Sunday, April 10, 2005

Mother knows best

We have our second text quoting the mother of an אמורא. This time, we find the סתם using a personal account of a home-made remedy as proof for an Amoraic statement.

אמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא: הרגיל בקצח אינו בא לידי כאב לב. מיתיבי, רבי שמעון בן גמליאל אומר: קצח - אחד מששים סמני המות הוא, והישן למזרח גרנו - דמו בראשו! לא קשיא: הא בריחו, הא בטעמו. אימיה דרבי ירמיה אפיא ליה ריפתא, ומדבקא ליה ומקלפא ליה
רבי ירמיה’s mother was careful that her son would not consume the poisonous black cumin (קצח) and would only have its taste, which seems to have helped with the pains of the heart.


At Sunday, 10 April, 2005, Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

קֶצַח is cumin? I thought that it was dill. On תשעה באב one year, I was sitting next to Rav Barry Wimpfheimer and his father, Michael Wimpfheimer, at קהל עדת ישורון (KAJ-Breuer's in Washington Heights). In one of the קינות that are said in the Yekkish rite (but not in the Eastern European rites), the phrase כְּקֶצַח יוּדַשׁ appears, meaning "it shall be plowed like קצח". I didn't know what קצח was, so I asked Barry's father to look in the German translation printed in old German "Gothic" letters in his family-heirloom-Yekkish-kinnos-book-from-the-nineteenth-century. He looked, and found that the translation of כקצח was "wie das Dill", meaning "like dill".

I have now exhausted all my knowledge on the subject. Interestingly, a few days ago, we had the word שֶׁבֶת, which many (e.g. the Alkalay Hebrew-English /English-Hebrew dictionary) identify with deal.

At Sunday, 10 April, 2005, Blogger Bryan said...

according to Jastrow, קצח is black cumin - other than that, I can't really say


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