[b-hebrew] וָאֶשְׂחַט

Zalman Romanoff flintflintflintflint at gmail.com
Sun Dec 9 00:27:59 EST 2012


Are you referring to the idiom לא ידע אתו or to Rashi's bizarre לחם =
wife? As to the latter, my JPS commentary says that the source of this
idea is Gen. Chapter 43:32, where it states that Egyptians did not eat
with strangers (actually with "Hebrews"), so it's a euphemism. I don't
see how you get from Gen. Chapter 43:32 to לחם = wife in this context.
I don't even think I know exactly what לא ידע אתו מאומה כי אם הלחם אשר
הוא אוכל means. A translation like the JPS' "he paid attention to
nothing save the food that he ate" cannot be more than a conjecture;
it seems obvious from the context, but since I can't construct new
sentences with the idiom לא ידע אתו with certainty (used in this way
here and in 39:8  הֵן אֲדֹנִי לֹא-יָדַע אִתִּי מַה-בַּבָּיִת)  I'd say
we lost the exact meaning of this idiom. It's a judgement call, but if
Rashi's לחם = wife is not based on the Talmud, and he just pulls it
out of the blue, the more bizarre it is the more likely he's right,
but that's just my gut feeling. So yes, it's enigmatic.

Or: it's very simple: Rashi picked it up from 39:8-9:  הֵן אֲדֹנִי
לֹא-יָדַע אִתִּי מַה-בַּבָּיִת; וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר-יֶשׁ-לוֹ, נָתַן בְּיָדִי.
  אֵינֶנּוּ גָדוֹל בַּבַּיִת הַזֶּה, מִמֶּנִּי, וְלֹא-חָשַׂךְ
מִמֶּנִּי מְאוּמָה, כִּי אִם-אוֹתָךְ בַּאֲשֶׁר אַתְּ-אִשְׁתּוֹ

Put 39:6  וְלֹא-יָדַע אִתּוֹ מְאוּמָה, כִּי אִם-הַלֶּחֶם אֲשֶׁר-הוּא אוֹכֵל
next to 39:8-9:  הֵן אֲדֹנִי לֹא-יָדַע אִתִּי מַה-בַּבָּיִת; וְכֹל
אֲשֶׁר-יֶשׁ-לוֹ, נָתַן בְּיָדִי.   אֵינֶנּוּ גָדוֹל בַּבַּיִת הַזֶּה,
מִמֶּנִּי, וְלֹא-חָשַׂךְ מִמֶּנִּי מְאוּמָה, כִּי אִם-אוֹתָךְ
בַּאֲשֶׁר אַתְּ-אִשְׁתּוֹ
and you get לחם = wife.

Noam Eitan,
Brooklyn, NY

On Sat, Dec 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
> While being at it, do you have a good resolution to the enigmatic verse 6 of
> Gen. Chapter 39:
>
> ויעזב כל אשר לו ביד יוסף ולא ידע אתו מאומה כי אם הלחם אשר הוא אוכל
>
> What is this WLO YADA ITO MUMAH KIY IM HALEXEM A$ER HU OKEL (Rashi: LEXEM =
> wife)?
>
> Isaac Fried, Boston University
>
>
> On Dec 8, 2012, at 9:09 PM, Zalman Romanoff wrote:
>
>> In this week's Torah Portion, בראשית פרק מ verse 11 appears the word:
>> וָאֶשְׂחַט
>>
>> I checked a concordance - this verb appears nowhere else in the
>> tanakh. What is the source of the modern usage of the verb with a
>> samekh instead of with a sin as in this verse? Is it mishnaic?
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> Noam Eitan,
>>
>> Brooklyn, NY
>> _______________________________________________
>> b-hebrew mailing list
>> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>
>


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