How or why words are pronounced in certain ways.

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Evolved minimal Hebrew pronunciation in halacha

Inspired by comments on this question: Say a person travels from place to place where there are certain traditional havarot (pronunciations) such that what were likely originally distinct sounds, are ...
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99 views

Why is hebrew, the holy language, so messy?

Something that has always bothered me and I've never really understood is why Hebrew is so messy. If it is the language of G-d, the language in which the world was created and the language in which ...
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Is it Rabbeinu Bachya or Bechaye?

Whether people are referring to רבינו בחיי בן אשר or רבינו בחיי אבן פקודה, you will always find people who pronounce their names as either Bachya or Bechaye (Even Wikipedia uses both!). Is there any ...
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188 views

Pronounciation in MO schools

I am curious about the Hebrew pronunciation taught in many Modern Orthodox schools. It doesn't seem to conform to real Israeli pronunciation, nor is it the "standard Yiddish" or Polish pronunciation ...
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47 views

Blessing after Haftarah Pronunciation

I am studying for my Bar Mitzvah. My siddur (Mishkan T'filah) says from the Haftarah blessing: יִתְבָּרַךְ שִׁמְךָ בְּפִי כָל חַי, but my practice sheet says יִתְבָּרַךְ שִׁמְךָ בְּפִי כָּל חַי! Do I ...
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29 views

Shema pronunciation [duplicate]

I've heard that the proper way to say the Shema Israel is by pronouncing the final daleth (d) sound for a longer time. 1) Is this a real thing? What are the sources? 2)I find it near impossible to ...
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529 views

How do we know how to pronounce God's name?

Surprisingly, I have only just realized that we pronounce the letters Yud-Hey-Vuv-Hey completely differently then how the spelling could possibly sound. I mean the pronunciation used during laning ...
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120 views

Pronunciation of God's Name in the Bach

The Bach, writing on the Tur OC 5:1, says that when pronouncing the tetragrammaton (שם הויה) as the שם אדנות, some people say the first vowel as a patach and some as tending toward tseirei. His ...
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74 views

Origin Of Hasidic Pronounciation [closed]

Does anyone know when and by whom the Hasidic Pronunciation started? I mean "burich" as opposed to "boruch". The same goes for Yiddish.. "vus" as opposed to "vos". I've heard that it was in opposition ...
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Tehillim (Psalms) 27:2 — Is it כָּשְׁלוּ or כָשְׁלוּ?

There seems to be some discrepancy in how to write/pronounce the penultimate word of Tehillim (Psalms) 27:2. According to Chabad.org, it is written: ב. בִּקְרֹב עָלַי | מְרֵעִים לֶאֱכֹל אֶת ...
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Why are SA OC 61:22 and 61:23 in that order?

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 61:20–1, dicattes that, when reading "Sh'ma", one must put a space between words that are in danger of being run together. In the following paragraph, :22, it says ...
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56 views

Correct pronunciation on Jerusalem in Tehillim?

When Jersualem is חסר (no additional 'yud' at the end), in a Tehillim I have (Shai l'Moreh), it has a footnote that it should be pronounced the full way (Ye-RU-Sha-LaY-YIM) on Chapter 79 (and I think ...
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127 views

What does it mean to pronounce לו as opposed to לא

Maseches Sofrim 6:5 [4] says that there are 3 places where the word is written as לא but read as לו. This seems to mean that there is a difference in how the word would be pronounced if it were לא as ...
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110 views

If the prayer leader does not distinguish between Gimmel and Ghimmel for Amida he can't be yotzi for others

I was at a Shabbat table and someone told me that, according to Hacham Ovadia Yosef, the one leading the prayers cannot motzi others (i.e. cannot relieve others' prayer obligations) if he does not ...
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165 views

According to Chazal, does Beged Kefet matter?

