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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 00:16:29 -0400 (EDT) Subject: RE: Shabbath 55a: Talmud-Mesorah Disagreements Ben Katz in Volume 32 Number 61 states that >> However, the issue becomes more complex when we consider that there is ample evidence that the Talmud on occassion had a different text of the Bible than we do. (See gilyon ha-shas and Tosefot on Shabbat 55b; R. Akiva Eger quotes about 20 such examples [there are more] and Tosefot says words to the effect "hagemara cholek al haseforim shelanu".) This is especially problemmatic when the gemara uses a letter not in our sifray Torah to derive (at least in an asmachta sense) a halacha. Many medieval >> This is not a problem since ample commentary exists to show that it is a misinterpretation of the Talmud to think it EVER disagreed with our Mesorah. Let me give two simple examples 1) The Talmud at times **seems** to derive laws from the **number** of full and deficient spellings of words. These numbers usually differ from the actual text. However a brilliant analysis by Rabbi Hirsch shows that the analysis is not based on numbers. It is rather based on a grammatical rule that a collective noun spelled fully refers to the FULL object with all its parts while a defectively spelled noun refers EVEN to an object missing parts. (A simple example might be the word TABLE. TABLE refers to a table with 4 legs but TABL (Spelled without the "e") refers to any table even if it was missing a leg or two) (See Rav Hirsch on Emor by the word SCOTH for a reference) On my Rashi website I give about half a dozen examples where this rule is used (See http://www.RashiYomi.Com/fd-12.htm which summarizes Rashis in Dt06-09a, Dt09-10a, Ex31-05e, Lv23-40c, Gn01-21a, Gn09-12a, Gn01-28a). Thus there is no contradiction to the mesorah 2) An infamous Rashi on Ex25-22b (also on the Rashi website) seems to state "This verse has an extra "VAV" and this is normal". What I show in the cross referenced posting (http://www.RashiYomi.Com/h1n13.htm)is that Rashi uses the word "VAV" not to refer to the letter vav but rather VAV refers to the second clause of the sentence which is extra ((a)I will SPEAK to you by the Cerubim (b) Everything that I will SPEAK to you") The word VAV refers to clause (B) which is extra (I have evidence that Rashi uses VAV like this). This is a broad topic and I have only scratched the surface. The Shabbath 55a Gmarrah came up in the BaisTefillah group (now Avodah) several years ago. I offered to explain each of the 2 dozen examples brought by the Gilyon Hashas AND to give long lists of examples to back me up. The offer is still valid (provided there is serious interest in it) Russell Jay Hendel; phd-asa rhendel@towson.edu Moderator Rashi is Simple http://www.RashiYomi.Com/