Monday, May 6, 2019

סוכת דוד

I'm sure everyone will notice the reference in this week's הפטרה to the phrase we insert in ברכת המזון for סוכות - (actually, it's the other way around, the phrase is a reference to the פסוק)

הרחמן הוא יקים לנו את סכת דויד הנופלת

I'm probably not the only one, however, to notice the slight anomaly in the פסוק. We are accustomed to saying הַנֹּפָלֶת, with a קמץ under the פ. I believe it is this way in most, if not all ברכונים. But in the עמוס ט:י"א ,פסוק, it is written with a סגול, even though it is on an אתנחתא.
This therefore begs two questions:
  1. Why would it not change to הַנֹּפָלֶת on an אתנחתא?
  2. Seeing as it does not in the original biblical text, why would we change it in ברכת המזון?

    Please see Elie's comment.

9 comments:

Isaac said...

1) Thanks to Google, I found this treatment on the parshablog. He doesn't really answer the question, other than to say, "On occasion, this rule is not followed, and we have the pausal form in a zakef cantillation, or non-pausal form with pausal cantillation."

2) Perhaps whatever reason made this word not take the pausal form in Amos, with an etnachta, was not sufficiently strong to keep it from taking the pausal form in birkat hamazon, at the end of a sentence.

Shtikler said...

Wow! That's huge.
Firstly, he does cite an opinion that our text in the benchers is incorrect. That's interesting.
What he mentions about the difference between the segol and kamatz is another interesting suggestion. Suppose my theory about תבן actually has some truth to it. Perhaps we can then suggest as follows: It is nofeles in עמוס because, as he explains, the בית המקדש was still standing. סוכת דוד was in the process of falling. The reason the אתנחתא does not change it to nofales is because that would change the meaning. However, when we now say it in ברכת המזון, it is after it has fallen and so, it is in the past tense.

Anonymous said...

what does hanofales mean?--it is just nanofeles in its pausal form.

berl, crown heights said...

check out Radak in sefer Michlul (don't have time to look up the page right now) - he explains there that this word is found in Tanach only once (and as you noted with taam mafsik) and is with a segol based on Mesorah.

Indeed, you will find that Baal Hatanya left the segol in place in his nussach of the siddur.

ELIE said...

כל הפלפול למה יש הבדל בין הסידור והנביא הוא טעות
ברור שהסירים טעו בזה וגם האנשים ששרים את זה
אני תמיד מעיר על זה
נכון שיש מילים כמו תבן מלך נדר וכד' שאינן מתחלפות לקמת באתנח וסוף פסוק
קשה לומר שזה יעזור כאן
אולי כח ההפסק של האתנח כאן הוא קטן יותר אבל נקבל את זה כיוצא מהכלל

Dov said...

Then there's "Tov li torat picha m'alfei zahav va-chasef" - everyone else says va-chesef.

estee said...

ס'דור בעל התנאי נקוד בסגול

Anonymous said...

I have the following thought from a prominent Hebraist who wishes to remain anonymous.
Nouns like beged and leh.em ("h." stands for a h.et) are called "segolate nouns" because many (but by no means all) show two segol vowels in their singular masculine form.
Although they may look the same now, long ago the original vowel of the first letter (called the "stem" vowel) may have been "a" (this stands for the sound 'ah') or "i" (this stands for the sound "ee").

If the original stem vowel was "a", then in a major pausing place in the pasuk (like etnahta), the "a" returns as a lengthened "a" (kamets).
If the original stem vowel was "i", there is no incentive for it to change to "a" because it was never "a".

Thus, leh.em become lah.em, but beged stays beged and does not become baged.
You can usually find the original stem vowel in the current suffixed forms. Lah.mo, lah.mekha show that the original stem vowel was "a". The original was one syllable, lah.m that evolved into leh.em.
Suffixed forms bigdo, bigdekha show that the original stem vowel of this word was "i". The original was one syllable, bigd that evolved into beged.

Now to nofelet. The last two syllables of this feminine participle are just a like a segolate.
The original stem vowel can be reconstructed from the masculine form of the participle, nofel. The original stem vowel was "i", which eventually lengthened to "e" (tsere) because it was accented.
For the feminine, the original form is nofilt, which became nofelet, just as bigd became beged. This is a standard, predictable historical process.
Nofelet, with its stem vowel "i", is like beged, not leh.em. Therefore, in major pausing positions in a pasuk, the vowel does not change.

Having said this, there may be some instances of participles that do unexpectably change to "a".
I can't think of any at present. However, there are infinitives with segolate endings that shouldn't change and yet they do.
E.g., laledet sometimes (?) becomes laladet in pausing places, even though it is originally lalidt, like nofilt above, with an original "i" vowel. It should remain laledet.

But the power of analogy is very, very strong in language. For human speakers, patterns and apparent patterns rule, despite linguistic principles and historical processes.
(Think of little children who figure out to say, "I singed a song." They never heard the form "singed," but they "know" to say "sing/singed" by analogy with "jump/jumped," "talk/talked," etc.
It is not surprising if people heard many segolates following the leh.em/lah.em pattern, they might make others follow that pattern as well, even when these words' linguistic ancestors say they shouldn't.

Alberto Attia said...

Thank you Anonymous!