Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The hint from the trup on the palindrome, venatenu

Summary: Continuing my roundup of interpretations of the Vilna Gaon on trup, on the second pasuk of Ki Sisa, the Gra interprets the kadma v'azla on the palindrome, v'nat'nu.

Post: In several places, Gra interprets trup to mean different things. He makes two intepretations I have seen on Ki Tisa. This one is on the kadma ve`azla on venatenu.

From Aderes Eliyahu (but also Kol Eliyahu):

Upon the word venatenu, there is a kadma ve'azla, to hint at their statement (in Shabbat 151b):
R. Hiyya said to his wife: When a poor man comes, be quick to offer him bread, so that others may be quick to offer it to your children. You curse them! she exclaimed. A verse is written, he replied: 'because that for [bi-gelal] this thing', whereon the School of R. Ishmael taught: It is a wheel that revolves in the world. It was taught R. Gamaliel Beribbi said: And he shall give thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee: he Who is merciful to others, mercy is shown to him by Heaven, while he who is not merciful to others, mercy is not shown to him by Heaven.
{where "be quick" is akdimu, related to kadma.} And behold, the word venatenu is a palindrome, and can be read venatenu backwards and forwards as venatenu. For also the one who gives, at times requires that others give him. And this is what is hinted by the kadma veazla, "be quick to offer bread to a pauper, so that others will be quick, etc." Therefore preempt and give him.

It is a cute use of the palindromic quality as well as the trup. One might offer the objection that Rabbi Chiyya offered an entirely different derivation, that trup is purely mechanical, and that the names of trup might be entirely different (azla and geresh). As written elsewhere in this series, it is unclear just how seriously he intends this.

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