Monday, 6 June 2011

Shavuot - Akdamut and Y'tziv Pitgam - 2 the Research‏

Originally published on 6/6/11, 7:55 pm.
Guest Blogger: Joseph Lauer
Reprinted with permission 

    R. Rich Wolpoe asks, "With Y'tziv Pisgam as an intro to 
Targum, what is the real meaning of "Y'honassan g'var inv'san"?
Does the inv'san mean that Y'honassan is "Moshe" Or is Y'honassan
a reference to the author of the Targum - Yehonassan ben Uzziel 
- and it was he who was the anav here?"
    According to R. Yonah Fraenkel, who prepared the Machzor 
l'Regalim - Pesach and the Machzor l'Regalim - Shavuos 
(according to the method of his late father-in-law R. Dr. Daniel 
Goldschmidt), "Y'honassan g'var inv'san" refers to "the author 
of the Targum - Yehonassan ben Uzziel"  See Fraenkel Pesach, 
pp. 632-34; Shavuos, p. 570-72.
    This is contrary to, e.g., ArtScroll (Shavuos 559, English) 
and Kol Bo Hebrew Publishing Co., Shavuos 317, Yiddish), that 
translate "Yehonassan" as Moses/Mosheh.
    With respect to Yonasan's anivus, the Fraenkel Machzorim's 
note to line 16 refers to TB Megillah 3a, where Yonasan ben 
Uziel is quoted as saying that he did not write the Targum for 
his own glory or for the glory of his father's house but for 
Hashem's glory so that dissension would not spread in Israel.
    R. Fraenkel also notes (Pesach 632, Shavuos 570) that the 
author of Yatziv Pisgam was Rabbenu Tam, R. Yaakov ben Meir.
    This is contrary to the ArtScroll (Shavuos 556) and Kol Bo 
(Shavuos 316) Machzorim that ascribe it to R. Yaakov ben Meir 
ha-Levi, in accordance with the acrostic that they show.
    However, the acrostic of the end of Yatziv Pisgam in the 
Fraenkel machzorim does not spell Levi and has an additional 
line (beginning k'qa'eimna) between the yehon (not vehon) line 
and the Yehonasan line, in accordance with Davidson, [Otzar 
ha-Shirah v'ha-Piyyut], 3527.
    The Birnbaum Machzor l'Shalosh Regalim (p. 310) also 
translates "Y'honassan g'var inv'san" as "To Moses, the meekest 
of men, [let us give thanks]" but notes (309) that "[Yetziv 
Pisgam] has been attributed to Rashi's grandson Rabbenu Tam, 
whose name acrostic [(Yaakov b'Rebbe Meir)] appears in the 
first twelve lines in the poem. The last three lines, however, 
which bear the acrostic [(Levi)], are considered as a later
addition. (Zunz, Literatur geschichte, page 266; Davidson, 
[Otzar ha-Shirah v'ha-Piyyut], II, 420."
    Which leaves the question of why "Yekkes" don't recite 
Yatziv Pisgam if it was written by Rabbenu Tam. Perhaps because 
the Targum to the Haftarah is not said, there's no reason to 
recite Yatziv Pisgam.
    Best wishes to all for a 
Good Yom Tov - Gut Yontif - Chag Sameach!
    Joseph I. Lauer
    Brooklyn, New York 

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