Thursday, March 23, 2017

תרשיש ושהם

(כ"ח:כ)
והטור הרביעי תרשיש ושהם וישפה

In the listing of the stones on the חושן there is a difference between the last row and the other three. The last row is "תרשיש ושהם וישפה" There is a וי"ו before the second stone as well as the third. In the other three rows, the וי"ו appears only before the last stone. משך חכמה points out that the reason for this is as we find in קריאת שמע, that certain groups of words have the first word beginning with the same letter as the next word like "על לבבכם" and therefore must be very carefully differentiated. So, too, here תרשיש and שהם have the same problem. Therefore, in order to differentiate between the two, told Moshe "תרשיש ושהם" so he would not get mixed up.


The difficulty is, however, that in (פקודי (ל"ט:י"ג the list does not contain a וי"ו before שהם. Although משך חכמה does make mention of this fact he does not clearly indicate why that is. ר' ברוך אפשטין, in ברוך שאמר, gives an answer. In ה', תצוה is talking to משה. Therefore, it was important there to differentiate between the two so that there is no confusion. In פקודי, however, the Torah is merely giving a recount of events so it was not imperative to place a וי"ו in the middle.

One of the members of the חבורה where I heard this brought up an interesting point. At the beginning of שמות we seem to find a similar phenomenon. When listing the sons of יעקב a וי"ו is only used for the last name in each פסוק. Except for א:ד, where there is a וי"ו before נפתלי. It would seem that this is to differentiate between the נו"ן at the end of דן and the נו"ן at the beginning of נפתלי. However, here it seems only to be giving a recount and there is no one speaking to anyone. I do not know an answer to that problem.
Any suggestions?

7 comments:

Ari Kinsberg said...

you probably won't like this answer, but sometimes a letter is just a letter and there is no special grammatical reason for it to be there. i can't remember where, but somewhere rashi writes on a word that there is an extra letter (?) simply for noy (or something like that).

Shtikler said...

I have a feeling our case is different because there is, in fact a compelling reason why there should be a וי"ו there - only that it seems to contradict ברוך שאמר's יסוד.

Doniel said...

It seems to me the Torah is distinguishing between brothers from the same mother. Passuk bais lumps Reuven, Levi, Shimon, and Yehuda together, while passuk daled puts in a vav to set apart Dan and Naftali from Gad and Asher (each time the vav means the last of the list). Passuk gimel couldn't say Yissachar uZevulun uVinyamin because that would sound like it's all one list, so there the vav sets apart Yissachar and Zevulun from Binyomin.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shtikler,
I heard what you sy regarding the extra VAV in תרשיש ושהם וישפה on the name of the Ibn Ezra. Kindly give the exact reference in Meshech Chochma.
Moreover, there is no kushia regarding the second place where there is no VAV: the thora don't have to say things twice. You shoud understand the principle of separating words ith one extra VAV.
David Ch.

MG said...

How about זָהָב וָכֶסֶף וּנְחֹשֶׁת, why is there a וי"ו there? Or חֹשֶׁן וְאֵפוֹד וּמְעִיל?
There's no consistency about how lists of objects or people have or don't have a וי"ו. The Meshech Chochmah is just saying that within that list of twelve stones, that group is unusual since there's a וי"ו, so he suggests (using the Baruch She'amar) that since Hashem was talking to Moshe, he needed to be clear. Perhaps there was a stone with a similar name that Moshe would have been confused with.
So there's no question from the beginning of Shemos; the use of the וי"ו there is not related to the semichus of the letters. As Doniel suggested, it seems to be quite logical based on the sets of brothers from the mothers.

leo said...

See Ibn Ezra beginning of Sefer Shmos regarding different styles of the Vav appearance.

Unknown said...

The "one of the members of the chaburah" you mention is me! It's in הדורש ומבקש.

DF