Showing posts with label trup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trup. Show all posts

Sunday, May 04, 2014

The unique trup on El-HaAretz

At the start of parashat Behar, we encounter the following masoretic note. The text is slightly blurry, so I'll explain that the circle is over אל-הארץ and the masoretic note states ג' בטעם, meaning that there are three instances in which this particular trup occurs on these particular words.

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Shilslowitz, in the sefer Masoret haKeriah, writes as follows:

el-haAretz: The masorah upon it is ג' בטעם, and this is difficult. If it applies to the two words אל הארץ, are there not many with the trup of [zakef] katon. And if it applies to the four words, כי תבאו אל הארץ, there is no other with this trup, for all the other כי תבאו אל הארץ have the trup of munach revia [while this one has mahpach pashta]. Therefore it appears to me that we need to emend this to state לית בטעם [where the לית would have been written as a ל, easily confused by a scribe for a ג], and it applies upon these four words, that there is no other with the trup of mahpach pashta katon, for the rest have munach revia.

End quote.

Update: Good spot by Aryeh S! He writes in the comments:

If you look at the Leningrad Codex up on -

are we so sure it says "gimmel b'taam"? It looks more like "gimmel b'SYPh", and if you look on the page before when the same phrase comes up, it says it again.

If thats correct, maybe it means to say "gimmel b'sefer", and in fact there are only 3 times in Sefer Vayikra that "ki tavo'u el haaretz" appears.

I dont know much about the Masoretic text so this is just a guess.

Here is the image from the Leningrad Codex, and that is what it looks like to me as well. The next page has items such as daled betaam besifra.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Acharei Mos: Why is the esnachta on לַפָּרֹכֶת?

The placement of the etnachta on the second pasuk in Acharei Mot seems a bit odd:

The etnachta usually marked the logical midpoint of the pasuk, yet this does not seem to be the case here. Namely, the etnachta is at the place of the double-dashes, [--]:
and the LORD said unto Moses: 'Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil [--] before the ark-cover which is upon the ark; that he die not; for I appear in the cloud upon the ark-cover.
We should expect that it would appear after the word "ark", or after the phrase "that he die not", rather than in the middle of the description of the holy place.

Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenburg, in his sefer haKsav vehaKabbalah, asks this very question:

He writes:

haKsav vehaKabbalah
"within the veil -- the author of the trup connected אֶל-פְּנֵי הַכַּפֹּרֶת [namely, the phrase immediately following the etnachta] with the end of the verse, rather than putting the break in the statement via the etnachta upon וְלֹא יָמוּת, for the primary reason that he should not come [there] is because of the revelation of the Divine Presence, and that is upon the ark-cover [kapores] between the cherubs. Therefore he placed the etnacha on the word לַפָּרֹכֶת."

I am not sure who רל"ש is. Anyone know?

Meanwhile, here is how Shadal addresses the issue:

"וְאַל-יָבֹא בְכָל-עֵת אֶל-הַקֹּדֶשׁ -- The trup assigned here is quite strange, for the etnachta should properly be under וְלֹא יָמוּת. [Josh: Here he rewrites the trup as it would be were the etnachta moved over.] And perhaps the position of the author of the trup is like Rabbi Yehuda [in Menachot 27b], that within the veil is a prohibition [punishable by lashes] while before the ark-cover is [punishable] by death:

 רבי יהודה אומר כל היכל כולו ומבית לפרכת בארבעים ואל פני הכפרת במיתה

'Rabbi Yehuda said: the entire heical as well as mibeit laparochet is with forty [lashes], while el penei hakapores is [punished] with death'. 

And it is further possible to say that perhaps, in the Second Temple, there was one who said that nowadays, that there is no ark and no ark-cover, it is fitting that it would be permitted to enter into the Holy of Holies. Therefore the Sages saw fit to split the statement in the verse as if it were two statements, namely 

  1. "that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil" (even if there is no ark or ark-cover there, it is forbidden to approach there, and still)
  2. "before the ark-cover which is upon the ark" (do not come at all times) - "lest you die" -- 

[Thus] during the time that the ark is there, there is death, and at the time the ark is not there, there is not death, but there is still a prohibition [warning]. And the authors of the trup (who were after the closing of the Talmud) appointed the trup based on the reading which was received orally from the Sages of the Second Temple era."

I would note that the Chachamim in the gemara, as per the gemara's parsing, also separate the pasuk in an odd way:
רבנן סברי אל הקודש בלא יבא מבית לפרכת ואל פני הכפרת בלא ימות
ור' יהודה סבר אל הקודש ומבית לפרכת בלא יבא ואל פני הכפרת בלא ימות

The Malbim has the same idea as Shadal. In his commentary on the Sifra, HaTorah veHamitzvah, he writes the following.

"And the position of Rabbi Yehuda that מִבֵּית לַפָּרֹכֶת relates to the earlier part [of the verse], and also it is only with a warning [prohibition], and אֶל-פְּנֵי הַכַּפֹּרֶת alone falls under 'lest he die'. (And the author of the trup who pointed the etnachta upon the word לַפָּרֹכֶת, it appears that his position was like Rabbi Yehuda."
Meanwhile, William Wickes, in his book on the system of trup, on page 41-42, considers this pasuk to be one instance of many of a trup pattern which occurs during specification:

The red arrow points to where he mentions the specific pasuk:

In a lengthy footnote, #21, he discusses this pasuk and argues with Shadal, Malbim, Geiger and Dillman in attributing the trup to the interpretation of Rabbi Yehuda in Menachos. While he is not unwilling to say that trup, particularly strange trup, was influenced by Rabbinic interpretation, here he does not think it likely since Rabbi Yehuda is a daas Yachid. On the contrary, he suggests that perhaps Rabbi Yehuda drew on the trup (really caused by reason Wickes gave) in order to support his own unique position.

See also Rashi on Yoma 52b, d"h vayaalu olot kevasim:

If there is a nafka mina in disputes as to the proper trup, and if as Malbim and Shadal say, the trup is like Rabbi Yehuda, and if Rambam paskens like the Chachamim, should we change our trup to match?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ekev: The trup on ושמרתם ועשיתם אתם

In our Mikraos Gedolos, we have the following on the first pasuk in Ekev, a mercha tipcha:
The mercha joins to the next word, the tipcha separates. So it is: ושמרתם ועשיתם || אתם
But the Teimanim have this:
That is, a tipcha munach. The tipcha separates from the next word while the munach joins. So it is: ושמרתם || ועשיתם אתם.
Chelek HaDikduk makes note of this difference in Teimani manuscripts:
Does either make sense? After all, in “and you shall keep and you shall perform them”, the word “them” is the object of both “you shall keep” and “you shall perform”. If so, shouldn’t “and you shall keep and perform” be one unit?
William Wickes, page 59 of Two Treatises on the Accentuation of the Old Testament, in the chapter entitled Syntactic Dichotomy, writes as follows:
This would appear to be the case under consideration. And so, the regular construction would be as in our Mikraos Gedolos. Yet the Teimani alternative is possible, and not infrequent, and indeed, often motivated by a consideration (emphasis).
Under the rule of lectio difficilior, I would assume that the seemingly more difficult word is the original, since a scribe will be more likely to change it in the direction of the easier reading. So that would favor the Teimani reading as more original.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The general and specific of Hashem's love

In Ekev, Devarim 7:13:
יג  וַאֲהֵבְךָ, וּבֵרַכְךָ וְהִרְבֶּךָ; וּבֵרַךְ פְּרִי-בִטְנְךָ וּפְרִי-אַדְמָתֶךָ דְּגָנְךָ וְתִירֹשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ, שְׁגַר-אֲלָפֶיךָ וְעַשְׁתְּרֹת צֹאנֶךָ, עַל הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר-נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לָתֶת לָךְ.13 and He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee; He will also bless the fruit of thy body and the fruit of thy land, thy corn and thy wine and thine oil, the increase of thy kine and the young of thy flock, in the land which He swore unto thy fathers to give thee.
Note the etnachta on וְהִרְבֶּךָ. The etnachta marks the midpoint of a pasuk:
This is a nice example of how the parse of the pasuk and the trup of a pasuk interrelate.

In Netivot HaShalom, Rambeman writes:

וַאֲהֵבְךָ, וּבֵרַכְךָ וְהִרְבֶּךָ -- for it is characteristic of one who loves (אהב) to rejoice in the joy of the beloved, and to do good for him as much as he is able.

וּבֵרַכְךָ וְהִרְבֶּךָ -- is the klal, the general. Therefore it is marked with an etnach [trup symbol].

וּבֵרַךְ פְּרִי-בִטְנְךָ etc. -- is the perat, the specifics [of that klal]


Thus, this is the appropriate place to break the verse in two.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The correct trup on לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן, and whether to keep mitzvos in chutz laaretz

Summary: The trup on the words לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן might teach us a diyuk against the Ramban, who understands that primary observance of mitzvos is in Eretz Yisrael, chas veshalom. But there is a dispute as to the trup. Ohr Torah and HaTorah vehaMitzvah explain, and I give my own (Wickes' based) explanation of the trup.

Post: In parashat vaEtchanan, in Devarim 4:5, consider the trup, and in particular, note the zakef on the word כן, which I have underlined in red:

Minchas Shai writes against a corresponding taut sofer, I suppose in one of Bomberg's Mikraos Gedolos. (I used to have this at JNUL, have to find it again, as the link now returns an empty result.)

"And the word כן should be with a zakef katon, rather than a pashta; and go and see the words from the scholarly man, the author of Ohr Torah."

Here is the faulty trup in the Bomberg Chumash:

See what Ohr Torah writes here, but you can also see it cited in full in Tikkun Sofer of Rabbi Shlomo Dubno. After citing Minchas Shai, he writes:

"And this is the language of the Or Torah: לעשת כן, in the letter si"n, a shofar yashar {J: a munach} rather than a mercha, and in כן a zakef katon rather than a pashta.

Menachem {di Lunzano, the author of Ohr Torah} says: so I have found in all the sefarim of Sefarad and Ashekenaz, and thus is seems that one should not be concerned. Even though just the opposite is the nusach of the print, which is more deliberate {mechavenet ?}, for such is the way of the Scriptures to have first a pashta and afterwards a zakef katon. {J: I believe he is saying that what one would generally expect is that there should be a pashta on ken, and the zakef katon is the one that is already present on ha'aretz.} Therefore, I have come to enlighten you with understanding, and you stand and be informed of the wonders of God, and see with your eyes the tuv taam vadaat (the good discernment and knowledge {but note the wordplay})  of the Author of the taamim  }. For He is not a human being, who does not know how to be careful. And behold, the matter is true and correct that according to the custom of Scriptures it would have been appropriate to have the word לעשות with a mercha and the word כן with a pashta. However, since the Giver of the Torah Yisbarach saw fit to change the custom in this place. For He saw that if he wrote the word לעשות with a mercha and the word כן with a pashta as was the rule, a great destruction would come of it. And this was that, if so, the implication of the matters and their explanation would be that the laws and statutes which Hashem commanded Moshe, howbeit, He only commanded them

to fulfill within the land, but outside the land, no. Therefore, the Giver of the Torah Yisbarach acted wisely and placed a zakef katon in the word כן, which is a disjunctive {separating} accent, in order that the implication of the matters and their intent is "the laws and statutes which Hashem commanded to do so" plainly, implying in every place under the entire Heavens. And afterwards he says "within the land, etc." For if we merit, we will fulfill it within the land {of Israel}, and if we do not met, we will fulfill it outside the land. And in this path is written in proximity {in pasuk 14, later in the perek}:
יד  וְאֹתִי צִוָּה ה, בָּעֵת הַהִוא, לְלַמֵּד אֶתְכֶם, חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים:  לַעֲשֹׂתְכֶם אֹתָם--בָּאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ.14 And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.

with a zakef katon on אֹתָם {thus separating it from בָּאָרֶץ}. And don't retort to me, 'but isn't the pashta {J: which is the usual order of Scripture, as he said above} also called a disjunctive accent?' For while it is indeed called a disjunctive accent in terms of determining whether {phonologically speaking} the letters בדג כפ"ת at the start of a word {receives a dagesh} when it is juxtaposed to {the preceding word ending in} aleph, heh, vav, or yud, still, it does not create a semantic pause in the same manner as a zakef, etnachta, and the like."

HaKsav veHakabbalah has this to say:

That is, he cites R' Shlomo Dubno citing the Ohr Torah, and concludes with (third line) 'however, his intent in explaining the verse is a bit forced, see inside.' He then continues:

"And it seems to me, according to the melody of the trup which is before us (meaning the zakef), that the intent of the Scriptures is to inform us that because of the greatness of the sanctity of the land, the only ones who sustain themselves in it are religious men who accept the yoke of His commandments, Yisbarach. This is as is written (??) (II Melachim 17:26):
כו  וַיֹּאמְרוּ, לְמֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר לֵאמֹר, הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הִגְלִיתָ וַתּוֹשֶׁב בְּעָרֵי שֹׁמְרוֹן, לֹא יָדְעוּ, אֶת-מִשְׁפַּט אֱלֹהֵי הָאָרֶץ; וַיְשַׁלַּח-בָּם אֶת-הָאֲרָיוֹת, וְהִנָּם מְמִיתִים אוֹתָם, כַּאֲשֶׁר אֵינָם יֹדְעִים, אֶת-מִשְׁפַּט אֱלֹהֵי הָאָרֶץ.26 Wherefore they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying: 'The nations which thou hast carried away, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land; therefore He hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.'

And to this intent He warned in his idiom, 'that the land not vomit you out as it vomited out, etc.' The intent is that just as the walls of the stomach only accept foods fit for it by virtue of its nature, so does the holy land does not accept as its inhabitants those who violate the will of Hashem, but will rather vomit them out just as the belly will vomit out a food which is not fit for it by virtue of its nature.

And upon this intent He said as well here, that the Torah and the Mitzvah I have given to you in order that you have a basis and kiyum, and a correct situation to stay permanently in the midst of the land. 

And the word כן functions as כון, from 'he has made you and established you', in Devarim 32:
6. Is this how you repay the Lord, you disgraceful, unwise people?! Is He not your Father, your Master? He has made you and established you. ו. הֲ לַי־הֹוָ־ה תִּגְמְלוּ זֹאת עַם נָבָל וְלֹא חָכָם הֲלוֹא הוּא אָבִיךָ קָּנֶךָ הוּא עָשְׂךָ וַיְכֹנְנֶךָ:

See Rashi there:
and established you: After [making you a special nation, God established you] upon every kind of firm base and foundation (כַּן) [i.e., made you self-contained]: your kohanim are from among yourselves; your prophets are from among yourselves, and your kings are from among yourselves. [Indeed, you are like] a city from which all [resources] are [drawn]. — [Sifrei 32:6] ויכננך: אחרי כן בכל מיני בסיס וכן. מכם כהנים מכם נביאים ומכם מלכים כרך שהכל תלוי בו:

... [J: And he proceeds to give other examples of כן as basis.]

And the intent is that because of keeping the laws and statutes, there will be for you an establishment within the holy land."

So ends the words of HaTorah veHamitzvah. My own analysis follows.

I don't agree that the usual order of trup is first the pashta and then the zakef. This indeed happens in a number of places, but so does a run of zakefs in a row. Also, pashta can sometimes be just as much a disjunctive trup as a zakef. And the author of trup, whether it is Hashem or some later author, is not really deviating from the natural order of trup in this instance.

Here is not to go into an in-depth discussion of Wickes' rules of continuous dichotomy. In short, the verse is continuously divided, first on logical grounds and then on syntactic grounds, so long as there are three words left in the clause. The specific trup chosen is based on the trup at the end of the clause combined with the distance, measured in words, to the end of the clause. Whether a subject, object, verb phrase, prepositional phrase, etc., leads off the pasuk determines whether elements are divided off at the beginning of end of the clause.

Here is how to analyze the division according to the zakef version.

According to this, there are three trup symbols which divide off elements from the second half of the pasuk. (That is, these trup symbols are selected based on the silluq on lerishta.) These are the zakef on ken, the zakef on haaretz, and the tipcha on shama. Therefore, we divide as follows:

לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ

is divided into:

לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן
בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ

then, the second half of this (which still, note, end in silluq on lerishta), is divided into:

בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ
אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ

and finally, the second half of that is divided into:

אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה

It certainly seems that elements of this pasuk are getting lopped off from the front, rather than from the rear.

The alternative, were there a pashta on ken, would be somewhat different. For pashta subdivides not a phrase ending in silluq, but a phrase ending in zakef. Thus, if the pasuk had trup like this,

then the second half of the pasuk would be subdivided as follows. Start with:

לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ

which becomes:
לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ
אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ

The first half, לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ, gets divided into

לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן
בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ

and the second half, אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ, gets divided into:

אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה

Finally, אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה is divided into:

אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם
בָּאִים שָׁמָּה

If I had to choose between these two parsings, without looking too deeply into the particular syntactic rules of trup, I would choose the former. It indeed seems as if we are chopping off each phrase from the beginning of the pasuk. Is this purely mechanical and syntactic? It could be.

It could also be something akin to what Or Torah suggested. After all, that division of

לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן

בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ

indeed puts laasot ken as a separate item from bekerev haaretz. But still, I think it is because he is doing it somewhere. And where is that somewhere? As a single entity, 'within the land which you are entering into to inherit.' It just works.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How does the trup parse אֲנָשִׁים חֲכָמִים וּנְבֹנִים וִידֻעִים לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶם?

Summary: Against Rashi, it seems, such that חֲכָמִים וּנְבֹנִים וִידֻעִים are a unit. But that is acceptable.

Post: Towards the start of parshas Devarim, we encounter this pasuk:

13. Prepare for yourselves wise and understanding men, known among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.יג. הָבוּ לָכֶם אֲנָשִׁים חֲכָמִים וּנְבֹנִים וִידֻעִים לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶם וַאֲשִׂימֵם בְּרָאשֵׁיכֶם:

Note that Judaica Press translates it in accordance to Rashi, taking וִידֻעִים לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶם as a unit, meaning "known among your tribes".

Here is how Rashi, channeling the Sifrei, puts it:

well-known among your tribes: Men whom you recognize, for if one were to come before me wrapped in his tallith, I would not know who he is and of what tribe he is, and whether he is suitable. But you know him, for you have raised him. Therefore, it says,“well-known among your tribes.” (Sifrei)וידועים לשבטיכם: שהם ניכרים לכם, שאם בא לפני מעוטף בטליתו איני יודע מי הוא ומאיזה שבט הוא ואם הגון הוא, אבל אתם מכירין בו, שאתם גידלתם אותו, לכך נאמר וידועים לשבטיכם:

Compare with JPS which makes it a measure of their knowledge:

יג  הָבוּ לָכֶם אֲנָשִׁים חֲכָמִים וּנְבֹנִים, וִידֻעִים--לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶם; וַאֲשִׂימֵם, בְּרָאשֵׁיכֶם.13 Get you, from each one of your tribes, wise men, and understanding, and full of knowledge, and I will make them heads over you.'

Ibn Ezra does not explicitly treat viyduim lishivteichem as unit, as Rashi does, but he does interpret viduim in like manner:

וידועים -שהם היו ידועים שיכירום הכל.

That they are known, that all recognize them.

(After all, it is the passive verb.) The Ramban writes:
יג): וידעים לשבטיכם - 
שהיו ניכרים לכם, שאם בא לפני מעוטף בטליתו איני יודע מי הוא ומאי זה שבט הוא, אבל אתם מכירים אותו שגדלתם אותו, לשון רש"י מספרי (דברים יג). ג
ואם כן, יהיה "לשבטיכם" קשור עם "וידועים" י

אבל על דרך הפשט טעמו, הבו לכם לשבטיכם אנשים חכמים. 
ועל דעתי, טעם "וידועים" שהם ידועים לשופטים, כלומר שמעלתם ידועה ונכרת למנותם בה שופטים. וכלל מעלות השופטים במלת "וידועים", כי השופטים צריכין להיות אנשי חיל יראי אלוהים אנשי אמת שונאי בצע כאשר אמר יתרו, ואלה היו ידועים לשופטים מתחלה כי היו הכל אומרים ראוי זה להיות שופט:
That is, he first cites Rashi and states that if so, the word לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶם is connected with וִידֻעִים. He continues:
"However, on a peshat level, its import is {via reordering the words} 'Get yourselves, for your tribes, wise men.' {J: and so 'your tribes' is not associated with yeduim at all.}
 And in my opinion, the meaning of yeduim is that they are known to be judges, that is to say, their greatness is known and recognized, to appoint them judges for it. And it encompasses the various positive traits of judges in the word וִידֻעִים, for the judges need to be אַנְשֵׁי-חַיִל יִרְאֵי אֱלֹהִים, אַנְשֵׁי אֱמֶת--שֹׂנְאֵי בָצַעת, as Yisro said {J: such that there is harmonization between Devarim and parashat Yitro in sefer Shemot}. And these were known to be 'judges' from the beginning, since all would say that this one is fit to be a judge.
In this way, I'll stress once more,  לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶם is not connected with וִידֻעִים on a peshat level according to the Ramban.

Vilna Gaon
The Vilna Gaon writes, in Aderes Eliyahu:
לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶם. לא קאי ידֻעִים בלבד אלא על כל הד׳ דברים שיהא מכל שבט ושבט

"'to your tribes' -- it does not apply only to וִידֻעִים, but rather to each of the four [sic; three; unless anashim counts, as righteous men, as in the Sifrei, in which case ignore three later in Gra, as well as his supercommentator in the link] things, that they should be from each and every tribe."

haKsav vehaKabbalah
Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi Mechlenburg, in his sefer Haksav veHakabbalah, discusses how trup fits into this picture. He cites the Gra, and then writes:

כי לפי נגינת הטעם מלת וִידֻעִים מתחברת עם חֲכָמִים וּנְבֹנִים

"For according to the trup, the word וִידֻעִים  is connected to חֲכָמִים וּנְבֹנִים." 

This is precisely correct. Let us examine the trup on the pasuk:

The one trup symbol appearing which subdivides an etnachta is the tipcha on וִידֻעִים, such that it is the first item knocked off. All the other trup symbols divide the clause ending in the tipcha. Thus, it is:

הָבוּ לָכֶם אֲנָשִׁים חֲכָמִים וּנְבֹנִים וִידֻעִים

Can Rashi (and Ibn Ezra perhaps) give an interpretation against the trup? Yes. But even without that, we already have Ramban aligning peshat vs. the non-peshat (so I suppose derash) in Rashi based on different parsings. Noting that the trup is like the peshat parsing does not necessarily do away with the derash, even if we took trup as dispositive.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What about the yerach ben yomo?

