How or why words are pronounced in certain ways.

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6
votes
1answer
460 views

How do people daven so quickly, and what's the support for it?

I learned that one must clearly enunciate every word of tefila. At the least this would include Shemoneh Esreh and Shema, but one might presume it includes the entire prayer service. This question ...
2
votes
0answers
95 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
612 views

Were our symbols for trope and nekudos created by the Masoretes, or transmitted by them?

It is commonly said in secular sources that the shapes of the trope and nekudos we use today were invented by the Masoretes (7th to 11th Century CE), but I cannot find any source in our mesorah to ...
2
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
100 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
52 views

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?
2
votes
0answers
45 views

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 "pizza"?...
4
votes
2answers
120 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
608 views

Silent letter in Yisachar

Why don't we pronounce the second ש in יששכר?
14
votes
4answers
534 views

Yisgadal or Yisgadel?

I've noticed that some people, when reciting kaddish, pronounce the first words as "yisgadal v'yiskadash" with a patach under the dalet of both words, while others say "yisgadel v'yisgadesh" with a ...
3
votes
0answers
85 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
461 views

Pronunciation of “Two”s in Hebrew

Thomas O. Lambdin calls out the words שְנַיִם and שְתַּיִם as exceptions to "shewa as the initial vowel in a word is always vocalized," i.e. it is "shtayim" and "shnayim". That's a secular expert's ...
8
votes
2answers
97 views

A child's tendency to skip words corrected/prompted by an instructor

When I am helping my young child say Birkat Hamazon or other prayers, I sometimes correct her pronunciation of a word or prompt her when she forgets what the next word is. In these situations, she ...
12
votes
3answers
855 views

Meaning and pronunciation of יישר כחך

What is the exact meaning of the phrase "יישר כחך", and what is the gramatically-correct way to pronounce it?
2
votes
2answers
88 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
177 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
95 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? ...
4
votes
3answers
246 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

How to pronounce נעמי? [closed]

Is it Naomi or Naami? Wikipedia says "Standard Hebrew Noʻomi, Tiberian Hebrew nåʿå̆mī"
5
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
822 views

How to learn Amidah, Shma and others?

I live 3000km from shul and take conversion classes remotely. I am learning from Koren Siddur. Because I do not ever hear how the words should be spoken, I sometimes wonder if it is a waste of time. I ...
9
votes
2answers
264 views

Pronunciation guide by a Gerer Rebbe?

I heard from a friend years ago that one of the Rebbes from Gur (the S'fas Emes) wrote a book describing the proper pronunciation of Hebrew letters and words. I am not able to find any trace of such a ...
0
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Sefardi rishonim who differentiate between Patach and Kamatz

Can anyone give me a list of sefardi rabbanim who said there is a pronunciation difference between the kamatz and patach?
13
votes
2answers
355 views

Aleph with a Dagesh

In four places in Tanakh, our text has an aleph with a dagesh: Gen 43:26, Lev 23:17, Job 33:21, and Ezra 8:18. What is the significance of this, and for the first two examples, how would you indicate ...
2
votes
0answers
89 views

Why are identical words pronounced differently at certain locations of the Shema?

Why are identical words pronounced differently at certain locations of the Shema? Or is this only for Sefardim? The two identical phrases in question are in the Veahávta and then again in the Vehayá: ...
5
votes
2answers
159 views

resource for learning proper sefardi pronunciations

I learned Hebrew at an Ashkenazi school, but my heritage is Sefardi. Over the years I have tried to learn the mainstream Sefardi pronunciations (probably the way Rav Ovadia Yosef would pronounce them),...
3
votes
3answers
452 views

Question about Ashkenazi pronunciation

BS"D I was at an Ashkenazi beith kneseth this past shabboth and noticed that they didn't distinctly pronounce their Shuruq's and Hholam's and instead substituted them with Hhireq's. I'm not sure if ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Paroh vs. Faroh in Parshat Bo

I am used to פרעה being pronounced as "Paroh" as it has been for the last few parshot, but I noticed today that in Parshat Bo (Shemot 10:11) it is to be pronounced "Faroh". What causes this change? ...
5
votes
1answer
415 views

How do I pronounce “yod” when there is a dot inside of it?

