Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Evolution of Camelus ArtScrollus BlackHoofus

Did you know that there's a special edition of the ArtScroll Stone Chumash which features color illustrations at the back? I recently came across it and I was surprised to discover that it depicted a species of camel hitherto unknown to science. I think it should be named Camelus ArtScrollus BlackHoofus, the ArtScroll black-hoofed camel. It wasn't too hard to figure out how it evolved.

The picture is to illustrate the Torah's description of animals that meet the criterion of possessing split hooves, and those that don't. Instead of photos, ArtScroll uses high-quality artwork. And the illustration of the camel's foot is this:


But what on earth is that? The picture shows a big black hoof with two gray nails on the tip. But that's not what a camel has. Here are photos of a camel's foot:


As you can see, the camel doesn't actually have a hoof at all. Instead, there is a just a big furry foot, with two nails at the end.

So how did ArtScroll come up with the idea that the camel has a big black hoof, split at the tip? The answer is that it comes from a common mistranslation of the Torah.

The Torah’s first requirement for an animal to be kosher is that it is mafris parsah, which is often understood to mean that the animal must possess a split hoof. However, as I explained in great detail in The Camel, The Hare And The Hyrax, there are actually two different classical explanations of this phrase, and neither of them translates it this way.

According to Rashbam, the word "mafris" is based on the same root as "parsah," which refers to a nail-like covering. Accordingly, the phrase mafris parsah means that the animal "hooves a hoof," or to put it in better English, "forms a hoof." The requirement of it being split is expressed in another phrase, shosa'as shesa.

According to Rashi, on the other hand, the word mafris is not based on the same root as parsah. Instead, mafris means "split" (and shosa'as shesa means fully split). Parsah is defined by Rashi (to Vayikra 11:3) as having the meaning of the Old French word plante. This refers to the sole of a foot - not necessarily to a foot that is hooved (i.e. encased by a hard covering). Accordingly, the phrase mafris parsah means that the animal "has a split foot."

Thus, according to neither view does mafris parsah mean "split hoof". It either means "has a hoof" or "has a split foot."

Now let us turn to the Torah's account of the camel:
אַךְ אֶת זֶה לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִמַּעֲלֵי הַגֵּרָה וּמִמַּפְרִסֵי הַפַּרְסָה אֶת הַגָּמָל כִּי מַעֲלֵה גֵרָה הוּא וּפַרְסָה אֵינֶנּוּ מַפְרִיס טָמֵא הוּא לָכֶם
This verse is often translated as meaning that the camel's "hoof is not split" - i.e. that it has a hoof, but the hoof is not adequately split. But that's not what it means at all, according to any view. According to Rashbam, it means that the camel does not have a hoof - instead, it has a big furry foot with nails. (To put it another way: according to Rashbam, the camel is disqualified because it does not have a proper hoof at all, let alone one that is split.) According to Rashi, on the other hand, it means that the camel's foot (not hoof) is not adequately split, as Rashi explains there:
 מפרסת פרסה ושסע איננה שוסעת - כגון גמל שפרסתו סדוקה למעלה אבל למטה היא מחוברת:
“Which divides the foot but is not split” —such as the camel, whose foot is split at the tip but is joined at the back. (Rashi to Leviticus 11:26)
According to Rashi, the camel is disqualified is because its foot is not adequately split. There is no reference to the camel either having or lacking a hoof. (Rashi's explanation of the camel having a foot which is only partially split is consistent with camel anatomy, but one does wonder whether Rashi, living in France, ever actually saw a camel in the flesh.)

Thus, ArtScroll's reference to a camel having "a hoof that is split at the tip" is not based on any Rishon - and thus its corresponding illustration is not rooted in any zoological reality.

The problem is that most people are not aware that there are two different explanations of the Torah here, and they blur both explanations together in their minds. So most people read the requirement of mafris parsah as meaning that the animal must have a split hoof. And then when the camel is described as "ufarsah einenu mafris," they understand this to mean that it has a hoof that is not split. Thus emerges the creation of the camel illustrated in ArtScroll, which has a big black hoof. But there ain't no such thing!