Such was the question someone emailed me. I don't have anything clever to say about it. But let us see it, in Masei (35:5):

I underlined it in red. In printed texts it is an upside-down etnachta. But it took other forms. Here is what Wickes had to say about it. He lists it as one of the mesharsim, that is, conjunctive accents, rather than among the melachim, disjunctive accents. In this he follows the rabbinic writers on trup. Yet he does not think it should be counted as a meshares. He thinks it melody was similar to that of telisha ketana. He also explains the name(s) of this trup symbol. Thus:

According to Wickes-pedia, it occurs once in Torah and a total of 16 times in all of Tanach. According to Wikipedia, it occurs a total of 13 times in Tanach. (Wikipedia also has an interesting homiletic piece there.)

Note that immediately following the yerach ben yomo is another incredibly rare accent, the karnei para. That is, two facing telishas. See Wikipedia on this accent here. And here is what Wickes-pedia has to say about it:

Note that this is a different sort of pazer than the one we are used to.

As to what prompts these rare occurrences, it is so rare that it is not impossible that a midrashic concern prompts it. But I also see, for this one pasuk in Masei, that it is a lengthy pasuk with a particular recurring substructure. I'd have to analyze it and the other fifteen instances, but it could just be the result of taking the system of trup to its logical conclusion, even though it means inventing a new trup symbol and melody (similar to the shalshelet in this respect).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The trup on לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת לְאוֹת, לִבְנֵי-מֶרִי

Summary: Shadal suggests it should be like a variant version he found in some manuscript. I am not so convinced.

Post: Consider the following pasuk in Korach (Bemidbar 17:25), together with its trup. The pasuk:

כה  וַיֹּאמֶר ה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, הָשֵׁב אֶת-מַטֵּה אַהֲרֹן לִפְנֵי הָעֵדוּת, לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת לְאוֹת, לִבְנֵי-מֶרִי; וּתְכַל תְּלוּנֹּתָם מֵעָלַי, וְלֹא יָמֻתוּ.25 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept there, for a token against the rebellious children; that there may be made an end of their murmurings against Me, that they die not.'

And the trup:

Note the words lemishmeret leot livnei-meri. The words lemishmeret leot are joined together*, and is separated from livnei-meri. Thus: lemishmeret leot || livnei-meri.

Shadal writes about this:

"I found in a manuscript on parchment... [the trup as depicted above]... and it is correct."

That is, a tipcha on limishmeret and a mahpach on leot. The word lemishmeret is separate and leot livnei-meri are joined together**. Thus: lemishmeret || leot livnei-meri.

I can understand the impulse to promote this variant text, as it seems to work better with the logic of the pasuk. It is a mishmeret and it is an ot livnei meri. Or it is a mishmeret livnei meri and a ot livnei meri. But it is not a mishmeret leot.

Still, the mahpach on the word before the etnachta seems more than a bit strange to me. And perhaps the clustering of these two prepositions is understandable based on Wickes' syntactic dichotomy. That is, Wickes writes that in general, a prepositional phrase (such as "for a mishmeret") or adverbial expression at the beginning of a clause is separated off by itself. However, there are exceptions. And among the exceptions, he writes:

Maybe these form a similar cluster at the head of the clause.
* since mercha on lemishmeret is a joining trup, and tipcha on leot is a separating trup.
** since tipcha on lemishmeret is a separating trup, and mahpach on leot is a joining trup.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A trup tutorial: kadma vs. pashta

Summary: How to distinguish between the melech and mesharet. Why the pashta will sometimes be repeated in a word. And in an interesting instance, where the pashta is not repeated, what that means in terms of stress. I argue with Chelek HaDikduk. Or perhaps I don't.

Post: Here is a quick lesson on trup. There are two trup symbols which look alike. One is a connective trup symbol, and is called a kadma. The other is a separating trup symbol, and is called a pashta. They both appear over the word, as a curved line: ר

In the pasuk below (Bemidbar 15:3), there is a kadma on the first word, vaasitem. And there is a pashta on the word laHashem, at the end of the first line.

How can we distinguish between them, if they appear orthographically identical? The answer is in the placement of the symbol. If it appears over the last letter, then it is a pashta. If it appears elsewhere, then it is a kadma.

When it is a kadma, the symbol is placed over the location of the stress. Since vaasitem is stressed on the last syllable, it is placed over the ת. What about the pashta? Since it must be placed on the last letter, it does not grant us any information about where to stress the word, mile'eil or milera. Luckily, most words in Hebrew have stress on the last symbol.

However, sometimes -- I don't think consistently across all manuscripts and in all places -- the pashta symbol is repeated. This does NOT mean that one should try to sing the melody of pashta twice on the word. Rather, the masoretes are helping out by indicating the place of stress. The first pashta indicated where the stress lies, while the second, over the final letter of the word, indicates that we are dealing with a pashta rather than a kadma.

In the pasuk above (15:3), see the dual pashta on neder and on nichoach. This is because the words are to be stressed as NEder and niCHOach.

However, Minchat Shai notes:
 נִיחֹחַ ־ בפשט האחרון לבד בס״ס

"Nichoach: With only the last pashta in sefarim sefardiim."

So too Or Torah:
נִיחֹחַ ־ בפשט האחרון לבד

The Teimanim maintain this in their texts (we might as well -- I didn't look):

Note the last pashta only. And so too later, in 15:24, when the word recurs with a pashta.

But Chelek HaDikduk says something pretty weird and ridiculous (IMHO) regarding this, unless I am totally misunderstanding him -- certainly a possibility I will grant:

"The word re'ach nichoach is with a single pashta, and it is milera. And so too in Yerushalmiim {manuscripts}. And this is the position of Rabbi Menachem Lunzano {=Or Torah}."

It seems as if he is saying that, since there is only one pashta, it is the default pronunciation, which is milera. And so the stress is not where you would place it were we to have that second pashta, namely mile'eil, on the cho syllable.

The reason this would be ridiculous is two-fold.
  1. First, the /ach/ at the end of the word is not really a syllable. Gutturals, such as chet, ayin, and (mapik) heh are difficult to pronounce. So, when we have certain closed syllables which would be hard to end with this guttural letter, we insert a little patach glide. It is not pronounced as a full patach. Try saying nichoח, pronouncing the chets correctly, like a Yemenite Jew would. Similarly, my name. Yehoshuע, is difficult to pronounce. So, it becomes nichoaח and yehoshuaע. If so, of course it is pronounced milera. But pronouncing it milera means that the stress would be on the cho, not on the ach. And that is likely why the masoretes did not bother putting that second pashta in place.
  2. Indeed, we see elsewhere in the parsha, in between these two nichoachs with pashta, another nichoach. See 15:10, where it appears with a single tipcha, and the stress is just where it should be, on cho.
In defense of Chelek HaDikduk, all I can say is that I am most likely misreading it, and (1) is precisely what Chelek HaDikduk intended. See the text above and see how this can be read into his words.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Why the pasek after the word tamei?

Summary: Midrashically, as well as from a system of trup.

Post: In parashat Behaalotecha, consider the following pasuk (Bemidbar 9:10):

10. Speak to the children of Israel saying, Any person who becomes unclean from [contact with] the dead, or is on a distant journey, whether among you or in future generations, he shall make a Passover sacrifice for the Lord.י. דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אִישׁ אִישׁ כִּי יִהְיֶה טָמֵא לָנֶפֶשׁ אוֹ בְדֶרֶךְ רְחֹקָה לָכֶם אוֹ לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם וְעָשָׂה פֶסַח לַה':

The trup on this is:

Note the vertical bar between טמא and לנפש. In Chelek HaDikduk, the following explanation:
There is a psik between טָמֵא and לָנֶפֶשׁ to tell you that there is a distinction between those who are ritually impure. A single individual is pushed off, but the entire tzibbur is not pushed off. (Mahari"v)
See this in Baal HaTurim here.

I wonder, though. Might this be a munach legarmeih? Consider the revii on lachem, and that pazer, telisha, geresh, and munach legarmeih are all accents used to subdivide a clause ending in a revii. Or how munach legarmeih is occasionally used in place of telisha gedola to subdivide a geresh.

But, let us say not. Let us say that it is indeed a psik. Here is an alternate explanation for why we would expect a psik.

This makes the most sense, I think. Look back at the original pasuk and see that there is repeated division towards the end of the clause, starting at the revii.

Some other interesting features raised in Chelek HaDikduk. Later, in 11:26, there is the following:

where there is a vertical bar + munach before the first pazer, and a dispute as to whether there should be a vertucal bar by the munach before the second pazer.

And later, in 11:31:

where the printers put the vertical bar, but it does not seem to be warranted based on their masoretic texts. (Unless perhaps it is to be a munach legarmeih.)

I don't have the time to investigate this today, so I'll leave it at pointing out these interesting features.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What was עַל פְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן אֲבִיהֶם? Nadav and Avihu's death, or Eleazar and Itamar's service?

Summary: One can parse the pasuk so that this phrase,  עַל פְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן אֲבִיהֶם, goes on Nadav and Avihu's death. Or, we can parse it so that it goes on the service of Eleazer and Itamar. This is a case of trup vs. Divrei Hayamim.


