Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Vayechi: Minchas Eluzer's Teshuva On The Gap - pt iii

For previous segments of this teshuva, see part 1 and part 2.

And so, even between one verse and the next verse, even though the Rema in Orach Chaim siman 32 seif 32 ruled to leave a bit blank between one verse and the next verse, and so is ruled in the Shach Yoreh Deah (siman 274 seif katan 6), even so the Magen Avraham there, siman 32, argues on this. For the Rema brings this only from the Rivash (siman 286), and in the Rivash is is explained that only if he did this, it does not invalidate after the fact. And therefore the Magen Avraham ruled that one should not leave anything between one verse and the next verse, except as between other words.

And so too in Benei Yona, he writes that one should not leave any {extra} gap between one verse and the next verse, like the opinion of the majority of decisors and like the girsa of Masechet Soferim which is before us: "A sefer shepasak veshenakad rashei hapesukim, one should not read it in." And this is that it has separations between the verses.

And also in the Shulchan Aruch of the Tanya and in the Biur haGra, they rule like the Magen Avraham and not like the Rema.

And even though in Eliyahu Rabba he leans to justify the position of the Rema, since in the sefer Baruch SheAmar he rules like it, behold, he already wrote in Benei Yona that this written in Baruch SheAmar is according to the girsa which was in front of him in Masechet Soferim, and so is this girsa brought down in the Aguda: ספר שנפסקו ואוקרעו, etc., and in Semak he writes, "between one verse to the next verse like the length of a small word." But according to our girsa, with which all decisors rule, certainly one should not make a separation at all, even between verses, as I have brought down above a proof from the words of the Tur. For if this were not so, the words of the Tur are difficult, as mentioned.

(And also, without this, it is a novelty that which is written in the Semak that between one verse and the next verse like the length of a small word. And the Benei Yona wrote that there is to say that they had such a girsa in Masechet Soferim. And perforce one must say that "a small word" is at least 2 letters, and a setuma according to the Masechet Soferim is 3 letters. If so, there is almost no recognizable distinction for a setuma, since on every single pasuk there is a gap of two letters, at least, such that the distinction is almost not recognized.

And further, that which is stated also according to the words of the Rabbenu Tam in the name of the siddur hakadmonim, that a setuma is also only two letters. And even though for the Semak this is not a true difficult, even so, it is a novelty, and requires consideration.)

Therefore, certainly one should not make a gap also between one verse and the next verse, except for that which is between any word and the next word, which is the fullness of one letter.

And thus, according to this, it is prohibited to leave also in the place of the end of the parsha of the 7 readings (printed in Chumashim) any separation or distinction. And chalila to do this in a sefer Torah, and whoever changes, he has the lower hand. For who permitted them to make a gap and a difference ab initio, in a place where there is no petucha or setuma? Chalila to do this in a sefer Torah!

And this is, in my humble opinion, frivolity of the one who does this in our days. And also since the division of these parshiyot are not at all a received tradition in our hands, and as is known in the position of the Gra of Vilna, as is written in sefer Shaarei Rachamim in his name, that one should not conclude the 7 readings, where possible, except in a place where there is a petucha or setuma, and not specifically as is established in the parsha in Chumashim.

It is true, that I have heard from a certain Torah scholar who saw, in the holy community of Krakow (in the synagogue of the Rema, z"l), in an old sefer Torah attributed to the Rema, z"l, he saw there in parshat Bechukotai, in the pasuk {Vayikra 26:6} וְנָתַתִּי שָׁלוֹם בָּאָרֶץ {The entire sidra begins at pasuk 3}

there, there is a slight separation, such that it is before the second parsha {that is, the second aliyah, which is from pasuk 3 to pasuk 5, see here}. (And I did not see this, because they only take out this specific sefer Torah as set intervals, because of its great worth.)

And I responded to him that from this, there is no proof, for the Rema is consistent in his position, for he rules in Orach Chaim siman 32 that one should place a gap between one verse and the next verse, and therefore it is fine that such is found in his sefer Torah, a little gap. And also it is possible that there is not there a measure of 3 letters, but rather a gap which is recognizable a bit to one who is careful {medakdek} on this.

Butm the Lechem Chamudot, the Magen Avraham, and the Acharonim in the sifrei stam from whose mouths we live in our generations regarding these halachot -- all of them rule in this not like the Rema. Therefore, certainly, one should not place any gap at all.

And behold, even though we wrote above that the Mordechai brought from Masechet Soferim that the measure of a setuma is 9 letters, behold, in Masechet Soferim which is before us, such is not found. Rather, it is explained that the measure of a setuma is 3 letters. And also the Gra, who carefully analyzes and emends {/corrects}, does not emend in Masechet Soferim another nusach there.

And also, the nusach which the Mordechai brings from Masechet Soferim, that he writes, "the gap between one parsha and the next parsha, or the gap of the parsha, is 3 words of 3 letters" -- there is no proof that this is going also on a setuma, and one can say that his intent that a parasha petucha requires 9 letters, and this is like the conclusion of the Rosh and the Tur that a petucha is 9 letters and a setuma is 3 letters. And specifically, that in our nusach, in all printings of Masechet Soferim, it is found explained as mentioned, that a setuma is 3 letters.

Therefore, certainly it is so for a stringency, that it is forbidden to place a gap like this in a place where there need not be a setuma, as mentioned.

the conclusion, in another post...

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