Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Parshegen, A New work on Targum Onkelos: Chumash Vayikrah

 Parshegen, A New work on Targum Onkelos: Chumash Vayikrah

By Eliezer Brodt

רפאל בנימין פוזן, פרשגן, ביאורים ומקורות לתרגום אונקלוס, ויקרא, 672 עמודים.

A few years ago I wrote about and strongly recommended an excellent work on Targum Onkeles written Dr. Posen. I wrote an additional post related to this work discussing some of the sources he uses in his works.

At the time, the first volume on Chumash Bereishis was printed; the second volume on Chumash Shemos was printed in 2014 (780 pp.).

Just a few weeks ago, in time for the reading of Chumash Vayikrah, the third volume of the series was released (672 pp.).

As I wrote previously, the presentation of the material in these volumes is beautiful, well organized, concise and to the point. The focus of Rabbi Posen is to give the reader a clear explanation of why the Targum says what he says. The Targum had a very good reason to specifically translate the words as he did. In this work, Rabbi Posen demonstrates how exactly the Targum did this. As he does in his other work, he utilizes manuscripts, early prints of Targum and academic literature available on the Targum side by side with all the literature of the seforim written on the Targum Onkeles. He does not just gather information but he dissects and analyzes it all very carefully, checking if they are consistent with other places in Targum. He uses the manuscripts of the Targum which many times helps one understand different issues with. This is a path which many of the more recent Chareidi works written on Targum did not take. He also shows how having a good background in the Aramaic language helps to understand the Targum. Another area he focuses on is the various statements of Targum that play a role in Halacha and how at times it is even quoted in the Responsa Literature. He also focuses on the Targums usage of Midrash (both Halacha and Aggadah) which others have dealt with before. At times to understand Onkelos he compares the Targum Onkelos to the other Targumim.

To purchase these seforim try Girsa in Jerusalem, Biegeleisen in NY or your local seforim store.

Here are some sample pages, haskamot for the work and some pages at the end devoted to Nechama Lebowitz.

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