Sunday, August 31, 2014

The spelling of פְצוּעַ-דַּכָּא

In Ki Teizei, in Devarim 23:3, we read the law of the petzua daka. The following is from Mechon-Mamre, which records the Yemenite tradition:
ב  לֹא-יָבֹא פְצוּעַ-דַּכָּא וּכְרוּת שָׁפְכָה, בִּקְהַל ה.  {ס}
2 He that is crushed or maimed in his privy parts shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD.{S}
This spelling of דַּכָּא is in line with the Ashkenazic texts here, but differs from the Sefardim Masoretic texts (as noted here:

Here we first present Minchas Shai. Then, many of the sources he cites. Then, some other Masoretic texts (Leningrad Codex, Lisbon Codex, Codex Hilleli). Finally, we discuss how we would decide, if it were up to us.

Minchas Shai writes:
"פְצוּעַ-דַּכָּה -- I am feeble and sore crushed[1] that I should know how to sustain with words him that is weary[2] if it is written דַּכָּא with an aleph or with a heh. And I asked the scribes and there was none who could relate it to me[3]. And in the printed texts, as well as many early manuscript texts, it is written דַּכָּא with an aleph. And in all of there, there is an associated Masorah of: 'דַּכָּא, there are three. And as a sign: פְצוּעַ-דַּכָּא; and וְאֶת-דַּכָּא וּשְׁפַל-רוּחַ; and תָּשֵׁב אֱנוֹשׁ עַד-דַּכָּא. [That is, Devarim 23:2Yeshaya 57:15, and Tehillim 90:3, and all spelled with an aleph.]
And so is the position of the Radak, for in Shorashim, shoresh דכה, with a heh, there is not a single one of them, while in shoresh דכא with an aleph, he brings all three of them.
However, in Codex Hilleli, it is written דַּכָּה, with a heh. And this [variation] was the intent of the author of Meir Netiv [R' Yitzchak ben Kelonomus Natan, author of the first Hebrew Concordance],  who brings the latter two in the shoresh of דכא and this one [in Ki Teitzei] he writes with a heh in the shoresh דכה.
And so did I see in a quite old and precise manuscript, and the Masorah upon it was as follows:
 דכה ג' ב' כתיב ה"א וחד כתיב באל"ף וסימן לא יבא פצוע דכה. ואת דכה ושפל רוח. תשב אנוש עד דכא. חד בתורה חד בנביאים חד בכתובים.
[That is:] דכה, there are three. Two are written with a heh and one is written with an aleph, and the sign is לא יבא פצוע דכה. ואת דכה ושפל רוח. תשב אנוש עד דכא. One in Torah, one in Neviim, and one in Ketuvim. [Note this one has two with a heh.]
And in the very same language was the Masorah as well in that same sefer, in Tehillim.
And the author of Or Torah brought the two positions and did not decide between them. These are his words:
דכה with a heh is written in all Sefardic sefarim, and so wrote the Rama [Rabbi Meir Abulafia] za'l. And I was astonished at the Meiri who does not mention it, but in three early ones [sefarim?] I found דכא with an aleph, and in two of them there was an explicit Masorah of
 ג' וכתיבין א',  
'there are three and they are written with an aleph.'
End quote [from Or Torah].
And if I were fit to decide, I believe that I would hold like the Rama za'l [that it is with a ה], for in all matters of this sefer we act like him, for he is a man upon whom to rely, he is certainly precise and one can find to establish the matter upon him [...]. And all the more so that the Sefardim sefarim support him. I as well endeavored and found this [with a heh] in several good and reputable sifrei Torah. And so wrote Rav Yosef haCohen in Simanei HaMasorot, that דכה in the Torah is with a heh, and a sign is לא יבא פצוע דכה.
Some time after I wrote all this, the sefer Masoret Seyag LaTorah from the Rama za'l came to my hands. And since all his words, written in judgement and straightforwardness [?] are dear to me, I will record them here, and these are they:
לא יבא פצוע דכה -- in most precise nuschaot, there is a heh written at the end of the word, and the Masorah which is given upon it is: 'there are three, three written with an aleph and one written with a heh. And the sign is פצוע; ושפל רוח; תשב אנוש. The middle one is written with a heh.' We may deduce that where the Torah has written with an aleph?! It is a scribal error, and the Masorah is not that such is in the מציעא (middle one) but rather the פציעא [the case of פצוע], and it was the scribe who messed it up. And such is logical, for all of them have thenusach of ואת דכא ושפל רוח, written with an aleph, and if the middle [מציעא] is with a heh, well this is the middle one! Rather, we may certainly deduce as we said. And we have found a precise Masorah which states about it: 'three, one written with a heh and two with an aleph; of the Torah is written with a heh.' And in another Masoret it is implied that all of them are written with an aleph, and it is an error.
