I am curious as to the identity of the רציפי, an animal identified in perek shira. From what I understand the translation of bat is erroneous, and I'm wondering what the correct translation is.

  • I realize in the linked blog post Rabbi Slifkin posits that it may be the dove but he seems unsure
    – pokemon
    Jul 18 '13 at 14:58
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    Did you read his comment further down the page dated 'September 5, 2011 at 8:16 AM'? See also his comment immediately preceding that one.
    – Bar Uryan
    Jul 18 '13 at 15:06
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    The post in @BarUryan comment above: rationalistjudaism.com/2011/08/… You're probably not going to get better than Rabbi Slifkin as far as identifying this animal with a known species.
    – WAF
    Jul 19 '13 at 12:39

The man, Rabbi Slifikin, who originally erred in his publication of the word רציפי as bat, in a later volume corrected himself with the following blurb:

In the first edition of this book, rather than positively identify the retzifi, it was simply explained in reference to the bat, since the way in which several of the commentaries explained the verse in Perek Shirah matched the bat’s habits. It was also pointed out that Pi Eliyahu identifies the retzifi as the tinshames of Scripture, which is sometimes identified as a bat; however, Pi Eliyahu itself was explaining tinshames as a type of owl. The retzifi is clearly not the bat, which has its own name in Hebrew – atalef. It turns out that it is possible to identify the retzifi, at least broadly. Tuv Ta’am, cited by Yashir Moshe, and Perek B’Shir, state that retzifi is a type of dove. This identification is supported by early manuscripts of Perek Shirah, which state yutzfi or dayutzfi in place of retzifi. Since the letters resh and dales are often interchanged, we can understand how this name became corrupted to become retzifi. The datzifi is mentioned in the Talmud (Chullin 62a) as being similar to a turtledove. Furthermore, Rabbeinu Chananel to Shabbos 81a states that the tziltzela, a bird mentioned in Shabbos 80b, is a type of small dove also called ritzifi (although Otzar HaGeonim states that the tziltzela is a bird the size of a dove with small eggs). It is not possible to conclusively determine which species of dove it is, but we are tentatively identifying it as the laughing dove, which is similar to the turtledove but smaller, and to which we can match an interpretation of the verse that is attached to it.

Shoutout to WAF

  • I wonder when ArtScroll is going to correct themselves in their Perek Shirah, then, because they cite R' Slifkin for their inclusion of the bat.
    – ezra
    Nov 8 '18 at 18:27

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