The Hebrew alphabet has 22 written characters (plus 5 specialized characters for the ends of words - ם, ן, ץ ,ף, ך) generally assumed to be each originally associated with distinct sounds. The ...
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83 views

ד mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

The gemara (Brachoth 13b) records that one is supposed to draw out the ד of "אחד" in the first verse of the Shema: .תניא: סומכוס אומר: כל המאריך באחד מאריכין לו ימיו ושנותיו אמר רב אחא בר ...
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Retraining my davening pronunciation

I received a p'sak from my rav earlier today permitting me to revert my pronunciation from a modern Israeli-American pronunciation that I learned as a child to the old Yekkish Ashkenazis (with the ...
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78 views

ג (gimel) mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

From a halachik perspective, what are the correct ways to pronounce the ג (gimel)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the ...
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1answer
60 views

ב (bet) mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

What are the correct ways to pronounce the ב (bet)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah ...
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49 views

א mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

What is the correct way to pronounce the א (aleph)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah ...
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209 views

The letter Dalet

The fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is "dalet" and not "daled." Why, then, do Ashkenazi Jews not pronounce it as "dales." I have heard an answer that "dales" sounds too much like "dalus", ...
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Why are all pronunciations of each letter voiced or voiceless?

There are differing m'soros (religiously significant traditions) about the right way to pronounce various letters of the alphabet when praying or reading the Torah. (There are even more ways that the ...
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201 views

Intentionally mispronouncing lashon hakodesh in religious services

With regard to written texts, a Torah is invalidated if the same character is written for what should be distinct letters (e.g. כ and ב). However, with regard to the spoken language and people who are ...
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30 views

What is the origin of the Chassidish pronounciation of hebrew? [duplicate]

If I am not mistaken initially there were Ashkenazic Jews which later on branched off into Chassidim via the leadership of the Baal Shem Tov. Does this mean that prior to the Baal Shem Tov all ...
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Pronunciation of אַשְׁרֵי

אַשְׁרֵי in Psalms 1:1 is pronounced with 3 syllables in Mechon-Mamre's mp3 file t2601. It is pronounced with 2 syllables in the last verse of Psalms 2 in Mechon-Mamre's mp3 file t2602. My question ...
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125 views

Source for the story about the Satmar Rebbe

I remember a story about a maskil who approached the Satmar Rebbe, and who lamented the fact that Hungarian Jews don't differentiate between the samekh (ס), the sin (שׂ) and the sav (ת). The Satmar ...
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89 views

Hebrew being Lashon HaKodesh, is the inclusion and exclusion of certain phonemes and sounds in the language significant?

For instance, the English sounds of "J", "W","Th", and "Ch" are for the most part unused in Hebrew. Although as an exception, I've seen a Yemenite Chazan use some of these sounds while reading the ...
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Rava and Rabbah? Differentiating between two (?) amoraim

Inspired by this question, I have often heard people pronounce the name רבא as Rava and the name רבה as Rabbah. Is there a basis for this differentiation? Does anybody know where it comes from?
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How to pronounce the name שימי

There's an amora (or at least one) in the Bavli named שימי. I think I've always heard this pronounced with an initial letter sin. However, I saw recently that the Koren-Steinsaltz edition has a ...
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166 views

May one mix-and-match to create their own Hebrew pronunciation?

In the introduction to his siddur (down the bottom of the linked page), Rabbi Yaakov Emden emphasises the strict importance of a proper Hebrew pronunciation when davening. In particular, he ...
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Are all hiriqs the same or is there a distinction if a yud or other silent letter follows?

For example, what would be the difference in pronunciation of the hiriq in these two words: נִקּוּד and תִּינוֹק? What about רִאשׁוֹן? Is it "Rishon" similar to "pit" or "Reeshon" similar to ...
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237 views

Have any of you ever heard anyone pronouncing ayin as “ng”?

I have read historically the letter ayin was pronounced by some Dutch, Portuguese, and Italian Jews as a velar nasal consonant (ng as in sing). Reference to this can be found here, here, and here. I ...
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92 views

How do you pronounce numbers 248, 365, and 613 in the siddur?

In the meditations before putting on the tallit and tefillin in the morning, there are three numbers — 248, 365, and three instances of 613. They’re written out in standard Hebrew letter notation in ...
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81 views

Wordplay concerning the Ayin and the Aleph in Gemara

I remember hearing about some interesting statements made about those that fail to distinguish pronunciation between the ayin and the aleph. An example was given in gemara about why such a distinction ...
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How to pronounce “nechamasa” in kaddish?

