Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where's Shai Agnon?

In the latest issue of Yeshurun (a fuller review will be coming shortly), they published a letter from R. Y.M. Gordon to Shai Agnon. In light of this, an erudite reader, Yisroel Rottenberg, was kind enough to provide another instance where Agnon is quoted and in this instance, where Agnon's name was then removed from a later edition.

In the Pirush Ba'al HaTurim al HaTorah by Y. Reinetz, in his introduction (p. 10) he relates the well-known story that R. Ya'akov composed the portion of his commentary "parparot" - numerologies and the like - in a single night. In the second edition (1971), he includes an endnote (p. 494) where he provides a source for this statement. He says (reproduced below)

בס' "ספר סופר סיפור" לש"י עגנון דף ס"ח מובא סיפור זה בשם ספר קול דודי וז"ל פעם אחת הוכיח הרא"ש ז"ל את בנו ר' יעקב בעל הטורים על שכל עיסוקיו אינם אלא בתורה שבעל פה בלבד אינו עוסק בתורה שבכתב. נתן הדברים אל לבו ובליל חמישי ישב כל הלילה וחיבר את ספרו על התורה

"in the book 'Sefer, Sofer, Sippur' from Sha"i Agnon p. 68 this story is recorded in the name of the work Kol Dodi [and then he provides a fuller accounting of the story]. . . ."

(second edition endnote - click to enlarge)

In the third edition (1974) of R. Reinetz's book, there is a major change. Instead of relying upon the endnote, he has moved up part of the endnote to the text in the introduction. In this edition, the introduction (p. 10) contains a parenthetical, which reads (reproduced below):

כן מובא בס' קול דודי וז"ל פעם אחת הוכיח הרא"ש זצ"ל את בנו ר' יעקב בעל הטורים על שכל עיסוקיו אינם אלא בתורה שבע"פ בלבד אינו עוסק בתורה שבכתב. נתן הדברים אל לבו ובליל חמישי ישב כל הלילה וחיבר את ספרו על התורה

"this is brought in the Kol Dodi [and then he provides a fuller accounting of the story]."
(third edition introduction - click to enlarge)

While essentially the same, the words "In the book 'Sefer, Sofer, Sippur' from Sha"i Agnon" have somehow gone missing when the text appears in the introduction. Perhaps, in the course of the move, like socks, they were lost.

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