Friday, October 31, 2008


I was just looking at some old stuff of mine written in English and found a quote from ספורנו. I must have heard five different pronunciations of that name over the years: Siforno, Siporno, Sipurno, Sforno, etc. So I figured here would be as good a place as any to ask - Does any have any idea what the actual exact pronunciation should be?

Please see this post from Mississippi Fred for a more extensive investigation.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A little too late

Should've reposted this earlier. But if the דין isn't sealed until הושענא רבא, perhaps it is still relevant.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Be careful how you swear

The בעל קריאה where I lained yesterday seemed to be having a tough time getting his קמצים and פתחים straight. I believe that's altogether a problem in and of itself but it becomes a bigger issue with words like נשבע which appear more than once this week. For those of us אשכנזים who are incapable of or choose not to differentiate between an ע and and א, pronouncing that word with a קמץ would make it sound far too much like נשבה which would drastically change the meaning.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In the right time

I recently overheard a friend of mine expressing his wish that the ברית of his baby boy should be בעיתו ובזמנו. This is one of my pet peeves. Being a Dikdukian in his own right, I explained my gripe: The way I see it, when we wish ויזכה להכניסו בבריתו של אברהם אבינו בזמנו we are wishing that the father merit to give his son a ברית on the eighth day. We are wishing the best of health upon the baby so that this may be so. That said, what we are hoping is that the ברית take place in its proper time. Therefore, I suggest that it should be בעיתה ובזמנה. Apparently, Artscroll does not agree with me as this is not the path they chose in the מי שברך in their גבאי handbook. However, the other version has meaning as well. It means we are wishing that the ברית take place at the proper time for the child, that he be healthy and not have any complications due to the ברית. As such, I would suggest that even if the baby is not well and the eighth day has passed, it is still appropriate to wish that the ברית be בזמנו, in the baby's proper time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Singers and Gatekeepers

I recently came across a גמרא whose grammar puzzled me.

(:מיתיבי משורר ששיער ומשוער ששורר אינן במיתה (ערכין י"א

The גמרא is discussing the לוים and the two different jobs they held in the בית המקדש - to sing and to be the gatekeepers. Each לוי was designated as either one or the other. The question at hand is the punishment involved for a לוי who performs the other duty which is not his. What puzzled me is that the word שיער would seem to be in the past tense - a singer who "gatekept." But the word שורר seems to be present tense - a gatekeeper who sings, rather than a gatekeeper who sang. Is this correct? Why would the גמרא change tense? But then again, what would be past tense of שורר?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Firefox Fix

Although I was forced to apologize long ago to Firefox users for the lack of support for נקודות in Firefox, it appears the upcoming release of Firefox 3 does address the issue and so, users who are determined not to use Internet Explorer will be able to comfortably view all Dikdukian posts.

Here's a good example to try out.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Reader question

From reader Chaim Spielman:

In תקון קוראים דפוס מפואר which was published by דפוס מישור there appears a section titled יסודות הנקוד והטעמים and on דף כ''ב asub-section הברה ומלה. [As noted on the inside cover, this was included from . ספר מורהקריאת התורה להר'ר יהושע לוי ז''ל ומתוך חומש רדלהיים] After an explanation of הברות פתוחות, סתומות, פשוטות ומורכבות the following rule is presented:

בהברה פתוחה בלתי מוטעמת תבוא תנועה גדולה ובהברה סגורה בלתי מוטעמת תבואבדרך כלל תנועה קטנה. אם ההברה מוטעמת יתחלפו התנועות בדרך כלל. דהיינושבהברה סגורה תבוא תנועה גדולה ובהברה פתוחה תבוא תנועה קטנה.

How and when is the above rule applied? Also, where is the source ofthis rule? I looked in תיקון סימנים from ר' ריאחי and did not findthis.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Reader שאלה

Can you explain me please the גאון's opinion that after a melupum, וּ in the beginning of a word, the שוא following it will be a נח, and even though the letters afterwards (בג"ד כפ"ת) will be without a דגש? And why is ובשכבך an exception to that?


Do you have any דקדוק vorts on this פרשה, specifically related to שוא? Thank you

Avrohom Adler

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Dikdukian!

This blogging endeavour began last year, פרשת בשלח. I think it's most appropriate to measure this blog's birthday by פרשה, rather than by the date.
Here are last year's two בשלח posts: