Friday, May 22, 2015

פיוט צרפתי לא-ידוע לחג השבועות

פיוט צרפתי לא-ידוע לחג השבועות
מאת גבריאל וסרמן

לכל חובבי המחזורים של ד' גודלשמידט וחתנו י' פרנקל, "לפי מנהגי בני אשכנז לכל ענפיהם: כולל מנהג אשכנז (המערבי) מנהג פולין ומנהג צרפת לשעבר", ידוע נוסח התפילה והפיוטים של יהודי צרפת בימי הביניים היה דומה, אך שונה, מזה של בני אשכנז וצאציהם היום. במנהג אשכנז (בחו"ל), אומרים שתי קדושתאות (מערכות פיוטים שמקשטות את תחילת העמידה עד הקדושה) בשבועות, אחת ביו"ט ראשון ואחת ביו"ט שני: "ארץ מטה" של ר' אלעזר בירבי קליר, ו"אורח חיים" לר' שמעון בר יצחק. אף בצרפת היתה אמירת "אורח חיים" רווחת, אך הקדושתא הקלירית נהגה פחות, ובמקומה אמרו הרבה קהילות צרפתיות את הקדושתא "אמרות יי" לר' יוסף טוב-עלם הצרפתי.

כל קדושתא מסתיימת בפיוט ארוך, הנקרא "סילוק", שסופה מגשר לאמירת הקדושה עצמה: קדוש קדוש קדוש. אבל קהילות צרפת בטלו את אמירת הסילוקים (חוץ מקדושתאות הימים הנוראים) בתקופה קדומה יחסית. ובהיות שהקדושתא "אמרות יי" לא נהגה מחוץ לצרפת, הסילוק חסר כמעט בכל כתבי היד. רק בכתב היד הצרפתי אוקספורד בודלי Opp. 670, המיוחד במינו, עדיין יש סילוקים; אבל רובם אינם מנוקדים, ונראה שאף בזמנם של הסופר והנקדן לא נאמרו בבית הכנסת.
פרנקל כותב במחזור לשבועות (עמ' כז, בסוף העמוד), על הקדושתא "אמרות יי": "הסילוק חסר [....] בכה"י העתיק צ [=אוקספורד בודלי Opp. 670] שרד קטע קצר מתוך תחילת סילוק 'אתן עוז למלכי' וצונץ סבור שאין הוא שייך לקרובה של ריט"ע." אבל אין צונץ מנמק את טעמיו, ודבר תימה הוא, למה לשלול את בעלותו של ריט"ע. ועוד, קשה מזה, שפרנקל כותב שלא שרד אלא קטע קצר, והנה כולו נמצא באותו כ"י (!). ואולי פרנקל שקד על פקסימיליה שהיתה חסרה דף.

לפני כמה ימים העתקתי את הסילוק מהמיקרופילם הנמצא בבית המדרש לרבנים באמריקה, בניו יורק. הוא קטע ארוך מאוד, בן 282 שורות, שמספר הרבה סיפורים על נתינת התורה, והרבה מהם, אולי רובם, נלקחים מהתלמוד הבבלי, מסכת שבת, דף פח-פט. (דרך אגב אזכיר כי סוגיה זו היא מרכזית ב"הגדה של שבועות" שעשיתי לעצמי לפני כמה שנים, ואני מקווה בעז"ה להוציאו לאור לשנה הבאה.) כוונתי להוציא את הסילוק כולו עם פירוש, אבל כאן אתמקד בסיפור אחד.

כך מופיע הסיפור בגמרא (שבת פט.):

וא"ר יהושע בן לוי: בשעה שירד משה מלפני הקב"ה, בא שטן ואמר לפניו: "רבונו של עולם, תורה היכן היא?" אמר לו: "נתתיה לארץ." הלך אצל ארץ, אמר לה: "תורה היכן היא?" אמרה לו: (איוב כח, כג) "אלהים הבין דרכה [והוא ידע את מקומה]." הלך אצל ים, ואמר לו: "אין עמדי." הלך אצל תהום, א"ל: "אין בי." שנאמר: (איוב כח, יד) "תהום אמר לא בי היא וים אמר אין עמדי. אבדון ומות אמרו באזנינו שמענו שמעה." חזר ואמר לפני הקב"ה" "רבש"ע, חיפשתי בכל הארץ ולא מצאתיה." אמר לו: "לך אצל בן עמרם." הלך אצל משה, אמר לו: "תורה שנתן לך הקב"ה, היכן היא?" אמר לו: "וכי מה אני שנתן לי הקב"ה תורה?!" א"ל הקב"ה למשה: "משה, בדאי אתה." אמר לפניו: "רבונו של עולם, חמודה גנוזה יש לך שאתה משתעשע בה בכל יום – אני אחזיק טובה לעצמי?!" אמר לו הקב"ה למשה: "הואיל ומיעטת עצמך, תקרא על שמך." שנאמר: (מלאכי ג, כב) זכרו תורת משה עבדי וגו':

ר' יוסף טוב עלם (שאין סיבה לשלול את בעלותו על הסילוק) מפייט את הטקסט הזה בנאמנות, עד הסוף – ולא עד בכלל. וכה דבריו:

            עָמַד הַשָּׂטָן לִפְנֵי רָם וְנִשָּׂא בִּגְחִינָה
וְנָם: "תּוֹרָה אֵיפוֹא הִיא, הוֹדִיעֵנִי נָא!"
עָנָהוּ: רֵד לָאָרֶץ וְשָׁם תִּמְצָיאֶנָּה     
חִיפֵּשׂ יָם וּתְהוֹם וַאֲבַדּוֹן וְכָל פִּינָּה
וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה אֵין הַתּוֹרָה, וְנֶעֱצַב בַּאֲנִינָה:
"וָאֲחַשְּׁבָה לָדַעַת זֹאת, וְרָאִיתִי וְהִנֵּה אֵינֶנָּה"
הֱשִׁיבוּהוּ: "הִנֵּה בֶּן עַמְרָם בְּחֵיקוֹ חוֹנָה"
וַיְמַהֵר לַהֲלוֹךְ שָׁמָּה, וַתְּהִי רִאשׁוֹנָה וְאַחֲרוֹנָה
עָמַד וּשְׁאֵלוֹ: "תּוֹרָה שֶׁקִּיבַּלְתָּה – לְהֵיכָן יֶשְׁנָה?"
הֱשִׁיבוֹ: "מִי אָנֹכִי לְקַבֵּל דָּת הַצְּפוּנָה?
אֱלֹהִים הֵבִין דַּרְכָּהּ וְהוּא יָדַע דִּינָהּ"
בְּשָׁומְעוֹ כָּךְ גָּשׁ וַיְמֻשֵּׁהוּ בְחֵיקוֹ לְהוֹצִיאָהּ
וְהָיְתָה הַתּוֹרָה מִתְנוֹדֶדֶת מִפֹּה וּמִפֹּה לְהִטָּמְנָה
וַיְחַפֵּשׂ וְלֹא מָצָא מְקוֹם שִׁיכְנָהּ
וְחָזַר בְּבָושְׁתּוֹ וְלֹא הוֹעִלַתּוּ רְמִיָּה וְתוֹאֲנָה.

בגמרא,[1] השטן מתעלם מהסיפור מיד אחר תשובתו של משה, וההמשך הוא דיאלוג בין הקב"ה למשה. אצל ריט"ע, השטן מתאבק עם משה רבינו, וממשש בחיקו בעל כרחו, כדרך כליסטס שמתגושש ומנסה לחמוס חפץ מתחת ידי בעליו – או אפילו כדרך גבר רשע שממשש בחיקהּ של אשה בעל כרחה. התורה נשמטת הנה והנה בתוך חיקו של משה (כנראה בדרך נס), והשטן אינו מצליח לחטוף אותה, והוא חוזר בבושת פנים.

לסיפור הזה לא מצאתי מקבילה או מקור. ויש לציין שבמשך כל הסילוק, ריט"ע מדבר על מתן תורה כתחרות – תחרות בין ישראל לגוים, תחרות בין ישראל למלאכים, וכאן תחרות בין משה רבינו (נציגם של ישראל) ובין השטן. ובין כל התחרויות, רק זו שבין משה לשטן היא תחרות פיזית, גופנית, ואלימה.

ויש לדון יותר בכל זה, ואכמ"ל, מפני הימים הקדושים הממשמשים ובאים. ומכל מקום, לאור התיאור החי והצבעוני בפיוטו של ריטע – שזכינו עתה לחשיפתו מתחום נשייה –נבוא להודות ביתר שאת על שזכינו ונבחרנו שתינתן לנו התורה לנו, וכלשון ברכת התורה שאנו מברכים עליה, שכולה הודאה על נתינת התורה לישראל,  "אשר בחר בנו מכל העמים ונתן לנו את תורתו".
א גוטן שבת און א גוטן יום־טוב.



[1] בדרך אגב נזכיר שבגמרא, בנוסח דידן, אין משה רבינו אומר את הפסוק "אלהים הבין דרכה", אלא היא תשובתה של הארץ. אבל רש"י מביא את הסיפור בפירושו על איוב כח, ובסופו איתא: "בא לו אצל בן עמרם, אמר לו: 'היכן תורה?' 'אצל הקדוש ברוך הוא'." והעיר לי ידידי ר' ישב"ב שרש"י מפרש את המילים "אלהים הבין דרכה והוא ידע את מקומה" כתשובת משה לשטן, שהתורה אינה אלא "אצל הקב"ה"; ואולי היתה לרש"י גירסה בגמרא שמשה אמר את הפסוק הזה, כמו שהוא אצל ריט"ע.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

“Be-Esek Atevata”: A Contextual Interpretation of an Elusive Phrase in Akdamut Millin

“Be-Esek Atevata”: A Contextual Interpretation of an Elusive Phrase in Akdamut Millin
by David S. Zinberg

A centerpiece of the Ashkenazic liturgy for Shavuot, Akdamut Millin is an artistically sophisticated, epically dramatic, and emotionally charged piyyut.  After nearly a millennium, the liturgical-narrative masterpiece of R. Meir ben Yitzhak Sheliah Tzibbur continues to intrigue and to inspire.[1] 

Towards the middle of the poem, the poet abruptly changes scenes.  Speaking in his own voice, he announces that he will now praise God “before empires”:

שְׁבַח ריבון עַלְמָא, אֲמִירָא דַכְוָתָא:
שְׁפַר עֲלֵיהּ לְחַווּיֵהּ, בְּאַפֵּי מַלְכְּוָתָא:

What follows, without warning, is a confrontation – almost a poetic disputation – between the gentile nations and Israel. 

Intended, perhaps, to evoke the insecurity of the Jewish experience, the narrative turn is unexpected and jarring.  Following a meditation on the heavenly realms and the superiority of Israel over the angels, the poet imagines a coalition of nations gathering, “like waves,” to confront the Jewish community. 

Their tone first seems benign, even sympathetic.  They are impressed by the Jews and their steadfast religious devotion.  But their assimilationist agenda, backed by a hint of violence – “Join us, it's for your own good, you know” -- comes to the surface before long.

In these six lines, the nations appear and present their argument:

         תָּאִין וּמִתְכַּנְשִׁין, כְּחֵיזוּ אַדְוָתָא:
         תְּמֵהִין וְשַׁיְילִין לֵיהּ, בְּעֵסֶק אַתְוָתָא:
         מְנָן וּמָאן הוּא רְחִימָךְ, שַׁפִּירָא בְּרֵיוָתָא:
         אֲרוּם בְּגִינֵהּ סָפִית, מְדוֹר אַרְיְוָתָא:
         יְקָרָא וְיָאָה אַתְּ אִין תַּעַרְבִי לְמַרְוָתָא:
         רְעוּתֵךְ נַעֲבֵיד לִיךְ, בְּכָל אַתְרְוָתָא:

My translation:

1          They approach, gathering like waves
2          Amazed, question one another about her signs
3          “From where and who is your Beloved, most beautiful,
4          For whose sake you perish in the lions’ den?
5          You are so dear and so lovely!  If you join the hegemony,
6          We will grant you whatever you desire, everywhere”


This finely crafted passage is woven from a set of midrashim revolving around a dialogue in the Song of Songs (5:8-6:2) between the רַעְיָה, the beloved woman, and בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָיִם, the daughters of Jerusalem.