64 comments:

  1. That is bizarre - don't they realize that there are no camels like that?

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  2. Regarding the Kosher animals it says כל מפרסת פרסה ושוסעת שסע פרסת מעלת גרה בבהמה אתה תאכלו
    Apparently, whatever פרסה means by the Kosher animals, logic dictates the same meaning of פרסה for non Kosher animals.
    The toes of a camel can certainly quality as hooves considering they are of the same material as hooves. Additionally, those toes are not just at the tip, but run underneath the whole foot of the camel but are enclosed by some skin and hair. (Similar perhaps to the horns of giraffes which are covered by skin)
    To translate פרסה as feet is incorrect Rashi clearly didn't define פרסה as such. Rather he used the French word "Plante" which means hoove.

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    1. "Additionally, those toes are not just at the tip, but run underneath the whole foot of the camel but are enclosed by some skin and hair."

      That's not true.

      Delete
    2. MO, Plante definitely means foot and not hoof. See Mizrachi on Vayikra 11:3-7. Even in our times plantigrade means sole, i.e. the bottom of the foot.

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    3. @MO

      Interesting point about the toes running "underneath the whole foot of the camel but are enclosed by some skin and hair". I'm no expert but I haven't found anything to corroborate that. Would love to learn more. Where did you get that from? And please tell me what is your source that the old french word "plante" has a stronger indication of a "hoof" more so than a "foot"?

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    4. some definitions of planta/r:

      planta noun
      plan·​ta | \ ˈplantə\
      plural plantae\ -​n‧ˌtē \
      Definition of planta
      1
      : the back side of the shank of a bird's leg
      2
      a
      : the flattened end of the proleg of a caterpillar
      b
      : a sclerite on the insect pretarsus




      plan·tar (plăn′tər, -tär′)
      adj.
      Of, relating to, or occurring on the sole of the foot: plantar warts.

      [Latin plantāris, from planta, sole of the foot; see plat- in Indo-European roots.]
      American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




      Plantar fasciitis is a disorder of the connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot.[1] It results in pain in the heel and bottom of the foot that is usually most severe with the first steps of the day or following a period of rest.[1][3] Pain is also frequently brought on by bending the foot and toes up towards the shin.[2][3] The pain typically comes on gradually, and it affects both feet in about one third of cases.[1][2]
      The causes of plantar fasciitis are not entirely clear.[1] Risk factors include....

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    5. Why can't פרסה or plante be a general word including hooves and feet. You're aware that נעל includes both shoes and gloves, garments of the appendages?

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    6. Those things at the end are not the toes but the toenails. The toes are covered by the skin and hair, as the picture shows. And unlike a true hoof, the toenails of a camel do not bear the weight--the bones of the toes do.

      And one doesn't have to know the dispute among Rishonim to realize the ArtScroll picture is wrong--one just has to have seen a camel once in one's life.

      Delete
  3. I always wondered why you attribute this Shita to Rashbam, when he was preceded by R Saadia Gaon who says the same thing.
    There are many difficulties in learning MP to mean split foot as does Rashi.
    1. You have the shoresh PRS (FRS) having 2 different meanings.
    2. If Mafris means split, why do I need 2 more splits (shosaas shesa) totalling 3 splits?
    3. If the Torah says that the Gamal is not MP, why then does Rashi on pasuk 26 claim the Gamal as yes MP (just not shosaas shesa).
    4. Sifri says that there are 3 simanim. MP, SS and Maalah Gerah. But according to Rashi, there can only be two.
    There are many other questions, but we can start with these.
    Yet if you learn like Targum Yerushalmi, Rabbeinu Yeshaya, RSG, Rashbam, Chizkuni, Ralbag, Ibn Ezra, Bechor Shor, Hakesav V'hakabal, RSRHirsch, all these questions fall away...

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    1. Llamas have what look like split feet.

      http://www.shagbarkridge.com/info/feet.html

      Delete
  4. Politically CorrectMarch 12, 2019 at 3:53 PM

    Better Black hoof than Black face

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  5. I believe you made a mistake.
    It's not ain't no... it is isn't.
    ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Also... I think the word 'thus' in the penultimate paragraph should be removed....

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    2. (The second 'thus')

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  6. I wonder if Artscroll can shoehorn this definition.

    The tip of a toe of an ungulate such as a horse, ox or deer, strengthened by a thick keratin covering.

