Friday, October 9, 2020

And the days was

Although the פרק recounting the generations from אדם to נח seems somewhat repetitive, I noticed an interesting discrepancy this year. For most, the grand tally of their years lived begins ...ויהיו כל ימי. However, for חנוך it says ה:כ"ג ויהי כל ימי חנוך. I first thought the change might be related to חנוך's early exit. But the same wording is found later for למך as well. I have to admit, I haven't looked very hard to see if this is addressed anywhere. Any ideas?

Do you Sea what I Sea

This particular issue presents itself twice on שמחת תורה. First, in וזאת הברכה ל"ג:י"ט and then in בראשית. On days 3, 4 and 5 we find the word ימים. But there is, of course, a very important difference. In וזאת הברכה and on days, 3 and 5, the word is יַמִּים with a פתח, meaning seas. On day 4, the word is יָמִים with a קמץ. This is easily overlooked and a very important distinction. En garde!

(I know someone is going to point out the דגש in יַמִּים but, as I have mentioned before, since for the most part, most בעלי קריאה do not precisely differentiate, I don't include that as a significant difference. Nevertheless, for those who lain in הברה ספרדית with little or no differentiation between קמץ and פתח, it might be a good idea to use the דגש to differentiate.)

Come on, people!

I had an experience this morning (2011) which really bothered me. During laining, the בעל קריאה, instead of וְקַרְנֵי רְאֵם קַרְנָיו, said וּקַרְנֵי**. Gasp! No, the real gasp was the chorus of know-betters who shouted the completely unnecessary correction. I had to go over to someone to make sure I had really heard right but sure enough, that is what went down. When will people learn?

**The truth is that by now, I am actually not 100% sure if that was the actual "mistake." It's probably because of what is said in the גמרא סנהדרין כ"ט: כל מילי דכדי לא דכירי אינשי - a person does not remember words of nothingness.

Friday, October 2, 2020

הרחמן הוא יקים

According to the comment by Elie on this previous post, the proper pronunciation of the last word of the addition at the end of ברכת המזון for סוכות is הַנֹּפֶלֶת, and not the customary הַנֹּפָלֶת. I'd be interested to hear of what sort of funny looks you get when you sing the popular R' Shlomo Carlebach tune with the apparently proper pronunciation. Please post any interesting stories in the comments.

חג שמח

Friday, September 25, 2020



הלה' תגמלו זאת

In a year such as this (which we haven't had in 11 years) you get to hear האזינו many times and you will likely hear this word pronounced in different ways. It's not a definite consensus but the accepted reading of the word seems to be like the מנחת שי and should be read hal-ado... Two things to keep in mind are that the שוא under the למ"ד is נח - so not hale - and the פתח must be under the "virtual" אל"ף, not the למ"ד - so not ha-la-do.

Monday, September 21, 2020

A Happy Ending

During this time, between ראש השנה and יום כפור , the common greeting seems to be גמר חתימה טובה. (According to a shiur הרב יעקב משה קולפסקי, זצ"ל used to say over, it might still be appropriate to use the popular pre-ראש השנה greeting, כתיבה וחתימה טובה. But אין כאן מקום להאריך.) However, the gender of this greeting puzzles me. What is it that we are wishing? Should it be a גמר of a חתימה טובה? Or, are we wishing that the גמר חתימה be a good one? The shortened version of this greeting, גמר טוב, would seem to indicate that it is the latter. If so, should the greeting not be גמר חתימה טוב?!

It could be that the general public is thrown off by the word חתימה to think that the term, as a whole is feminine. Nevertheless, see this Kashrus Kurrents article and footnote 1 regarding proper grammar vs. common convention.

[תשפ"א] Also, thanks to a reader for pointing me in the direction of this אוצר החכמה discussion which seems to suggest that the greeting in this form is erroneous and really, the more common and correct greeting from the previous generations is simply חתימה טובה.

Well, whatever the proper gender is - it should all be for the good!

Remember us for the good

One of the lines of אבינו מלכנו is:
אבינו מלכנו זכרנו בְּזִכָּרוֹן טוב לפניך

Above is how it appears in most מחזורים. However, I have found in the סדור רנת ישראל and in the recently released מחזור מקראי קודש from רב אהרן לופיאנסקי slightly differently, זכרנו בְּזִכְרוֹן טוב לפניך, apparently putting סמיכות between זכרון and טוב.

(The Koren Sacks siddur has זִכְרוֹן as well.)

Any thoughts?

Please see the comments.