End quote [of Rama].
He who saved those of crushed [דכאי] spirit from darkness to light, to revive the spirit of the low and the hearts of the crushed, Amen."
End quote of Minchas Shai.
We can now examine some of the sources which Minchas Shai quoted. First off, here is the Rama, entry דכה, in Masoret Seyag LaChachma:
Here is Radak, in Sefer Shorashim. Look in the second column, at the top, where I have underlined in red all three pesukim spelled with an aleph.
Here is the Concordance, that is, Meir Netiv, by R' Yitzchak ben Kelonomus Natan. I've underlined in red the two examples of דכא in Nach, spelled with an aleph, as well as the דכה in Torah, spelled with a heh.
Here is Or Torah:
Here is Codex Hilleli, pg 489:
The Masorah Gedolah, on the bottom, reads:
דכא -- There are three. One is written with a heh and two written with an aleph. And their sign is לא יבא פצוע דכה, which is written with a heh. ואת דכה ושפל רוח. תשב אנוש עד דכא. [I can’t make out the text further at this point, but I assume it states ‘is written with an aleph’.]
Here is the Lisbon Codex, page 376:
The Masorah Gedolah on top reads:
There are three, one written with a heh and two written with an aleph. And their sign is
לא יבא פצוע דכה. ואת דכה ושפל רוח להחיות רוח שפלים. תשב אנוש עד דכא.
The first one is with a heh.
And here is the Leningrad Codex, page 229:
The Masorah Gedolah, up top, reads:
דכא -- there are three: לא יבא פצוע דכא. ואת דכה ושפל רוח. תשב אנוש עד דכא.
Looking at the Samaritan text of the Torah, we find the following (pg 222):
The text on the left is the Samaritan and the text on the right is the Masoretic text. Since they have דכה on the right and the text on the left has simply dashes, that means that the Samaritan text here agrees with דכה as the spelling.
At the bottom of the page, he has a write-up of variant texts. There are no Samaritan texts, but there are a bunch of Masoretic variants, and some discussion:
Hac voce דכה vel דכא (unà eum ויהי vel ויהיו Gen. 9,29)  distinguunt quidam Rabbini codices MStos Hispanicos a Germanicis. Ait Rabbi Menachem de Lonzano, in Or Torah (658) se invenis דכה omnibus libris Hispanicis. Et in prolixa annotatione Bibl. 300, variae pro lectione utraque adducuntur auctoritates: adeo ut pie precetur editor, Rabbi Yedidya Solomon Norzi, המושיע דכאי רוח ישים מחושך לאור, etc.
Finally, if it were up to me, what would I decide would be the proper version? I would lean heavily towards דַּכָּה with a heh. This even though the Leningrad Codex and the Teimanim have with an aleph. This because I am a strong believer in the entropy of the Masoretic text. That is, spelling the word with an aleph and with a heh are both perfectly fine, from a spelling perspective. There are numerous items under both roots in the Concordance. And with these three words scattered across Tanach, I would be suspicious of a regularization of the spelling. Sure, some words are spelled regularly, but if given the choice, a variation in spelling seems more likely. It is a scribe impelled by a harmonizing instinct who would, quite understandably, change דַּכָּה into דַּכָּא. This would be a movement away from the seemingly-incorrect original. However, there is no such motivation for a scribe to change it in the opposite direction.
I would add that I am suspicious of Rama’s emendation of the Masoretic note, where he changes מציעא into פציעא. It is quite a clever sevara. However, we see that contrary to Rama’s assertion, some texts indeed, have the דכה in Yeshaya with a heh -- see the beginning of Minchas’s Shai’s discussion, where he brings such a masorah:  דכה ג' ב' כתיב ה"א וחד כתיב באל"ף וסימן לא יבא פצוע דכה. ואת דכה ושפל רוח. תשב אנוש עד דכא. חד בתורה חד בנביאים חד בכתובים. And furthermore, see how in the Lisbon Codex, the Masorah talks about the first, קדמ’ ש. In such context, we see that talking about the first, middle, or last, makes sense. But if so, we could have such entropy while maintaining an aleph in the pasuk in Devarim.

[1] a reference to Tehillim 38:8, which makes use of the root דכא
[2] a reference to Yeshaya 50:4

[3] a reference to Bereishit 41:24

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The three sevirin וְלֹא

A) At the start of parshas Shofetim, we read (Devarim 16:19):

יט  לֹא-תַטֶּה מִשְׁפָּט, לֹא תַכִּיר פָּנִים; וְלֹא-תִקַּח שֹׁחַד--כִּי הַשֹּׁחַד יְעַוֵּר עֵינֵי חֲכָמִים, וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִם.19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons; neither shalt thou take a gift; for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.