Below is the text separated by speaker:

הָרַעְיָה:
הִשְׁבַּעְתִּי אֶתְכֶם בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם אִם תִּמְצְאוּ אֶת דּוֹדִי מַה תַּגִּידוּ לוֹ שֶׁחוֹלַת אַהֲבָה אָנִי:

בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָיִם:
מַה דּוֹדֵךְ מִדּוֹד הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים מַה דּוֹדֵךְ מִדּוֹד שֶׁכָּכָה הִשְׁבַּעְתָּנוּ:

הָרַעְיָה:

דּוֹדִי צַח וְאָדוֹם דָּגוּל מֵרְבָבָה:
רֹאשׁוֹ כֶּתֶם פָּז קְוֻצּוֹתָיו תַּלְתַּלִּים שְׁחֹרוֹת כָּעוֹרֵב:
עֵינָיו כְּיוֹנִים עַל אֲפִיקֵי מָיִם רֹחֲצוֹת בֶּחָלָב יֹשְׁבוֹת עַל מִלֵּאת:
לְחָיָו כַּעֲרוּגַת הַבֹּשֶׂם מִגְדְּלוֹת מֶרְקָחִים שִׂפְתוֹתָיו שׁוֹשַׁנִּים נֹטְפוֹת מוֹר עֹבֵר:
יָדָיו גְּלִילֵי זָהָב מְמֻלָּאִים בַּתַּרְשִׁישׁ מֵעָיו עֶשֶׁת שֵׁן מְעֻלֶּפֶת סַפִּירִים:
שׁוֹקָיו עַמּוּדֵי שֵׁשׁ מְיֻסָּדִים עַל אַדְנֵי פָז מַרְאֵהוּ כַּלְּבָנוֹן בָּחוּר כָּאֲרָזִים:
חִכּוֹ מַמְתַקִּים וְכֻלּוֹ מַחֲמַדִּים זֶה דוֹדִי וְזֶה רֵעִי בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם:

בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָיִם:
אָנָה הָלַךְ דּוֹדֵךְ הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים אָנָה פָּנָה דוֹדֵךְ וּנְבַקְשֶׁנּוּ עִמָּךְ:

הָרַעְיָה:
דּוֹדִי יָרַד לְגַנּוֹ לַעֲרוּגוֹת הַבֹּשֶׂם לִרְעוֹת בַּגַּנִּים וְלִלְקֹט שׁוֹשַׁנִּים:
אֲנִי לְדוֹדִי וְדוֹדִי לִי הָרֹעֶה בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּים:

The רַעְיָה begs the Jerusalemite girls to find her love and to tell him of her longing.  They first ask, מַה דּוֹדֵךְ מִדּוֹד – how will we identify him?  In response, she provides detailed signs, in seven lines of verse, of his beauty and charm.  Their next question follows naturally:

אָנָה הָלַךְ דּוֹדֵךְ הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים אָנָה פָּנָה דוֹדֵךְ וּנְבַקְשֶׁנּוּ עִמָּךְ — now that we know something about your beloved, where did he go?  Tell us, and we will help you search for him. 

In the allegorical reading of the Song – and in the poet’s imagination – the רַעְיָה is Israel, the דּוֹד is God, and the daughters of Jerusalem represent the nations. 

Below are excerpts from the midrashic sources relevant to our passage (language which inspired the poet is highlighted in bold):

מכילתא דרבי ישמעאל בשלח - מסכתא דשירה ג

זה אלי . . . ר' עקיבא אומר אדבר בנאותיו ובשבחיו של מי שאמר והיה העולם בפני כל אומות העולם. שהרי אומות העולם שואלין את ישראל לומר מה דודך מדוד שככה השבעתנו (שיר השירים ה) שכך אתם מתים עליו וכך אתם נהרגין עליו שנ' על כן עלמות אהבוך (שם א) אהבוך עד מות, וכתיב כי עליך הורגנו כל היום (תהלים מד). הרי אתם נאים, הרי אתם גבורים, בואו והתערבו עמנו. וישראל אומרים להם לאומות העולם, מכירין אתם אותו [2]נאמר לכם מקצת שבחו: דודי צח ואדום דגול מרבבה (שיר השירים ה). כיון ששומעין שכך שבחו אומרים לישראל נלכה עמכם שנ' אנה הולך דודך היפה בנשים אנה פנה דודך ונבקשנו עמך (שם ו) וישראל אומרים להם אין לכם חלק בו אלא דודי לי ואני לו וגו' (שם ב) אני לדודי ודודי לי הרועה בשושנים (שם ו).

במדבר רבה ב:ד

אִישׁ עַל-דִּגְלוֹ בְאֹתֹת (במדבר ב): הה"ד (שיר השירים ו) מי זאת הנשקפה כמו שחר יפה כלבנה ברה כחמה אימה כנדגלות.  קדושים וגדולים היו ישראל בדגליהם וכל האומות מסתכלין בהם ותמהין ואומרים מי זאת הנשקפה וגו' אומרים להם האומות שובי שובי השולמית (שיר השירים ז) הדבקו לנו בואו אצלנו ואנו עושין אתכם שלטונים הגמונים דוכסין אפרכין אסטרטליטין, שובי שובי ונחזה בך ואין נחזה אלא שררה שכן אמר יתרו למשה (שמות יט) ואתה תחזה וגו' שובי שובי ונחזה בך

במדבר רבה ב:טז

ד"א והיה במקום וגו' הה"ד (שיר השירים ח) מים רבים לא יוכלו לכבות את האהבה וגו' ואומר אם יתן איש את וגו' אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמן בשתי אהבות הכתוב הזה מדבר. ראשו מדבר באהבתו של ישראל. שאם יתכנסו כל אומות העולם ליטול את האהבה שבינו לבין ישראל אינן יכולין, שנאמר מים רבים לא יוכלו לכבות את האהבה ואין מים רבים אלא אומות העולם שנאמר (ישעיה יז) הוי המון עמים רבים וגו'.

שמות רבה כג:ה

מראש שניר (שיר השירים ד), בזכות יצחק, וחרמון, בזכות יעקב, ממעונות אריות, גלות בבל ומדי, מהררי נמרים, זו אדום


Below, we match each line or half-line from our Akdamut passage to its associated biblical or midrashic expression.  Note how each phrase either quotes directly from or alludes to imagery in the Song and its related midrashim.  For now, we will leave line 2 aside.  This line will be addressed separately.


1          תָּאִין וּמִתְכַּנְשִׁין כְּחֵיזוּ אַדְוָתָא
מים רבים לא יוכלו לכבות את האהבה וגו' . . .  שאם יתכנסו כל אומות העולם ליטול את האהבה שבינו לבין ישראל אינן יכולין . . .ואין מים רבים אלא אומות העולם . ) . . במדבר רבה ב:טז(
 
3          מְנָן וּמָאן הוּא רְחִימָךְ, שַׁפִּירָא בְּרֵיוָתָא
שהרי אומות העולם שואלין את ישראל לומר מַה דּוֹדֵךְ מִדּוֹד שֶׁכָּכָה הִשְׁבַּעְתָּנוּ )מכילתא דרבי ישמעאל בשלח - מסכתא דשירה ג(
1.      מְנָן (“from where”) -- אָנָה הָלַךְ דּוֹדֵךְ הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים אָנָה פָּנָה דוֹדֵךְ
2.      וּמָאן  -- (“and who”)מַה דּוֹדֵךְ מִדּוֹד הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים

4a        אֲרוּם בְּגִינֵהּ סָפִית
שכך אתם מתים עליו וכך אתם נהרגין עליו[3])  מכילתא דר"י שם(

4b        מְדוֹר אַרְיְוָתָא
ממעונות אריות, גלות בבל ומדי, מהררי נמרים, זו אדום (שמות רבה כג:ה)  
         יְקָרָא וְיָאָה אַתְּ, אִין תַּעַרְבִי לְמַרְוָתָא
הרי אתם נאים, הרי אתם גבורים, בואו והתערבו עמנומכילתא דר"י שם(

         רְעוּתֵךְ נַעֲבֵיד לִיךְ, בְּכָל אַתְרְוָתָא
הדבקו לנו בואו אצלנו ואנו עושין אתכם שלטונים הגמונים דוכסין אפרכין אסטרטליטין) מכילתא דר"י שם(

Line 2 of this Akdamut passage – תְּמֵהִין וְשַׁיְילִין לֵיהּ, בְּעֵסֶק אַתְוָתָא – is particularly challenging.  What does the poet mean by בְּעֵסֶק אַתְוָתָא?  To which “signs” (אַתְוָתָא = אותות) does he refer?

Several translators and commentators on Akdamut interpret אַתְוָתָא as "miracles."[4]  But that rendering is completely unsatisfactory, as this section of the poem does not address miracles.  Furthermore, in all the source-midrashim from which the nations’ argument is derived, there is no reference to miracles.  Indeed, had it referred to “miracles,” this line would be an aberration, as every other phrase in these six lines echoes specific language in the sources cited.


Taking a completely different approach, the ArtScroll Machzor renders אַתְוָתָא as “proofs”; i.e., in light of Israel’s endless suffering in exile, the nations demand proof that God still watches over Israel and plans to send the Messiah to redeem her.[5]

This interpretation has some merit, since it links line 2 to the nations’ adjacent observation regarding Israel’s persecution, i.e., אֲרוּם בְּגִינֵהּ סָפִית, מְדוֹר אַרְיְוָתָא (line 4).  Still, “proofs” is forced and unsupported by the biblical and midrashic sources.

I believe, instead, that the correct translation of בְּעֵסֶק אַתְוָתָא is “about her signs,” i.e., Israel's signs.  This phrase was clearly borrowed from the Bemidbar Rabba passage (2:4) cited above, a discourse on the banners or "signs" (אֹתוֹת) of the tribes, as described in Numbers 2:2.  Note the association in Bemidbar Rabba 2:4 between עַל-דִּגְלוֹ בְאֹתֹת of Numbers and אימה כנדגלות of Song 6:10.  The Sages read the latter as a reference by the nations to Israel’s impressive banners (נדגלות = דגלים). 

Also note how the poet’s תְּמֵהִין וְשַׁיְילִין לֵיהּ is taken nearly verbatim from the expression וכל האומות מסתכלין בהם ותמהין ואומרים of Bemidbar Rabba, which is used in the context of the flags.   


Of course, the biblical אֹתוֹת often connotes an extraordinary, miraculous phenomenon.  For example:

וְהָיָה אִם-לֹא יַאֲמִינוּ גַּם לִשְׁנֵי הָאֹתוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וְלֹא יִשְׁמְעוּן לְקֹלֶךָ וְלָקַחְתָּ מִמֵּימֵי הַיְאֹר וְשָׁפַכְתָּ הַיַּבָּשָׁה וְהָיוּ הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר תִּקַּח מִן-הַיְאֹר וְהָיוּ לְדָם בַּיַּבָּשֶׁת  (שמות ד:ט)

וַיּוֹצִאֵנוּ ה מִמִּצְרַיִם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה וּבְמֹרָא גָּדֹל וּבְאֹתוֹת וּבְמֹפְתִים  (דברים כו:ח)


However, it appears certain – based on Bemidbar Rabba 2:4 – that the "signs" to which line 2 refers are Israel’s flags, rather than God’s miracles. Here, then, is the final midrashic source for our Akdamut passage:  

2          תְּמֵהִין וְשַׁיְילִין לֵיהּ, בְּעֵסֶק אַתְוָתָא
איש על דגלו באותות - הה"ד מי זאת הנשקפה וגו' קדושים וגדולים היו ישראל בדגליהם וכל האומות מסתכלין בהם ותמהין ואומרים מי זאת הנשקפה וגו’)  במדבר רבה ב:ד(

What may have motivated the interpretation of אַתְוָתָא as “miracles” was a presumed link between two distinct reactions of the nations: תְּמֵהִין וְשַׁיְילִין לֵיה of line 2 andמְנָן וּמָאן הוּא רְחִימָך of line 3.

The nations’ focus in line 3 is, of course, on God (רְחִימָךְ - your Beloved).  The phrase מְנָן וּמָאן הוּא רְחִימָך is a conflation of אָנָה הָלַךְ דּוֹדֵךְ and מַה דּוֹדֵךְ מִדּוֹד, whose referent is God.  But in line 1 -- תָּאִין וּמִתְכַּנְשִׁין -- they accost Israel and, in line 2 -- תְּמֵהִין וְשַׁיְילִין לֵיה -- express wonder among themselves about Israel.  Their response in line 2 is to Israel, rather than to God.  They shift their inquiries to God only in line 3.



