Monday, December 31, 2007

The Age of Trup -- part ii

Continuing from where we left off last time. Shadal, in his Vikuach al Chochmat haKabbalah, just showed that while Rashi made use of the trup and nikkud as proof, on occasion Rashi will offer an explanation which goes against the nikkud or the trup. He now goes on to show that the same is true for Rashbam:

And so too the Rashbam, the son of his {=Rashi's} daughter, wrote upon the verse מִטֶּרֶף בְּנִי עָלִיתָ {from parshat Vayechi, from Yaakov's blessing, in Bereishit 49:9:
ט גּוּר אַרְיֵה יְהוּדָה, מִטֶּרֶף בְּנִי עָלִיתָ; כָּרַע רָבַץ כְּאַרְיֵה וּכְלָבִיא, מִי יְקִימֶנּוּ. 9 Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up. He stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as a lioness; who shall rouse him up?

"and one who explains it as referring to the sale of Yosef does not know the simple explanation of the verse, nor the division of the cantillation marks at all."

{Presumably, Rashbam means here that there is a disjunctive accent, tipcha, breaking off מִטֶּרֶף from בְּנִי עָלִיתָ. Thus, one should not explain it as "you arose miteref beni," where beni refers to Yosef rather than to Yehuda.}

And so too on the verse כֹּל נָשִׂיא בָהֶם
{in Shelach, in Bemidbar 13:2:
ב שְׁלַח-לְךָ אֲנָשִׁים, וְיָתֻרוּ אֶת-אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן, אֲשֶׁר-אֲנִי נֹתֵן, לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: אִישׁ אֶחָד אִישׁ אֶחָד לְמַטֵּה אֲבֹתָיו, תִּשְׁלָחוּ--כֹּל, נָשִׂיא בָהֶם. 2 'Send thou men, that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel; of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a prince among them.'

he wrote:
"The cantillation mark which is under כֹּל proves its explanation."
Behold that he relies upon the vowel points.

{To explain, there is a disjunctive accent, tipcha, separating kol from the rest of the phrase. And this is also why it is kol with a cholam chaser rather than a kametz katan. Thus, it means that "all of them" -- the meraglim -- were princes. But it does not mean that each prince became a spy. And this is also why Shadal feels free to mention that Rashbam relies on vowel points, rather than saying "cantillation marks."}

And with all this, he explains וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-מִצְרַיִם מֵת עַל-שְׂפַת הַיָּם

{from parshat Beshalach, from Shemot 14:30:
ל וַיּוֹשַׁע ה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל-- מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם; וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-מִצְרַיִם, מֵת עַל-שְׂפַת הַיָּם. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-shore.
that the Israelites were upon the sea-shore, and from there they saw the Egyptians dead, and this is against the cantillation marks.

{because there is a zakef-katon on the word Mitzrayim, thus making it וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-מִצְרַיִם followed by מֵת עַל-שְׂפַת הַיָּם. Shadal presumably would like that division to be on the word meit.}

And also on what is written

{in parshat Korach, Bemidbar 17:4-5}:
ד וַיִּקַּח אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן, אֵת מַחְתּוֹת הַנְּחֹשֶׁת, אֲשֶׁר הִקְרִיבוּ, הַשְּׂרֻפִים; וַיְרַקְּעוּם, צִפּוּי לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. 4 And Eleazar the priest took the brazen fire-pans, which they that were burnt had offered; and they beat them out for a covering of the altar,
ה זִכָּרוֹן לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יִקְרַב אִישׁ זָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא מִזֶּרַע אַהֲרֹן הוּא, לְהַקְטִיר קְטֹרֶת, לִפְנֵי ה; וְלֹא-יִהְיֶה כְקֹרַח וְכַעֲדָתוֹ, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר ה בְּיַד-מֹשֶׁה לוֹ. {פ} 5 to be a memorial unto the children of Israel, to the end that no common man, that is not of the seed of Aaron, draw near to burn incense before the LORD; that he fare not as Korah, and as his company; as the LORD spoke unto him by the hand of Moses. {P}
he explains וַיִּקַּח אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן, אֵת מַחְתּוֹת הַנְּחֹשֶׁת כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר ה בְּיַד-מֹשֶׁה לוֹ {thus adjoining the very beginning of pasuk 4 to the very end of pasuk 5, meaning that "as the LORD spoke..." was the LORD speaking to Eleazar}; and according to these words of his, it would have been fitting to place the etnachta {subdividing the verse} under the word וְכַעֲדָתוֹ {so as to make kaasher separate from the rest}, and not under Hashem {in the phrase כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר ה}.

And so too he explains {pictured to the right} וְהָמָם מְהוּמָה גְדֹלָה as if the mem {sofit} were open {and a non-final mem}.

{in parshat Ekev, on Devarim 7:23:
כג וּנְתָנָם ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לְפָנֶיךָ; וְהָמָם מְהוּמָה גְדֹלָה, עַד הִשָּׁמְדָם. 23 But the LORD thy God shall deliver them up before thee, and shall discomfit them with a great discomfiture, until they be destroyed.
Shadal in his own peirush writes: כג ] והמם : כפירש " י והם אותם , משורש הום כמו מהומה

And so too he explains אֲרַמִּי אֹבֵד אָבִי
{in parshat Ki Tavo, in the vidui of bikkurim, in Devarim 26:

ה וְעָנִיתָ וְאָמַרְתָּ לִפְנֵי ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֲרַמִּי אֹבֵד אָבִי, וַיֵּרֶד מִצְרַיְמָה, וַיָּגָר שָׁם בִּמְתֵי מְעָט; וַיְהִי-שָׁם, לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל עָצוּם וָרָב. 5 And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God: 'A wandering Aramean was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there, few in number; and he became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous.

as אֹבֵד as an adjective modifying אֲרַמִּי, and many like this against the cantillation marks.

{In this particular case, because there is a pashta on arami, separating it from oved avi.}


Anonymous said...

"while Rashi made use of the trup and nikkud as proof, on occasion Rashi will offer an explanation which goes against the nikkud or the trup. He now goes on to show that the same is true for Rashbam:"

while I am not very familiar with this vichuach, is not possible to say that just like many times Rashi will have a different girsa in the gemorah, or times we have a taos sofrim, so here too, this can be the reason for the so called contradiction?

Anonymous said...

Also, in addition to the above comment, does anyone say that the reason we do NOT find the nekkudot,and ta'amim in early writings, is becaue they were in fact given on Har Sinai, and meant to be Torah ShBal Peh,,(not meant to be transcribed),and this removes the question on why the zohar spoke about them, and so, due to the length of golus, some of it was lost, or different girsa here and there, but for the majority, it was handed down from generation to generation in tact....just as received in Sinai?

joshwaxman said...

Are you the same as Yehuda?

If you want to become familiar with the Vikuach, you can click on the link for the label of "Vikuach al Chochmat haKabbalah" at the bottom of the post and read my translation for most of it.

There are times when one can determine that there is a taut soferim, or a different girsa. However, it does not seem to be intellectually honest to just posit it given no other evidence because a conclusion otherwise would make someone theologically uncomfortable.

Especially given that, as Shadal points out, it is not just Rashi, but the other medieval commentators who hold this as well, some of them explicitly so. We are talking about Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, Abarbanel, Rabbenu Bachya, and Radak, among others. In light of this, it seems highly speculative to simply assume that the five example (which are only examples, but there are others) of Rashi diverting from trup or nikkud are the result of taus sofer.

It reminds me of when a rav of a certain shul was shown a Rambam talking about the importance of learning science. He did not know what to do with it for a minute or two, and then finally decided that it was a ziyuf, and then all was right in the world.

joshwaxman said...

if you want a better picture of this, it is best to read the full Vikuach on this. he addresses all of this.

I would also note that the problem with Zohar is that it makes mention (and derasha) specifically of the *orthographic* signs of trup -- how zarka resembles a snake, if I recall correctly. In which case one would be compelled to say that it was more than simply shebaal peh, in order to allow the Zohar to not be anachronistic. This in addition to a number of other anachronisms in Zohar and Tikkunim.

By the way, Anonymous, in terms of answering Shadal, I think my own approach to answering it is in firmer ground than just appeal to taus sofer. Check it out here, on this old post on parshablog.

Kol Tuv,


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