Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The trup on וְעָשִׂיתָ מִכְסֶה לָאֹהֶל

Summary: Shadal generates the alternate cantillation, based on Rabbi Yehuda's position, mentioned in Rashi.

Post: Consider the following pasuk, and Rashi, from parashat Terumah:

14. "And you shall make a covering for the tent of ram skins dyed red and a covering of tachash skins above.יד. וְעָשִׂיתָ מִכְסֶה לָאֹהֶל עֹרֹת אֵילִם מְאָדָּמִים וּמִכְסֵה עֹרֹת תְּחָשִׁים מִלְמָעְלָה:
a covering for the tent: For the roof of goat hair curtains, make an additional covering of ram skins dyed red. Additionally, above it [place] a covering of tachash skins. These [two] coverings covered only the roof, their length being thirty [cubits] and their width ten. These are Rabbi Nehemiah’s words, but according to Rabbi Judah, there was [only] one cover, half of [it made from] ram skins dyed red and half of [it made from] tachash skins. -[from Shab. 28a]מכסה לאהל: לאותו גג של יריעות עזים עשה עוד מכסה אחד של עורות אילים מאדמים, ועוד למעלה ממנו מכסה עורות תחשים, ואותן מכסאות לא היו מכסין אלא את הגג, ארכן שלשים ורחבן עשר, אלו דברי רבי נחמיה, ולדברי רבי יהודה מכסה אחד היה, חציו של עורות אילים מאדמים, וחציו של עורות תחשים:

There are two ways of parsing this pasuk. In the first way, namely according to Rabbi Nechemiah, this pasuk speaks about two coverings. Therefore, it is appropriate to place the etnachta on the word מְאָדָּמִים, for it is the end of the description of this first covering, and the word מִלְמָעְלָה refers to the second covering, namely that of the עֹרֹת תְּחָשִׁים, above it:

The second way, according to Rabbi Yehuda, has only a single cover. Presumably, the word מִלְמָעְלָה then refers to both parts of the single covering. Shadal writes that the trup would then be as follows:

If I am reading this correctly, this is what Shadal means. There is a silluq on the last word, of course, מִלְמָעְלָה. What divides a clause ending in silluq? Usually an etnachta, but in close proximity to the silluq, it can be a tipcha. And so, by putting the tipcha on techashim, he separates off מִלְמָעְלָה first, such that it applies to the entirety of the pasuk. All the rest of the trup divides and further subdivides a clause ending in tipcha. That is why you don't see any zakefs in his recantillation of the verse. The break of the clause ending in tipcha is made by the tevir on the word מְאָדָּמִים. And earlier trup in the pasuk subdivides the clause ending in tevir.

Assuming we agree with Shadal as to what the cantillation should be, then how could there have been a machlokes? Was Rabbi Yehuda not aware of the trup on the pasuk? Did he regard trup as not dispositive? Or shall we say that there were two earlier conflicting traditions as to the trup, just enunciated by the two Tannaim, who just so happen to argue in many many other places? Or perhaps they did not even have this level of trup in their days? Or perhaps they did have trup, but regarded it not as halacha leMoshe miSinai but as fluid and subject to however one would understand the pasuk, such that the trup should be changed to reflect their interpretation.


Chusidel said...

There are give pesukim that the gemara says are debatable which way the word goes, one of them happens to be this week, the word משוקדים.
The same valid question can be raised, regarding all five pesukim, how can chazal say, we do not know, when the trup tells us its one way or the other.
The trup was not written back then, and it can simply be said that it was not known how to say those words. Same here there is a machlokes.
If my memory serves right there is a chassam sofer on the issue. I do not remember what he says.

joshwaxman said...

thanks for the reminder.

i'll check around for the chasam sofer on this. do you think it would be on one of the five pesukim? i discussed the five various times, for instance in this other post. that is indeed a plausible answer. but truth be told, i am not convinced that these five which don't have a hechre'a are due to lack of trup, or machlokes about trup; or even, in some of them, that there WAS an uncertainty about the trup or peshat parsing. for instance, הִנְּךָ שֹׁכֵב עִם-אֲבֹתֶיךָ; וְקָם does not really make sense, because if we join vekam to the preceding, then the rest of the pasuk cannot be normally parsed.

rather, i think issi knew the "correct" parse, but appreciates ambiguity, and was stating that these pesukim were written in a manner such that it could be reparsed in such a way. almost like an אל תקרי.


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