Following on from my answer here

What is the third type of תרדמה - i.e. "תַרְדֵּמַת מַרְמִיטָה", that the Midrash in Bereishis Rabbah 17:5 is explaining:

רַב אָמַר שָׁלשׁ תַּרְדֵמוֹת הֵן, תַּרְדֵּמַת שֵׁנָה, וְתַרְדֵּמַת נְבוּאָה, וְתַרְדֵּמַת מַרְמִיטָה. תַּרְדֵּמַת שֵׁנָה וַיַּפֵּל ה' אֱלֹהִים תַּרְדֵּמָה עַל הָאָדָם וַיִּישָׁן. תַּרְדֵּמַת נְבוּאָה (בראשית טו, יב): וַיְהִי הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לָבוֹא וְתַרְדֵּמָה נָפְלָה עַל אַבְרָם. תַּרְדֵּמַת מַרְמִיטָה (שמואל א כו, יב): אֵין רֹאֶה וְאֵין יוֹדֵעַ וְאֵין מֵקִיץ כִּי כֻלָּם יְשֵׁנִים כִּי תַּרְדֵּמַת ה' נָפְלָה עֲלֵיהֶם. רַבָּנָן אָמְרֵי אַף תַּרְדֵּמָה שֶׁל שְׁטוּת, דִּכְתִיב (ישעיה כט, י): כִּי נָסַךְ עֲלֵיכֶם ה' רוּחַ תַּרְדֵּמָה.

Rav said that there are three types of 'tardeima' and they are: 1) A 'tardeima' of deep sleep, 2) A 'tardeima' of prophecy, and 3) A 'tardeima' of ________(?).

*A 'tardeima' of sleep - e.g. (Bereishis 2:21) "So the LORD G-d cast a deep sleep upon the man; and he slept". 'Tardeima' of prophecy - e.g. (Bereishis 15:12) "As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon Abram". A 'tardeima' of ____? - e.g. (Shmuel I 26:12) "No one saw or knew or woke up; all remained asleep; a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them.

In modern Hebrew, the word "מַרְמִיטָה" means a groundhog i.e. a member of the rodent family, perhaps best known by the 'holiday' - Groundhog Day e.g. here.

The only connection I can imagine is that these animals hibernate for such a long time (apparently 3-5 months) they are in a state of complete disconnect from the world, which would seem to tally with the quote from Shmuel brought in the Midrash - "No one saw or knew or woke up; all remained asleep". But if that is the case, how is it different to the first tardeima example that Adam experienced which is also regarded as a deep sleep? If it is a third category, it should in theory be different to the other two?

  • books.google.com.au/… seems to agree that marmita is (approximately) the animal you refer to.
    – The GRAPKE
    Oct 27 '20 at 4:06
  • Ok @GRAPKE - so how does it differ from the first type of tardeima?
    – Dov
    Oct 27 '20 at 6:26
  • Sleep is part of daily living, hibernation is not.
    – The GRAPKE
    Oct 27 '20 at 22:45
  • So is the third category an all-encompassing sleep with a complete disconnect from the world, whereas the first is only a deep sleep? (I believe the mefarshim say that in Adam's case it was induced so that he would not feel the pain of Hashem extracting the צלע - i.e. a glorified anaesthetic.)
    – Dov
    Oct 27 '20 at 22:58
  • The third category sounds like the slumber of the bewitched in Sleeping Beauty.
    – The GRAPKE
    Oct 27 '20 at 23:09

The Aruch (מרמטא) says it's "like a stone", similar to marmor in Latin and mármaro in Greek, according to the "א-ב" note addition in my printed version of the Aruch.
I.e. Stonelike. Sleeping like a stone.

The Maharzu says it's from the word mortem in Latin.
I.e. Deathlike: Sleeping as if he was dead.

  • +1 - Amazing finds! And so how would you view the difference between this tardeima and the one by Adam which comes under the first category?
    – Dov
    Oct 28 '20 at 10:15
  • @Dov -it would seem that if somebody had tried hard enough to awaken Adam during the "surgery" he would have awoken. As opposed to those who are dead-like; nothing in the world would wake them up. Oct 29 '20 at 8:34
  • i hear - good nafka minah thank you!
    – Dov
    Oct 29 '20 at 9:19

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