Note that there are three instructions:

  • לֹא-תַטֶּה מִשְׁפָּט
  • לֹא תַכִּיר פָּנִים
  • וְלֹא-תִקַּח שֹׁחַד

It is more common, in such a list, for the second item to be introduced by a vav hachibbur, a connecting vav. But it is not an error for it to be missing.

Upon this pasuk, Minchas Shai explains just that:

"לֹא תַכִּיר פָּנִים -- there are three [such instances of לא] which are sevirin [has the meaning of such that we would expect it to be] ולא, as I wrote in parshas Mishpatim, perek 23 [pasuk 13], regarding לֹ֥א יִשָּׁמַ֖ע עַל־פִּֽיךָ."
B) Looking to parshas Mishpatim, we see the following pasuk [Shemos 23:13]:
יג  וּבְכֹל אֲשֶׁר-אָמַרְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם, תִּשָּׁמֵרוּ; וְשֵׁם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לֹא תַזְכִּירוּ, לֹא יִשָּׁמַע עַל-פִּיךָ.13 And in all things that I have said unto you take ye heed; and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

There, Minchas Shai says the following:

"לֹא יִשָּׁמַע עַל-פִּיךָ -- in the commentary of Ibn Ezra it is written: and this is לֹא יִשָּׁמַע עַל-פִּיךָ etc.. [Note: this is likely a typographical error in Minchas Shai, and he meant to cite Ibn Ezra as saying ולא.] And the Aruch, entry מטר [Note: couldn't find this] that until recent generations to now, they would mess up and read ולא ישמע על פיך, and the soferim taught not to read with a vav, end quote. Furthermore, in the masoret, three one would expect ולא and they are לא, and the mnemonic of לא תשימון עליו נשך, and לא ישמע על פיך, and לא תכיר פנים."

Because there seems to be a typographical error in Minchas Shai in a critical place, I will show the first printing as well.

Interestingly, in the linked Ibn Ezra at Daat, it has a vav:
[כג, יג]
ובכל אשר -
עתה הזכיר עבודת כוכבים, והטעם כל מה שאמרתי הם מצותי ומשפטי. ולא כן. משפטי אלוהים אחרים. 
ואמר: לא תזכירו - שלא תזכירו שמותם להישבע בהם גם שלא ישביעו בהם עובדיה. וזה ולא ישמע על פיך שתשביע בו אחרים. שלא תאמר לעובד כוכבים השבע לי באלהיך.

As well, in the printing in Mechokekei Yehuda
, he has Ibn Ezra's lengthy commentary which cites it as ולא, while in Ibn Ezra's short commentary,  he cites it as simply לא.

At first, I was unsure of Minchas Shai's purpose in citing Ibn Ezra here. (At this point, I assumed that he was citing him saying לא.) To establish the correct girsa of Ibn Ezra's commentary? To bring it as further evidence, from a Rishon, that this is the correct text? Perhaps the key is the word וזה, by which he shows how this phrase of לֹא יִשָּׁמַע עַל-פִּיךָ is a restatement of the immediately preceding idea, of וְשֵׁם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לֹא תַזְכִּירוּ. In this manner, we can understand why the connecting vav is not due here.

But in fact, I think there was a typographical error at a critical juncture here -- that Minchas Shai wished to cite a bad girsa in Ibn Ezra, but it was somehow encoded in accordance with the correct girsa.

Christian David Ginsberg also records this as לא with סביר of ולא. But he makes another interesting observation:

He writes: savir ולא, and in some other sefarim [ס"א is defined at the start of his work as "MSS. collated by C. D. G."] it is ולא as a krei and ketiv.

This seems to me like an encoding, in the MSS., of the practice Minchas Shai deemed erroneous.

 Naturally, the Samaritan Pentateuch (as it appears in Vetus Testamentum) adds the vav, in order to make the text smoother:

And in the bottom of that page, in lists many Hebrew Biblical texts that similarly have ולא.

C) The third instance is actually a bit earlier in Mishpatim, namely Shemos 22:24:

כד  אִם-כֶּסֶף תַּלְוֶה אֶת-עַמִּי, אֶת-הֶעָנִי עִמָּךְ--לֹא-תִהְיֶה לוֹ, כְּנֹשֶׁה; לֹא-תְשִׂימוּן עָלָיו, נֶשֶׁךְ.24 If thou lend money to any of My people, even to the poor with thee, thou shalt not be to him as a creditor; neither shall ye lay upon him interest.

Upon which, Minchas Shai says:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The deficient צַדִּיקִם

(Cross-posted to Girsology.)

