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June 02, 2009



>Child: That doesn't make sense...oops..they taught us in the yeshiva never to say it like that.... I mean that I don't understand! In Eishes Chayl, in Tehilim 119 and 34, in brochos of Shema, we have the full alphabet and we have the letter NUN that starts verses without any mention of nefila.

Impressive child


Now show your child a copy of the oldest extant version that we know about - Ashrei from the Dead Sea Scrolls. The included nun verse there will really throw him for a loop (unless you want to just brush it off and explain that it must have been added later since it doesn't fit the various traditional analyses of Ashrei.)


Finding a variant text in the Dead Sea Scrolls doesn't prove much. There are numerous reasons why such a variant might appear, the least likely of which is that it was broadly accepted as a legitimate version.

The existence of scribal modifications of ancient texts is an age-old problem.

Such modifications could occur due to honest error, misunderstanding a previous scribe's notes, a desire to "improve" or "fix" the text, support for an ideological point, or other reasons. In fact, the modification may not be a modification at all, it could be the result of our misunderstanding the function of the particular text (particularly easy with fragments - i.e. the bulk of the Dead Sea Scrolls).


It's difficult to find knowledgeable people for this topic, but you sound like you know what you're talking about! Thanks

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