Friday, September 19, 2008

Artscroll words an phrases of the week

This weeks gemarah has a large chunk of aggadatah. The Maggid shiur asked not to ask to many questions, as he didn’t know the specifics of why each story was being presented, and Daf Yomi has to move. There are also a whole daf of medical cures that were for the times of the gemarah. We did pester him a little, and he gives a great and interesting shiur! That aside, the story of Shlomo Hamelech an the capture of the Demon King Ashmodai is interesting and held my attention a little better than some other gemarah’s that can be a little…dry for lack of a better term. One of the questions I was curious about is where exactly was the Royal Jewish King’s palace? Was it in Yerushalaim, or near the Bais Hamikdash? Just a curious thing. O.K. And on to the Artscroll fun translation. Now I’m no expert on birds or the Aramaic language, but the story in brief was that Shlomo HaMelech needed the shamir worm and sent Benayahu (the head of the Sanhedrin)to get it. Benayahu captures the King of the Demons, Ashmodai, and he tells King Shlomo & Benayahu how to find a certain bird that is entrusted with the shamir worm that Shlomo needs to quarry stones w/o using metal tools. Benayahu puts a glass cover on the nest so when the bird comes back from wherever, it will try to feed this shamir worm to it’s young. It puts the worm on the glass and Benayahu gets takes the worm. The bird who lets this happen then gets so upset that it chokes itself to death. The word the gemarah uses for this bird is Tarnigola (Aleph at the end) Bara, which Artscroll translates as a wild cock. I called a friend who is studying ornithology and asked if the word cock is ever used in relation to female birds, thinking that it is usually mother birds who feed their young. He said cock in reference to birds is always male. I don’t know who came up with the translation, but I guess he didn’t fully realize the gender issue. My friend also mentioned that between my wife’s melons and the wild cock, my posts are getting to raunchy. Hey, I’m not the guy with the thesaurus! Here are some more of this week’s weird phrase (in my opinion).
68b1 note 12: The shamir cleaves asunder to any hard object it comes in contact with. Asunder: Encarta-into separate parts, pieces, or places
69A1 The Gemarah is listing illnesses, one being blindness. The note translates blindness into heralopia, of which I can find no definition!
69B1 I just love this due the alliteration. Instead of saying an alternate text, the note reads “a variant version of text”.
Have Thesaurus, will travel!

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