Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Berachot 21b: The halacha is not like him or like them?

On Berachot 21b:
יבעיא להו מהו להפסיק ליהא שמו הגדול מבורך כי אתא רב דימי אמר ר' יהודה ור"ש תלמידי דרבי יוחנן אמרי לכל אין מפסיקין חוץ מן יהא שמו הגדול מבורך שאפילו עוסק במעשה מרכבה פוסק ולית הלכתא כותיה:
Or, in English:
The question was asked: What is the rule about interrupting [the Tefillah] to respond. May His great name be blessed?10  — When R. Dimi came from Palestine, he said that R. Judah and R. Simeon11  the disciples of R. Johanan say that one interrupts for nothing except 'May His great name be blessed', for even if he is engaged in studying the section of the work of [the Divine] Chariot,12  he must interrupt [to make this response]. But the law is not in accordance with their view.13
The actual statement from Rav Dimi is in Hebrew, and the setama degemara adds in, in Aramaic, ולית הלכתא כותיה, that the halacha is not like him.

Not that it really matters, but the halacha is not like who? Like the single person, Rav Dimi, or like the two people, Rabbi Yehuda ben Pazzi and Rabbi Shimon ben Abba?

Based on good manuscripts, it seems that it should be the plural, כותייהו, "like them".

Thus, we have the following. The first has כותיה:

Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale , II.1.7

But Munich has כותייהו:

As does this.

Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale , Heb. 671

Again, in this instance, it does not really make a difference lehalacha. It still is a good thing to check out in general.

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