Rashi notes multiple times that the -ל prefix can be substituted by a ה- suffix like in Bereishit 28:2:

ק֥וּם לֵךְ֙ פַּדֶּ֣נָֽה אֲרָ֔ם בֵּ֥יתָה בְתוּאֵ֖ל אֲבִ֣י אִמֶּ֑ךָ וְקַח־לְךָ֤ מִשָּׁם֙ אִשָּׁ֔ה מִבְּנ֥וֹת לָבָ֖ן אֲחִ֥י אִמֶּֽךָ׃

Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother.

In almost all cases I know, this last syllable won't be accented, however, in פדנה there's a secondary stress on the last syllable.* Does it happen due to a retracted accent (nasog achor)? Doesn't it matter that there's a semi-vowel in addition? Are you aware of other examples where the syllable pushing back the accent contains a chataf as well?

* In longer words it's normal to have a secondary stress before the primary accent. I assume usually they're before the main one, because the majority of Hebrew words have an ultimate stress.

  • Maybe compensating for the missing dagesh? Cf. Gen 46:1.
    – magicker72
    Nov 7, 2021 at 12:34
  • possible duplicate judaism.stackexchange.com/q/11295/759 (off the top of my head, also numbers 17:23 and isaiah 40:8)
    – Double AA
    Nov 7, 2021 at 13:10
  • @DoubleAA Those are clearly nasog achor cases. Does it also work here, as the chataf patach doesn't constitute a syllable on its own? Nov 7, 2021 at 13:20
  • The Leningrad codex has this kind of meseg in many places where there's a word with a sheva na + one syllable. ודרשת והגידו לך at the beginning of parshas Shoftim and many others.
    – Heshy
    Nov 7, 2021 at 18:52
  • Sorry, not והגידו, it's יגידו in 17:10 and 17:11.
    – Heshy
    Nov 7, 2021 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


Mordechai Breuer called this phenomenon the gayah of a long vowel in an open syllable (§46 – געיית התנועה הגדולה בהברה פתוחה). In such cases there is an unaccented open syllable with a long vowel followed by a second accented syllable. On pp. 207–208 in Taamei haMiqra he brings several examples:

  • In the first group this syllable is followed by a sheva or a chataf:
    ק֥וּם לֵךְ֙ פַּדֶּ֣נָֽה אֲרָ֔ם (Bereishit 28:2)
    וַיֵּֽנִקֵ֤הֽוּ דְבַשׁ֙ מִסֶּ֔לַע (Devarim 32:13)
    שִׂים־לְפָנֶ֣יךָֽ אֱכֹ֔ל (Samuel I 9:24)*
  • In the second group the following word has an initial stress and a pashta:
    וְעָ֤שָֽׂה פֶ֨סַח֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה (Bemidbar 9:14)
    וְאַתָּ֞ה עָשִׂ֤יתָֽה חֶ֨סֶד֙ (Samuel I 15:6)
    וְאֶת־דְּמֵ֨י בָנָ֜יו רָאִ֤יתִֽי אֶ֨מֶשׁ֙ (Kings II 9:26)*
  • In the third group there are the exceptions:
    אֲ֠שֶׁר לֹֽא־הָיָ֨ה כָמ֥וֹךָֽ אִ֛ישׁ (Kings I 3:13)*
    וְנֶ֨פֶשׁ עֲבָדֶ֥יךָֽ אֵ֛לֶּה (Kings II 1:13)

* Here Mechon Mamre omits the gayah, but there is one in the Aleppo Codex.

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