Can anyone identify this diacritic? I am certain I have never seen it before.

The sentence says לא תרצח but I am unsure how to type any of the vowel marks or other pointings. Here's what I think:

  • It's not a vowel pointing, or I'd have seen it before
  • It's not a Raphe, because these can't be written together with a dagesh
  • It's not a cantillation mark?

You won't murder

In case anyone's interested, the picture is taken from this video

1 Answer 1


It is a raphe.

There are two traditions as to how the Decalogue is to be read, commonly referred to as ta’am elyon (the higher cantillation) and ta’am tahton (the lower cantillation).

In the former, the tav takes a dagesh, and in the latter a raphe.

The version you show puts both versions onto the same set of letters.

This used to be the common way of presenting the Decalogue within Masoretic Hebrew Bibles, (see e.g. the Westminster Leningrad Codex) although nowadays you would be more likely to see it printed twice, once with each set of vowel markings and cantillation.

  • 1
    Actually, I still see the combo form in many "modern" Chumashim. Many tikunnim that I've seen also have the combo trope. This format would really confuse a novice. I'm not sure why they do that, sometimes, without explaining things. Is there a paper shortage?
    – DanF
    Sep 7, 2020 at 20:48

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