Consider the following pasuk, with its trup. Bemidbar 3:4. ד. וַיָּמָת נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא לִפְנֵי ה בְּהַקְרִבָם אֵשׁ זָרָה לִפְנֵי ה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי וּבָנִים לֹא הָיוּ לָהֶם וַיְכַהֵן אֶלְעָזָר וְאִיתָמָר עַל פְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן אֲבִיהֶם: 

Rashi explains עַל פְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן אֲבִיהֶם as בחייו, in his [=Aharon's] lifetime. And his basis is [Num. Rabbah 2:26, Lev. Rabbah 20:11, Pesikta d’Rav Kahana p. 173b]. So we can look there to get a sense of what he means.

Basically, the obvious ambiguity would be whether עַל פְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן אֲבִיהֶם refers to Nadav and Avihu's death {or bringing the esh zara}, or Eleazar and Itamar's serving as kohanim.

Ramban writes:
ד): על פני אהרן אביהם - 
בחייו, לשון רש"י. 
ואין העניין להגיד שכהנו בחיי אביהם, כי כל איש מבני אהרן הכהנים יכהן בחיי אביו, רק בעבור שאמר "הכהנים המשוחים" שהיו גם הם ככהנים גדולים נמשחים כמוהו בחייו ולא יעשה כן לדורות. 

והנכון, כי "על פני" יחזור על הרחוק, וימת נדב ואביהוא לפני ה' על פני אהרן אביהם בהקריבם אש זרה, וכך נאמר בדברי הימים (א כד ב): וימת נדב ואביהו לפני אביהם ובנים לא היו להם ויכהנו אלעזר ואיתמר. וטעם"לפני ה'", שמתו בנס שבא מאתו, וכן נאמר במרגלים (להלן יד לז): במגפה לפני ה':
"Upon the face of Aharon their father -- 'in his lifetime' -- the language of Rashi. And the import of this is not to relate that they served in their father's lifetime, for every man of the sons of Aharon the kohanim serves in his father's lifetime. Rather, since it states 'the anointed kohanim, who were kohanim gedolim as well, who were anointed like him in his lifetime, and such was not done for generations.

And the correct explanation is that על פני binds to the distant phrase, of וַיָּמָת נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא לִפְנֵי ה בְּהַקְרִבָם אֵשׁ זָרָה. And so is stated in I Divrei HaYamim 24:2:

א  וְלִבְנֵי אַהֲרֹן, מַחְלְקוֹתָם:  בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן--נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא, אֶלְעָזָר וְאִיתָמָר.1 And the courses of the sons of Aaron were these. The sons of Aaron: Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
ב  וַיָּמָת נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא לִפְנֵי אֲבִיהֶם, וּבָנִים לֹא-הָיוּ לָהֶם; וַיְכַהֲנוּ, אֶלְעָזָר וְאִיתָמָר.2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children; therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest's office.

And the meaning of לִפְנֵי ה is that they died by a miracle which came from Him. And so is stated by the scouts {later on, Bemidbar 14:37}

לז  וַיָּמֻתוּ, הָאֲנָשִׁים, מוֹצִאֵי דִבַּת-הָאָרֶץ, רָעָה--בַּמַּגֵּפָה, לִפְנֵי ה.37 even those men that did bring up an evil report of the land, died by the plague before the LORD.


End quote of the Ramban. Shadal cites Mendelsohnn, who takes note of this, and writes:
 [ד] על פני אהרון אביהם: לדעת רמב"ן חוזר למעלה, וימת נדב ואביהוא על פני אהרן אביהם, וכן הוא בד"ה א' כ"ד ב ', והאתנח ראוי תחת ואיתמר (נתה"ש).ש

His point here is that by putting the etnachta on veItamar, the al penei Aharon avihem would be parenthetical, and could bind distantly above. But placing it where it is, on lahem, it makes it seem like al pnei Aharon avihem is modifying the kehuna of Eleazar and Itamar.

This is a valid point. And so we Divrei Hayamim (and Ramban) arguing against the trup (and Rashi and Chazal). Neither these is necessarily compelling and dispositive. That is, perhaps the author of Divrei Hayamim did not have the trup, and interpreted the pasuk in his own way. And perhaps the author of the trup was unaware of the parsing given in Divrei Hayamim.

Still, must we say that this is an absolute machlokes? While these are alternate parsings of the same pasuk, the interpretations are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, we can say that Rashi + Chazal were making a derasha, but know that the mikra also maintained its peshat value. And that the trup was parsing the pasuk according to that derasha. And meanwhile, Ramban + Divrei Hayamim were giving the peshat interpretation.

My leanings towards interpreting this pasuk is certainly more in the direction of Ramban + Divrei Hayamim. This is genealogy. And I am reminded of the genealogy involving Er + Onan, and of Datan and Aviram. The very point would be that these died at this time, and so the genealogy will focus only on the other descendants, and their numbers and their roles. (On the other hand, their is a focus on roles and thus the shimush.)


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