[1] On R. Meir ben Yitzhak, see Eliezer Landshut, Amudei Ha-Avoda (Berlin, 1862), pp. 162ff; Avraham Grossman, Hakhmei Ashkenaz Ha-Rishonim (Jerusalem, 1981), pp. 292ff.
[2] The variant text in Mekhilta De-Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai – אי אתם מכירין אותו – is more readable.
[3] See also Shir Ha-Shirim Rabba 7:1:
אומות העולם אומרות לישראל עד מתי אתם מתים על אלהיכם ומשלמין לו . . .  ועד מתי אתם נהרגין עליו . . .  ועד מתי אתם גומלין טובות עליו ולו לעצמו, והוא גומל לכם רעות
[4] E.g., Mahzor Le-Hag Ha-Shavuot, ed. Wolf Heidenheim (Rodelheim, 1805 and reprints); Mahzor Shavuot, ed. Yonah Fraenkel (Jerusalem, 2000), p. 390, n. 22; and, most recently, Jeffrey Hoffman, “Akdamut: History, Folklore, and Meaning,” The Jewish Quarterly Review, 99:2 (Spring 2009), p. 178.
[5] The Complete ArtScroll Machzor – Shavuos (Brooklyn, 1995), p. 269.  The note on p. 269 attributes this idea to Mevo Ha-Shir by Shmuel Hayyim Yellin (Pietrokow, 1926).  However, “proofs” was already proposed by Aharon ben Yehiel Mikhel Ha-Levi in his Mahzor commentary Mateh Levi.  Yellin renders בְּעֵסֶק אַתְוָתָא as “on the matter of the arrival (of the Messiah)," based on an erroneous association of אַתְוָתָא with ואתא, Aramaic for  ויבא (“he arrived”).  The comments of Mateh Levi and Mevo Ha-Shir can both be viewed here.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Megilat Rut: The night of Boaz and Rut Revisited

Megilat Rut[1]: The night of Boaz and Rut Revisited

 By Chaim Sunitsky

In a well known story of Megilat Rut, Naomi tells Ruth to bathe herself, put on her [best] clothes and go down at night to where Boaz is sleeping. Boaz then will “tell her” what to do. The simple implication of this story is that Ruth would be sent to make a marriage proposal to Boaz who could simply consummate the marriage immediately.[2]

It has been already noted[3] that the story of Boaz and Ruth contains many elements of “yibum” procedure and therefore it was concluded that at that time “yibum” was practiced by other close relatives, not just the brother of the deceased.[4] In theory Boaz could have relations with Ruth and thus do yibum immediately that night, but since there was a closer kin[5] he did not touch Ruth but waited until the morning. When in the presence of the elders Boaz offered the closer relative to redeem the fields left for Ruth, he was willing to do this, but when Boaz stipulated that he would have to marry Ruth as well he refused saying: פֶּן אַשְׁחִית אֶת נַחֲלָתִי (lest I destroy my “inheritance”). Hazal[6] understand him to argue with Boaz’s opinion that a female from Moav is permitted to “enter the congregation of Israel” i.e. marry a regular Jew. The word “inheritance” is thus taken to mean descendants who will not be kosher Jews and won’t be able to marry others in the Jewish nation[7]

Before we go on it’s important to understand a related issue: in the laws of yibum, what is the meaning of (Devarim 25:6): “The first child born shall stand up in memory of the deceased brother.” Hazal understand this not to mean the actual name of the person but rather to be talking about inheritance belonging to the deceased brother. However they explain[8] that this inheritance is transferred to the brother that did the yibum. According to Shadal[9] this explanation was needed in order to encourage[10] the brother to want to do yibum, but the original meaning of the Torah was actually that yibum caused financial loss to the brother doing it as he would not partake of the inheritance[11] as it would all belong to the son born[12].

Another important point we need to discuss before we continue is the issue of “kri” and “ketiv”: “written” and “read” forms of words. It is well known that certain words in Tanach are not read the same way as they are written. The Talmud[13] assumes that this is part of “halacha leMoshe miSinai[14]” – part of oral traditions stemming from Moshe who received them at Mt. Sinai. The difficulty with this is that many of these “kri” and “ketiv” forms are in Neviim and Ketuvim – prophetic works written long after Moshe. R. Reuven Margolies therefore concludes[15]  that the expression “halacha leMoshe miSinai” can mean a decision in some generation by the Great Sanhedrin[16]. Another explanation of “kri” and “ketiv” is offered by Radak[17] and others: the two are preserved in some of the cases when different manuscripts[18] had different version of the word(s). Another possibility[19] is that “kri” can be a kind of correction to the “ketiv” that the “Men of Great Assembly” made for various reasons. Many of the “kri” and “ketiv” cases in fact support this last opinion[20]. Some of the “kri” and “ketiv” differ only in that one of them reads as two words what the other reads as one word. For example, the “ketiv” in “Devarim 39:2 is “Eshadot” but the “kri” is “Esh” “Dat” – fire of religion. Shadal[21] writes that Dat is a Persian word and therefore the original meaning must have been according to the “ketiv[22]”.

Coming back to the story of Ruth, the key verse (4:5) has a “written” and “read” form:

 וַיֹּאמֶר בֹּעַז בְּיוֹם קְנוֹתְךָ הַשָּׂדֶה מִיַּד נָעֳמִי וּמֵאֵת רוּת הַמּוֹאֲבִיָּה אֵשֶׁת הַמֵּת קָנִיתָה לְהָקִים שֵׁם הַמֵּת עַל נַחֲלָתוֹ

The key word is written קניתי but is read as קָנִיתָה. It has been noted by modern scholarship[23] that according to the ketiv (the written form) an opposite[24] from traditional understanding immerges. According to “ketiv” Boaz did consummate the marriage and when talking to the kinsman he says that Ruth is already his wife. If he will later have a child from Ruth, the child will inherit her husband’s property and the money the other relative paid to redeem the field will go to waste.[25] This then is the meaning of the other relative’s rejection of the offer (4:6):

לֹא אוּכַל <לגאול> לִגְאָל לִי פֶּן אַשְׁחִית אֶת נַחֲלָתִי גְּאַל לְךָ אַתָּה אֶת גְּאֻלָּתִי כִּי לֹא אוּכַל לִגְאֹל:

“I will not redeem lest I harm my inheritance”, literally meaning he would lose the field he would purchase.


