Sunday, May 20, 2007

Aseres HaDibros

Mossad Harav Kook’s Toras Chaim Chumash subtracts two Psukim from the Torah in the Aseres HaDibros – both in Yisro and Va’eschanan. They do this by substituting an Esnachta for a Sof Pasuk on the word “Avadim” at the end of the first Dibbur, and continue until “Al Panoy.” (in the Taam HaTachton.) This presents problems both with the “Kol Pesuki D’lo Pasik Moshe” aspect – who’s correct – them or the rest of the Chumashim? And also there is the problem of them making all Mareh Mekomos that refer to the pesukim from Lo Yihyeh onwards (until the end of the Perakim) incorrect.

Another thing that the Toras Chaim Chumash does is that in the Taam HaElyon it DOES start a new Pasuk at Lo Yihyeh, unlike other Chumashim which continue as one pasuk until Lo Sisa.

Another aspect of this whole issue is that the Simanim at the end of the Parshios for the number of Pesukim is only accurate if we count is certain ways. In Yisro it will only be accurate if we count the Pesukim in the Toras Chaim Chumash’s Taam HaElyon, and in VaEschanan it is only accurate if we count according to the standard chumashim’s Taam HaElyon.

Does anyone have any insight in this?


Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13/6/07 4:24 AM  
Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...

all bible texts published by mosad harav kook are based on the edition prepared by r. mordechai breuer

on breuer, see

he explains the trop to the first two pesukim in depth in his "dividing the decalogue into verses and commandments" in The Ten Commandments In History and Tradition, ed. Ben Zion Segal (1990), pp. 291-330.

13/6/07 4:25 AM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Thank you, I'll have to try to get a copy of that book.

22/7/07 12:41 AM  
Anonymous Yitzhak said...

The Kesav Ve'hakabalah has a fascinating discussion of the different verse totals of the Decalogue reflected in the various masoretic notes. He claims that there are actually four versions of the division of the decalogue into verses: a) 12 verses - our tahton b) 9 verses - our elyon c) 13 verses - our tahton but with anochi and lo yiheh split into two d) 10 verses - our elyon but with anochi and lo yiheh combined into one. He maintains that the four masoretic totals (end of yisro, end of shemos, end of va'es'hanan and end of devarim) actually reflect the four versions; do the arithmetic and you'll see that he's apparently correct. [I first came across this dicussion of his in an issue of the Ihud Be'hidud weekly ...]

2/8/07 2:05 AM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Wonderful! Thank you very much. If anyone else wants to see it, it's all the way at the end of HaKsav VeHakabalah, after Sefer Devarim.
(I must have missed that week's Ichud Bechidud.)

2/8/07 2:22 AM  

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Torah U'Madda

First, an assumption (and if we disagree, then this post is moot): Not every aspect of Mada will enhance the quality of Talmud Torah. So, although the Gra reportedly felt that it is imperative to learn math and he knew Euclid's work well, we have no source that he felt it was important to be versed in the oeuvre of Tiepolo.
Now, how will one's Mada studies enhance the quality of his Torah study? One of three ways:

  1. By accident. (I can't begin to tell you how happy I was to understand a Rashi that referenced niello-work just a few days after I happened to read about it in the dormitory bathroom's Britannica.)
  2. By design - one already knows that learning this will help one's learning, as others have already trodden this path. Learning the Ayil Meshulash is a good example, or listening to the Kuzari about music, or to one's teachers who identify any specific field or topic as beneficial.
  3. By hit-or-miss. One studies as much Mada of whatever variety one can find or is interested in, and hopes that some of it will be useful. (This is different from the first method, because there one's intention was not even to study - some Mada that one picked up happened to be useful. Here, one tries to make that accident repeat itself using the brute-force method - cram as much Mada into one's head as possible, so that there is a larger likelihood that some of it will be useful in enhancing the quality of one's Torah knowledge.)

The problem with the first method is that there is much Torah that will not be understood fully because of the fluky nature of this method. The problem with the third method is that it's extremely inefficient and still leaves the possibility of being unsuccessful - what if one's particular interests don't coincide with any Torah he learns?
If I had to stereotype, I would say that the most right wing of Torah Jews favor the first method (or possibly even less than that). The most left wing probably tend to favor the third method (or less than that - where Mada becomes an end in itself).


Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

i guess i'm the most left wing then :-)

i think that mada‘/derekh-eretz/hhokhma/etc. are intrinsicly valuable. Torah is top-down; it's what God gives us in order to help us understand ourselves and the world. Human creative endeavors are bottom-up; God gave us the capability to express ourselves and analyze the world in order to help us understand ourselves and the world we live in.

If you only have one of them, you're missing half the picture.

20/7/07 8:46 AM  

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