Friday, September 15, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 13 - Modifying Names

Abaye states that marsh marror is allowed to be used to fulfill one's obligation for eating the bitter herbs on Pesach for at the time the Torah was given, it was called plain marror and hence is not regarded as a modifying name.

How was it known that that at the time the Torah was given, it was not called marsh marror?

The Tiferes Yisroel (Parah 11:7) asks a similar question on our Gemora that states regarding the hyssup grass that is called 'azov Romi', this was its name at the time the torah was given and therefore it is not allowed to be used for the parah adumah for it is deemed to be a modifying name. The Gemora in Shabbos 56b relates that when King Solomon married the daughter of Pharoh, Gavriel one of the heavenly angels created the city of Rome. How is it possible that the hyssup grass was called the Roman hyssup grass when Rome was not even in existence at the time?

He answers that by the mere fact that this hyssup has a descriptive name, this proves that it is different than a regular hyssup and at the time the Torah was given, it obviously had some other modifying name. Afterwards, when Rome was built near this particular hyssup, it was given the name Roman hyssup.

This strengthens the original question. If this marror is called marsh marror, it probably had some type of descriptive name at the time the Torah was given?

Rabbi Dovid Goldberg offers a response to this question.

4 comments:

Velvel said...

I don't follow the logic - marsh marror is called that because of its location - why should we assume that it had a different name by the time the Torah was given?

l.j. said...

Marror is a general term used for bitter or spicy condiments, from a variety of different and so the term "marsh" is looked as an identification of condiment-type foods which grow in a marsh. Marror does not refer to one thing, like grass, or seeds, but includes both and more. Also, is it possible to conjecture that marror is a terms that really derives from the pasuk “v’yemarreru es chaiyeihem”?

Avromi said...

Velvel: Based on Tiferes Yisroel, an added name for whatever reason connotes that it always had a different name.

L.J. Are you answering how we know what it was called by matan Torah?

l.j. said...

Just a related question, to clarify things a bit: why does the pasuk states "morarim", lashon rabim. It could have just stated "maror", in the singular form. Is the "morarim" correspond to "matzos" in the plural (i.e. one maror for each matzeh) or is it referring to the morar itself i.e. different types included in term "maror"?