Oclah Ve-oclah

Oclah ve-Oclah (אכלה ואכלה) is the name which, in the course of time, was given by some to one or more redactions of the independent review of the Masorah to distinguish it from the other Great Masorah, which was written above and below the text of the Bible. It obtained its name, Oclah ve-Oclah, from the first two words, אָכלָה (1Sa 1:9), ואָכלָה (Ge 27:19), in the alphabetical list of words occurring twice in the Bible, once without and once with van, 1, with which the Masorah begins. Dr. Steinschneider, who in his Jewish Literature, p. 133 (Lond. 1857), says that "the book אכלה ואכלה is probably so called because it begins with these two words," is very anxious to claim the originality of this remark, as may be seen from note 31 in Geiger's Jidische Zeitschrinft, 1:316, 317 (Breslau, 1862); but we 'cannot understand why he should do so, since Elias Levita (q.v.), who made the Oclah ve-Oclah the basis of his masoretic researches, plainly declared that it is so called from its beginning words (Massoreth ha- Massoreth, p. 138, ed. Ginsburg, Lond. 1867). By this appellation (viz. Oclah ve-Oclah) this particular redaction of the Great Masorah was first quoted towards the end of the 12th century by David Kimchi (q.v.) in his Grammar, entitled Michlol (מכלול), 35 b, col. 2; 51 a, col 2 (ed. Levita, Bomberg, 1545, fol.), or 1l6,163 a (ed. Hechin, Ftirth, 1793), and in his Lexicon, ספר השרשים (i.e. the Book of Roots), s.v. קרב, p. 334 a (ed. Biesenthal and Lebrecht, Berlin, 1847), and Ibsi-Aknin (q.v.), in his ethical work, טוב אלנפום and in his Methodology (comp. Steinschneider, inlGeiger's Zeitschrift, 1862, p. 316, note 31); in the middle of the 13th century it: was quoted again by Isaac ben-Jehudah in his ס8 האשל (comp. — Steinschneider'. Catalogus Libr. Hebr. in Bibl. Bodlej. co]. 1418;-the same author by Geiger, . c.; Neubauer, Notice. sur flexicographie Hebraique, p. 9, Paris, 1863), and then again by Levita in 1538, who described it as the only separate Masorah (Massoreth ha-,ihassoreth, p. 93, 94, 138, ed. Ginsburg). Henceforth it entirely disappeared. Even R. Solomon-Norzi (q.v.), the great Biblical critic and masoretic authority (cir. 1560-1630), who searched through the Midrashim (q.v.), the Talmud (q.v.), and the whole cycle of rabbinic literature for various readings, could no longer find it (comp. Norzi's Comment.[ii. 27 b] on 1Sa 1:9). The disappearance of this valuable masoretic work induced many distinguished scholars to believe in its entire loss for Lebrecht says, in his introductory notes to his edition of Kimchi's Lexicon, p. 49 (Berlin, 1847), "Sed postquam tota argumentorum ejus summa in Masoram magnam bibliorum rabbinorum transiit, ipse liber periisse videtur." The same opinion was held by the late Dr. Fiirst, who, in the introduction to his Concordance expressly states that the masoretic work Oclah seems to be lost for us. Dr. Derenbourg, however, while preparing the catalogue of Hebrew MSS. in the Imperial Library at Paris, had the good fortune to discover an independent "Great Masorah," commencing with the words Oclah ve- Oclch (Bibliotheque Imperiale, Ancien Fonds Hebreu, No. 56; Ben- Chananja, 1862, No. 7, p. 57 sq.). Shortly after Dr. Frensdorff, who for years has been engaged 'in masoretic researches, heard of this discovery (January, 1859); in 1862 he went to Paris, copied the MS. and published it, with learned annotations, under the title Das Buch Oclah ve-Oclah (Masorah) Herausgegeben, iibersetzt und mit erlduternden Anmerkungen versehen (Hanover, 1864, 4to). The whole is divided into 374 sections, treating on the most different subjects, which will be best illustrated by two examples, quoted at random. Thus sec. 261, p. 142, gives eleven words which are preceded by אתה, and which in this construction occur only once. Sec. 82, p. 88, gives an alphabetical list of words written in the Hebrew Pentateuch with majuscular letters. After this discovery at Paris it was thought that it was the original Oclah veOclah, which had been lost for nearly three centuries, and that it was the same which Levita made the basis of his masoretic labors. Even Dr. Frensdorff, starting from the false hypothesis that there was only one redaction of the Oclah ve-Oclah, and that his was the unique copy which had survived the ravages of time, was led to this presumption, which, however, is now proved to be incorrect by the discovery of another and much larger redaction of the Oclah ve-Oclah than that published by Dr. Frensdorff. The MS. is in the library of the University of Halle (Y. b. 10), and a description of it by the late Prof.

Hupfeld has been given in the Zeitschrift der deutschen mnorgenldndischen Gesellschaft, 21:201-220 (Leips. 1867). See Ginsburg, Jacob ben-Chajim ibn-Adonijah's Introduction to the Rabbinic Bible (Lond. 1867); Kimchi, Liber radicum (ed. Biesenthal and Lebrecht), p. 26; Geiger, Judische Zeitschrift fuir Wissenschaft und Leben, p. 104 sq. (Breslau, 1864-5); Frankel, Monatsschrift fur Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums, p. 31-37, 75-80, 269-277, 313-318 (ibid. 1865); Oclah ve-Oclah, ed. Frensdorff, p. iii sq. (B. P.)

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