Current practice in many Ashkenazi synagogues includes the following:

  1. On shabbat zachor, repetition of (at least part of) Devarim 25:19, due to a doubt over whether the zayin of זכר is vowelized with a tzere ('five dots') or segol ('six dots').

  2. On purim, repetition of (at least parts of) Esther 8:11 and Esther 9:2, due to a doubt over whether the correct text is להרג or ולהרג, and בפניהם or לפניהם.

As far as I understand, today we can be very confident that the correct versions are (respectively) זכר with five dots, ולהרג and לפניהם.

However, I have noticed that for parashat zachor the 'correct' version is read the first time, but in megillat esther the 'correct' version is read the second time.

Why is this the case? Is it simply that the 'original' Ashkenazi practice happened to be the 'correct' version for parashat zachor and the 'incorrect' version for megillat esther, and then later customs developed to append the alternative version?

Do any sources (which advocate for or at least don't dismiss out of hand the custom of repeating verses) discuss the recommended order of the repetition, or describe an order different to that which I have observed?

  • 2
    Theory: with Zakhor you're at the end so just finish up correctly and then add the nonsense after you fulfilled your obligation; with Esther you're in the middle so read the mistake and then immediately correct yourself. Though your theory about the "original" [at the time of the beginning of the practice to double] practice is not bad.
    – Double AA
    Mar 8, 2020 at 12:24
  • I know of a congregation where the Zekher is read before Zeikher fwiw
    – Double AA
    Mar 8, 2020 at 13:07
  • Doesn’t this beg the question that if we’re so certain that our version is correct why do we bother with the second version?
    – DonielF
    Mar 8, 2020 at 16:57
  • @DonielF (Fairly recent) tradition?
    – Joel K
    Mar 8, 2020 at 17:19
  • 1
    @Doniel It's a crazy world we live in!
    – Double AA
    Mar 9, 2020 at 1:56


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