Monday, June 16, 2008

Parshas Beha'aloscha: Backwards "Nunin"

Well it only took me 3 weeks to put up another post.

This weeks chaburah was concerning the backwards "nun"s in this weeks parsha. The gemara in Shabbos 115b has a machlokes why we have simanim by the parsha of "vayehi binso'a aron". Either it tells us that this parsha doesn't belong here or it tells us that it is a sefer b'fnei atzmo. However, the gemara doesn't tell us what these simanim are.

The Maharshal (Siman 73) writes that the simanim can not be referring to placing upside down or backwards nunin by this parsha. Writing a nun backwards before and after this parsha would make a sefer torah pasul. You can't just add letters into the sefer torah. Rather the Maharshal writes the m'kor seems to come from a zohar that writing the nun upside down/backwards teaches us that even when the aron is travelling the shechina stays with b'nei yisroel. Furthermore, the nunin the zohar is referring to are the nunin of the words "b'n'so'a" and "u'v'nucha". There are those who flip around the nunin of "mis'oninim" as well.

The Noda B'Yehuda argues and says adding extra letters does not pasul a sefer torah. The only extra letters that pasul a sefer torah ar eletters you add to a word. Adding symbols on the side of the torah is okay. Furthermore, the rishonim discuss these nunin. The halacha is one can not write 2 symbols on Shabbos. Rav Hai Gaon gives as an example the two nunin in our parsha. Therefore, writing 2 separate nunin is okay.

No comments: