Aspaklaria Ha’meira and Aspaklaria She’Aina Me’ira.
A- Further to our discussion of Reb Yisroel Lifschutz, the open minded author of the “Tiferes Yisroel” commentary on the Mishna, we mentioned his take on the definition of Aspaklaria Ha’meira and Aspaklaria She’Aina Me’ira. Sanhedrin 97b.
Loosely translated as: Clear glass and unclear glass.
What is the real meaning of these two words?
See here in Mishnayos Kelim Chapter 30. http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9686&st=&pgnum=319
The Rambam there has interesting words to describe both types. What he describes can mean: Glass, mirror and/or clear stone.
The clear stone he mentions is actually a semi-precious stone that can be polished and used as a glass in a window. See below what Boaz has located.
The Tosfos Yom Tov there says that according to the Rambam “Aspaklaria She’Aina Me’ira” means a mirror. And “Aspaklaria Ha’meira” – “brill”. A German word that can mean either spectacles or a telescope.
Reb Yisroel Lifschutz comments that it is impossible to say that the Rambam was referring to spectacles or a telescope because these two items were invented much after the Rambam.
He writes the names of the two inventors for these items.
1- Alexander Spina- inventor of spectacles. “Glasses”.
2- Zacharias Janssen one of the inventors of the telescope.
Reb Yisroel Lifschutz then continues tell us what the Rambam really meant. This is where I’m lost. Please help. Does he mean 2 types of mirrors?
B- The Previous Rebbe (Bar Mitzvah Ma’mor) translates Aspaklaria Ha’meira a microscope.
C- The Alter Rebbe in Likutei Torah translates Aspaklaria She’Aina Me’ira as a mirror.
D- The Mitteler Rebbe describes Aspaklaria Ha’meira as a microscope or telescope.
D- See here a compilation of the places in Chassidus: http://www.haoros.com/Archive/?kovetz=811 page 121
E- See here in Hebrew: http://www.aspaklaria.info/001_ALEF/%D7%90%D7%A1%D7%A4%D7%A7%D7%9C%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%90.htm
F- The Rambam mentions glass and a stone called Shoam that is translucent.
Boaz located this from the ‘Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture’.
Specularia: Windowpanes used in ancient Rome; usually made of thin sheets of mica (lapis specularis).
What is Shoham?
There is more.