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  7. As far as the Rashbam's interpretation, no other Rishon learns like the Rashbam, his is a singular interpretation of the Torah. As a matter of fact, most of the Rashbams on the Torah are not the mainstream interpretation of the Torah - his interpretations are not in sync with most Rishonim. It is for this reason, that most chumashim/mikros Gedolos don't print his perush. Now I understand Natan will have you believe that the Rashbam is the most accepted and mainstream interpretation of the Torah. However the printed chumashim tell an entirely different story .....

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    1. @MO

      The Rashbam wasn't the main point of the article. Why are you zeroing in on it?
      When you say that his interpretations are "not in sync" with "most rishonim", what do you mean by that? Do you mean "most" of his interpretations or "some" of them? Have you read all of his commentary and the commentary of the majority of the rishonim to say such a thing?
      Furthermore, when you mention "most rishonim" are you referring to the rishonim who focus on pshat, or are you including in your statement the rishonim who offer a drash approach?
      When you say "no other Rishon learns like the Rashbam, his is a singular interpretation of the Torah" are you implying that the other rishonim are all in sync with one another?
      Lastly, how many version of mikraos gedolos are there, and which ones of them make up the majority you speak of that don't print his perush?

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    2. Be more selective. Don't make claims which can immediately be seen as false.

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    3. MO, when ramban says rashi is wrong, who should I follow?

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    4. @Fozzie

      You? Follow a camel of course!

      haha.

      Delete
  8. @MO
    As far as the Rashbam's interpretation, no other Rishon learns like the Rashbam, his is a singular interpretation of the Torah.

    See:
    Targum Yerushalmi, Rabbeinu Yeshaya, RSG, Chizkuni, Ralbag, Ibn Ezra, Bechor Shor, Hakesav V'hakabal, RSRHirsch

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  9. אבן עזרא על ויקרא י״א:ג:א
    מפרסת. שם התואר וכן מקרין מפריס והטעם כל שהוא מתוארת שהיא בעלת פרסה:

    כל מפרסת פרסה. שיש להם פרסה והיא שסועה, אבל מי שאין להם פרסה כלל, כגון כלב וחתול וכיוצא בהם, שיש להם פושט וצפרנים וכן ארנבת ושפן ואפילו יש להם פרסה ואינה שסועה כגון חמור וסוס, אסורים:

    הכתב והקבלה, ויקרא י״א:ג:א
    מפרסת פרסה. הרשב"ם פי' מפרסת פרסה צפורן אחד כעין מנעל ולא צפרנים בכל אצבע כארנבת ושפן, ושוסעת שסע, מובדלת הפרסה לשנים ולא פרסה אחת שלמה כסוס וחמור.

    רלב"ג ביאור המלות על התורה, ויקרא י״א:ג:א
    כל מפרסת פרסה ושוסעת שסע פרסות. ר"ל במפרסת פרסה שלא יהיו לה אצבעות וצפורנים כמו הכלב והחתול והדומה להם

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  10. I really don't get your point. Is your only complaint that the color is wrong? Otherwise, I don't see the difference between their illustration and the picture. What am I missing?

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    Replies
    1. They draw it as a hard hoof. It's not. It's soft skin.

      Delete
  11. Don't camels have hooves or hard hoove-like things under the fur?

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  12. Incidentally, why do both you, RDNS, and Artscroll translate Rashi's "lema'alah" and "lematah" as "at the tip" and "at the back"?

    Surely they simply mean at the top and at the bottom, since the top of the camel's foot has a groove that goes quite far back, and if this groove extended through to the bottom of the foot, the entire foot would be adequately split to be kosher. Thus the camel's foot is simply split (far enough back) at the top, but not at the bottom.

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    1. But the groove doesn't go all the way to the back.

      Here's where it might be relevant to note that Rashi probably never saw a camel's foot.

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    2. @JoMorris,

      You are correct. Rashi is quite specific and lemaalah and lematah mean exactly that: above and below. Not front and back.
      See the old time Feldheim Rashi translation by A.M. Silberman who learns it precisely as you state.

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    3. I always wondered why Rashi used that expression! Thanks for clarifying that below and above is davka what Rashi is saying. The split above doesn't reach through the foot.

      Delete
  13. @RDNS

    I would like if you can comment on why you attribute this explanation to Rashbam, as opposed to others who said the same thing and preceded him. i.e. RSG.

    Thank you.

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    1. I based this post off my book, which I wrote 15 years ago. I don't remember why I focused on Rashbam.

      Delete
  14. The cushion of the camel's feet are indeed covering bone material inside:

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.basjvet.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/95-107.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiDs-OWnf3gAhWpiOAKHYOtCkYQFjAAegQIAxAB&usg=AOvVaw2npvpTo84QR5JMAFuGdNXd

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    1. You don't know what you are talking about. Of course a camel has bones in its foot, like every animal. But they occupy only a fraction of the area of the foot, and they are padded by an enormous pad underneath. They do not "run underneath the whole foot of the camel but are enclosed by some skin and hair" as you mistakenly claimed.

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    2. M_O

      Are you retracting your error above regarding Rashbam?

      Delete
  15. More reason to learn with the Steinsaltz talmud! :)

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    1. טוב אבל יצא שכרו בהפסדו

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  16. I don't understand why you translated Rashi "lma'aloh" to mean "the tip" or distal end of the foot. The top of the camel's foot from a has a clear cleft, and "the top" is a more natural translation.

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  17. @RDNS
    Rashi probably never saw a camel's foot.

    I would venture to say that Rashi did see a camel's foot, or he would not have described it so well (above and below). So it is one or the other, either he saw one or he had Ruach HaKodesh. I don't think you're willing to agree on either. :-(

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    1. What definition of Ruach haKodesh is consistent with accurately describing the physiology of things you've never seen?

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    2. I think a better concept than Ruach Hakodesh would be reiyah sichlis, the vision granted by the image center of nefesh hasichli, which can provide television like images of whatever you want. I've hit it a couple of times in meditation and believe me the quality is pretty good. I only hit it briefly and saw what I saw, but I guess if you got established you could probably start to use it like a camera and move around and zoom in and out.

      Ruach Hakodesh would probably give you a more spiritual take, you would see that the world is just an emanation of the Divine, everything is made of shemos.

      Delete
    3. @Chaim
      Why can't פרסה or plante be a general word including hooves and feet. You're aware that נעל includes both shoes and gloves, garments of the appendages?

      The Shoresh PRS or FRS has two meanings in hebrew. Either Covering or Split. It is quite rare to find two words in close context in scripture and one will have one meaning and the other will have the second meaning. So when we encounter Mafris Parsa, the simple meaning would be covered with a covering - or hooved with a hoof. Not split with a split, as that is what the next two words mean: Shosaas Shesa. It is also awkward to learn that MP means split hoof, as then you would be mixing the shorashim and you would have to contend with why we need 3 words to say split (mafris, shosaas, shesa) and one for covering (parsa).
      Yet Rashi's shita is that the word Parsa means "planta", which means the "sole of the foot". Since Parsa means the sole of the foot, he encountered a problem with this, as pointed out by Mizrachi, that when the Pasuk goes on to say Aino Mafris Parsa, it would mean that the animal does not have a sole of the foot, yet that is impossible, as all animals have a bottom of the foot! Hence Rashi was forced to learn the other meaning of PRS/FRS and say one means split and one means sole. He is in good company, as this is precisely how Onkelos learns, and that is why Rashi tells us here not to learn pashut peshat, but learn MP to mean split bottom of the foot or split sole.
      However, if you do not come with the preconceived notion that PRS means sole of the foot, and learn that it means covering, then you can simply learn that MP means hooved with a hoof. And this is precisely how the Sifri learns, Targum Yerushalmi, Rabbeinu Yeshaya, RSG, Rashbam, Chizkuni, Abarbanel, Ibn Ezra, Ibn Yanach, Bechor Shor, HKVK, RSRH etc. Just about all the rishonim (with exception of [Onkelos], Rashi, Rambam, Ramban, Radak etc.) learn this way. So it is quite surprising for M_O to state that Rashbam is not a contender here.
      Additionally, when you learn like Rashi, you have many other questions. Why do we need 3 words to say split? PRS and FRS will have 2 different meanings. The Torah says that the Gamal is not MP, yet Rashi on Pasuk 26 commenting on MP says the Gamal is MP! The Sifri says there are 3 simanim, but according to Rashi there are only 2. See the Shem Olam available on Hebrew books (links provided in the previous post on this blog) who asks many other questions on Rashi's peshat.

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    4. Skeptic:

      How many fingers am I holding up? Also, can you give me a sneak peek of Tesla's next earnings report?

      Delete
    5. @Israel
      Not sure they are too podgy.
      Tesla's earnings down 30% Shares up 30% $6bn bonds issued.

      Delete
  18. At the core of this issue, is why is a camel indeed not Kosher. It has split toes and chews it's cud, which would seem to qualify it as a Kosher animal.
    The Netziv discusses why if you cut the connecting skin on the bottom of a camel it would still be a not Kosher animal. Once the Torah says the Kosher signs, it would seem that no animal needs to be excluded separately by the Torah. Which is why the Camel and all llamas and llama like animals are anomalies. They fit the Torah's description as being mafris parsah but don't fit the description of shosaas shesa (as Rashi describes)
    However when the Torah says the camel is not Kosher the reason given is because it's not mafris parsah! (The daas zkeinim m'baalei hatosofos asks this question) For this reason, many rishonim tried to come up with different explanations. There are many questions on the different explanations, we may just need to wait for Eliyahu Hanavi to clear this one up....Those who seek to take only one Rishon's interpretation as the definitive peshat, are not being open minded or intellectually honest. What I think can be said however, is that the Torah is trying to account for an anomaly, an animal that seems to be Kosher but isn't. The Hyrax and Hare however don't seem to fit this category of being an anomaly. While the Llama and Alpaca families do have questions how they fit, they certainly qualify for being anomalies, in that they would seem to be Kosher as they chew their cud and have split toes. (The key by the way is that they have 2 toes as the passuk clearly says "shtay perasos")

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    1. Your claim that a camel has split toes and would seem to qualify as kosher is incorrect. You also made a number of claims in the comments above, both about parshanut and about zoology, that were proven wrong. Are you going to acknowledge that? Why should I let you just continue to post wildly inaccurate statements when you never acknowledge that they have been shown to be false?

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    2. @MO
      At the core of this issue, is why is a camel indeed not Kosher

      The camel is not Kosher according to most rishonim because it doesn't have hooves, and those hooves that it doesn't have are not Totally split. The camel is not kosher according to Rashi because the sole of the camel's foot is not totally split. Read my comment above.

      @MO
      The daas zkeinim m'baalei hatosofos asks this question)

      The daas zkeinim is asking based on Rashi's peshat. but if you learn like most rishonim that MP means hooved, then the question dissolves into nothingness.

      With regard to the identification of Shafan, I agree with you that it can't be hyrax, hare or rabbit because they don't chew the cud. RDNS has a very legitimate question that shows Shafan being used by Kings Dovid and Shlomo, but since he is partial to the concept of name transposition regarding the tzvi, I say apply it here also.

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    3. I think the "core of this issue", one that has the potential for more harm, is that ArtScroll contains information that is inauthentic. The details of what a camels foot looks like will likely have little impact on any of us in the long run. Rather, what RNS's article teaches us is that not everything in the ArtScroll world is true Judaism, and that the thinking Jew who is "open minded or intellectually honest" should proceed with caution when reading its publications.

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  19. "Your claim that a camel has split toes and would seem to qualify as kosher is incorrect."
    Would you care to explain how the the camel's 2 toes doesn't mean exactly as the Torah says "Shtay Perasos"
    That's actually exactly how Rashi explains the double language of "mafris parsah"
    As to the issue of a camel's foot covering a hard material - I was just saying over what I read in Rabbi Meir Lubin's sefer. I can't vouch for the accuracy, but he claims he wa quoting the britanica encyclopedia (if I recall correctly"
    As to the Rashbam, I stand by what I said that he's not considered a mainstream meforash on chumash. As to what he actually said regarding this topic, I don't recall if perhaps it was the Eben Ezra who said "tzipornayim mamash like that of a dog or cat - I was referring to that when I said this is the singular veiw amongst the Rishonim I apologize if I misattributed the authorship.

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    Replies
    1. @MO
      What is considered a "mainstream meforash" and why is Rashbam not considered one?

      Delete
    2. "As to the issue of a camel's foot covering a hard material - I was just saying over what I read in Rabbi Meir Lubin's sefer. I can't vouch for the accuracy, but he claims he wa quoting the britanica encyclopedia (if I recall correctly".

      So that is probably because of a too literal translation of ungulate into hoofed animal. See my comment below.

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    3. Why the Rashbam is not considered mainstream: https://alhatorah.org/Commentators:Rashbam%27s_Torah_Commentary

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    4. @MO

      Thank you so much for the link. I really enjoyed reading that. Honestly.

