Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

For discussion of post-biblical Hebrew texts and/or comparison to biblical Hebrew structure and lexis.
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Jason Hare
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Re: Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

Post by Jason Hare »

Glenn Dean wrote: Sat May 06, 2023 9:54 pm מִשְּׁיָרֵי - I thought this was from שַׂר (leader), but with the Yod isn't that "to sing". So how is the translation "last of the great assembly"????
In biblical Hebrew, it is שְׁאָר rather than שְׁיָר. This is a vocab distinction. It means something like “the remnants (last ones) of the Great Assembly.”
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יוֹדֵ֣עַ צַ֭דִּיק נֶ֣פֶשׁ בְּהֶמְתּ֑וֹ וְֽרַחֲמֵ֥י רְ֝שָׁעִ֗ים אַכְזָרִֽי׃
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Glenn Dean
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Re: Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

Post by Glenn Dean »

did the aleph drop?
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Jason Hare
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Re: Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

Post by Jason Hare »

Glenn Dean wrote: Sun May 07, 2023 12:31 pm did the aleph drop?
Alef out, yod in.
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יוֹדֵ֣עַ צַ֭דִּיק נֶ֣פֶשׁ בְּהֶמְתּ֑וֹ וְֽרַחֲמֵ֥י רְ֝שָׁעִ֗ים אַכְזָרִֽי׃
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Glenn Dean
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Re: Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

Post by Glenn Dean »

I was wondering "who is 'Simon the Righteous'?". I read this short article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simeon_the_Just
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Ben Putnam
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Re: Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

Post by Ben Putnam »

One difference in grammar is הוא היה אומר for “he used to say.”
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Jason Hare
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Re: Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

Post by Jason Hare »

Ben Putnam wrote: Wed Jun 07, 2023 10:30 pm One difference in grammar is הוא היה אומר for “he used to say.”
Indeed. It’s not just the word אומר, but any participle with היה (in its various forms) comes to have a continuous or habitual aspect. For example, הוא היה מתפלל כל יום בבית המקדש “He used to pray every day in the temple.”
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יוֹדֵ֣עַ צַ֭דִּיק נֶ֣פֶשׁ בְּהֶמְתּ֑וֹ וְֽרַחֲמֵ֥י רְ֝שָׁעִ֗ים אַכְזָרִֽי׃
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talmid56
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Re: Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

Post by talmid56 »

Jason, thanks for starting this thread and helping keep it going. I've read Pikei Avot in English (some years back), but not the Hebrew yet. I hope to get to it one of these days.

I've followed the comments with great interest, just haven't had time to join in.
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כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים
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Jason Hare
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Re: Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

Post by Jason Hare »

אַנְטִיגְנוֹס אִישׁ סוֹכוֹ קִבֵּל מִשִּׁמְעוֹן הַצַּדִּיק
הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר:
  אַל תִּהְיוּ כַּעֲבָדִים הַמְשַׁמְּשִׁין אֶת הָרַב עַל מְנָת לְקַבֵּל פְּרָס
  אֶלָּא הֱווּ כַּעֲבָדִים הַמְשַׁמְּשִׁין אֶת הָרַב עַל מְנָת שֶׁלֹּא לְקַבֵּל פְּרָס
  וִיהִי מוֹרָא שָׁמַ֫יִם עֲלֵיכֶם
The same text unpointed and unbroken is:
אנטיגנוס איש סוכו קיבל משמעון הצדיק הוא היה אומר אל תהיו כעבדים המשמשין את הרב על מנת לקבל פרס אלא הוו כעבדים המשמשין את הרב על מנת שלא לקבל פרס ויהי מורא שמיים עליכם
Again, you may choose to read through the verse on sefaria.org, which has an English translation.

סוֹכוֹ (also סוֹכֹה) is the name of a couple of ancient Israelite cities. See the Wikipedia entry on Sokho for more information.

Notice that the object of the verb קִבֵּל is missing but should be understood as תּוֹרָה.

The participle מְשַׁמְּשִׁין (piel of the root שׁמ״שׁ) means “serving.” This root is expressed in the hitpael (הִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ) to mean “use,” and it governs its object with the preposition בְּ־. When I make use of a pen, the pen is serving my needs. I am being served by a pen (אֲנִי מִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּעֵט).

The word רַב means “great,” and it came to refer to a great teacher, a rabbi. In Aramaic, רַב means “master” (cognate of Arabic رَبٌّ rabbun, as in the expression رَبُّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ rábbu-lʿālamī́n “master of the worlds”). This is the meaning of the word here. Slaves serve their masters. It shouldn’t, I think, be read to mean that rabbis have slaves.

The phrase עַל־מְנָת is used with an infinitive to mean “in order to.” פְּרָס is a prize or reward. אֶלָּא is a strong disjunctive, meaning “but rather,” similar to Greek ἀλλά (as opposed to δέ). מוֹרָא “fear” comes from יָרֵא “afraid,” which is common enough in the Hebrew Bible.

Any comments or questions?
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Glenn Dean
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Re: Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

Post by Glenn Dean »

On the word הַמְשַׁמְּשִׁין, why does it end in a nun? I would of expected מִשְׁתַּמְּשִׁים (i.e. ending in a mem)

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Re: Pirkei Avot - For Reading and Discussion

Post by Glenn Dean »

עַל־מְנָת that's not the verb "to count", but the noun מָנָה in construct?
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