What is the difference between שרויה and רויה?

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    QUESTION: Q: According to my understanding שְׁרוּיָה means “abides, dwells“ as in שְׁכִינָה שְׁרוּיָה בֵינֵיהֶם (shekhinah abides in their midst). But I am thinking of “כּוֹסִי רְוָיָה (my cup overflows)“ (Psalms 23:6). What is the difference between the two?
    Jəssə Barksdale

    A: Right, שרויה is the Aramaic translation of “encampment,” as in (Gen. 25:18, Num. 21:11), or “camp” (Num. 2:3, Deut. 23:15), and also “rest” (Num. 10:33). It also means “releasing,” “untying” (Gen. 24:11), because this frees up the animal to rest (see Radak ibid.). And in Talmudic parlance שרי means “allowing.” The word שרוי in the sense of “soaking” is because the item is “freed” from one’s grip and then naturally rests in the body of water into which it is released.
    Yehoshua (Jeremy) Steinberg

    FOLLOWUP: The root שרה is Hebrew and its Aramaic equivalent is תרא / תרי. So משרת ענבים is translated as מתרות ענבין (Num 6, 3). Apparently, it is not related to the Aramaic שרי. Rather, it seems to be related to the Hebrew root שור meaning “to look”. Hence Rashi’s explanation of משרת:
    The word משרת denotes “steeping” in water or any other liquid. In the Mishnaic language there are many examples of this, e.g., (Shabbat 17b): “One must not soak (שורין) ink-materials and dyes in water on the eve of Sabbath”; (Nazir 34b): “A Nazarite who steeped (שרה) his bread in wine”.
    That is to say, steeping adds color and makes visible.

    ANSWER: Good point about the Targum, Eliyahu. Note that the word משרת ענבים is the only occurence of a derivative of שרה with the meaning of soaking in Scripture. The letters ת and ש often interchange both in Aramaic and Hebrew [e.g. ברותים (שה”ש א:יז) and ברושים (מ”א ה:כב), חרושה , חרותה ; ותוללינו [כמו]: ושוללינו ]. Further מתרות, sounding a lot like מותר in Hebrew, would also hint to the underlying meaning of the object being “released” from one’s grip in order to soak in the water.
    One further hint to the connection between “soaking” and “releasing”: one word for releasing or freeing in Hebrew is שמט, as in שמיטה. A synonym for soaking in Aramaic is טמש (e.g. Targum Yonatan Ex. 12:22, Sukka 10b).

    Yehoshua (Jeremy) Steinberg

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