.  The Brit-Am 
 Movement of the Lost Ten Tribes 



Brit-Am Now no. 1435
The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel Movement
29 December 2009, 12 Tevet 5770
Contents:
1. Answers to Criticism of the Brit-Am Understanding of the Coat of Joseph
2. Brian
Patmore: The Celtic Areas of Spain
3. Changes and New Entries to Tartan Article


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1. Answers to Criticism of the Brit-Am Understanding of the Coat of Joseph
TG wrote:
re The Scottish Tartan Cloak of Joseph
http://www.britam.org/tartan.html
 

When you write something, and quote other people, dead or alive, you need to say when they said it, or where it was written.

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Brit-Am Replies:
That is what we have done more or less. Where we have not we will correct it.
Apart from that when known authorities are quoted and there is only one source then nothing more than the name should be required.
It should however have been obvious that the source was the Commentary of the Commentators quoted to the verse considered i.e. Genesis 37:3.
All the Commentators quoted are known
Rabbinicial authorities and details about them are freely available from the web.
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TG said:
Hence..

Brit-Am wrote: #The other school says that the word "passim" applied to the design.#


TG said:

 

 there is no other 'school' unless you can point to a source that says so.

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Brit-Am replies:
I do not understand your point. We quote the Rabbinical Commentators who interpret the verse in a similar fashion. This in plain English constitutes a school of thought as against those who think differently.
On the other hand, when taking the overall view you are correct. There is no other school really. All the Commentators in effect DO REACH A KIND OF CONSENSUS!
They agree that the
Cotonet Pasim was probably long sleeved, of many colors, and of a tartan-type design of interlocking stripes and squares.
Thank you for pointing this out.
We were so busy getting the details of each in individual explanation that we nearly missed the overall conclusion!

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TG said:

Brit-Am wrote:

 

#This appears to be the majority opinion.#


 

 TG said: you haven't shown this by examining every commentary.

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Brit-AM Replies:
Tens of thousands of commentaries exist. We have quoted from most of the major Rabbinical sources.
If you think we have omitted relevant commentaries please quote them.
Otherwise refrain from criticism unless you have something substantial to back it with.

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Brit-Am wrote:
 

#Pasim means stripe or line. Thus we have the concept of stripes or interweaving lines that according to tradition were of different colors.#

TG said:
 

christian tradition, not Jewish

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Brit-Am Replies:
No. This is Classical Hebrew usage as used by the Commentators and as used today in Spoken Modern Hebrew.  The Hebrew spoken today in Israel
is that of the traditional sources along with some modernizing input from academic experts on the language (who themselves consult the sources) who have been appointed to the task. In addition the language has an inner dynamism and logic of its own. A very significant proportion of the Jews who created the State of Israel already had some familiarity with Hebrew (through religious studies) before coming to Israel. If a Hebrew word in present-day usage has a certain meaning then this is worth considering when coming to question the original meaning of the word. In this case we also have the same usage in both the modern and the Classical sources.
It may be that your knowledge of Hebrew is lacking but in questions such as the present one you should not rely only on English language dictionaries but (based on previous correspondence with you) that is what you are doing.
If you do not know you may ask me.

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Brit-Am wrote:
 

#The Septuagint says it was a garment of "many colors". #
TG said: which version, but in any case, christian.

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Brit-Am replies:
The
Septuagent may have been later used by Christians. It was originally a Jewish work and is mentioned by Philo of Alexandria and in the Talmud (Megilla 9). It is usually dated from some time in the 100s BCE or earlier.
We should not have to tell you this since you seem (or want to seem) better acquainted with it than we are.
As for which version why should you care?
Have you checked even one of them?
Are there differences in interpretation of Genesis 37:4 between the different versions?
Stop bluffing.

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Brit-Am wrote:
The
Wyclif Bible (1380 to 1390) "a cote of many colours".
TG said: again a Christian tradition through misinterpretation

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Brit-Am replies:
Just because it is Christian does not make it wrong. It was based on
Classical sources and on scholars who consulted Rabbinical authorities.
That does not make it automatically correct but it is worth noting.
Apart from that, in your previous missives to my humble self you seem to have relied much more on non-Jewish opinions and interpretations than we have.

You say it is misinterpretation because you dislike the implications that Brit-Am ascribes to it NOT due to intrinsic examination.

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 Brit-Am wrote:
#Each strip [pas,
pisah] of the woven cloth was of a different color# (Rabbi Yonah iben Janach ca. 990-1050 CE Spain).

TG said:
 

source please since I want to know not only conclusion, but how he came to this conclusion

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Brit-Am replies:
All sources are from the Commentaries to Genesis 37:4. We have quoted what he said as transcribed in the Commentary
Daat Mikra on Sefer Breishit [The book of Genesis].
In the overwhelming majority of cases the Commentators did not explain how they came to any conclusion beyond what we have quoted.
In fact no Commentary apart perhaps from
Abarbanel will give such an explanation. They did not need to. Their opinion derives from the simple Hebrew meaning. If you were at all familiar with these commentaries you would not have made such a remark. Not only have you taken a prior decision on the subject without knowing what the sources say but you want us to do your work for you to find justification for your prejudice and bigotry.
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  Brit-Am wrote:
Radak (1160 - 1235 Southern France): "It (the garment) was of many colors with each strip (Hebrew: "pas") being of a color in its own right" (David Kimchi, "Sefer HaShorashim" item "pas").

TG said:
 

source please since I want to know not only conclusion, but how he came to this conclusion

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Brit-Am Replies:
I gave you the source i.e. Rabbi David
Kimchi (Radak), "Sefer HaShorashim" on the word "pas".
I have a copy of the original Hebrew Version here.
Now go search for an English Translation.
I do not like
useing intellectual arrogance against you but that is what you are doing with me while remaining oblivious to your own vulnerability on these points.
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 Brit-Am said:
Ralbag (Gersonides) translates "passim" as "mishbatsot" i.e. squares.

TG said:
 

 source please since I want to know not only conclusion, but how he came to this conclusion.

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Brit-Am replies:
(ibid)
The Commentary of
Ralbag is found in many versions of Mikraot Gedolot [A Classic Very Popular Rabbinical Collection of Commentaries on the Bible]. You will not find anything beyond which we have quoted. The Ralbag wrote his Commentary for those who like himself understood Hebrew and anything beyond the explanation that "pasim" meant mishbatsot (squares of tartan type) was superfluous.
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Brit-Am said:
Aryeh Kaplan ("The Living Torah", 1981) utilizes both major opinions and translates "cotonet passim" as a "long colorful coat" (Genesis 37:3).

TG said:
 

source please since I want to know not only conclusion, but how he came to this conclusion.

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Brit-Am replies:
Are you normal? This is the source as given above, i.e.
Aryeh Kaplan ("The Living Torah", 1981) on Genesis 37:3.
I see it is not only Hebrew you have trouble comprehending.

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Brit-Am said:
This approach is in fact acceptable.

TG said: to you

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Brit-Am replies:
The approach of synthesizing different opinions and of searching for their common denominator is that of most of the early authorities.
It is also an approach that we are sympathetic with.
In this case it is the approach adopted by the
Natziv and by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan and the other Commentators with whom you unfortunately appear to be not as familiar as you perhaps should be. In principle this approach is applied everywhere in studies of this nature.
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Brit-Am said:
 

The Hebrew Bible is a Divine work. Each word is there for a reason. The beauty of the Hebrew Language is that one word may have several meanings and the sentence so arranged that more than one of the meanings be intended at one and the same time.

TG said:
 

but each time a meaning is used, it has to be justified in its usage....
so why was it necessary for Yaakov to make the coat he gave to Yosef 'colourful' (according to you)?

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Brit-Am Replies:
You should try and make your points more clearly. Your antagonism and sheer superciliousness comes across quite strongly but the rationale that presumably exists behind it does not.
As for why Jacob gave Joseph a colored garment?
I do not know.
That was not the aim of the article.
The Commentators however say that the coat was of differing colors in lines and squares in patterns (of tartan type) similar to those worn by people in the region of Canaan as depicted on Egyptian walls. The Bible itself indicates that the
cotonet pasim signified rank (2-Samuel 13:18) as confirmed by the Commentatory Daat Mikra.
Why Jacob gave Joseph the coat and why the coat he gave was designed as it was is not the main point of our article.
Our article aimed to show what the coat probably looked like and to point out that the said design was a tartan one or highly similar to it.
This reflects Divine Providence and an instinctive awareness by the Scottish concerning their ancestry from Joseph.




2. Brian Patmore: The Celtic Areas of Spain

Shalom Yair,

Maybe a study of the Celtic areas of Spain (Galicia, Catalan, Asturia, Basques etc) could also reveal the tartain
bagpipes etc etc. Look at dance and the like as a cultural connection as well.

Just a few ideas (I speak fluent Spanish and as such am quite aware of what I am suggesting.)

May [THE ALMIGHTY] smile upon you all back home in Yisrael !!

Shalom,

Brian
Brisbane



3. Changes and New Entries to Tartan Article
The Scottish Tartan Cloak of Joseph

http://www.britam.org/tartan.html
Pasim and Rashi: In the Commentary of Rashi besides the word "Pasim" we find the comment: "Expression connoting Garment of Milet." This could be the result of editing. Rashi may have meant his comment to apply to the combined words "Cotonet passim" and to be based on the meaning of the word "cotonet". Rashi mentions a garment of Milet meaning a garment of very fine high-qulaity wool named after the city of Miletus on the west coast of Anatolia i.e. present-day Turkey. This city is recorded from the Bronze Age and was apparently known for the quality of its woven wool.
Rashi would therefore suggest that the garment of Joseph was made of wool but linen appears the most acceptable.
 
The Talmud (Shabat 10b) however also supports the wool thesis.
The Talmud says that a man should always be careful not to favor any of his children more than the others. It gaves as an example of the unfavorable results of favoritism the case of Joseph and the coat of many colors in which for "the sake of two shekels in weight of milet [fine wool] our forefathers went down into Egypt". Rashi in his commentary to this source concerning "milet" surprisingly says "not necessarily so" and brings a source suggesting that only a small part of the sleeve was actually of milet wool.

Gersonides opined that Cotonet Pasim connoted royalty.

Radak on Genesis 37:3.
# Cotonet Pasim. Pasim, cf. the part [pas] of the hand (Daniel 5:5). The Cotonot was made of different pieces [pasim, strips]. One piece was of one color another piece of another like a garment of Miletus [Hebrew: cli milet] made with a design of different colored stripes [pasim].#


Nachmanides (1194-1270, Spain, Jerusalem in Israel)
Nachmanides (like Gersonides) mentions both the signification of royalty and the tartan-type [tashbets] design.
Nachmanides (Exodus 28:2): ## For these clothes are clothes of royalty and like unto them were worn by monarchs in the time of the Torah. And so we find concerning the Cotonet, "he made him a tunic of many colors" (Genesis 37:3), meaning embroidered in the form of lines [Pasim] this being a garment of [tartan-type] Squares [tashbets]##.

HaNatziv (Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin,  1816 ? 1893, Russia)
HaNatziv also adopted a synthetic approach saying that Cotonet Pasim connoted both a long-sleeved garment and one decorated with a tartan type design of interlocking squares.
HaNatziv (Genesis 37:3):
##Cotonet Pasim. That reached up to the end [Hebrew: pas] of his hand. Alternately it defines a specific weaving as for stripes [pasim] [i.e. to create a pattern involving lines or stripes]. And so wrote Ramban [Nachmanides]. ..[Exodus 23]...like a garment design involving squares [tashbets] and so too would it appear from Rashi on [Talmud] Shabat 10 [not found??]...all men of rank wore such garments only that of Joseph was especially distinguished ##
We thus find that the Natziv interprets "cotonet pasim" in a way that encompasses all of the discussed possibilities: reaching to arms length, square [tartan-type] design, denoting rank and status.#

Daat Sofrim (Rabbi Chaim Dov Rabinovitz 1909-2001, Russia, Israel) on Genesis 37:3.
# Pasim. There were an external expression of appreciation and admiration for the inner essence [of Joseph] as well as an expression of faith in his future. Jacob made him a special garment that symbolized his primacy and superiority...#

Sforno (Rabbi Obadiah Sforno, c. 1470 - 1550, Italy) on Genesis 37:3.
# Cotonot Pasim. This was a sign that Joseph would be the leader in the house and in the field
as it says,  AND I WILL CLOTHE HIM WITH THY ROBE [Hebrew "cotonetcha"] ...
AND I WILL COMMIT THY GOVERNMENT INTO HIS HAND [Isaiah 22:21].






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