Thursday, January 19, 2006

Daf Yomi Pesachim 2a: What Girsa Does Rashi Reject In The Mishna?

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The first Mishna in Pesachim (on Pesachim 2a) begins אור לארבעה עשר. The first Rashi has an interesting comment: אור לארבעה עשר גרסינן. That is, he is stating that the correct girsa is אור לארבעה עשר. The implication of this is that there is at least one other competing girsa which Rashi marked as incorrect. I'll see if I can get access to a Dikdukei Soferim to see what variants there are (or if someone has access to it and can post in the comments, I'd appreciate it.)

Based on online resources, I have:

Ktav Yad Kaufman and Parma, of Mishna, and Ktav Yad Vatican (Ehr. 109 and 134) all have אור לארבעה עשר, which is Rashi's girsa.

Ktav Tad London, a manuscript of Talmud Bavli, has the very entertaining and euphonious אור לאורבעה עשר, with a vav in לאורבעה. The dot above and below may indicate even the sofer knew this was mistaken. (The mistake would stem from the sofer beginning another word which begins with aleph, and inserting a vav before the resh just as he did the previous word.) But this seems unlikely to be a variant that Rashi feels compelled to tell us is incorrect.

JTS's manuscript is most likely the one Rashi is rejecting. There, the lamed is missing, and the Mishna begins אור ארבעה עשר. This fits in well with language in the third Mishna:

רבי יהודה אומר, בודקין אור ארבעה עשר, ובארבעה עשר בשחרית, ובשעת הביעור. וחכמים אומרים, אם לא בדק אור ארבעה עשר, יבדוק בארבעה עשר; אם לא בדק בארבעה עשר, יבדוק בתוך המועד; לא בדק בתוך המועד, יבדוק לאחר המועד. ומה שהוא משייר--יניחנו בצנעה, כדי שלא יהא צריך בדיקה אחריו.

One other possibility: Perhaps because of the entire dispute (which was a non-dispute) regarding the word Or, some manuscript omitted it and just began ארבעה עשר בודקין את החמץ לאור הנר. Indeed, on the side of our page of gemara, in Rabbenu Chananel has exactly this, but the words אור ל are inserted in parentheses. Such a real girsa in the Mishna would render the subsequent discussion about the different meanings of אור by the setama incomprehensible (which is cited by Rabbenu Chananel immediately thereafter), but one could just say the setama had Rashi's girsa. Rav Huna and Rav Yehuda, we might say, were commenting on the third Mishna, which certainly has it אור ארבעה עשר.

(Another possibility which occurred to me but which I could not find in any online manuscript is a mistake in gender in the number. This could sometimes occur, particularly if in an intermediate step, the number had been abbreviated as לי"ד.)

In conclusion, the most likely candidate for Rashi's rejection is the JTS manuscript, which omits the ל and thus matches the language of a subsequent Mishna.

I'll end with another plug for the Alfasi blog, where Rif Yomi on Pesachim starts today.

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