Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some more Minchas Shai on Megillat Esther.

In Esther 1:4:
ד  בְּהַרְאֹתוֹ, אֶת-עֹשֶׁר כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ, וְאֶת-יְקָר, תִּפְאֶרֶת גְּדוּלָּתוֹ; יָמִים רַבִּים, שְׁמוֹנִים וּמְאַת יוֹם.4 when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty, many days, even a hundred and fourscore days.

Minchas Shai writes:

בְּהַרְאֹתוֹ -- is chaser vav [J: after the aleph].

וְאֶת-יְקָר -- Ibn Ezra in Sefer Tzachot brings this example amongst those with patach (יְקַר) and so wrote Rabbi Yehuda, that it has a patach, because it is a construct form [the honor of his excellent majesty]. And Rabbi Yona [Ibn Janach] wrote that it has a kametz (יְקָר). And it is written in the Michlol [of Radak] page 198 that so is found in precise sefarim with kametz, and so does the author of the Masoret bring it [in the list] with those with kametz yet are in construct form. And in the Shorashim [of Radak] he wrote 'and we found it in a few precise sefarim with a kametz and in a few of them with a patach.

תִּפְאֶרֶת גְּדוּלָּתוֹ -- [Josh: to interject, an וּ is a long vowel, while an ֻ is a short vowel. Long vowels are often in closes syllables, meaning consonant vowel consonant, while long vowels are often in open syllables, meaning consonant vowel. The hard dagesh in the lamed is an example of gemination, meaning the doubling of the consonant, so that the lamed serves as both the close of the previous syllable and the start of the next syllable. This seems strange, for why geminate the lamed to close the previous syllable, when the previous vowel is long? On to Minchas Shai.] In the precise texts, the lamed has a dagesh [to geminate it] and [yet, before it the vowel /oo/]  is melei vav [making it a long syllable]. And there is a Masorah upon it that there is none other found.

And Rabbi Eliezer of Germeiza [the Rokeach] wrote [about this unexpected vav]: גְּדוּלָּתוֹ  is malei vav, for on every day he [Achashverosh] would show them six of his tisboriyot, that is to say, storehouses. And so too is שְׁמוֹנִים malei [Josh: it occurs 8 times malei and 14 times chaser in Tanach] to teach that they were 'full' [to be able] to show six storehouses every day. End quote.

And this is in accordance with the words of the Sages in Shemot Rabba perek 9 and Midrash Esther Rabbati: Six nisin would he open and show them every day. And the meaning of nisin, R' Naftali explains as types of rooms, and in Matnat Kehuna he explains storehouses, and in Yalkut it is gores it as tishboryot, and these are storehouses, and in another lengthy Targum I found written explicitly [in Aramaic] 'six treasuries he showed to them'. And in parashat Vaera, it is gores it as nisin. And deduces six from that which is written [six terms]:

  1. עֹשֶׁר
  2.  כְּבוֹד
  3.  מַלְכוּתוֹ
  4. וְאֶת-יְקָר
  5. תִּפְאֶרֶת
  6. גְּדוּלָּתוֹ

Behold there are six. And so is evident from the long Targum."

I'll just add that this is the classic approach of remez, to find additional Scriptural allusion to details which were already darshened by more classic means.

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