Thursday, December 05, 2013

Connecting אַךְ טָרֹף טֹרָף and וְלֹא רְאִיתִיו עַד הֵנָּה with a vav

haKsav vehaKabbalah
I saw a nice idea in HaKsav VeHakabbalah, by R. Ya'akov Zvi Mecklenburg (1785-1865). See my previous post about the word אך in אַךְ טָרֹף טֹרָף, and whether the expression is one of certainty or doubt. Part of the calculation there is how one should relate this statement in the reisha to the statement in the seifa, of וְלֹא רְאִיתִיו עַד הֵנָּה. Is the seifa meant as an elaboration and proof to the reisha (see e.g. Ibn Ezra)? Or does the presence of seifa serve to demonstrate to us a lack of certainly in the reisha (see e.g. Ibn Janach)?

In this context, here is an explanation of the vav in וְלֹא רְאִיתִיו by Rav Mecklenberg:

"וְלֹא רְאִיתִיו -- this vav serves like the word 'because' for it is for the purpose of giving a reason. Just as in (Mishpatim 23:9)
ט  וְגֵר, לֹא תִלְחָץ; וְאַתֶּם, יְדַעְתֶּם אֶת-נֶפֶשׁ הַגֵּר--כִּי-גֵרִים הֱיִיתֶם, בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם.9 And a stranger shalt thou not oppress; for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
וְאַתֶּם יְדַעְתֶּם אֶת-נֶפֶשׁ הַגֵּר which is a giving of a reason to that which preceded it, namely וְגֵר לֹא תִלְחָץ. "For you know..." And his meaning here is that I agreed [with my sons' suggestion] to say that he was torn, for until now I have not seen him, and had he been alive, he would not have refrained from endeavoring to appear before me. (Da ich nicht -- "because I do not".)

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