symbol. This particular vertical bar serves to inform us that the preceding munach symbol is not a conjunctive, joining, accent, but a disjunctive, separating accent.

As such, the munach followed by vertical bar, munach legarmeih, is not out of the ordinary at all. Would one darshen every pashta, or tipcha, or tevir? Some admittedly do, but my guess is that he is darshening these as out of the ordinary. In such a case, it screams out darsheini. And indeed, one could give a reason for each and every pesik. Alas, this is no pesik.

I wrote the same back in February 2011, on Vayakhel, when he darshened another pesik that was really a munach legarmeih. In fact, he darshens it to arrive at the identical maamar Chazal as the second one listed here.

On the other hand, I will point out that I made an identical objection to a much more impressive parshan, on this very parsha, on the pesik between Moshe | and Aharon and his sons. (However, while I have not studied this consistently, I don't think that Baal HaTurim consistently does this conflation.)

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