And then this Bear, Pooh Bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, F.O.P. (Friend of Piglet's), R.C. (Rabbit's Companion), P.D. (Pole Discoverer), E.C. and T.F. (Eeyore's Comforter and Tail-finder)--in fact, Pooh himself--said something so clever that Christopher Robin could only look at him with mouth open and eyes staring, wondering if this was really the Bear of Very Little Brain whom he had know and loved so long.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Lieberman and Darchei Shalom

Someone I know, I think male, told me a story:
A non-jewish person asked R.D. Shaul Lieberman if he was troubled that certain laws are only "because of darkei* shalom." Lieberman answered yes, he was troubled. Later, he told his studnets, "I only said that because of darkei shalom."
Has anyone heard of this story? (It doesn't have to be Lieberman, btw...) A popos of a paer i am writing, does anyone have a source?

*On the topic (sort of, except to the extent the new topic is really grammar...), is it darKei shalom ir darKHei shalom? Mishlei 3:17 (darchei noam) is without a dagesh, by analogy i would imagine D.Shalom would be too. But a quick google survey indicates that people i trust to actually know grammar** are morelikely to use "darkei." thoughts from someone who actually knows something?

**irony intentional



At 12:09 PM, Blogger Josh M. said...

Never heard that story, but an interesting statement in the other direction was made by RYBS to Gerald Blidstein, cited in chapter 7, note 47 of Marc Shapiro's book on RYYW (or more directly, Gilyon (Cheshvan 5754), 25).

At 12:15 PM, Blogger miriam said...

thanks, that is helpful. you remind me that i should formally open this up to moderately relevant anecdotes in general...

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Josh M. said...

In response to your second question: Usually, a letter is degusha when it appears at the start of a word or the start of a syllable following a closed syllable. This is one of the exceptions, though.

When most masculine plural words are nism'chim, a sh'va is put under the penultimate letter of the root and the last letter of the root is given a tzeireh. Hence, d'rachim would become d'r'chei. Due to the awkwardness of two consecutive sh'va'in, the first sh'va is changed into a tenuah ketana and the second sh'va is known as a sh'va merachefes, which is unsounded like a sh'va nach, but does not make the letter immediately following degusha, like a shva na does. Hence, the proper pronunciation is, indeed, darchei.

There are probably some errors in this analysis, but I think it covers the gist of the issue accurately.

At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Avram Montag said...

II don’t have a source for the anecdote, but I have found a source which may help explain the idea behind the anecdote. Sanhedrin 76b has an example of the kind of law some of us find troubling. Often they relate to non-Jews.
והמחזיר אבידה לנכרי עליו הכתוב אומר למען ספות הרוה את הצמאה לא יאבה ה' סלוח לו
The mitigation comes from the concept of Kiddush Hashem, which, although I can’t prove it synonymous with Darchei Noam, seems to be used in cases dealing with how to relate to non-Jews in much the same way. The halacha corresponding to this gemara is brought in Choshen Mishpat 266 is

(א) אבידת העכו"ם מותרת שנאמר (דברים כב, א). אבידת אחיך, והמחזירה הרי זה עובר עבירה מפני שהוא מחזיק ידי עוברי עבירה, ואם החזירה לקדש את השם כדי שיפארו את ישראל וידעו שהם בעלי אמונה הרי זה משובח, ובמקום שיש חילול השם אבידתו אסורה וחייב להחזירה, ובכל מקום מכניסים כליהם ככלי ישראל מפני דרכי שלום:
(The complete derivation of this halacha can be found in the Beit Yosef. )
The Bach makes an interesting comment, which sounds to me like the point of the story:
ומ"ש כתוב בשם הרמב"ם דאם מחזיר ה"ז משובח. למד כך מעובדא דשמעון בן שטח דאיתא בירושלמי וסבירא ליה להרמב"ם דההיא דבפרק הנשרפים דאסור להחזיר אבדה וכו' היינו דוקא היכא דאינו עושה כך אלא כדי להחזיר לכל אחד את שלו דמראה בעצמו שאינה חשובה לו השבת אבדה למצות בוראו שאף להם עושה כן שלא נצטוה עליהם אבל אם עושה כך לשם המצוה כדי לקדש את השם שיפארו את ישראל הרי זה משובח


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