Thursday, July 13, 2023

Whose tribe is it anyway?

וְלֹא תִסֹּב נַחֲלָה מִמַּטֶּה לְמַטֶּה אַחֵר

A slightly embarassing story: A number of years ago, I was all ready for this פסוק and when the בעל קריאה pronounced it לְמַטֵּה אַחֵר I pounced on him and corrected him. One of the גבאים then corrected me and showed me that his חומש clearly said לְמַטֵּה.

First, let me clarify my position. When I was going over the פרשה the night before, I noticed that the תרגום of למטה אחר was "לשבטא אחרנא". This would mean that the term is translated as "another tribe." Pronouncing it לְמַטֵּה would give it סמיכות and it would then be understood as "the tribe of another. If that were the proper form, the תרגום would have been "לשבטא דאחרנא." The former also seemed to be the more intuitive understanding of the words. I was therefore quite confident that this was the right pronunciation and לְמַטֵּה would distort the meaning of the word.

It turns out I wasn't completely wrong. As the ספר אם למקרא (which I was finally able to score for myself but I see it is also available on Hebrew Books) points out, there is a מחלוקת as to how this word is to be pronounced. Indeed, R' Breuer, on whom my חומש was based, says it should be לְמַטֶּה . But there are others who disagree. The בעל קריאה actually called me in the middle of the week to acknowledge this and stated that had he known, he would have made sure to pronounce it לְמַטֶּה in accordance with R' Breuer.

Nevertheless, when פ' מסעי comes around every year, I make sure to keep my mouth shut on this פסוק.


Anonymous said...

Which Sefer Eim Lamikra are you referring to. By whom?

Shtikler said...

Rav Nisan Sharoni from אשדוד.
The sefer is hard to come by in the US - if not impossible.

Anonymous said...

Pomerantz in Jerusalem intermittently has it in stock, but it took me months to get my copy last year.

Anonymous said...

יש לי הספר אם למקרא אני יכול לשאול
את המחבר אם נשארו לו עוד ספרים
ואם כן אני יכול לבקש ממנו שישלח לי לירושלים
ואמצא בע"ה את הדרך להעביר לארצות הברית
יש הרבה בחורים שגרים בפלטבוש או במקומות אחרים
אפשר לשלוח לי EMAIL
אינני יודע מחיר אבל בערך 40 או 50 ש"ח כלומר $12 או $15

Anonymous said...

the mesorah states with a tzaireh because it is nismach to achair

estee said...

when the word mateh is attached to a word in front of it or it comes with a kinuy i.e. matei zevulun l'matei avoisam it changes to maetei whether its a meshares or a mafsik. I believe the same klal goes for mikveh miknehetc.

Shtikler said...

But that's exactly the question here. IS IT "attached" to the word אחר? Your examples are all clearly סמיכות. The question we are trying to answer is whether or not this is סמיכות.