Thursday, December 8, 2016

From his Sleep

One of the textbook examples often given of the smallest mistake which makes a world of difference is וַיִּיקַץ יַעֲקֹב מִשְּׁנָתוֹ, found in the first עליה of this week's פרשה. If the שוא נע is not pronounced under the ש, it changes the meaning of the word from "from his sleep" to "his learning," from the root of the word משנה, suggesting perhaps that יעקב אבינו, instead of awaking from his sleep, ceased to learn!

However, R' Binyamin Marwick points out that this mistake may not be as grave as it seems. First, we must accept that in judging whether a mistake changes the meaning of a word, we may only consider other words from לשון הקדש. We wouldn't worry that someone mispronounced a word and made it sound like a different English or French word. That said, we might also suggest that the realm of different words is limited to the Biblical lexicon. One might even suggest that it may be constrained to include only word forms found in תורה as נביאים and כתובים include a vastly expanded vocabulary. The evolved language, although it may still be considered לשון הקדש, would not figure into the equation. R' Marwick suggest that the word משנה referring to תורה study is of Talmudic origin and not a biblical word and therefore, this mistake need not be corrected.

4 comments:

elie said...

גם אני אמרתי שחילוף שהוא בגלל לשון המשנה, ולא קיים בלשון המקרא, אינו מעכב בדיעבד.
אבל אין ספק שצריך לדייק.

Anonymous said...

Look in Medrash Pleyah on this posuk he explains it as Mishna - N M Edinger

YY said...

גם בלשון התורה יש שם תואר "משנה" כגון "וכסף משנה" בפרשת מקץ, וכן "את משנה התורה הזאת" ועוד. ולפי"ז לדעתי מאוד יתכן שינוי משמעות בחוסר הדגשת השו"א נע, מפני שאז משמעות הכתוב בא לומר כאילו יעקב "הקיץ" את המשנה שלו! (הגם שהביטוי הנכון היה צריך אז להיות "משנהו", מ"מ יש משמעות זה גם ב"משנתו")

Avi said...

How does one know if a word is לשון הקדש or not if it is not found in Torah/Tanach? There are likely words that were spoken but were never used in Torah/Tanach.