Wednesday, March 17, 2010

From where did Hashem call Moshe? Rashbam vs. trup

Summary: Rabbi Yehuda Leib Shapira Spira contrasts Rashbam with the trup, as to whether Hashem called to Moshe outside the Ohel Moed. I am not convinced that this would bother Rashbam, though.

Post: The pasuk, the very first one in sefer Vayikra:

Rashi explains, based on midrash, that it was the speaking done from within the Ohel Moed, and in particular from the keruvim. (At least it seems so.) Thus:

from the Tent of Meeting: This teaches us that the [Divine] voice stopped and did not project itself beyond the Tent [of Meeting]. One might think that this was because the voice was low. Scripture therefore says, “[And when Moses came into the Tent of Meeting, he heard] the voice” (Num. 7:89). What is the meaning of “the voice” [with the definite article]? It is the voice referred to in Psalms (29:4-5): “The voice of the Lord is in strength; the voice of the Lord is in beauty. The voice of the Lord breaks cedars.” If so, why does it say, “[and the Lord spoke to him] from the Tent of Meeting” ? [To inform us] that the [Divine] voice stopped. A case similar to this [where a powerful sound uttered within the Holy Temple was not heard outside,] is: “And the sound of the cherubim’s wings was heard up to the outer courtyard…” (Ezek. 10:5). One might think that the sound was low. Scripture therefore states [further in that verse]: “…as the voice of the Almighty God when He speaks!” Why then does the verse say, “[the sound…was heard] up to the outer courtyard” [and not further, if this sound was indeed so mighty]? Because when it reached there, it stopped. — [Torath Kohanim 1:5]מאהל מועד: מלמד שהיה הקול נפסק ולא היה יוצא חוץ לאהל. יכול מפני שהקול נמוך, תלמוד לומר את הקול (שם), מהו הקול, הוא הקול המפורש בתהלים (כט ד - ה) קול ה' בכח קול ה' בהדר, קול ה' שובר ארזים, אם כן למה נאמר מאהל מועד, מלמד שהיה הקול נפסק. כיוצא בו (יחזקאל י ה) וקול כנפי הכרובים נשמע עד החצר החיצונה, יכול (מפני) שהקול נמוך, תלמוד לומר (שם) כקול אל שדי בדברו, אם כן למה נאמר עד החצר החיצונה, שכיון שמגיע שם היה נפסק:
[And the Lord spoke to him] from the Tent of Meeting, saying: One might think [that God spoke to Moses] from the entire house [that is, that the Divine voice emanated from the entire Tent of Meeting]. Scripture therefore states, “[and he heard the voice speaking to him] from above the ark cover” (Num. 7:89). [If so,] one might think [the voice emanated] from the entire ark cover. Scripture therefore states [further in that verse], “from between the two cherubim.” - [Torath Kohanim 1:5]מאהל מועד לאמר: יכול מכל הבית, תלמוד לומר מעל הכפורת. יכול מעל הכפורת כולה, תלמוד לומר מבין שני הכרובים:

In contrast, Rashbam maintains that it was the calling that was done from the Ohel Moed. Thus,
פסוק א 
ויקרא אל משה - לפי שכתב למעלה בסוף הספר ולא יכול משה לבא אל אהל מועד וגו' - לכך קראוהו הקב"ה מתוך אהל מועד, וכן פירוש המקרא: ויקרא אל משה מאהל מועד וידבר אליו לאמר.
מאהל - מוסב על ויקרא - כמו: ויקרא אליו ה' מן ההר לאמר.
וישמע את הקול מדבר מאהל - מעל האהל שמע את הקול.
ויקרא אליו אלהים מתוך הסנה לאמר.
כפל לשון של וידבר, כמו שפירשתי בפרשת נח, כאשר יאמר: דבר אל אהרן ואמרת. כן יאמר: וידבר למשה לאמר למשה. 
That is, it binds to the earlier portion, and so we should, perhaps, switch the order of the words, in terms of their meaning. Thus: "He called to Moshe from the Tent of Meeting, and spoke to him saying." And gives parallels.

His evidence, in part, is that previously Moshe was stuck outside the Ohel Moed. At the very end of Shemot, in Shemot 40:35 (parashat Pekudei)

לה  וְלֹא-יָכֹל מֹשֶׁה, לָבוֹא אֶל-אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד--כִּי-שָׁכַן עָלָיו, הֶעָנָן; וּכְבוֹד יְהוָה, מָלֵא אֶת-הַמִּשְׁכָּן.35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of meeting, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.--

In Moda Levina, Wolf Heidenheim Rabbi Yehuda Leib Shapira Spira notes a trup-oriented "problem" with Rashbam's explanation.

"If like the words of the Rashbam, that 'from the Tent of Meeting' is connected to 'He called to Moshe', the etnachta would be in the word eilav and not in Moshe."

I am not certain I am persuaded in the first place by this argument. The pasuk again was:

and the etnachta is on the word אל-משה. Like this, it is:
"He called to Moshe || and Hashem spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting saying."

Thus, the etnachta forced "from the Tent of Meeting (saying)" to be together with "Hashem spoke to him", in the same half of the verse. If, instead, the etnachta were on אליו, then the מאהל מועד and לאמר could distribute to each of the items in the first half of the verse. At least, this is how I would cast the argument if I were making it myself. It does make sense, though I'd like to see other instances of mikra mesuras where we want to distribute phrases upon others. If enough are exceptions to the rule (and I do remember a few), perhaps this is not the way they operate; but rather, this is the first place of the logical dichotomy, and with the next dichotomy, marked by zakef, splitting off what should be distributed. I am uncertain -- perhaps the trup simply does disagree with such a reparsing.

Would Rashbam be bothered to be arguing with trup (assuming he did not realized this)? Or would he maintain that he is correct, based on his Scriptural proofs, despite being against trup? I think that it is somewhat likely that he would still maintain his position. Thus, for example, he interprets the peshat of Arami Oved Avi against the midrash and against the trup. And he does so for other pesukim as well.


Yankel said...

That comment is not by Heidenheim but by Yehuda Leib Shapiro.

See title page:

joshwaxman said...

oops! thanks. i'll correct it soon.

S. said...

Another minor correction to the correction: the last name should be written Spira (or Spiro, as it also could have been written in German). The author of Ha-rechasim Le-vik'ah was R. SR Hirsch's great-uncle, as you probably know, but the record should state it here.

joshwaxman said...

thanks. i'll correct the correction.

and thanks for the info. not only do i not know in this instance, but in general, i don't know this type of stuff...



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