      But the question still remains, if not being further strengthened. I will reword it with some emphasis: What is considered a "mainstream meforash" IN YOUR OPINION and why is Rashbam not considered one IN YOUR OPINION?

      Delete
  20. ספר דברים - פרק י״ד - פסוק ו׳, פירוש רש''י: מפרסת. סדוקה כתרגומו: פרסה. פלנט''א [כף רגל] : ושסעת. חלוקה בשתי צפרנים. שיש סדוקה ואינה חלוק בצפרנים והיא טמאה
    Rashi says clearly that the toes can be split as in a camels - yet are not considered "divided" because of the connecting skin in the back (bottom). In other words, the "toe" i.e foot is considered one piece on a camel even though it has 2 separate nails that are not connected to each other.

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  21. @MO
    Those who seek to take only one Rishon's interpretation as the definitive peshat, are not being open minded or intellectually honest.

    So learn like Rashbam and there will be no questions!

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    1. It's not for us to take sides amongst "mighty mountains". In halacha we generally take sides with opinions of Rishonim - not with peshat.

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  22. @MO
    As to the Rashbam, I stand by what I said that he's not considered a mainstream meforash on chumash.

    Can you explain to me why I can trust Rashi's grandson for Chezkas Habatim but not for Bereishis?

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    1. https://alhatorah.org/Commentators:Rashbam%27s_Torah_Commentary

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  23. @MO
    As to the Rashbam, I stand by what I said that he's not considered a mainstream meforash on chumash. As to what he actually said regarding this topic, I don't recall if perhaps it was the Eben Ezra who said "tzipornayim mamash like that of a dog or cat - I was referring to that when I said this is the singular veiw amongst the Rishonim I apologize if I misattributed the authorship.

    Ahem. You made that statement at

    Modern_OrthodoxMarch 12, 2019 at 4:22 PM
    "As far as the Rashbam's interpretation, no other Rishon learns like the Rashbam, his is a singular interpretation of the Torah. As a matter of fact, most of the Rashbams on the Torah are not the mainstream interpretation of the Torah - his interpretations are not in sync with most Rishonim. It is for this reason, that most chumashim/mikros Gedolos don't print his perush. Now I understand Natan will have you believe that the Rashbam is the most accepted and mainstream interpretation of the Torah. However the printed chumashim tell an entirely different story .....

    Yet the "tzipornayim mamash like that of a dog or cat" was posted by Avi after that time...
    רלב"ג ביאור המלות על התורה, ויקרא י״א:ג:א
    כל מפרסת פרסה ושוסעת שסע פרסות. ר"ל במפרסת פרסה שלא יהיו לה אצבעות וצפורנים כמו הכלב והחתול והדומה להם

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  24. Another reason for the confusion could be that the camel is classified as an even- toed ungulate (or hoofed animal). That could confuse people into thinking that camels have hooves. For example, Britannica does say "Camel, (genus Camelus), either of three species of large ruminating hoofed mammals". Of course whales are under the even-toed ungulates, so that tells you how much the classification systems can be confusing, since they are based on evolutionary considerations and not morphology.

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  25. @David

    so that tells you how much the classification systems can be confusing, since they are based on Evolutionary Considerations and not morphology.

    Hi! E C of course means 'it has to be this way so we'll distort reality however we need to to try and create a coherent [sic) story....

    Great article on how they brought down the twin towers; https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/03/11/censored-vt-restored-too-classified-to-publish-russia-opens-files-on-nuclear-9-11-and-israeli-proliferation/

    Did you follow the Ethiopian 'crash'? notice there wasn't any plane in the pictures?

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  26. Shaarei Aharon and Shem Olam mentioned above both refer to this a a machloket between Rashi and Rashbam, which could explain why it is referred to as "Rashbam's" pshaat.

    Although then one can ask why they did not refer to it as Saadia Gaon's pshaat...

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  27. I emailed artscroll a link to your post as I was interested to hear their response.

    They said they will pass comments on to the editorial committee for review.

    Hopefully they will post their response here.

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  28. I think it is certainly true that Rashi never saw a camel, but he did see targum Onkelus who translates mafris parsa as כל דסדיקא פרסתא kol desakika parsatha, in English, all which has as split foot. Onkelus lived in the land of Israel where camels were common. So the words שסעת שסע would follow to mean that it is completely split from top to bottom as Onkelus translates.

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