Monday, May 27, 2019

Dvar Hashem Me'Yerushalmi, Rosh HaShanah 11b: On Tzfat

A note from Tamar Lasson Weissman.

Shalom R' Bechhofer. 

Listening to your audio shiur on Yerushalmi Rosh HaShanah 11b and your suggestion that since Tzfat didn't exist as such in the Mishnaic/Talmudic era, we should read it צפה/צפת as a translation of חמיין. I just came across some archaeological sources (one is a mosaic floor in a 5-6th c BK in Caesarea and the other is an inscribed pillar from a BK in Teiman) that both list the exile to the Galil of the כ״ד משמרות הכהונה, and specify that פשחור was in צפת. Maybe this is evidence of a small village called Tzfat even that early on, which would provide for a different reading of the Yerushalmi. 

I'm attaching a photo of the Caesarea mosaic. It's 12 lines in -- you'll notice that the other villages mentioned are all in the same vicinity. Anyway, food for thought and thank you for making your shiurim accessible. 

Oh, and one more interesting note about dating Tzfat: in citadel excavations, they found an Alexander Yannai coin (not that that itself indicates that Tzfat existed, or by that name, in the era of the Hasmonean kings). Such an interesting topic!

One additional detail:

Josephus writes that fortified "צפף" against the Roman onslaught, but to no avail.

Also perhaps indicates a Galil צפת.

Shedim and Zugos part 2

Shedim and Zugos part 1

I got confused and made a mistake about the number 12. 12 are the edges on a cube.

The division of shevatim in the encampment in the Midbar represents division; the Mishkan in the middle was the 13 that unified.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

From the Mah Rabbu Department

The end of the clip says to share if if you think nature is "magical." Which is a sad way of desperately avoiding the real conclusion. Nature is simply divine...

Friday, May 17, 2019

Of Shva Na and Shva Nach

Image result for ‫שווא נע‬‎

I posted to Avodah and cross-posted to the Nachalas Ashkenaz group on FB:

As sha"tz during my aveilus for my mother a"h I daven out of the large AS siddur. It has started me trying to do, one could say at long last, trying to do shva na's.
I also was caught once saying l'eyla in kaddish me'l'ra. Embarrassing. The AS does not indicate me'l'ra's.
The siddur I use personally, the German Roedelheim siddur, does not identify either.
I am soliciting recommendations for an Ashkenaz siddur that will help me out with these (and perhaps other) enhancements of tefillah.
I ordered one of the recommended siddurim from the FB group (not yet received):

In the meantime on Avodah, Rabbi Micha Berger wrote the following enlightening post that I am sharing with permission:

More significant than notation... There are two different sets of rules
for sheva floating around various siddurim. The Baal haTanya apparently
followed the Razah (Rav Shelomo Zalman Katz / Rav Zalman Hanau [his
birthplace], 1687-1746), and so that's what you will find in Nusach Ari
siddurim, among others.

I have had a mental picture of the Razah as something of a non-conformist,
ever since I saw he has "Rubbi Yishmael omer", with a qubutz instead
of the usual patach or (in some eidos) chiriq. And it is possible that
the Baal haTanya only coincidentally happened upon sheva rules which
give results consistent with the Razah's.

The other common choice, eg Artstroll, is the Gra's understanding of
Rav Eilyahu Bachur's (Rav Eliyahu ben Asher haLeiv Ashkenazi, or to
academics: Eliya Levita, 1469-1549) rules.

It is the latter which Ben Yehudah runs with.

I assume that there could be Yekkishe siddurim that use R/Dr Mordechai
Breuer's interpretation of R' Eliyahu Bachur's rules. His interpretation
reduces the gap between it and the Razah's position. But the thought just
hit me, I didn't look around siddurim to see if anyone does use RMB's

(I compiled the three versions of the lists of rules, see below.)

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 08:09:47AM -0400, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
: ArtScroll does have a horizontal line above shva na's...
: Well, they do put a meteg on every word that is me'l'eil.

Both of these decisions actually break mesorah. In Tiberian niqud*
a line over a letter is a rafe mark, meaning the same thing as an
undotted bege"d kefe"t, but more noticable -- or more usable when
there is no room in the manuscript for dotting the plosives.

And a meseg is a Tiberian trope mark, and by using it as an accent
you have two uses for the same symbol in any pesuqim written with
trope. (As AS does for Shema.)

(Tiberian niqud is the system we pretty much exclusively use, except
Teimanim who still have occasional use of Bavli niqud.)

:                                        If you want a siddur that has an
: explicit mark for me'l'ra, I suggest the Rinat Yisrael, which puts a
: sideways "8" over such syllables. But not all the time, and I don't know
: what their rule is.

I think Rinat Yisrael is a "he", not a "they", R/Dr Shelomo Tal. Funded
by the Misrad haChinukh, but a one-man job.

RST's notation is to put an inifinity over the milra accent in words
that Israelis would guess were milra, and "<" to denote mil'eil, also
only where he judged that most Israelis would assume incorrectly.

I don't think there is a hard rule for you to know. If the word has
neither symbol, imagine saying it in an Israeli accent, and figure
that's the right emphasis. Not a perfect system.

And now, my understanding of the rules for sheva:


aleph: a sheva in the *first* letter (e.g. shema)
       "Shtei" is a common exception.

beis:  the *second* of two sheva's are next to each other in the middle
       of the word (e.g. Mordechai)
       But not at the end of the word (eg neft).


The Gra's version of R' Elyahu Bachur's rules gimel - hei:

gimel: after a tenu'ah *g*edolah [long vowel] (e.g. Peeynechas)
       Except for the melupum at the begining of a word (e.g. uvrachah)

dalet: under an os *d*egushah (e.g. dab'ru)

hei:   under the first of two osios *h*adomos [identical letters] (e.g. ran'nu)


R' Mordechai Breuer's version of R' Elyahu Bachur's rules gimel - hei:

gimel: sheva following a trope that is "nasog achor" e.g. "yoch'lu lachem"
       (Raza"h's rule zayin)

dalet: sheva following the 1st of 2 different tropes on the same word,
       e.g. "hama'achil'cha", "yatz'u"
       (Raza"h's rule tes)
       (exception: kadma-zakeif on one word or on a hyphenated word is not
       considered two different tropes, e.g. "v'halviim", "ulchalosam")

hei:   sheva following a meseg (but not every meseg is still printed in
       the text, nor is every meseg in the text from the originals)
       (Raza"h's rule vuv)
       (exceptions: 1. meseg between patach and yud-sheva (e.g. "vayhi",
       2. meseg on chirik or segol of binyan hispa'el (e.g.
       "mishtachavim", "esnahalah")


Raza"h's rules gimel - tes:

gimel: after a tenu'ah *g*edolah [long vowel] (e.g. Peen'chas) that doesn't
       have the word's only trop. Or perhaps: Not if the tenu'ah gedolah
       denotes an accent mil'eil.

dalet: under an os *d*egushah (e.g. dab'ru)

hei:   under the first of two osios *h*adomos [identical letters]
       (e.g. ran'nu)

vuv:   a sheva following a meseg (mnemonic: which looks like a vuv)
       Given RAP's "mem" for nach (below), this must mean only where the
       meseg is alongside a tenu'ah that isn't qalah.

zayin: after a nasag achor, where the neginah moved (zaz)

ches:  chatufos [the shortened patach, kamatz or segol]

tes:   a sheva that follows the first neginah, in a word that has two
       t'amim (see rule gimel)

yud:   any yud that has a sheva after a vav hahipuch; eg: vayedaber

Off another source I found the following:
Razah: A sheva immediately before an undotted b,g,d,k,p,t (yaat'fu)

Raza"h's four rules for nach (others define nach by default); mnemonic:

mem:    meteg under a tenu'ah qalah the sheva after it is nach.
 Identifying tenu'os qalos was a chiddush of the Razah's,
 not to be confused with tenu'os qetanos -- an idea borrowed
 from Arabic grammar by R' Yosef Qimchi, the Radaq's father.)
        eg: vihyitem, shimu, tichyu. See rule vuv, above.

quf:    following a tenu'ah ketanah that doesn't have a meseg (the flip-side
        of gimel + vuv, above)

nun:    after a neginas ta'am, even if also after a tenu'ah gedolah (see gimel)

samech: at the end of a word, regardless of dageish or previous sheva.