In explaining the Mishna, the Bartenura often clarifies obscure words by providing a cognate word in either Hebrew or Aramaic - the latter usually taken from the Targum, but sometimes from the Bavli or Yerushalmi. In Uqtzin 2:5, he explains the verb, אמנן (as in, האגוזים שאמנן) to mean "braided, joined together" (שגדלן וחברן זו לזו), and then backs that up with a verse in Esther: "ויהי אומן את הדסה" (Esther 2:7).

Since Mordekhai was neither braiding Esther nor joining her to something else, how does this passuk clarify the meaning of the word in its mishnaic context??

3 Answers 3


Maybe that's why he says "שגדלן" (which otherwise seems out of place when talking about stringing things together. I mean, yeah, by doing so you're making something that's bigger, but that's not usually thought of as embiggening the nuts): to show the connection to the word in Esther which means "to embiggen" in another sense, viz to rear.

Just my own thought: I've no support for it.

  • Oh, interesting. I read that as "braid them"...
    – Shimon bM
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 5:52
  • 1
    @ShimonbM, the usual root for "braid" I think is "קלע".
    – msh210
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 5:56
  • Not always - see Bartenura on Kiddushin 2:3. The word קלע turns up a bunch of times in the Mishna, but mostly as a noun (eg: לפני הקלעים, throughout Zevachim).
    – Shimon bM
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 8:38

פרק ב - משנה ה
חִבּוּר. הִתְחִיל לְפָרֵק, אֹכֶל שֶׁהִתְחִיל בּוֹ, אֵינוֹ חִבּוּר. ‎‏ הָאֱגוֹזִים שֶׁאֲמָנָן‏ ‎‏ הָאֱגוֹזִים וְהַשְּׁקֵדִים, חִבּוּר, עַד שֶׁיְּרַסֵּס:‏
ר"ע מברטנורה הַמְחַתֵּךְ לְבַשֵּׁל. ...:
הָאֱגוֹזִים שֶׁאֲמָנָן שֶׁגִּדְּלָן וְחִבְּרָן זוֹ בָזוֹ. לְשׁוֹן וַיְהִי אֹמֵן אֶת הֲדַסָּה (אֶסְתֵּר ב): ... ‏
‏ Omen= growing. See Tif'eret Israel 51 See Mishna Kiddushin Shifcha Gadelet (chapter 2 mishna 3 "עַל מְנָת שֶׁיֶּשׁ לִי בַת אוֹ שִׁפְחָה גַדֶּלֶת" (Bartenura "קוֹלַעַת שְׂעַר הַנָּשִׁים ")). Gadel = Braiding

Your question is Strong

But the point is the translation between the radical "גדל" and the radical "אמן", after this, the figurative sense and others are contingents.
Gadel = Braiding; Aman = Gadel; => Aman = Braiding;
To grow, a crop, for example, some things can not grown if you do not make a Braid. garlic braids are length. Curly hear without Braids seem least length.

  • @Shimon bM I hope that this makes sense
    – kouty
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 6:53
  • It makes sense, I just think it's a weak connection. Normally, the Bartenura cites supporting verses that use the word in a straightforward sense. This one seems more like a drosh...
    – Shimon bM
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 8:40
  • @ShimonbM Shifcha gadelet is not a drush. the similarities between grown and cultivate too.
    – kouty
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 8:49
  • @ShimonbM may be following Bartenura Shabbat 10, 6 here make thicker.
    – kouty
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 9:22
  • @ShimonbM Rashi on Chumash Shemot 28, 22
    – kouty
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 9:26

The root of the word is גדל which means to increase. And the way to increase hair or rope is by braiding the strands of hair or rope together. Hence, the Bartenura means that nuts were 'increased' by tying them together, and thus the word אמנן is cognate with the word אומן – Mordechai 'increased' Hadasah (Esther), i.e. he raised her.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .