Sunday, August 12, 2012

Berachot 8: Is there any Targum Onkelos on Atarot v'Divon?

Summary: Not according to Rashi and Tosafot. So why do we have it in our Mikraos Gedolos? (Originally posted on parshablog here.)

Post: Parshat Matos contains the famous pasuk with no change in the Targumatarot vedivon:

לב,ג עֲטָרוֹת וְדִיבֹן וְיַעְזֵר וְנִמְרָה, וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן וְאֶלְעָלֵה, וּשְׂבָם וּנְבוֹ, וּבְעֹן.עֲטָרוֹת וְדִיבוֹן וְיַעְזֵר וְנִמְרָה, וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן וְאֶלְעָלֵה, וּשְׂבָם וּנְבוֹ, וּבְעוֹן.

This from Mechon-mamre, from the Temanim. Yet, in our Mikraos Gedolos, we have:

Ohev Ger explains:

"Ataros veDivon, etc. -- this entire pasuk is simple verse and targum, just like Reuven, Shimon. (So in מא"ד קע"ד and סביוניטה.) Also, the author of sefer יא"ר says nothing about it. And in sefer מא"ד they add in the margin that כללתא and מלבישתא, etc. {as in our Mikraos Gedolos}. And there are many variants which I have found in these names between different nuschaot which I have seen, and I did not see fit to record them, since it is clear to me that they are not from Targum Onkelos, but rather an addition taken from Targum Yerushalmi, as is the testimony of Tosafot (Berachot daf 8), and Rashi za"l clearly says, "And even Atarot and Divon which have no Targum."

The reference is to the gemara in Berachot daf 8a going into 8b:

אמר רב הונא בר יהודה אמר רבי אמי לעולם ישלים אדם פרשיותיו עם הצבור שנים מקרא ואחד  תרגום  ואפילו (במדבר לב, ג) עטרות ודיבון שכל המשלים פרשיותיו עם הצבור מאריכין לו ימיו ושנותיו
Or, in English:
R. Huna b. Judah says in the name of R. Ammi: A man should always complete his Parashoth together with the congregation,34  [reading] twice the Hebrew text and once the [Aramaic] Targum, and even [such verses as] Ataroth and Dibon,1  for if one completes his Parashoth together with the congregation, his days and years are prolonged.
Rashi there says:
ואפי' עטרות ודיבון. שאין בו תרגום:
And Tosafot there agrees, though notes that there is a Targum there in Targum Yerushalmi:
ואפילו עטרות ודיבון וכו'. פי' רש"י אפי' עטרות ודיבון שאין בו תרגום שצריך לקרותו שלשה פעמים בעברי. וקשה אמאי נקט עטרות ודיבון שיש לו מ"מ תרגום ירושלמי. היה לו לומר ראובן ושמעון או פסוקא אחרינא שאין בו תרגום כלל. ויש לומר משום הכי נקט עטרות ודיבון אע"ג שאין בו תרגום ידוע אלא תרגום ירושלמי וצריך לקרות ג' פעמים העברי מ"מ יותר טוב לקרות פעם שלישית בתרגום:
Based on that, he asks a question why not give the pasuk of Reuven and Shimon which has no Targum at all in any Targumic text. And therefore they shift and reinterprets, that the Targum one should say on Ataros veDivon is the Yerushalmi, since that way one gives a Targum, even if it is not the standard one of Onkelos.

I think that Rashi is actually closer to peshat in this gemara. It reads better into the text, and the idea is that even though there is no Targum so this adds nothing semantically, we treat it as ritual and nusach of the formula we are obligated to say.

And as to Tosafot's question, I am sure Rashi could come up with what to answer. For instance, who says that Targum Yerushalmi, and this particular translation in the Targum Yerushlami, was actually in existence in that time and that place. Thus, in terms of dating this Targum:
Opinions concerning the connection between the Targums Jerushalmi I and Jerushalmi II agree in general that both are to be traced back to different recensions of an old Jerusalem Targum. This is the view of Zunz (p. 73, and passim), and also that of Geiger, "Urschrift und Udersetzungen der Bibel" (Berlin, 1857), 454. Bassfreund (infra) reaches the conclusion that the basis both of the Fragmentary Targum and that of the Pseudo-Jonathan is a complete Jerusalem Targum of post-Talmudic origin, but that the two Targums, Jerushalmi I and II, presuppose the existence of the Targum of Onkelos. The Fragmentary Targum gives from this ancient Jerusalem Targum gives from this ancient Jerusalem Targum, according to Bassfreund, only matter supplementary to Onkelos, while Onkelos and the Jerusalem Targum have been used in preparing the Pseudo-Jonathan. In the preface to his edition of the Pseudo-Jonathan (see below) Ginsburger tries to prove that both the Fragmentary Targum and the Pseudo-Jonathan may be traced back to a very ancient Palestinian Targum, which was not influenced by the Targum of Onkelos until a later date. TheFragmentary Targum, in Ginsburger's opinion, represents a variant collection, not to Onkelos (as Bassfreund thinks), but to another recensions of that ancient Jerusalem Targum. Ginsburger's views will have to be accepted as the more probable.
If so, Tosafot's question might not even be a question. But if we assume that such a targumic variant did exist, that still does not mean that Rashi cannot be right.

Here is one way I might answer Tosafot's question on behalf of Rashi. The point of Targum is to lend new insight to textual difficulties. The Targum to 'Reuven Shimon' admittedly adds nothing, but we still know exactly who Reuven and Shimon are. But Atarot and Divon are unknown. Indeed, that is why Targum Yerushalmi saw fit to update the list with the modern equivalents. And Onkelos does this on occasion as well, I think, for other pesukim. Ataros veDivon is a nice example because we might have wanted a Targumic explanation, but we just say the same words, with no explanation. Even so, it counts as 'Targum' and we fulfill an obligation of Shnayim Mikra.

One other point. Given that the gemara is rather clear, and that Rashi and Tosafot are rather clear, that there is no Targum Onkelos on this pasuk, how and why did this borrowing come about?

I would lay the blame / credit squarely in Tosafot's lap. People used Chumashim to fulfill their obligation of learning Shnayim Mikra veEchad Targum. But if the Targum as found in Onkelos will not enable one to fulfill his obligation, according to Tosafot, then what good is it? So transfer the targum from Targum Yerushalmi into the standard Targum, and people can use the Chumash to fulfill their obligation.


  1. Meir says
    I am not sure if youre putting anything on 11a since you have already put something today and I dont want to put before you. If you are my apologies.
    Psukim gemoros are hard and usually too difficult for me. I only write 'possibilities' without comment.
    The gemoro is about 'tirda'. Your mind is on other things and cant have on two at once.
    1 While one is actually doing the mitsva.
    2 Walking (doing something physical)on the way to the mitsva.
    3 Just thinking about it.

    a) a mitsva that needs a lot of thought like a virgin.
    b) a mitsva that needs little thought therefore can think of two together like a widow.

    The rashi in succah printed on the side of artscroll is much better than the rashi here on this

    So one has to know the din of a1 a2 a3, b1 b2 b3. Find out which one the gemoro mentions.

    The ship and mourner. Their 'distraction' although real is not considered a mitsva or necessary. The 'virgin' and 'widow' is considered necessary.

  2. The mishna says they 'told R Tarfon'.
    The gemoro brings three opinions. They cannot argue with the mishna of 'omru lo' so what was the 'exact' story there.
    Here are possibilities. First looks in the gemoro can be decieving.
    1 In possible danger can one do like BS
    2 In possible danger must one do like BH if necessary.
    3 In possible danger doing like BS deserves death.

    Not in possible danger.
    1 One can do like BS lchatchila.
    2 One can do like BS bidyeved and one is 'yotsai'
    3 One cannot do like BS even bidyeved and one has to repeat the shma.
    4 Even not in possible danger doing like BS deserves death.

  3. To finish the blatt. Four possibilities.
    1 One has to say both 12 in order or nothing.
    2 One has to say both but need not be in order like 21, or nothing.
    3 If one says both it has to be in order but 'one' can also be said.
    4 If one says both it need not be in order and one can also be said.
    or 12=1: 12,21=2: 1,2,12=3: 1,2,12,21=4:

    What does the gemoro prove
    if they just said the first yotser ohr and never said the second.
    If they said the second and perhaps later said the first.

    Tomorrow's gemoro about the wine and water(or beer) is the type of gemorro I really like. Making 16 possibilities.

  4. וכומרין == Qumran ?