Thursday, November 26, 2009

Looking at the cup ... full

Here's a question from a reader:

Here's a question that's been bugging my family for a while:
At the end of the צור משלו why is it כוס יין מלא and not מלאה? Poetic license? It doesn't really help the rhyme, though, because if it did it would be the סגול of ויתעלה and the צירי of מלא. And even if a סגול and a צירי are similar enough, the beat is all wrong. Any thoughts?

P.S. I think I might have figured it out. Each verse follows an "X-Y, X-Y, X-Y, X-Y, X ....Hashem" rhyme format. I guess the writer assumed that a סגול and a צירי do rhyme. Never mind!
However, if you come up with any more satisfying ideas, please let me know.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

About Re-Posts

Recently, I reposted a piece from a previous year and was asked in the comments why I reposted my question if it was answered in the comments.

Because most of the stuff that is posted here is relevant to the פרשה, it makes sense to bring the issues up all over again in following years (especially advisories.) However, there is often discussion in the comments that is crucial to the topic at hand. The problem is that when you view the blog on the main page, the comments are not shown unless you click on the link. And I also believe there is something to be said about maintaining the original integrity of the question-answer process.

This week happens to feature many reposts. What I have begun to do is to take important comments from previous years and paste them in to the actual post and remove them from the comments. That way, they will show up (with proper attribution, as well) on the post.

The Double Modifier

...כָּל נֵדֶר וְכָל שְׁבֻעַת אִסָּר

First, I am making an assumption which I have been told is not necessarily correct. That is, that the word נֵדֶר as it is pronounced in this פסוק implies סמיכות. If that is the case, the proper pronounciation becomes more crucial than in other instances of סמיכות. Without סמיכות the פסוק would be understood "Every נדר, and every שבועה of אסר..." However, the סמיכות determines that אסר is modifying נדר as well and so it is understood "Every נדר of אסר and every שבועה of אסר..."
Any thoughts?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Man and Animal

Since, in my previous post, I had to drop one of my pet peeves, I figured it's time to bring another one to the forefront:

Most weeks, after שמונה עשרה of מנחה on שבת we recite the צדקתך exerpt consisting of three פסוקים. There is a common tune that is used by just about everyone to finish it off. I can't really repeat it in the form of a blog but I'm sure most of you are familiar with it. The problem is, that the tune tends to group the words as follows [אדם ובהמה] ...[תושיע ה]. This intonation implies rather foolishly that man and beast will save השם. Indeed, תושיע is in the singular. However, as we have discussed, that is not necessarily an indication of a singular subject. The proper way to say this would be to go high on the word תושיע which would group the words as follows: [אדם ובהמה תושיע] ...[ה].

Of course, those who daven נוסח ספרד will not encounter this problem as the three פסוקים are read in the reverse order.

Another similar issue is found at the end of the שיר של יום for Thursday. The last פסוק reads:
ויאכילהו מחלב חיטה; ומצור, דבש אשביעך
I'm not sure how common this mistake is but I know I was making it before someone pointed it out to me. It is not "I have satiated you from a honey rock" but rather "from a rock, I have satiated you with honey." Hence the necessary pause after the word ומצור.

(I guess it was kind of silly for me to post this right before two consecutive שבתות when צדקתך will not be recited.)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gender of קרבן

So in the week's פרשה as well as last's, we dicuss the קרבן עולָה. Why is a קרבן considered feminine? And if it is feminine, why do we refer to a קרבן עולֶה ויורד? That would imply that it is masculine. Is this yet another example of what we have been dicussing a lot recently - the case of the "hidden word?"