In many places in the siddur there are Lameds with a flat top, and there are some with a straight top. For example in the last הללוקה the word בצלצלי, the first lamed is with a straight top, and the second is with a flat top. Why is it like that?


1 Answer 1


I believe (having heard this from teachers in elementary school) that this is independent of grammar and entirely dependent on layout. Where the ascender of the lamed is close enough to the descender of a letter (e.g. a kuf) in the line above to touch or cause confusion, the printer may use a different version of lamed with the ascender folded back.

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    A question to the moderator: I can't mark this question as duplicate of the one that JoelK linked, because it doesn't have an upvoted answer. Is it a good thing? Feb 22, 2021 at 16:54
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    @Kazibácsi The question JoelK linked to was closed for being off-topic, so it would be inappropriate to mark this as a duplicate of that. That one was not clearly about Judaism, while this one, asking about an apparent grammar anomaly in a siddur, is. I think it would be helpful to mark the other as a duplicate of this, should this one end up having an upvoted answer.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 22, 2021 at 16:56
  • Although it sounds reasonable, if you look through the siddur, you will discover that it doesn’t coincide with issues related to leading (the printers term) even in cases where nekudot and ta’amim are used. Feb 22, 2021 at 23:16
  • @YaacovDeane which the siddur? Some have it everywhere and some don't use it at all.
    – Mordechai
    Feb 23, 2021 at 21:45
  • @Mordechai It varies from siddur to siddur. But these types of letter variations are found in many older editions of different minhag. The particular edition I was referencing in my comment was Chabad (Tehillat HaShem) from the 1980's print. But this type of thing can also be found in the Catalonia siddur, the Siddur of Yosef Koppeler and older Ashkenazi siddurim. Feb 23, 2021 at 21:51

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