The standard text for a siyum on a masechta, as printed in Gemaras, is

הדרן עֲלָךְ מסכת פלונית

מסכת seems to be feminine, so shouldn't it be עֲלִיךְ, with similar changes for the other words?

As DoubleAA points out, after each perek there's a one line הדרן עֲלָךְ פרק פלוני, and after the last one it's הדרן עֲלָךְ פרק פלוני וסליקא לה מסכת פלונית, which is grammatically as I'd expect it. I'm talking about the longer text that comes after that in many printings (e.g. bottom of this page), which people follow at most siyumim that I've been to.

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    @DoubleAA now you got me curious, apparently it goes back to R' Hai Gaon, but that's for a perek: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9047&st=&pgnum=260. So it doesn't answer the question. I'm not sure how far back the explicit text for a masechta goes. (Probably they didn't bother writing it because they assumed you'd know what to change if you wanted.)
    – Heshy
    Aug 19, 2019 at 13:23
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    It's in arameam not in Hebrew
    – kouty
    Aug 19, 2019 at 13:54
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    Reminder to close voters that Hebrew/Aramaic language questions are on topic as they pertain to Judaism.
    – DonielF
    Aug 20, 2019 at 2:33
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    @DoubleAA it might be a silly mistake, but with probably thousands of people per year making siyumim and using this text, there's no way I'm the first person to notice it. I'd be perfectly happy with an answer quoting somebody in authority who says עלך is wrong.
    – Heshy
    Aug 21, 2019 at 20:00
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    The text wasn't vowelized until the last twenty years, so who says we all pronounce it correctly? The printers skipping a vowel yod didn't prove anything.
    – Mordechai
    Jan 4, 2020 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


Rabbi Reuven Margaliyot writes in his book "Nitzotzei Or" (pg 225-226 in Hebrew):

"הדרן עלך והדרך עלן" לדעתי מטבע זו עתיקה מאוד ומיוסדת כמקבילה לסיום עבודה בבית מקדשינו, יבנה במהרה בימינו. שנינו בראש השנה ל"א א: במוספי דשבתא מה היו אומרים, אמר רב ענן בר רבא אמר רב הזי"ו ל"ך...אמנם נחלקו רבותינו בפענוח ראשי תיבות הזי"ו ל"ך אבל מוסכם הוא שסיימו ב"הזי"ו ל"ך", כלומר "הדרן לך", ויפורש: הזיו שלנו שלך הוא, ממך קבלנוהו, וגם כי הזי"ו שלנו מגישים אנחנו לך. וכן נמצא מאמר זה על כפילתו בסיום העבודה בבית קדשנו כשהיו נפטרים היו אומרים יופי לך מזבח (סוכה מ"ה א), כלומר: היופי והזיו שלנו לך מזבח הוא - הדרן עלך, וגם היופי והזיו שחל הוא שמאיר עלינו - הדרך עלן.

Meaning that "Hadran alach" is a reference to our hadar (glory) being passed on to Hashem, which explains why alach is in a masculine form.

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    I don't see from that piece that we're talking to Hashem at a siyum. I also don't see how הדרן עלך מסכת פלונית והדרך עלן makes any sense if we're talking to Hashem rather than the masechta.
    – Heshy
    Jan 6, 2020 at 12:41
  • I found this quoted somewhere. I'll see if I can find it in the book itself, maybe the full text makes more sense.
    – Harel13
    Jan 6, 2020 at 12:46

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