Friday, November 25, 2016

Different forms of יירש

Previously, I have discussed the intricate difference between the ברכה given to אברהם after the עקידה and that given to רבקה before she departed to marry יצחק. However, I recently noticed that in וירא, the word is written וירש whereas in חיי שרה it is ויירש with two יו"דs. תרגום אונקלוס is identical. Any explanation for why they would be written differently?


Chuck said...

Cute idea, although I don't love it myself:
The beracha, basically, is that Avraham/Rivka's offspring will defeat their enemies. Offspring means all your descendants. The first type of descendant that wouldn't be included in a simple "banecha" are grandchildren.
Now, the gematria of yud is 10. Rivka had an extra yud. This hints to the fact that Rivka will have 10 more famous grandsons than Avraham will.
Like I said, I don't like this idea very much. Just came off the top of my head. Problems: Why would the Torah hint that to us here? What about the b'nei Keturah's children and Yishmael's children for Avraham, and b'nei Eisav for Rivka?

Chuck said...

What's the deal with the term "Ayin Harah"? Shouldn't it be "Ayin Hara'ah"?

Anonymous said...

Maybe we take off the extra "ה" in "הרעה" to indicate that we want 5 less Ayin Hara's

Michael Koplow said...

Chuck: Is it "ayin," or "eyn," which would make it a semichut? In that case, "hara" would be correct.

Similar question (and this is what got me to thinking about it). In all the Y"K machzorim I've looked at except one, the Al Chet has "belashon hara." The one exception has "bilshon hara." I can't really dismiss the exception as wrong. We can't use Yiddish or the American frum idiom that's based on it as a guide. "Simchas" is the correct plural of "simchah" in Yiddish, but in Hebrew it would be "semachot" or "smochos." "Sholem bayis" is correct as Yiddish, but in Hebrew it would have to be a semichut with a sheva na under the shin. And so on.

Did I digress? Sorry.

Dick Duke said...

Please explain why "eyn" would make "hara" correct? Ayin is still feminine.
The phrase is clearly not in Semichut form anyway? What would "Eyn Harah" mean? Eye of an evil person? It clearly means "Evil eye". Confused.

Michael Koplow said...

Dick Duke (I love your nom de virtuality, by the way): I disagree--it is not clear that it's not in semichut form. Yes, "ra" is an adj that can take feminine and plural endings, but it's also a masculine noun meaning evil. It doesn't mean an evil person. You could translate "eyn hara" as "eye of evil," but that would be very clumsy. Semichut forms can also be translated as adjs. (e.g., av harachamim = merciful father), so "eyn hara" can be translated as "evil eye."

Dick Duke said...

Have to disagree. Av (patach under the aleph) HaRachamim does not mean "Merciful Father". It means "Father of Mercy", since it is in Semichut form. Mercy is not an adjective, it is a subject.
Av (kamatz under the aleph) HaRachamon means "Father that is merciful", or "Merciful father". Here, Mercy is an adjective.

Likewise, Eyn Ra means "Eye of Evil", which as you point out is clumsy, and that's exactly my point. The phrase is meant to convey the concept of "Evil Eye"; thus the feminine modifier "Hara'ah" must be used.

Michael Koplow said...

Reb Dick, we agree on the vocalizations of "av" and on which of the two phrases containing "av" is a semichut and which one isn't. We agree that a semichut involves two nouns (although I'm perplexed by "yoshevei [or yoshvei?] vah" in shir shel yom for Sunday).

Where we differ seems to be on the meaning of a semichut. To me, it just means that the first noun has some relationship to the second noun, and it isn't necessarily obvious what the relationship is. The English "of" is like that too, but I don't think we can just translate all semichuyot with "of." Consider "yetzi'at Mitzrayim." To translate it as "departure of Egypt" would be misleading--it means "departure from Egypt [by the Israelites]."

One of the possible relationships that can be expressed with semichut is "characterized by." "Av harachamim," in my opinion, is such a semichut--"father characterized by mercy." Also in my opinion, "merciful father" is a much cleaner translation.

Going back to Chuck's original question, if "ayin hara" should be "eyn hara," it would mean "eye characterized by evil," or "evil eye." I don't claim to know that "eyn hara" is correct--I claim only that it would solve the gender problem.

Chuck said...

If it were Semichut, just note that it means "eye of the evil" not "eye of evil." This actually supports Dick Duke's argument that it does not mean "evil eye," because where do you put in the Hey HaYidea? However, this does not, IMHO, delegitimize Michael Koplow's argument. The probable solution is that it is one of those widespread mistakes.

Chuck said...

I asked someone who has more dikduk in her pinky than I do in my whole body. She said it's Semichut.

Anonymous said...

From the numerous times this phrase appears in Pirkei Avot, it would appear to NOT be semichut. See Avot 5:19 for example.

Chuck said...

In 5:19, it's actually Ayin Ra-ah, but in 2:11, in all the versions I've looked at it's Ayin Hara. The Kehati and Rav Ovadia MiBartenura say it's just like Ayin Ra-ah, though. I can't imagine that those comments are responses to a Dikduk question though. It could still just be a printers' mistake that no one cared to correct.

Saner Lainer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saner Lainer said...

Back to the original question, perhaps the extra Yud in Chayei Sarah is G-d's way of reminding the Ba'al Kriah that the word which follows ("Zareich") is different from its counterpart in Vayeira (where it is in the masculine form - "Zaracha").

I know I could use the reminder, because I've tripped on that one myself!

elie said...

יש בלשון המקרא כתיב חסר בניגוד לדקדוק
כיון שהי' של יירש
הוא מהשורש
הרי אם הוא לא נמצא זה כתיב חסר
אם הוא נמצא זה כתיב "נכון" לפי משפט הלשון
לעניין לשון הרע או עין הרע לא אומרים

וגם לא לְשון

Aleksandr Sigalov said...

Or perhaps a simplier exmplanation would be that this is just a matter of spelling due to different tradition among the exiled Jewish sects.

As an analogy in English language you can say "genii" or "geniuses" which would both be technically correct, even though one may be colloquially preferred over another.

It is also possible that this is simply a case of misspelling, either due to scribal error ( i don't know which text you are using) or due to masoretic tradition.

As analogy the word "spelling" is often misspelled "speling" (which is obviously incorrect).