Friday, November 02, 2007

One last note on Vayerah

There's a famous Rashi on 18:22 which reads as follows:

והלא לא הלך לעמוד לפניו אלא הקב"ה בא אאצלו ואמר לו זעקת סדום ועמורה כי רבה והיה לן לכתוב וה עודנו עומד לפני אברהם אלא תיקון סופרים הוא זה אשר הפכוהו ז"ל לכתוב כן
But is it not so that he [Avraham] did not go to stand before Him [God]? Rather, it was God who came to him and said to him, "The wailing concerning Sedom and Amorah is so great," and it should have been written: "G-d was still standing near Avraham," but, it is an emendation of the Scribes.

Mizrachi tells us that this does not mean that the scribes actually rewrote the verse, rather it was given, by God, using the sort of respectful language a scribe might use. Instead, of saying God remained in front of Avraham, its written the other way around for the sake of the honor of God.

All good, except for one thing: In some early editions of Rashi, the comment concludes with five additional words:

אשר הפכוהו ז"ל לכתוב כן
which those of blessed memory reversed writing it thus.

These words aren't in the standard mikraot gedolot, nor are they included in the Stone or Sapperstein Chumashim. However, surprise, surprise, they do appear in the Gutnick edition!

What gives?

I imagine the Stone editor excluded the troublesome words because they are not in mikraot gedolot and Stone doesn't even pretend to be scholarly. Saperstein has more to answer for [as Fred told us last year] but OK: They don't promise to include every variant reading in Rashi, and this one, arguably is kfirah, so perhaps you can make a case that it didn't come from Rashi's pen.

But Gutnick? What in the world is it doing there?

Someplace else where Gutnick beats ArtScroll


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