[1] Many reasons are offered as to why we read Megilat Ruth on Shavuot, the simplest being that the main action takes place when gathering barley and wheat crop, around the time of Shavuot.
[2] While most commentators try to avoid this obvious interpretation, this is implied by Rut Rabbah 7:4. See also Taz, Yore Deah 192:1 who assumes this and discusses why the gezeira of seven days due to “dam chimud” did not apply.
[3] See for instance Malbim (Ruth 3:4), see also Ramban, Devarim 25:6.
[4] Boaz was a cousin of Ruth’s husband Machlon (Baba Batra 91a).
[5] Referred to as “ploni almoni”, he was Machlon’s uncle.
[6] Ruth Rabbah 7:7.
[7] The simple meaning may be that he did not want to marry Ruth since he already had another wife (see Targum ad loc) or so that his older children won’t have to split the inheritance with his children from her (see similarly Rema, Even Haezer 1:8).
[8] Rashi in the name of Yevamot 40a.
[9] Ad loc.
[10] Similarly later when Ashkenazi Jews encouraged halitzah, a financial incentive was used for this too, see Rema, Even Haezer 163:2.
[11] Maybe this is the reason Yehudah’s son Onan did not want Tamar to have children.
[12] The Ramban hints that this son will have the soul of the deceased thus the inheritance coming back to the original owner.
[13] Nedarim 37b although it might be this is not the only opinion in this sugia, see also Orach Chaim 141:8.
[14] Presumably this implies that both kri and ketiv have meaning. Various propositions have been offered regarding the relationship between the two.
[15] Yesod Hamishna Vearichata, chapter 2 in berurim (page 36).
[16] The Rishonim already noticed that at least some of “halacha leMoshe miSinai” statements should not be taken literally see for instance Rosh in the beginning of Mikvaot, see also Pesachim 110b.
[17] See his introduction to the prophets; see also R. Marc Shapiro, Limits of Orthodox Theology, page 101 who brings other Rishonim that follow the same opinion. In one place in his commentary Radak goes a step further and notices that Targum Yonatan seems to have a reading where a letter is moved from the beginning of the word to the end of previous word (Melachim 1:20:33, see also our next note).
[18] We know that there were variant manuscripts of Tanach in the times of Second Temple and probably before that as well. There are many examples of this, see for instance Tosafot s.v. Maavirim and R. Akiva Eiger, Shabbat 55b. One of the famous examples seems to be the well known drasha in the Agada that criticizes the “wicked” son for excluding himself from other participants: “lachem velo lo”. The obvious difficulty is that the wise son also says: “etchem” (to you). Now we know that in some manuscripts the verse in Devarim 6:20 indeed uses the expression “otanu” (us), see also Yerushalmi Pesachim 10:4 (70b), Mechilta, end of Bo (chapter 18 in some editions, paragraph 125 in others). Note also that many of the variants can be learned by studying the old Torah translations, for instance Septuagint. It seems that some of “deliberate changes” mentioned in Megila 9a-b were actually based on variant manuscripts. In case of “naarei bnei yisrael”, we actually learn from Masechet Sofrim 6:4 and parallel sources that there were variant manuscripts. Additional examples can include “hamor” – “hemed” and “bekirba” – “bekroveah”, where the words are very similar. R. Reuven Margolies in his “Hamikra Vahamesora”, chapter 17 brings some interesting examples of translations that were based on variant manuscripts. Without knowing this we can’t understand some words of Hazal correctly. Just to bring two examples here, the question of how to read “dodecha” in Shir Hashirim 1:2 (see Avoda Zara 29b) can be understood in light of Septuagint translation as “breasts” (from the word “dad”; this also explains why this particular question was asked when discussing the prohibition of non-Jewish cheese; the verses describe that the Jewish nation’s wine, oil, and breasts, i.e. milk are the best, and we should not use any of these products made by non-Jews). In this example the difference with Masoretic text is only in the vowels that are not written in the scrolls (see another example in Mishley 12:28 that has in our Masoretic text “al mavet” – “not death” but according to the Aramaic Targum the verse seems to read “el mavet” – “towards death”). Another example with a real textual difference in consonants is in the verse of Bereshit 26:32. The Bereshit Rabbah (end of 64) seems to at first not be sure whether they found water or not. R. Reuven Margolies claims that the uncertainty was whether the correct reading is “we did NOT find water” (based on Septuagint translation) or “we found water” (as it is in our Masoretic text). The difference is whether the word “Lo” should be with “Vav” (they said to him) or with Aleph (they said: “we didn’t”, see however Rashash ad loc who thinks that even according to the Masoretic text there is a possibility to understand Lo with Vav as “not”).
[19] A similar idea is brought in Abarbanel’s introduction to Yirmiyahu. This may be related to a similar question of what is “tikun sofrim”, see R. Marc Shapiro, Limits of Orthodox Theology, starting with page 98 and R. Saul Lieberman “Hellenism in Jewish Palestine” starting with page 28.  Indeed in Midrash Tanchuma (Beshalach 16) the tradition is brought that tikun sofrim is an actual change made by Anshey Kneset Hagedola.
[20] This might be especially true when the “kri” is a synonym of “ketiv” but the expression used is a softer form, when the “ketiv” is too crude, see Devarim 28:27 and 28:30, see also Talmud Bavli Megilah 25b.
[21] Ad loc.
[22] In general some of the commentators sometimes follow the “ketiv” but most explain the meaning of verses according to the “kri”.
[23] Professor Cyrus Gordon “Forgotten Scripts” 1982, page 171. He additionally writes based on discoveries in Ebla that ומאת is to be understood not as “and from” but rather “but”. For Hazal’s understanding of this “kri” and “ketiv” see Ruth Rabbah 7:10.
[24] It’s actually quite unusual that kri and ketiv would offer the exact opposite understanding.
[25] Apparently this is the field that Ruth was selling. It seems that according to the practice of the time a widow of a person was able to enjoy some of the rights to his property or possibly make decision as to which of the relatives takes possession of it.

Monday, May 11, 2015

An (almost) Unknown Halakhic Work by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi and an attempt to answer the question: who punctuated the first edition of the Shulhan Arukh?

An (almost) Unknown Halakhic Work by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi and an attempt to answer the question: who punctuated the first edition of the Shulhan Arukh?

 by Chaim Katz
Chaim Katz is a database computer programmer in Montreal Quebec. He graduated from McGill University and studied in Lubavitch Yeshivoth in Israel and New York.
In 1980, the late Rabbi Yehoshua Mondshine published a manuscript, which was a list of chapters and paragraphs (halakhot  and se’fim), selected by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (RSZ), from the Shulhan Arukh (SA) of Rabbi Yosef Karo.[1] (RYK)


Figure 1: Part of the list of halakhot prepared by Rabbi Shneur Zalman and the preliminary and concluding notes written by R. Isakhar Ber.

R. Isakhar Ber, who copied the original manuscript, explained the purpose of the list in a preliminary remark:

A concise study method of essential laws from the beginning of Shulhan Arukh  Orah Hayim until the end of the Shabbat laws - to know them fluently  by heart, from Admur  (our master, teacher and Rebbe), our teacher Zalman of Liozna.

