Thursday, January 19, 2017

From the Children of the Hebrews

(ב:ו)
וַתֹּאמֶר מִיַּלְדֵי הָעִבְרִים זֶה

It would seem that the pronunciation of the word מילדי is quite crucial. Obviously, when pronounced correctly, it means "from the children of the Hebrews." However, suppose it were to be erroneously pronounced מְיַלְדֵי. Wouldn't that mean "the midwives?" (or, midhusbands, per Michael's comment.) Admittedly, that wouldn't make much sense in context and perhaps need not be corrected. But certainly something to be mindful of.

See the comments.

5 comments:

Michael Koplow said...

Wouldn't it actually mean "midhusbands" (so to speak)?

Shtikler said...

Ah, you mean because it is מילדי as opposed to מילדות. Good point.

Anonymous said...

That depends if you pronounce the יל syllable as a closed syllable or not. If you pronounce it as a closed syllable, there is a big difference, because the word for midwives is מְיַלְּדֵי with a dagesh in the ל.

Shloime said...

Not much of a difference in the reading, because the Minchas Shay (Ma'amar Hama'arich) says that a shevo before a yud is read as a Chirik anyway.

MG said...

IMHO it's the dagesh chazak in the yud that's important, and would make the difference between the two meanings, especially in light of Shloime's comments.
I know, I know: most people are not makpid on dagesh chazak. But then again, most people are not makpid on dikduk. I would hope that those who read this blog do indeed care.