How or why words are pronounced in certain ways.

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8
votes
1answer
352 views

Why shin and sin?

Why does Hebrew use the same letter to represent two different sounds: shin and sin? As far as I know, with the exception of when using a dagesh kal, no other Hebrew letter has this property.
2
votes
2answers
169 views

Congregational official pronunciation scheme

Is it proper/preferred for a congregation to have an official Hebrew pronunciation scheme, such that they request or demand that people use it for public prayers? Does this concept apply differently ...
9
votes
1answer
653 views

Why so many vocalized shvas in Siddur Tehillat Hashem?

I prayed using a Siddur Tehillat Hashem the other day, and I noticed that many more shvas were marked with an asterisk above, indicating that they should be vocalized, than I'd expect. In particular, ...
4
votes
2answers
150 views

Is it “mechayei meisim UHTTuh” or “mechayeh meisim atTUH” (rav lehoshia) in shmoneh esrei?

I've seen both pronunciations (at the beginning of the second bracha in shmoneh esrei): Aleph-patach, tav-kuhmuhtz, heh (implied stress on second syllable) Aleph-kuhmuhtz-meseg, tav-kuhmuhtz, heh ...
5
votes
2answers
94 views

TOras chayim or ToRAS chayim in 19th b'racha?

In the final b'racha of sh'monah esrei the phrase "תורת חיים - (Toras chayim)" appears. In some sidurim [that denote that kind of thing] the accent is placed on the first syllable and in others on the ...
10
votes
3answers
483 views

Disparity between male and female pronunciation of Cholam

In many Yeshivish communities in the US, the male segment of the population vocalizes the cholam as "oi," while their female counterparts vocalize it as a long "o". How did this come about? Does the ...
9
votes
2answers
350 views

מרדכי = Mord'chi?

When learning with Jews of the Syrian community, I noticed that they pronounced מרדכי (the name of the halachic commentary on the g'mara) as "mord'chi", as if the final vowel were a chirik. Why is ...
6
votes
1answer
420 views

מֶה, מָה, מַה - Meh, Mah, Ma - What's the difference?

What causes the difference in vowelization of the Hebrew word for "what"? In some contexts it is מֶה, in others - מָה, and in yet others - מַה. The hypothesis that an acquaintance and I converged on ...
3
votes
2answers
150 views

L'chayim vs. Lachayim

During the עשרת ימי תשובה we make insertions into the שמונה עשרה, each of which contains the word לחיים, meaning "for life." What is the source for insisting on pronouncing it "zachrenu l'chayim," ...
3
votes
1answer
162 views

How do you pronounce the הוי״ה in hataras nedarim (annulment of vows) before Rosh HaShanah?

In the siddurs I've seen, we ask for annulment for vows made "with the name הוי״ה ". That word is left unvowelized. How is it pronounced?
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Schwa+Heh Pronunciation

How should a heh with a schwa under it be pronounced in an intermediate position in a word? E.g. פדהאל, or נהדר