There is a girsological error in parshat Shofetim in my Mikraos Gedolos, in the second pasuk of the parsha. The pasuk (Devarim 16:19) reads:

While this reads צַדִּיקִים, it should read צַדִּיקִם, without the second yud. The reason I say this is the following comment from Minchas Shai:
"צַדִּיקִם -- In He'etek Hilleli and in all the precise sefarim it is missing the second yud. And so too in the Masores: In the entire Torah, it [the word צַדִּיקִם] is deficient in the second yud, except for one case, which is plene and plene [in that both yuds are present], namely וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִים of parshat Mishpatim, [Shemos 23:8
You shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe will blind the clear sighted and corrupt words that are right.ח. וְשֹׁחַד לֹא תִקָּח כִּי הַשֹּׁחַד יְעַוֵּר פִּקְחִים וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִים:
as I wrote in parshas vaEschanan."
It is understandable how the yud was introduced here as a typographical error, rather than relying on a Masorah from one of the not-so-precise sefarim. The more common spelling of all masculine plurals in Biblical Hebrew is with the yud in the ים suffix. While there are plenty of words which are chaser [deficient] yud or vav, it is not so common in the morphological endings. Also, the very phrase in question, וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִים, appears elsewhere malei [plene].

Since we have access to Codex Hilleli (pg 475), we can see this very spelling of צַדִּיקִם, and this very Masoretic note, as a Masoreh Ketanah:

As far as I can tell, the full text of the masoretic note does not appear as stated by Minchas Shai, at least here. I think it reads:
כל אורייתא חסר בר מן א' מלא 
"The entire Torah has it [the second yud] deficient, except for one which is plene." 
So too the Lisbon Codex (pg 368):

And an identical Masoretic note.

The Leningrad Codex has identical deficient spelling:

Namely, on pg 223:

So too the Teimanim. To cite Mechon-Mamreh:

טז,יט לֹֽא־תַטֶּ֣ה מִשְׁפָּ֔ט לֹ֥א תַכִּ֖יר פָּנִ֑ים וְלֹֽא־תִקַּ֣ח שֹׁ֔חַד כִּ֣י הַשֹּׁ֗חַד יְעַוֵּר֙ עֵינֵ֣י חֲכָמִ֔ים וִֽיסַלֵּ֖ף דִּבְרֵ֥י צַדִּיקִֽם׃לָא תַּצְלֵי דִּין, לָא תִּשְׁתְּמוֹדַע אַפִּין; וְלָא תְּקַבֵּיל שֻׁחְדָּא--אֲרֵי שֻׁחְדָּא מְעַוַּר עֵינֵי חַכִּימִין, וּמְקַלְקֵיל פִּתְגָמִין תְּרִיצִין.

Rabbi Meir Abulafia (1170-1244), the Rama, wrote about this phenomenon in the sefer Masores Seyag Lachochma:

"צַדִּיקִם -- the first yud is plene and the last yud is written deficient. And all צַדִּיקִם and הַצַּדִּיקִם in the Torah are like it, except for one which is plene and plene, with two yuds, and this is וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִים."
The marginal note mentions that this is in "Mishpatim there", meaning Shemos 23:8. (But I wonder if these marginal note, referring to the specific parsha, were from the Rama or from the one who brought the manuscript to print, Rabbi Yaakov HaLevi of Polonia:

The note itself, which only highlights the phrase וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִים, is ambiguous, in that perhaps it refers to the phrase in Mishpatim, perhaps in Shofetim, or perhaps in both. But assuming it is from the Rama himself, then it is unambiguous.)

Looking at Vetus Testamentum (pg 217) to see what the Samaritans have, we should not be surprised that they have both yuds. This is characteristic of the Samaritan text, to eliminate any awkward and unregularized spelling. The Samaritan text is on the left:

On the bottom of the page is a listing of variant manuscripts. Interestingly enough, there appear some Samaritan manuscripts in which the first yud is missing, as צדקים! For the Hebrew (meaning Jewish, rather than Samaritan), there is only one such צדקים, and a large number of instances of צדיקים:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Are the kosher signs of wild animals Biblical?

Note: This is the work of one evening, rather than something thought out over months. There may be sources of which I am embarrassingly unaware. I haven't looked at other gemaras to see if this works out consistently, or at midreshei halacha such as Sifra, and so on. Rather, this is a way of playing with the text, on the basis of a discovered variant text. So this likely requires more thought, and certainly should not be the basis for any changes in practice.

(Initially posted at Girsology, but at present, few people visit that site. So now cross-posted here.)

0. Table of contents
1. The variant texts and their implications
2. Evidence from piskaot
3. Evidence from the gemara's question
4. The straightforward implication of the Tosefta
5. A possible nafka mina

1. The variant texts and their implications

If one examines the Munich manuscript of the Talmud, Chullin 59a, one would discover a fascinating variant version of the Mishna:

It reads:
סימני בהמהנאמרו מן התורה וסימני העוף לאנאמרו
However, on that first line, there is a marginal gloss, adding in the word וחיה.

