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The last seder of the Mishnah is טהרות, but I can find no agreement on the vowels for this word. Some variations I have seen:

  • טְהָרוֹת
  • טַהֲרוֹת
  • טָהֳרוֹת

There may be others. Which answer makes the most sense from the aspect of Hebrew grammar? What do the various pointings above imply? What is an authoritative source on this matter? If there is more than one correct answer, why would this be?

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Perhaps see Chagiggah 1:8 or Sanhedrin 4:2 –  Double AA Jul 23 '13 at 12:43

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The word would appear to be a semi-colloquial pluralization of the word טהרה, appearing in the Torah as a nominal infinitive. Exclusively in the singular, its nikud is טָהֳרָה.

(By "semi-colloquial" I mean that a word like that a word like that is already somewhat abstract and shouldn't need to be pluralized to refer to the class of activities that pertains to purity and impurity, but adding a "ות" can have that effect, contrary to Biblical grammar (see e.g. "מלכויות, זכרונות, שופרות").)

Based on this, the vowelization would be טָהֳרוֹת.

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