1.23.2007

More on "אוכל פירותיהן בעולם הזה והקרן קיימת לו לעולם הבא"

This may be of limited interest to most of my readers, but I'm finding it perplexing. I think it interests me for two reasons:
  1. it concerns something that I say every morning and am somewhat fond of, but have never given all that much thought to
  2. it calls into question all similar attributions that I have heard, and accepted prima facie, in the past
To reiterate and clarify the problem as described in an earlier post, we have this passage that appears in the morning prayer service, which is attributed, in at least one siddur (prayer book), to the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat 127a.
These are the precepts whose fruits a person enjoys in this world but whose principle remains intact for him in the world to come. They are:
  1. the honor due to father and mother [Shabbat 127a]
  2. acts of kindness [Shabbat 127a]
  3. early attendance at the house of study morning [Shabbat 127a]
  4. and evening
  5. hospitality to guests [Shabbat 127a]
  6. visiting the sick [Shabbat 127a]
  7. providing for a bride
  8. escorting the dead
  9. absorption in prayer [Shabbat 127a]
  10. bringing peace between people [Shabbat 127a]
—and the study of Torah is equivalent to (“k’neged”) all of them.
Yet this prayer contains words that don't appear in Masechet Shabbat, and omits words that do appear there, including ones I particularly like, such as והמגדל בניו לתלמוד תורה והדן את חברו לכף זכות. Similar lists appear in Tractate Gittin 39b and in ילקוט שמעוני תהילים רמז תשכב, but it turns out that they don't actually add anything that's not in Shabbat 127a. Specifically, providing for a bride and escorting the dead don't seem to appear anywhere, nor does staying late in the beit midrash (house of study). I misspoke in my last post, saying that "השכמת בית המדרש" was omitted, but that does appear slightly earlier on the page in Shabbat. Thanks to Rebecca M's suggestion, I searched http://www.responsa.co.il/. JXG suggested I try the Tosefta in the first chapter of Peah, and that's what I looked for first, but came up with nothing.1 I did find this in the mishna in Peah:
מסכת פיאה פרק א
א,א ...ואלו דברים שאדם אוכל מפירותיהן בעולם הזה, והקרן קיימת לו לעולם הבא--כיבוד אב ואם, וגמילות חסדים, והבאת שלום בין אדם לחברו; ותלמוד תורה כנגד כולם.

Okay, well that doesn't add anything at all. Then I found these using http://www.responsa.co.il/:
פני יהושע מסכת ברכות פרק א
נראה לי לפרש בענין אחר משום דכל הני דקחשיב בשמעתין רובן ככולן הן מהנך דקחשיב בברייתא בפרק מפנין [שבת קכ"ז ע"א] שהן דברים שאדם אוכל פירותיהם בעולם הזה והקרן קיימת לעולם הבא השכמת בית המדרש והכנסת כלה והלויית המת כו' והטעם מבואר סוף פרק קמא דקידושין [מ' ע"א] דהא דשייך...

שו"ת עטרת פז חלק ראשון כרך ב - יורה דעה סימן ח
מופע ראשון: עיקר, וכעין הא דת"ר (כתובות יז ע"א) מעבירין את המת מלפני הכלה, וטעמא דכבוד החיים קודם וכמ"ש השטמ"ק (שם ד"ה וכתב הרמב"ן), דאע"ג דהכנסת כלה והלויית המת תרוויהו מצות גמ"ח שוין הם שאוכל פירותיהם בעוה"ז והקרן קיימת לעוה"ב, אפ"ה כשא"א לו לקיים שניהם כבוד החיים דהיינו כבוד הכלה קודם לכבוד...

Well, there you have it (except for staying late in the beit midrash). The Pnei Yehoshua (1680-1756) quotes a version of Shabbat 127a that's different from what Mechon Mamre has, and the author of the Ateret Paz (R. Pinchas Zelig, d. 1770), seems to assume that הכנסת כלה and לויית המת are on this list, but doesn't seem to cite a clear source. But these are both kind of late. There must be some earlier version of this text.2 It's gotta' be somewhere out there, right? I hope it's something obvious and I'm just missing it. Is it as simple as a variant text of Shabbat 127a? How would one find out such a thing if one was, say, too lazy to get oneself over to the JTS library?

I'm not such a fan of the search feature at www.responsa.co.il, since I know that "והכנסת כלה והלויית המת" or "והכנסת כלה ולוית המת" appear at least twice and it's not always successful at finding them. I wish you could search for a term and include things that "sound like" it.

Okay, here's another one. I have no idea what/who this is, but I know that I'm still looking for something Tana'itic or Amoraic, and this isn't it.

ספר ליקוטי הפרדס מרש"י דין החתן כשהוא בשנה ראשונה
מופע ראשון: ששה דברים מאריכין ימיו ושנותיו של אדם בעולם הזה והקרן קיימת לו לעולם הבא. ואלו הן השכמת בית המדרש שחרית וערבית והכנסת אורחין וביקור חולים והכנסת כלה ולוית המת ועיון תפלה והמגדל את בניו לתלמוד תורה וקידוש היין בערבי שבתות והדן את חבירו לכף זכות והבאת שלום לבין אדם לחבירו...