This brings it in line with the Mishna we have in our printed editions of Chullin 59a:
מתני' סימני בהמה וחיה נאמרו מן התורה וסימני העוף לא נאמרו אבל אמרו חכמים כל עוף הדורס טמא כל שיש לו אצבע יתירה וזפק וקורקבנו נקלף טהור ר' אלעזר בר' צדוק אומר כל עוף החולק את רגליו טמא ובחגבים כל שיש לו ארבע רגלים וארבע כנפים וקרצולים וכנפיו חופין את רובו רבי יוסי אומר ושמו חגב ובדגים כל שיש לו סנפיר וקשקשת רבי יהודה אומר שני קשקשין וסנפיר אחד ואלו הן קשקשין הקבועין בו וסנפירים הפורח בהן:
What would the implications be of the word וחיה being absent from the Mishna? This omission might well be a scribal error, which was corrected by the same or some other scribe, but we should still consider what the implications would be of its omission, as this could help us decide if it is a mere error or something significant. Further, if the word וחיה was indeed originally absent, what would drive a scribe to add it?

The difference between these two girsaot is that, with the word וחיה present, the Mishna definitively and explicitly states that the signs of kosher wild animals are Biblical, and written in the Torah text. These signs would then be identical to the signs of kosher domesticated animals. As Rashi notes, in explaining a question of the gemara:
חיה בכלל בהמה היא לסימנין - קושיא היא דהא כתיב זאת החיה כו' וכתיב סימנין בתריה:
That is, there is an explicit pasuk, in Vayikra 11:

ב  דַּבְּרוּ אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר:  זֹאת הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכְלוּ, מִכָּל-הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר עַל-הָאָרֶץ.2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: These are the living things which ye may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
ג  כֹּל מַפְרֶסֶת פַּרְסָה, וְשֹׁסַעַת שֶׁסַע פְּרָסֹת, מַעֲלַת גֵּרָה, בַּבְּהֵמָה--אֹתָהּ, תֹּאכֵלוּ.3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is wholly cloven-footed, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that may ye eat.

The pasuk begins with זֹאת הַחַיָּה and afterwards lists the signs of split hoof and rumination. Thus, chayot, wild animals, are included in this topic of signs for kosher animals.

If one wanted, though, one could argue that as a matter of peshat, זֹאת הַחַיָּה need not refer to wild animals in particular. The word חַיָּה simply means "living creature", rather than the particular halachic connotation it often takes of wild animal. For instance, in the first perek of Bereishit

כד  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, תּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה לְמִינָהּ, בְּהֵמָה וָרֶמֶשׂ וְחַיְתוֹ-אֶרֶץ, לְמִינָהּ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.24 And God said: 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind.' And it was so.
ל  וּלְכָל-חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ וּלְכָל-עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל רוֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, אֶת-כָּל-יֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב, לְאָכְלָה; וַיְהִי-כֵן.30 and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is a living soul, [I have given] every green herb for food.' And it was so.

It means "living creature" in general. If so, when the pasuk states זֹאת הַחַיָּה, it could be referring to the living creatures within the specified subgroup of מִכָּל-הַבְּהֵמָה. Instead of saying זֹאת אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכְלוּ, מִכָּל-הַבְּהֵמָה, the pasuk was a little more expansive and added the general and appropriate selector of הַחַיָּה.

Then, if we take בְּהֵמָה in its halachic sense of domesticated animal in particular, to the exclusion of wild animals. This is a sort of klal and prat, and we should only consider those within the prat.

And if so, the Mishna can be read as deliberately agnostic as to whether wild animals, chayot, are explicitly Biblical. Thus,
סימני בהמהנאמרו מן התורה וסימני העוף לאנאמרו
בהמה is written in the Torah, עוף is not written in the Torah, and the חיה is left as an exercise to the reader.

Those are the two girsaot. Let us consider if we can harness evidence towards one reading of the Mishna or the other.

2. Evidence from piskaot

There is a piska in the gemara which begins the discussion of the signs of kosher domesticated animals. A piska is typically a quote from the Mishna, separated by space, or two dots. This piska reads:

סימני בהמה
In our printed gemaras, this text does not occur. This is because it is unnecessary. Recall that in manuscript gemaras, the Mishna appeared separately, and so piskaot were required to identify what part of the Mishna the gemara was going on. However, in our printed gemara, the text of the gemara which immediately follows this piska, namely, תנו רבנן אלו הן סימני בהמה, is printed right after the Mishna. If so, there is no need for a piska, and it is omitted. This is a pity, since we lose out on Talmudic text.