R. Isakhar also added an epilogue:

I copied all of the above, from the beginning until the laws of Pesah, but I didn't check it completely to verify that I copied everything correctly and G-d willing when there's time I will check it. Prepared and researched by the Rabbi and Gaon, the great light, the G-dly and holy, our teacher, Shneur Zalman, may his lamp be bright and shine, to know it clearly and concisely, even for those people who are occupied in business. Therefore I thought I won’t withhold good from the good.  Isakhar Ber, son of my father and master ... Katz, may his lamp be bright, of the holy community of Shumilina and currently in Beshankovichy.

The manuscript was probably composed (or at least copied), between the years 1790-1801, when RSZ lived in Liozna. The existence of this list isn’t acknowledged in any source that Rabbi Mondshine was aware of, and obviously the list was never published in book form, either because RSZ decided not to publicize it or because the list was simply put aside and forgotten.

RSZ wasn’t the first who envisioned a popular digest of the SA. Rabbi Yehuda Leib Maimon lists four works that preceded the famous Kitzur Shulhan Arukh.[2] They preceded RSZ’s work as well and are all quite similar although they also have their differences.



Figure 2: First edition of Shulhan Tahor by Rabbi Joseph Pardo (from Hebrewbooks.org). The page summarizes three and a half chapters of the original Shulhan arukh. Note how the author sometimes combines the words of RYK with the words of Rema (line 11).

Shulhan Tahor covers Orakh Hayim and Yore Deah. Others have a narrower scope and cover only Orah Hayim. RSZ covers even less. Some collections are abbreviated extensively; others include more details.[3] There are variations in the language and content; some quote opinions of later authorities, some quote Kabbalah, some re-cast the language of the SA and some retain the language as much as possible.




Figure 3: Pardes Rimonim by Rabbi Yehudah Yudil Berlin, (from Hebrewbooks.org), composed in 1784. Note the author quotes Ateret Zekenim, (R. MM Auerbach, published in 1702). The additions in parenthesis are by the publisher of the 1879 edition.

The authors of each of these works possibly had two goals in mind. One of the goals was to make the basic rules and practices of the SA more accessible. To this end, certain subjects or details were left out because they were too technical for the chosen audience. Other rules were omitted because the situations to which they applied happened only infrequently (בדיעבד). Many regulations were left out because daily life and its circumstances had changed so much since the sixteenth century.

The other goal, and arguably the primary goal, was to provide a text of law that could be memorized. In the introduction to Shulhan Tahor, the author’s son writes: “every man will be familiar and fluent in these laws (שגורים בפי כל האדם)”. Likewise, the author of Pardes Rimonim defines the purpose of his work: “so that the reader will be fluent in these rules (שגורים בפיו) and will review them each month”.  In the introduction to the Shulhan Shlomo, the author writes: “Put these words to your heart and you won’t forget them”, and the motive of R. Shneur Zalman’s work is:  “to know [these laws] fluently by heart”.



Figure 4: Introduction of Rabbi Yosef Karo - from the first edition of the Shulhan Arukh, published in Venice in 1565 where memorization is emphasized (from the scanned books at the website of the National Library of Israel, (formerly the Jewish National and University Library.)

The tradition of memorizing practical laws goes back to RYK himself, and probably goes back even earlier.[4] RYK writes in the introduction to his Shulhan Arukh:

I thought in my heart that it is fitting to gather the flowers of the gems of the discussions [of the Beit Yosef] in a shorter way, in a clear comprehensive pretty and pleasant style, so that the perfect Torah of G-d will be recited fluently by each man of Israel. When a scholar is queried about a law, he won't answer vaguely. Instead, he will answer:  “say to wisdom you are my sister”. As he knows his sister is forbidden to him, so he knows the practical resolution of every legal question that he is asked because he is fluent in this book...  Moreover, the young (rabbinical?) students will occupy themselves with it constantly and recite its text by heart…

I’m working on a phone version of RSZ’s work using the first print of RYK’s SA for that portion of the text. However, (aside from the difficulty of text justification in an EPUB), there is one typesetting decision that I’m wondering about.  The first edition of the SA is punctuated with elevated periods and colons.  The colons always separate each halakha, but infrequently colons appear in the middle of a halakha. Sometimes followed by a new line and sometimes not. The periods may appear in the middle of a halakha, sometimes followed by horizontal white space and sometimes not.

Hebrew printing (of holy books) hasn’t changed all that much in the past 450 years; the colons at the end of each paragraph are present in most current editions of the Shulan Arukh, but the periods, colons and white space in the middle of the paragraphs have largely been ignored in subsequent prints.[5] Do I try and duplicate this punctuation or not? Here are two examples where I replaced the elevated period and colons with modern periods, but tried to keep the original layout.




Figure 5: Note the raised periods and colons in the first print (from the National Library of Israel web site).



Figure 6: Screenshot of a digital version of R. Shneur Zalman’s composition. Note periods and line feeds.



Figure 7: Facsimile of the first print of Shulhan Arukh - beginning of chapter 11. See the colons in in the fourth halakha.



Figure 8: Screenshot of my smart phone version of R. Shneur Zalman’s list - chapter 11

I think it’s possible that the punctuation of the first edition of the SA was copied from RYK’s manuscript. Prof. Raz-Krakozkin writes: He (Karo) insisted on personally supervising its publication and made sure that the editors followed his instructions[6]. On the other hand, I can’t explain why the punctuation marks occur so rarely.

To help decide if RYK punctuated his manuscript before sending it to the printers, we can compare other manuscripts that were printed then. For example, the Yerushalmi was first printed in Venice (1523) from a manuscript, which is still extant today.



Figure 9: Facsimile of the first print of the Jerusalem Talmud (Berakhot 1:1), with raised periods to separate word groups from the scanned books at the website of the National Library of Israel, (formerly the Jewish National and University Library.)

The printed version of the Yerushalmi has elevated periods that delineate groups of words. These markings are already found in the source manuscript in the exact same places.



Figure 10: Facsimile of Leiden manuscript of the Jerusalem Talmud (1289 CE), Brakhot 1:1 from the Rabbinic Manuscripts on line at the National Library of Israel web site, (formerly the Jewish National and University Library).

Prof. Yaakov Sussmann[7] speaks of two possibilities concerning the origin of the Talmud Yerushalmi’s punctuation. The punctuation may be relatively recent - the scribe punctuated the text or the punctuation existed in the manuscript that the scribe copied from.  Alternatively, the punctuation might be a reduction or simplification of cantillation marks that were common in much older rabbinic manuscripts. Either way, the printers didn’t invent the punctuation.