In most siddurim I've seen, the word "ונחמתא" in kaddish is written "וְנֶחֱמָתָא," with a סגול ("eh" sound) under the ח. However, someone recently told me that a certain (very trustworthy) rabbi ...
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130 views

Why is there a dagesh in second camocha, but not in first?

In "Mi chamocha ba'elim H', Mi camocha nedar bakodesh" (from the Az Yashir song by the sea, but also between the shma and the amidah in the morning, and elsewhere): מִֽי-כָמֹ֤כָה בָּֽאֵלִם֙ ...
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116 views

The lack of “ch” sound in Hebrew

As far as I know, there is no tradition of Lashon HaKodesh pronunciation in which there is a sound that matches the "ch" (IPA: t​͡​ʃ) of English. Is there any significance to this ...
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173 views

Are there any letters that do not have a distinct pronunciation?

Are there any two letters which do not have a distinction between their pronunciation in any tradition of pronunciation? To ask the inverse, is there at least one tradition of pronunciation for each ...
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91 views

What is the proper hebrew pronunciation of Rav Hirsch's first name?

Among the Modern Orthodox I hear Rav Hirsch's name only said in its English form ("Samson"). Amongst the Yeshivish I hear the form "Shamshon." My question is, was his Hebrew name Shamshon or Shimshon? ...
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79 views

How to pronounce a mapiq (Sephardic)?

Looking for the Sephardic way of pronouncing a mapiq in a heh at the end of the word. Either: it's a "h" sound as if it was in the middle of the word ("virishta h") it takes the sound of the ...
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236 views

Are you yotzei through accented pronunciation?

The shatz in shul seems to have been taught a different pronunciation from what I learned. I learned that the word "קדוש" is pronounced ka-dosh and he said it as "kadoysh." In fact, he inserted a yod ...
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4answers
135 views

Do we read zeicher, zecher, or both during Ki Teitzei?

For parshat Zachor, many have a minhag of saying both timche et zeicher amalek and timche et zecher amalek (different vowels on זכר). What are the customs regarding this word during parshat Ki ...
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1answer
86 views

How does one read words with a “yud” in Targum?

While doing "Shenayim Mikrah" I encounter many words that have a "yud" as second to last letter. For example the word "cities" is "קִרְוָיךְ". Is the yud pronounced during reading? I.e. is this read ...
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74 views

How to pronounce נעמי? [closed]

Is it Naomi or Naami? Wikipedia says "Standard Hebrew Noʻomi, Tiberian Hebrew nåʿå̆mī"
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53 views

Targum of Elokim

The Targum uses yod yod for both Hashem and Elokim unless both are mentioned together. Should the yod yod be understood generically and pronounced Elokim when the chumash says Elokim, or should it be ...
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1answer
66 views

Davening and Krias Shema with a sore on the lip or throat

If someone has a sore on their lip or in their throat, such that it is painful to pronounce certain letters (like the letters that require putting pressure from the upper teeth onto the lower lip or ...
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1answer
180 views

Shva na after meteg on short vowel

When a long vowel has a meteg, there is a difference of opinion if the shva after it is na or nach. What about a short vowel with a meteg? Is it vayihi chen or vayhi chen? Is it tihiyeh or tihyeh? Is ...
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321 views

How to read Gen. 32:29

The general rule [citation needed] is that "holy" mentions of God's name are pronounced "Elokim;" but, where the same word is used to mean "judges" or "other gods," the pronunciation follows the ...
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162 views

Pronunciation of Ketuba text

Can anyone recommend a source for the text of the Ketuba including nekudot, a transliteration, or a recording that could be used as a guide for pronunciation?
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76 views

קִדְשָנוּ versus קְדִשָנוּ

I've noticed a very common mistake that surfaces when people say Birchas HaMitzvos out loud. Instead of saying אשר קִדְשָנוּ במצותיו (kee-di-shu-noo) as written in all Siddurim, many people pronounce ...