Perhaps the fact that the piska states סימני בהמה and does not continue with the word וחיה should be taken as evidence that the Mishna itself did not continue with that word. However, an obvious rejoinder is that the topic at hand in the gemara is specifically the signs of the בהמה, and that חיה is going to be discussed in the very next sugya. As such, it makes sense to cut off the citation of the Mishna right at this point. Also, we should note that the piskaot were composed by the Geonim (or later), and so might only shed light as to the text of the Mishna at a later stage.

However, there is a later piska, starting off the next sugya:

This one does appear in our printed text:
סימני חיה:
ת"ר אלו הן סימני חיה חיה בכלל בהמה היא לסימנין אמר רבי זירא

If so, this would indicate that the word חיה does appear in our Mishna.
However, we should consider the following counterpoints.

a. This piska dates from the Geonim, and cannot be taken as definitive proof.

b. The Mishna, as we have it, states סימני בהמה וחיה נאמרו מן התורה. Note how the word וחיה has a connective vav, while the piska does not. Note how the preceding word in the Mishna as we have it is בהמה, while the piska has סימני. To try to make this a valid quote of the Mishna, we would need to emend the Mishnaic text to סימני בהמה וסימני חיה נאמרו מן התורה. But even that would not work, because the piska has no vav before the word סימני.

We can salvage this piska by stating that it is a selective citation of the Mishna. That is, imagine an ellipses. The word סימני was important to quote. But the word בהמה would be misleading and distracting from the main topic, namely the signs of חיה. And so בהמה ו was removed from the quote.

Alternatively, we can suggest that the authors of the piskaot were working off of the Tosefta 3:7 for their quotations. If so, the quote in the first piska would have nothing to do with whether the signs of בהמה were Biblical. Rather, these are quotes from the braytot which immediately follow, put in as signposts for the beginning of new sugyot.

3. Evidence from the gemara's question
Perhaps we can harness the gemara's question to prove the correct text of the Mishna. The gemara (59a-b) asks:

סימני חיה:
ת"ר אלו הן סימני חיה 
חיה בכלל בהמה היא לסימנין 
אמר רבי זירא להתיר חלבה 
והכי קאמר אלו הן סימני חיה שחלבה מותר כל שיש לה קרנים וטלפים
The brayta begins to list the signs of the חיה, namely horns and hooves. The setama degemara fills in the question underlying Rabbi Zera's explanation of that brayta. The signs which make a chaya kosher are the same as those which make a beheima kosher. If so, what is the significance of these signs? That is why Rabbi Zera assumes that the brayta here deals with the signs of a chaya as separate from a beheima, such that its fats are permitted.

Thus, Rabbi Zera, and the setama degemara, understand this brayta to refer to signs which make a kosher animal a chaya as opposed to a beheima.

Rashi's proof to this is from an interpretation of a pasuk, rather than the explicit Mishna, which is interesting. But that does not necessarily mean that Rashi didn't have the word חיה in the Mishna. Perhaps a conflict between a brayta and a Mishna could be read as a Tannaitic conflict, while an appeal to a pasuk is unambiguous, and the author of the brayta would have to accept this.

4. The straightforward implication of the Tosefta
Looking at the Tosefta, the straightforward explanation seems to be that the סימני חיה are signs of kosher status, rather than signs of chaya status. Consider the structure formed in the Tosefta:

ג,ז  אלו הן סימני בהמה (ויקרא יא) לכל הבהמה אשר היא מפרסת פרסה ושוסעת שסע פרסות מעלת גרה בבהמה אותה תאכלו כל מעלת גרה אין לה שינים שלמעלה איזה שור שקדמו קרניו לטלפיו זה פרו של אדם הראשון שנא' (תהילים סד) ותיטב לה' משור פר מקרין מפריס. 
These are simanei kashrut. Also note that only simanei beheima are mentioned, not simanei beheima vechaya, which we might have expected if it encompassed chaya as well. The quote is from Vayikra 11:3, such that it only mentioned beheima, and skipped over the passing and ambiguous reference to chaya in Vayikra 11:2. (Though it starts at 11:3 because that where the Biblical text lists the signs.)

The Tosefta continues:
אלו הן סימני חיה כל שיש לה קרנים וטלפים ר' דוסא אומר יש לה קרנים אי אתה צריך לשאול על הטלפים אע"פ שאין ראיה לדבר זכר לדבר ותיטב לה' משור פר מקרין מפריס
Simply by context, we would expect these to also be simanei kashrut. There is also the zecher to Rabbi Dosa's opinion, based on Tehillim 69:
לב  וְתִיטַב לַה', מִשּׁוֹר פָּר;    מַקְרִן מַפְרִיס.32 And it shall please the LORD better than a bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

I think this means that if an animal is makrin -- has horns, then it is also mafris -- has split hooves, or telafim. (I don't see explicitly that the טלפים are split, but maybe that is definitional.)