I'm trying to brush up on my Hebrew. As an American Jew, it is still important to me to be able to recite my prayers from the siddur in their original Hebrew. How do I pronounce "yod" when there is a ...
2
votes
0answers
142 views

Pronunciation of גפ״ת

Does גפ״ת (which stands for גמרא, פרש״י, תוספות) have a conventional pronunciation, as do שליט״א ("shlita"), תנ״ך ("tanakh"), etc.?
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Different traditions in Hebrew pronunciation [closed]

The theme of Hebrew pronunciation is one that facinates me and, as such, I want to get some feedback on some issues I've been thinking about for years. I have already discussed some of these issues ...
2
votes
1answer
260 views

Proper pronunciation for sheva and komatz for sefardim

There's a new trend with sefardi siddurs printing the komats and sheva in bold whenever the vowel is to be pronounced differently. More specifically when the komatz is bold it gets the ashkenazi Oh ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

How could different pronunciations arise when we are obligated to pronounce the Shema precisely?

If one does not pronounce the Shema correctly, one has not fulfilled their obligation (שולחן ערוך או"ח סימן סב). If so, then how could different pronunciations of the Hebrew words arise? Shouldn't at ...
4
votes
2answers
290 views

Correcting tav/sav

If someone who usually pronounces the letter "ת" without a dagesh as "sav" is leining Torah, and he accidentally says "tav" in a place where he would normally say "sav", should the gabbai correct him? ...
1
vote
1answer
272 views

Pronouncing the Cholam like a Tzeirei

The Litvish/Russian pronunciation of the Cholam sound is an /ay/ sound, similar (I think actually exactly the same) as a tzeirei. Are there any sources saying that it is a Halachic problem pronouncing ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

How do sefardim pronounce the tzerei?

How do sefardim pronounce the tzerei? Is it "eh" as in elephant or "ay" as in play?
2
votes
0answers
247 views

Variable pronunciation of patach chataf in Lithuanian Hebrew

In theory, a "patach chataf" - a patach with a shva next to it, like this: חֲ is pronounced in Lithuanian Hebrew like a patach followed by a yud. This results in the common pronunciations (which I ...
5
votes
4answers
700 views

Did Rav Moshe Feinstein pronounce his last name “Feinstain” or “Feinsteen”? [closed]

And, as a follow-up, does having the answer to this question dictate how we should say it?
1
vote
0answers
138 views

Masheches Yuma or Yoma?

I remember hearing Rabbeim call the mashechta "Yuma", but shouldn't it be called "Yoma", which I have also heard? I know mashechta Beitzah is sometimes called "Beiah" based off the Magen Avraham or ...
3
votes
0answers
165 views

Pronunciation of מסכתא (tractate)

Sometimes I hear מסֶכתא (pronounce: masechta) pronounced as מסִכתא (pronounce: masichta) by some people, particularly in Ashkenazi circles. Why is this?
5
votes
3answers
274 views

What's the difference between LaZman and LeZman?

In the Mishnah Brurah (676:1) it says: והגיענו לזמן הזה הלמ"ד בחיר"ק ולא בפת"ח That in the Bracha of Shehechiyanu, the Lamed in the word Lazman should be said with a Hiriq and not with a Patach. ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

Hamracheim or Hammerachim?

In Modim in the Shmoneh Esre we say המרחם כי לא תמו חסדך the question is whether the מ in המרחם should have a daggesh or not, and thus what sort of Shva should be under said מ?
5
votes
1answer
480 views

Is there a tradition to pronounce kamatz katan as “a”?

There are many ways of pronouncing Hebrew in prayers and when reading the Tora. Most of these are tradition-based: one pronounces it the same way his parent or teacher did, or a close approximation. ...
3
votes
2answers
629 views

Is the angel named uriel or oriel

There is a significant difference, where one means: my fire is of god's and the other means: my light is of god's. Since the spelling is the same in Hebrew, it is not apparent from some sources what ...