Halacha Weekly ~ Parshas Vayishlach The Targum of Parshas Reuvain

Halacha Weekly ~ Parshas Vayishlach The Targum of Parshas Reuvain


“ויהי בשכן ישראל בארץ ההיא וילך ראובן וישכב את בלהה פילגש אביו וישמע ישראל ויהיו בני יעקב שנים עשר” (ל”ה,כ”ב)

The Mishna in Megilla (25a) says מעשה ראובן נקרא ולא מתרגם the story of Reuvain is read but not translated.  This is referring to the passuk above.  Rashi explains because it is a disgrace to Reuvain.  Reuvain removed the bed of Yaakov from the tent of בלהה and placed it in the tent of his mother לאה.

There is a dispute amongst the Rishonim when this halacha applies.  Rashi explains that by Krias Hatorah in the בית הכנסת it is not translated.  The common custom was for the interpreter to translate the words of Krias Hatorah into Aramaic for all to understand.  This is not done by the parsha of Reuvain.  However when reading the parsha for the mitzvah of ,שנים מקרא one is obligated to read the targum in order to fulfill his mitzvah.

Other Rishonim disagree.  The above Mishna also says that ברכת כהנים is not translated. The Gemara in Berachos (8b) says לעולם ישלים אדם פרשיותיו עם הציבור שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום ואפילו עטרות ודיבון – one should learn the parsha of every week .  The pessukim should be read twice and the targum once.  Rashi explains that even the words of עטרות ודיבון that do not have targum should be read three times.  The תוס’ רבינו יהודה החסיד says that this halacha applies to ברכת כהנים as well.  Since the Mishna says we are not מתרגם these pessukim, the pessukim should be read three times.  We learn from here that when the Mishna says not to be מתרגם the pessukim of ברכת כהנים it means even when it comes to the mitzvah of שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום.  It would therefore seem that the whole Mishna including מעשה ראובן should also not be translated by שנים מקרא, rather the passuk should be read three times.  This is also the opinion of רבינו יונה according to many meforshim.  The only question on this approach is why did the תוס’ רבינו יהודה החסיד speak out this halacha by ברכת כהנים more than any of the other cases of the Mishna?

רבי עקיבא איגר understands רבינו יונה differently. There is no תרגום for all the examples listed in the Mishna, and that is the reason we are not מתרגם them.  So רבי עקיבא איגר asks on the רבינו יונה that in our חומשים we do find תרגום.  The של”ה הקדוש as well understands the רבינו יונה like רבי עקבא איגר.  The של”ה therefore says that when it comes to these pessukim since the Rishonim say there is no תרגום one should read the passuk three times.  At the same time he should also read the תרגום that is in the חומש because maybe it really is תרגום אונקלוס just it was not yet known in the times of the Rishonim and it only became known later on.

The כף החיים says the accepted מנהג is to read this passuk שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום.[1]

Prepared by R’ Avrohom Yehoshua Ziskind

[1] Sources:קריאת שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום והלכותיה

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