Alright, I'm done with this for now. If anyone comes up with any new leads, please pass them along.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Well, not nothing, just not what I was looking for. I did find the following in the Tosefta in Peah, which I thought was interesting:
מסכת פיאה פרק א,ב אלו הדברים נפרעין מן האדם בעולם הזה והקרן קיימת לו לעולם הבא על ע"ז ועל ג"ע ועל שפיכת דמים ועל לשה"ר כנגד כולם.
Does "לשה"ר" mean what I think it means?

2. I checked out Ketubot 17a, just for the hell of it, and found this Gemara, which I recently heard quoted but had never read in the original. Those rabbis--gotta' love 'em!
דף טז,ב-דף יז,א גמרא
תנו רבנן כיצד מרקדין לפני הכלה בית שמאי אומרים כלה כמות שהיא ובית הלל אומרים כלה נאה וחסודה אמרו להן ב"ש לב"ה הרי שהיתה חיגרת או סומא אומרי' לה כלה נאה וחסודה והתורה אמרה (שמות כג) מדבר שקר תרחק אמרו להם ב"ה לב"ש לדבריכם מי שלקח מקח רע מן השוק ישבחנו בעיניו או יגננו בעיניו הוי אומר ישבחנו בעיניו מכאן אמרו חכמים לעולם תהא דעתו של אדם מעורבת עם הבריות


You can find a translation of this passage here.

The somewhat-related part of Ketubot 17a is: "
תנו רבנן מבטלין תלמוד תורה להוצאת המת ולהכנסת כלה" (my clumsy translation: "The Rabbis taught: One sets aside Torah study to remove the dead and to bring in the bride"), which is interesting in light of our "the study of Torah is equivalent to (k’neged) all of them" in the morning prayers.

8 comments:

David said...

How about translating k'neged as "assists," hearkening back to the term "ezer k'negdo" in Bereshit?

Dave (Balashon) said...

The Encyclopedia Talmudit, entry "Hachnasat Kallah", says that there are those that include hachnasat kallah in the list of things whose fruits a person enjoys in this world but whose principle remains intact for him in the world to come.

And in footnote 5 it says:

הגרסה בסידורים, ואין במשנה פאה פ"א מ"א ובברייתא בשבת קכז א. ועיין שו"ת מהרש"ל סי סד שאינו אלא פירוש לגמילות חסדים, ועיין שו"ת מהר"ם שיק או"ח סי' ב.

"This is the version in siddurim, but not in the Mishna Peah 1:1 or the braita in Shabbat 127a. Look in the responsa of the Maharshal 64, who says that this is just an explanation of "acts of kindness", and look in the responsa of the Maharam Schick, Orach Chaim 2.

ALG said...

Thanks, Dave! That's very interesting. I wonder if the same thing is true of לויית המת? Also, I wonder when, historically, it got added, and why the siddur version omits some lovely parts of the braita on Shabbat 127a. Still most perplexed, although less so.

Dave (Balashon) said...

Ok, I have a little bit more for you, this time from B.S Jacobson's "The Weekly Siddur" (נתיב בינה in Hebrew).

He refers to a study by Abraham Berliner (Randbemerkungen p. 18) that deals with this issue. Berliner notes that the Mishna in Peah (4) together with the Braita in Shabbat (6) make up 10 items. He then writes (and I'm not sure what's Berliner and what's Jacobson):

"The compilers and editors of the Siddur also restricted their own enumeration to ten items by omitting the last two and substituting in their stead: 'dowering the bride' and 'attending the dead to the grave.' Supposedly, these two topics were better suited for a text which deals, in general, with commandments pertaining to interpersonal relations."

ALG said...

Thank you again, Dave! Once again, you bring more helpful information to the discussion. Just out of curiosity, when was נתיב בינה published?

I hate to be so consistently skeptical (okay, so I don't *really* hate to be so consistently skeptical), but I don't see how "הדן את חברו לכף זכות," which is one of the two phrases from Shabbat 127a that the siddur left out, is LESS about interpersonal relations than "early attendance at the house of study morning and evening," which is retained in the siddur text. I do like the idea of keeping the symbolism of ten commandments, though.

I still want to know why they (whoever and whenever "they" is) added these two mitzvot as opposed to any number of others that deal with intpersonal relations. And where staying late in the beit midrash came from, although I suppose it's not much of a leap since the braita on Shabbat 127a mentioned coming to the beit midrash early.

Also curious as to how standardized the text that I say every morning is. Is is the same in the various nusachs? (Nuscha'ot?)

rebecca m said...

in some nusach sfard sidurim, there is a parenthetical "u'vein ish v'ishto" after "v'hava'at shalom bein adam l'chaveiro". there may be other differences, but not that I can remember offhand.

Drew_Kaplan said...

Have you checked the various manuscripts on this (for instance, using the Lieberman CD) and/or Dikduqe Soferim for textual variants?

ALG said...

Drew,

No, I haven't. You may have missed these two sentences tucked into the middle of this post:

"Is it as simple as a variant text of Shabbat 127a? How would one find out such a thing if one was, say, too lazy to get oneself over to the JTS library?"

You may either define me as a lazy layperson who doesn't have easy access to such things or as a hard-working balabat (balatabat?) who has to snatch moments for Torah amidst grueling days toiling in the labor force.

I really should go to the JTS library, if for no other reason than I've never been there. (Other reasons: I would enjoy it and I'm friends with the librarians.) Reasons not to go: too busy working during the week and taking care of errands and learning on Sundays.