Friday, December 8, 2023

Clear the halls!

Over חנוכה we will be reciting על הניסים numerous times - probably more than 30. As we describe the process following the military victory, we say "ופנו את היכלך". It is rather important to put the stress on the right syllable in ופנו. When properly pronounced with the accent on the last syllable, u-fi-NU, it means "and they cleared out." However, if pronounced with the accent on the previous syllable, u-FI-nu, it would literally mean "and our mouths." (It is possible that the laws of context might make this a less serious error but there's nothing wrong with doing something right!)

Also, another reader pointed out:
Of course, if one is precise in pronunciation, there are 2 other differences between the words.  The word for “mouth” is spelled with a chirik malei, which is pronounced differently than the chirik chaser in “clean.”  And, what goes along with that is that the nun in “clean” has a dagesh, while the nun in “mouth” is rafah – those 2 nuns are also pronounced differently.
On a related note from another reader:
We will also say Hallel many times. Hodu is a country on the Indian subcontinent. HoDU means give thanks.


Anonymous said...

Likewise, when laining "U'Finu es HaBayis" (Vayikra 14:36) one must make sure to pronounce the word "U'Finu" correctly (milra).

Saner Lainer said...

Correction: When properly pronounced, it means "and they cleared out."

Shtikler said...

Corrected. Thanks.
It seems I was subconsciously was influenced by the mistake.

Unknown said...

I thought you once said that when the alternative makes no sense, its not a big deal...

Shtikler said...

Exactly, that is why I included that parenthetical statement at the end.

laibl said...

I heard someone pronounce YoCHAnan, surely it's YochaNAN?

ba said...

And on the subject of grammar in Chanukah, Mishnah Brurah 676:1 is of interest.

DickDuke said...

Serious question: Who says that a chirik malei is pronounced differently than a chirik chaser? I've seen no evidence of this.

And please don't tell me because one is a Tenuah Gedolah and the other is a Tenuah Qetanah. Does anyone pronounce a vav shuruk differently than a kubutz???

Shtikler said...

Sorry, I don't have any mekoros, but I do believe that a kubutz and shuruk should also be pronounced differently. A kubutz would be more like book whereas a shuruk would be more like loose.

DickDuke said...

So you pronounce the word "Gevulecha" differently in Ex: 7:27 vs. Deut. 12:20?
I think that's a mistake. What is the makor for this?

And I do think you absolutely need some mekoros for this. The fact that a yud is present after a consonant with a chirik doesn't mean that the vowel is pronounced differently.
See here:
So how is a chirik any different than a segol?

DickDuke said...

Also the names "Zevulun" and "Binyamin" appear at different times malei and chaser, vav and yud respectively; do you truly think these should be pronounced different ways?

ELIE said...

בעניין אם יש הבדל מורגש בין חירק חסר למלא
עד לקמחיים ר' יוסף קמחי ובנו ר' דויד דיברו על שבע תנועות
אבל ברור שיש הבדל גדול בין התנועות
אם זה דומה להבדל בין SLIP ובין SLEEP
קשה לדעת
ההבדל השני הוא הדגש
מקובל לבטא אות בדגש חזק באופן יותר חזק כעין כפילות