Our editions of the Gemara (the Babylonian Talmud) have colons (“two dots”) in strategic places.[8] These colons already exist in one of the first Talmud editions - the Bomberg Talmud (Venice 1523).



Figure 11: Facsimile of a page of Bomberg Talmud (Betza 21a) showing colons. (The horizontal lines near the colons are either blemishes, or markings by hand.) Note the horizontal white space after the colons.

Most volumes of the Bomberg edition were not printed from manuscript, but were copied from the Talmud printed by Joshua Moses Soncino in 1484[9]. In the Soncino Talmud, we find separators in the exact places as the colons of the Bomberg edition. The Soncino Talmud had two types of punctuation: a top comma (or single quote mark) that marks off groups of words (like the Yerushalmi has) and a double top comma (double quote mark). When Bomberg printed his edition (40 years later), his printers replaced the double commas with colons (and dropped the single commas).



Figure 12: The bottom of a page in Soncino, coresponding to the same page (21a) in Betza. Note the two elevated commas, where we have a colon and the subsequent horizontal white space. (The Soncino Talmud does not have the same pagination as us). From the National Library of Israel web site.



Figure 13: Top of the next page in the Soncino edition, corresponding to our Betza 21a. Note again 2 commas where we have a colon.

It would be difficult to trace the origins of the colons much further. We don’t know which manuscripts were used by the printers of the Babylonian Talmud, and in any case the many Talmud burnings in the 1550’s in Italy destroyed most of the manuscripts that were there. Nevertheless, there is at least one old manuscript that has punctuation marks similar to what we find in the Soncino Talmud.



Figure 14: Snippet from Gottingen University Library Talmud manuscript showing the upper double comma separator for the same page - Betza 21a (From the Rabbinic Manuscripts on line at the National Library of Israel web site, (formerly the Jewish National and University Library).)

The Gottingen manuscript is a Spanish manuscript from the early thirteenth century[10] – almost three hundred years older than the Talmud printed in Soncino. It doesn’t have the upper single commas that Soncino edition has, but it does have the same double comma in the same places that the Soncino print has.  Just to repeat: the pauses represented by colons, that we see in our Talmud are at least 800 years old!
It’s at least possible (likely?) that RYK’s own SA manuscript was punctuated just as the Talmudic manuscripts that he studied from were.
Summary
I introduced RSZ’s abbreviated (Kitzur) SA, and discussed it in the context of other similar works. I mentioned that the authors aimed at producing collections of relevant laws that could be memorized. I noted that the first edition of the SA was punctuated differently from following versions. I suggested (based on comparisons with early printed Talmuds) that the punctuation was probably the work of RYK and not the work of the printers.



[1] Mondshine, Y. (Ed.). (1984).  Migdal Oz (Hebrew), Kfar Habad:  Machon Lubavitch , pp.  419-421. Dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Azriel Zelig Slonim ob”m. Essays on Torah and Hassidut by our holy Rabbis, the leaders of Habad and their students, collected from manuscripts and authentic sources and assembled with the help of the Almighty.
[2] Maimon, Rabbi Yehuda Leib, The history of the Kitzur Shulhan Arukh (Hebrew), published in Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried, Kitzur Shulhan Arukh, Mossad Harav Kook Jerusalem Israel 1949. The earlier works mentioned are: Shulan Tahor by R. Joseph Pardo,edited/financed by his son David Pardo, Amsterdam 1686. Shulan Arukh of R. Eliezer Hakatan  by Eliezer Laizer Revitz printed by his son-in-law R. Menahem Azaria Katz, Furth  1697. Shulhan Shlomo by Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Mirkes printed in Frankfort (Oder) 1771. Pardes Rimonim by R. Yehuda Yidel Berlin, composed in 1784 and printed for the first time in Lemberg (Leviv) 1879. 
[3] RSZ’s digest from the beginning until the end of chapter 156 contains 18,000 words while the same portion of the big Shulhan Arukh contains approximately 40,000 words. A word is loosely defined as a group of characters separated by a space or by spaces.
[4] In the introduction to the Mishne Torah, Maimonides writes: “I divided this composition into legal areas by subject, and divided the legal areas into chapters, and divided each chapter into smaller legal paragraphs so that all of it can be memorized.”  See: Studies in the Mishne Torah, Book of Knowledge Mossad Harav Kook, Jerusalem (Heb.) by Rabbi José Faur for a discussion and explanation of the study methods of Middle Eastern Jews (page 46 and following pages, especially footnote 60).
[5] The National Library of Israel, (formerly the Jewish National and University Library) has the edition of the Shulhan Arukh printed in Krakow in 1580. This is the second version with the notes of the Rema (which was first printed in 1570) and it doesn’t have the original punctuation marks.
[6]  “From Safed to Venice: The Shulhan ‘Arukh and the Censor” (in: Chanita Goldblatt, Howard Kreisel (eds.), Tradition, Heterodoxy and Religious Culture, Ben Gurion University of the Negev  (2007) 91-115).  A.M. Haberman, The First Editions of the Shulhan Arukh (Heb.) on the daat.ac.il web site, (from the journal Mahanaim # 97 1965 p 31-34.) suggests that the editor/corrector of the first edition, Menahem Porto Hacohen Ashenazi created its table of contents. See also the discussion about who created the chapter headings, (a pre-requisite for the table of contents), in Gates in Halakha (Heb.), Rabbi Moshe Shlita, Jerusalem 1983, page 100. He argues that the chapter headings of the Shulhan Arukh could not be the work of Rav Yosef Karo. 
[7] Talmud Yerushalmi According to Ms Or 4720 of the Leiden University Library, Academy of the Hebrew Language Jerusalem 2001 Introduction by Yaakov Sussmann.
[8] Cf. Rashi in the beginning of Leviticus “What is the purpose of the horizontal white-space (in the text of the Torah)? It gives Moshe some space to contemplate between a section and the next section, between a topic and the next topic.  (Rashi Lev. 1:1 s.v. vayikra el Moshe (2nd) from the Sifra.
[9] Raphael Nathan Nata Rabbinovicz. Essay on the printing of the Talmud  (Hebrew).
[10]  M. Krupp in The Literature of the Sages, Oral Torah, Halakha, Mishna, Tosefta, Talmud, External Tractates (Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum Ad Novum Testamentum)
 Fortress Pr; 1987 Part 1 Shmuel Safarai ed,  p 352. 

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