Thursday, February 26, 2015

The trup on מַעֲשֵׂה חָרַשׁ אֶבֶן

Summary: Shadal writes that one would expect it to be different, based on Rashi. One should put חָרַשׁ אֶבֶן together as a single phrase. I am not entirely convinced. Also, an interesting cross-out in Wickes about the trup in the Aleppo Codex on Ezra 7:13.

Post: In parashat Tetzaveh, Shemot 28:11, the pasuk reads:

The first three words of the pasuk could be translated as either

(a) the work of | a gem engraver
(b) an engraver's work | of gems

There is a very slight difference between the two. In the former, charash even is a unit (a craftsman), and maaseh is the work done by that unit. In the latter, maaseh charash is a unit (a craftsman's work), and even modifies that, clarifying upon what substance the maaseh charash was done.

At least, that is my attempt to distinguish between the two. One could perhaps suggest other ways to parse this.

The zarka (snake-like symbol) subdivides a clause ending in segolta (upside-down segol), so the trup would appear to decide in favor of (b).

According to Rashi on the pasuk, because of the patach under the resh, charash is in the construct form and so the meaning is "engraver" of gems.

[Similar to] the work of an engraver of gems, [similar to] the engravings of a seal, you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel; you shall make them enclosed in gold settings.יאמַעֲשֵׂה חָרַשׁ אֶבֶן פִּתּוּחֵי חֹתָם תְּפַתַּח אֶת שְׁתֵּי הָאֲבָנִים עַל שְׁמֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֻסַבֹּת מִשְׁבְּצוֹת זָהָב תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם:
[Similar to] the work of an engraver of gems: Heb. אֶבֶן מַעִשֵׂה חָרַשׁ. The work of a craftsman of precious stones. This [word] חָרַשׁ is connected to the following word. Therefore, it is vowelized with a “pattach” at the end, and likewise, “The carpenter (חָרַשׁ עֵצִים) stretched out a line” (Isa. 44:13). [This is like] חָרָשׁ שֶׁל עֵצִים. Likewise, “The iron smith (חָרַשׁ בַּרְזֶל)” (Isa. 44:12). All these are connected and are [therefore] vowelized with “pattach” s.מעשה חרש אבן: מעשה אומן של אבנים. חרש זה דבוק הוא לתיבה שלאחריו, ולפיכך הוא נקוד פתח בסופו, וכן (ישעיה מד יג) חרש עצים נטה קו, חרש של עצים. וכן (ישעיה מד יב) חרש ברזל מעצד, כל אלה דבוקים ופתוחים:

IMHO, just asserting that charash is the construct and connected to the following word need not rule out either (a) or (b). It works readily with (a), charash even as a unit. But it could work readily with (b) as well, with the last word of the unit (maaseh charash) needing to be in construct form as the whole unit should be in construct form because of the connection to the following word.

On the other hand, מעשה אומן של אבנים might be taken to imply (a), that is, by explicitly putting in the word shel, Rashi might be saying that uman shel avanim is a unit, and it is the work of such a craftsman. I am not so convinced. I think one can parse מעשה אומן של אבנים as (b) just the same, and the only reason shel is there is to emphasize that the charash is in construct rather than absolute form.

Shadal argues that the trup is fit to be modified, to place the zarka on the first word. Thus:

"Maaseh | charash even. So it would be appropriate for the trup on these words to be. See Rashi."

See this post from 2012, where I also mentioned this pasuk, trup, Rashi and Shadal. The difference is that here I am not so convinced.

While checking to see if Wickes had anything on this, I saw the following interesting emendation of Wickes' text (pg 88) in the scan in Google Books:

By "it has been already mentioned", Wickes means footnote 1:

Note that someone has crossed out the sentence "Even Ben Asher's famous Codex at Aleppo is wrong."

I don't think someone crossed this out due to religious fervor, taking offense on behalf of the Aleppo Codex. I would guess that someone believes that this statement is incorrect.

We cannot examine the Aleppo Codex itself to confirm that there is a segolta there rather than an etnachta. Ezra is currently missing from the Aleppo Codex:
The Aleppo Codex, as it reached Israel has 294 parchment pages, written on both sides. Examination revealed that many pages were missing as a result of the damage to the Codex in 1947. Mainly the first part of the manuscript was damaged, the Pentateuch, of which only the last eleven pages remained. Almost all the Five Books of Moses had been lost, except the final chapters of the Book of Deuteronomy, which were preserved. The final pages of the Aleppo Codex are also missing, including part of the Song of Songs, and all of Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. In the rest of the books of the prophets, some pages are missing. In all, the Aleppo Codex originally had 487 pages.
(Wickes' book is copyright 1887.) However, the Leningrad Codex, which should be the same, definitely has a segolta there, and no etnachta is to be seen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why would "charash even" be a gem engraver, and not "choresh even?"

I think 'maaseh charash' makes more sense -- the work of engraving -- upon stone. Similar to "uvacharoshes even" in Vayakhel.


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