There is also the analysis made by Tosafot on our daf (Chullin 59a):
אלו הן סימני חיה כל שיש לה קרנים וטלפים. קרנים אתי לאפוקי מבהמה דכיון דיש לה קרנים חרוקות וכרוכות כדלקמן אם כן לאו בהמה היא אבל אכתי איכא לספוקי בחיה טמאה לכך בעינן טלפים פרסות הסדוקות דהשתא ליכא לספוקי לא בחיה טמאה ולא בבהמה טהורה וחלבה מותר רבי דוסא אומר כל שיש לה קרנים קרני חיה אי אתה צריך לחזור על הטלפים דסבר דחיה טמאה אין לה קרנים
That is, the purpose of horns is to distinguish chaya from beheima, and the purpose of (split) hooves is to distinguish kosher from non-kosher chaya. And Rabbi Dosa holds that no kosher wild animal has horns. If so, kashrut is at least part of the equation.

Kashrut could then also be all of it, though. If these two, or this one, is sufficient to identify it as a wild animal and to exclude non-kosher wild animals, then it is kosher! And so, why would one need to appeal to the signs for the beheima?

The Tosefta continues:
רשב"ג אומר כל שיש לו אצבע יתירה בעוף טהור כל העוף הדורס טמא רשב"א אומר כל הקולט באויר ואין קרקבנו נקלף ר"א בר צדוק אומר כל הנותן על גבי משיחה החולק שתים לפניו ושתים לאחריו טמא אחרים אומרים השוכן בין הטמאין ודומה לטמאין טמא השוכן בין הטהורים ודומה לטהורין טהור.  אנשי איש כפר תמרתא שביהודה היו אוכלין את הזרזירין מפני שיש להן זפק.  אנשי שוק העליון שבירושלים היו אוכלין את סינוניא לבנה מפני שקרקבנה נקלף.
These are the simanei kashrut of birds.

The Tosefta continues:
ג,ח  ובביצים כל שכודרת ועגולגלת בידוע של עוף טמא וכל שאינה כודרת ועגולגלת בידוע של עוף טהור הוא.  לוקחין ביצים מ"מ ואין חוששין שמא של נבלות ושל טרפות הן אין מוכרין ביצים של נבלות של טרפות לעובדי כוכבים אא"כ היו נקופות לקערה לפיכך אמרו אין לוקחין מן העובדי כוכבים ביצים נקופות לקערה.
These are the simanei kashrut of eggs.

Next, the Tosefta states:
ג,ט  אלו סימני חגבים כל שיש לו ד' רגלים וד' סנפירים וקרסוליו וכנפיו חופין את רובו ר' יוסי אומר ושמו חגב ולא כנצרין שיש בהן סימנין הללו סומכוס אומר אף המורד ר"א בר"י אומר אין לו עכשיו ועתיד לגדל לאחר זמן כגון החולחזה כשר 
These are the simanei kashrut of locusts.

Finally, the Tosefta states:
אלו הן סימני דגים כל שיש לו סנפיר וקשקשת יש לו קשקשת אי אתה צריך לשאול על סנפיר יש לו סנפיר ואין לו קשקשת טמא אלו הן קשקשין שמלובש בהן וסנפירין ששט בהן וכמה קשקשין יהיה בו אפילו אחת תחת לחיו ואחת תחת זנבו ואחת תחת סנפיר שלו ר' יהודה אומר שני קשקשת אין לו עכשיו אבל עתיד לגדל לאחר זמן כגון הסולתנית ונפיא כשר יש לו עכשיו אבל עתיד להשירם כשעולה מן הים כגון הקוליוס והפילמיס הספיתאים ואנתינוס.  ר"י בן דורמסקא אומר לויתן דג טהור הוא שנאמר (איוב מא) גאוה אפיקי מגינים סגור חותם צר אחד באחד יגשו וגו' תחתיו חדודי חרס וגו' גאוה אפיקי מגינים אלו קשקשין שלו תחתיו חדודי חרס אלו סנפירין של
These are the simanei kashrut of fish.

If so, it is extremely out of the ordinary for the סימני חיה alone to be for the permissibility of the cheilev. Yes, this is dealing with whether one is allowed to eat the cheilev or not, but still, it is unlike the topic of domesticated animals, of birds, of eggs, of locusts, and of fish. If the topic were only the status of the cheilev, this is something that perhaps should have been stated explicitly.

Perhaps Rabbi Zera is explaining how this is practical and useful. Even though the brayta spoke of kashrut is general, we would know its kashrut status anyway based on the signs of beheima. And so, this second set of signs are useful for this other purpose.

5. A possible nafka mina
Can one rely on these signs of horns and hooves if one cannot determine rumination? (Similar to Rav Chisda earlier in the gemara)? What if the animal does not ruminate, but does have horns and hooves?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Gazelle and the Deer

In Nature and Man in the Bible, page 271, Dr. Yehuda Feliks explains how the common identification people make of the Biblical tzvi and ayal is reversed.

Chazal had their identities correct (as we can see from details in the gemara, Chullin 59a), but it was confused in the time of the Rishonim. To cite a post (/letter) from Rabbi Slifkin:
This is no different from how the Rishonim in Ashkenaz mistakenly thought that the tzvi is the deer, and were therefore confounded by the Gemara which states that the horns of a tzvi are not branched. The reason was that that they were unfamiliar with the gazelle, which does not live in Europe, and so transposed the name tzvi to the deer. Only Rav Saadiah Gaon, who was familiar with the animal life of the Middle East, correctly identified the tzvi as the gazelle and the ayal as the deer.
And in another post (/letter):
Europe has very different animals from those of Eretz Yisrael, and the names of animals in Tanach were transposed to local equivalents. For example, the gazelle of Israel perfectly matches all Scriptural, Talmudic and Midrashic descriptions of the tzvi. While Jews in north Africa, which also has gazelles, had a (correct) tradition that the tzvi is the gazelle (and that the deer is the ayal), there were no gazelles in Europe. As a result, the name tzvi in Europe was transposed to the deer (hirsch). This led Rashi, in his commentary to Chullin 59b, to note that the creature traditionally called tzvi in Europe (i.e. the deer) is not the tzvi described by Chazal. Thus, Rashi himself observes that European traditions regarding the identities of animals mentioned in the Torah are not accurate."
I would like to look in this post specifically at what Saadia Gaon says, but we should not forget this point, that "the gazelle of Israel perfectly matches all Scriptural, Talmudic and Midrashic descriptions of the tzvi." And that reversing the identification introduces a mismatch with these descriptions.

From Saadia Gaon's Tafsir on parashat Reeh:

Thus, the Biblical Hebrew word ha-tzevi is translated into the Arabic al-tzabi. And Biblical Hebrew word ha-`ayal is translated into the Arabic wal-`iyal.

In other words, Saadia Gaon is translating these Hebrew words into their Arabic cognates.

In other words, it is not merely Saadia Gaon operating in a place which has both animals transmitting the masorah by identifying these species by their (completely unrelated) Arabic names. There is an even stronger linguistic connection present in this identification, in that people living in the Middle East used the very same names, or their cognates, for these species. And we would expect less linguistic shift in the same area of the Torah and of Chazal. And Saadia endorses that linguistic connection.

On the other hand, this raises the possibility that Saadia Gaon is not really translating at all. Sure, he is writing in Judeo-Arabic, and explicitly identifying Hebrew species by their Judeo-Arabic equivalents, where these were indeed Judeo-Arabic words. (And if the species were indeed reversed, a conscientious translator would make sure to reverse them, as al-`iyal and al-tzabi.) But at the same time, since these are cognates, perhaps he was simply rendering the definite article ha as al and writing the existing Arabic word which was the cognate. Not necessarily as a masorah, but just assuming that word X == equivalent word Y. Just as in Onkelos, tabya is a cognate, because Aramaic letter tet corresponds to Hebrew letter tzadi; and ayla is obviously the Aramaic cognate of ayal.


A bit later in parashat Re'eh, in Devarim 14:5, we again have the tzvi and the ayal, in a list of five kosher wild animals. For the sake of completeness, we should see how Saadia Gaon renders this as well:

Once again, we have the Hebrew ayal rendered into Judeo-Arabic as wal-`iyal and the Hebrew utzevi rendered into the Judeo-Arabic wal-tzabbi.

We also see how many cognates there are in these lists of animals. For instance, Hebrew veyachmur in wal-yachmur in Judeo-Arabic. For the Hebrew ve`ako, we have wal-we'il, which does not match, but notice that the Aramaic in Onkelos is veya'la (note that yud and vav switch off). The other animals listed in this pasuk are not cognates. But see the previous pasuk and the cognates there, for behemah and tochelu, and for bakar, tzon, and ez.

So for some of these creatures, such as the giraffe for zemer, Saadia Gaon clearly is performing an identification and translation. And cognates will be present just because the two languages are closely related. Still, the ambiguity discussed above is present: that these are cognates lends strength to the identification, since these are approximately the same names in approximately the same area. On the other hand, these are easy to assume and fall back upon.


Also, in the Tafsir on Shir HaShirim 2:9, Saadia Gaon translates tzvi and ayal the same way:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin