In this week's Parsha (Devarim 11:4), the Chizkuni says the following:

אשר הציף מי ים סוף על פניהם ברדפם אחריהם – ברדוף המים אחרי המצרים, והיינו דכתיב: נערמו מים, שתרגם אונקלוס: חכימו מיא, שחכמו והערימו לעשות רצון בוראם לרדוף אחרי המצרים

“how he rolled back upon them the waters of the Sea of Reeds when they were pursuing them” – when the waters were pursuing the Egyptians. That is what is written: “the waters neʿermu” which Onkelos translates as “the waters gained wisdom,” they became wise and crafty about how to fulfill the will of their creator to chase after the Egyptians.

This would be a very nice suggestion, if not for the fact that our Torah has a different text. Rather than the word אחריהם, which the Chizkuni Darshens to mean after the Egyptians, our versions of the Torah read אחריכם, after you (not after the Egyptians).

This was noted by Minchas Shai here:

ברדפם אַחֲרֵיכֶם: מה מאד יש להפלא מהחזקוני שכתב אחריהם, ופירש… וכן בתיקון ס”ת ישן מצאתי גמגום זה, וגם במקרא גדולה כתי’ בהגהה צ”ע לרז”ל אחריהם, ע”כ.

“As they pursed you” – it is much to be wondered at that the Ḥizquni wrote “them” and explained… I also found this error in correcting an old Torah scroll. Also, in a Miqra Gedolah (a rabbinic Bible) there was a gloss which said, “Our Sages’ [text], ‘them,’ needs to be thought about carefully.”


Based on similar questions here, here and here, would learning this Chizkuni (or any other Peirushim based on alternate readings of the Torah) be considered Talmud Torah in terms of learning it in the bathroom, etc. etc.?



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