Thursday, August 25, 2011

The movement of the Shalach

Summary: Targum Yonasan on Re'eh is unduly influenced by the Targum and pasuk in parashat Shemini. Or is it working from a Samaritan text?

Post: In parashat Re'eh, within the list of birds, we read {Devarim 14:16-17}:

16. The falcon, and the ibis, and the bat;טז. אֶת הַכּוֹס וְאֶת הַיַּנְשׁוּף וְהַתִּנְשָׁמֶת:
והתנשמת: קלב"א שורי"ץ [עטלף]:
17. And the pelican, and the magpie, and the cormorant;יז. וְהַקָּאָת וְאֶת הָרָחָמָה וְאֶת הַשָּׁלָךְ:
שלך: השולה דגים מן הים:

But in parashat Shemini {Vayikra 11:17-18} the order is different:

17. The owl, the gull, the little owl;יז. וְאֶת הַכּוֹס וְאֶת הַשָּׁלָךְ וְאֶת הַיַּנְשׁוּף:
השלך: פירשו רבותינו זה השולה דגים מן הים. וזהו שתרגם אונקלוס ושלינונא:
כוס וינשוף: הם צואיטי"ש [כוס] הצועקים בלילה ויש להם לסתות כאדם. ועוד אחר דומה לו שקורין יב"ן [לילית]:
18. The bat, the starling, the magpie;יח. וְאֶת הַתִּנְשֶׁמֶת וְאֶת הַקָּאָת וְאֶת הָרָחָם:
התנשמת: היא קלב"א שורי"ץ [עטלף] ודומה לעכבר ופורחת בלילה. ותנשמת האמורה בשרצים היא דומה לה, ואין לה עינים וקורין לה טלפ"א [חפרפרת]:

The shalach, rendered as either the gull or the cormorant in the English above, is moved four positions from one place to the other.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky, in Taama diKra, analyzes this movement from the perspective of remez. But in the course of this, parenthetically notes the Targum Pseudo-Yonatan on the pasuk in Re'eh.

There is some difficulty, where the resolution is that presumably it was copied from the Tg Yonatan on Vayikra, meaning from parashat Shemini. Let us examine this in  greater detail.

In Reeh, this is Targum Onkelos:

ד,טז אֶת-הַכּוֹס וְאֶת-הַיַּנְשׁוּף, וְהַתִּנְשָׁמֶת.וְקָדְיָא וְקִפּוּפָא, וּבָוְתָא.
יד,יז וְהַקָּאָת וְאֶת-הָרָחָמָה, וְאֶת-הַשָּׁלָךְ.וְקָתָא וִירַקְרֵיקָא, וְשָׁלֵינוּנָא.

Note the translation of Shalach, and its placement. It is correct on both counts.

Now consider it as it appears in Tg Yonatan, as it appears in our Mikraos Gedolos:

I underlined shali nuna, the translation of shalach. It is moved from its proper place, and occurs instead in the position it occupies in parashat Shemini.

In Dr. Moshe Ginsberger's critical edition of Tg Yonatan, however, it is in its correct position.

See footnotes 12 and 13, for explanation of the two bracketed phrases. My German is not good, but "am Schlusse von Vers 17" means "from the end of verse 17." I don't know what Msc. is short for. Probably "manuscript". I think he is transferring it, but I don't know if this is the result of sevara or manuscript evidence. I would guess the former, but maybe someone can comment and help me out. He refers in the next note to the text of Shemini, which would influence the textual corruption we saw. He also refers to Sam., meaning the Samaritan text. This is what I would have guessed, and was my next destination anyway.

Let us check it out, from Vetus Testamentum:

The text on the left is the Samaritan, while the text on the left is our Masoretic text. As you can see, the text is moved.

This does not mean that originally, the text was in any way likely to have been as in the Samaritan text. Rather, the scribes behind the Samaritan text make a deliberate effort to harmonize the Biblical text, across the Torah. The most likely scenario is that they consciously emended the text to match the text in Shemini.

On the bottom of the same page in Vetus Testamentum, a listing of variant masoretic texts:

In pasuk 16, one masoretic text adds ve'et hashalach, just as in the Samaritan text. But it does not seem to remove it from its later position. So it seems to be a simple error.

Now, it is possible that the author of Targum Pseudo-Yonatan was working off a text which matched the Samaritan version. I think there are other instances of such correspondence. But, this requires a comprehensive study, to determine how likely it is. The other possibility is that this was an accidental copying, by a scribe who had the pasuk in Shemini in mind. It would be helpful to know if Dr. Ginsberger, above, had manuscripts to support him in this change.

See also how Birkas Avraham handles it:

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