Sunday, January 29, 2006

Daf Yomi: Pesachim 2a - Leilei Leilei Mamash

The gemara in Pesachim begins (2a):
מאי אור רב הונא אמר נגהי ורב יהודה אמר לילי קא סלקא דעתך דמאן דאמר נגהי נגהי ממש ומאן דאמר לילי לילי ממש
Rashi dislikes this girsa. While דמאן דאמר נגהי נגהי ממש is perfectly fine, for it bears meaning -- that when Rav Huna says naghei, he means "day" -- the phrase ומאן דאמר לילי לילי ממש is unneccessary. Of course leilei means literally "night." This is so in the gemara's initial assumption, as well as in the conclusion. The only confusion is about the word naghei. Therefore, Rashi recommends striking out the phrase ומאן דאמר לילי לילי ממש.

My reaction is that such emendation is unnecessary. Even if the phrase adds nothing because the question is only about naghei, the echoing of the phrase for the other opinion, leilei, creates balance that has a rhetorical effect. It is that same as saying: "We initially thought to take both words literally."

Does Rashi propose to emend the text based on any manuscript that has his proposed girsa. Not that I know of, and the impression I got is that his suggestion is based on logic, suggesting that this text was added erroneously on the basis of דמאן דאמר נגהי נגהי ממש.

Vatican Ebr. 134 has essentially the same text as our printed edition, except in the phrase ומאן דאמר לילי לילי ממש, it omits the word ממש.

London and Vatican Ebr. 109 have the same as our printed text.

The JTS manuscript has the interesting girsa. Firstly, instead of naghei, it has a vav - noghei. This is incorrect, and based on the Hebrew nogah, but is interesting nonethess. Further, rather than דעתך it has אדעתין. But the most relevant, rather than דמאן דאמר נגהי נגהי ממש ומאן דאמר לילי לילי ממש, in which נגהי and לילי are merely repeated with the addition of the word ממש, the JTS manuscript has explanations/translations of the words, and no word ממש

דמאן דאמר נוגהי צפרא
"that the one who says noghei means morning (tzafra)"

ומאן דאמר לילי אורתא
"and the one who says leilei means evening (`oreta)"

I would imagine that Rashi would not have felt the compulsion to correct the girsa has he had the JTS manuscript before him. After all, now each phrase is not just said to mean literally what it states, but is useful in that it gives a translation of each. The word ממש, "literally," is not there, so no one is saying a chiddush that this word is to be taken literally. Indeed, one can read this as a contrast: The one who says noghei means morning while the one who says leilei means evening.

Which girsa was the original, I do not know.

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