Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Age of Trup -- part xxi

Shadal's Vikuach Al Chochmat haKabbalah continues. The guest finished saying, in the previous segment, that the Chachmei Teveria considered the trup and nikkud to have not been written down from the time of Ezra, but was transmitted orally and was thus susceptible to corruption; and therefore felt free to offer a different trup or nikkud, which was at odds with the trup or nikkud which Chazal must have had, as evident from certain gemaras. Now, in the present segment, they turn to the fact that commentators felt free to disagree with the nikkud, and further, that those who established the nikkud did so at odds with Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonatan.

The author: If the matter is indeed so, behold, as they did, so was paid in kind to them, for after them came Sages, commentators of Scriptures, and they leaned upon it in all that appeared to them to agree with the simple meaning of Scriptures, and in every place that it appeared to them that the nikkud did not rest with the implication of Scriptures, they turned from it and did not heed it; and all this from their opinion that nikkud is only the work of men.

The guest: Still return and see that those who established the nikkud which is our hands also did not heed Targum Onkelos and Yonatan.

Do you not see that the vocalized
{in Shemot 2:5
ה וַתֵּרֶד בַּת-פַּרְעֹה לִרְחֹץ עַל-הַיְאֹר, וְנַעֲרֹתֶיהָ הֹלְכֹת עַל-יַד הַיְאֹר; וַתֵּרֶא אֶת-הַתֵּבָה בְּתוֹךְ הַסּוּף, וַתִּשְׁלַח אֶת-אֲמָתָהּ וַתִּקָּחֶהָ. 5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe in the river; and her maidens walked along by the river-side; and she saw the ark among the flags, and sent her handmaid to fetch it.
וַתִּשְׁלַח אֶת-אֲמָתָהּ in a way that it only teaches "her maidservant," and Onkelos translates "and she extended her arm {amata}," and the language of "extension" does not fall upon a maidservant but rather upon the hand; And behold, according to the opinion of Onkelos, it would have been fitting to vocalize it ammatah with a dagesh in the mem {and a full patach under the aleph rather than a chataf-patach}.

And so too they made {Zechariah 14:5}
ה וְנַסְתֶּם גֵּיא-הָרַי, כִּי-יַגִּיעַ גֵּי-הָרִים אֶל-אָצַל, וְנַסְתֶּם כַּאֲשֶׁר נַסְתֶּם מִפְּנֵי הָרַעַשׁ, בִּימֵי עֻזִּיָּה מֶלֶךְ-יְהוּדָה; וּבָא ה אֱלֹהַי, כָּל-קְדֹשִׁים עִמָּךְ. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azel; yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah; and the LORD my God shall come, and all the holy ones with Thee.
from the root nos {flee}, and Yonatan made it the language of closing {setima, with root STM}, as if the reading was venistam, just as also the 70 elders who translated for Talmay made it {=the Septuagint, LXX}, and also as Yosef ben Guryon {Yosippon?} made it.

And how did the Sages of Teveriah fill their hearts the argue on that which Ezra made, and also which afterwards no dispute fell therein? Or how did Onkelos and Yonatan, and the other translators fill their hearts to argue on the nikkud, if it was the work of Ezra, or the work of the Prophets themselves? And if we turn to the Tagum of the Writings {Ketuvim}, we will see quite a number of verses where their Targum differs from the nikkud, such as (Mishlei 20:4)
ד מֵחֹרֶף, עָצֵל לֹא-יַחֲרֹשׁ; ישאל (וְשָׁאַל) בַּקָּצִיר וָאָיִן. 4 The sluggard will not plow when winter setteth in; therefore he shall beg in harvest, and have nothing.
is translated {in Targum} as if it was written m'choraf atzeil lo yecherish {?"the blasphemous sluggard will not be silent"?}.

And so too (Mishlei 20:14)
יד רַע רַע, יֹאמַר הַקּוֹנֶה; וְאֹזֵל לוֹ, אָז יִתְהַלָּל. 14 'It is bad, it is bad', saith the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.
is translated as "friend, friend." {reia', reia'}

And so too (Mishlei 26:10):
י רַב מְחוֹלֵל-כֹּל; וְשֹׂכֵר כְּסִיל, וְשֹׂכֵר עֹבְרִים. 10 A master performeth all things; but he that stoppeth a fool is as one that stoppeth a flood.

וְשֹׂכֵר עֹבְרִים is translated as {if vocalized} veshikor oveir yam {? and the drunkard who passes over the sea ?}

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