Why, in middle blessing of the amida for Shabbat is the blessing's conclusion in the singular (mekadesh hashabbat) while for holidays and Rosh Chodesh, the wording is in the plural (z'manim and roshei chodashim)?

I know that the verses lead in this direction for shabbat and R"C (וביום השבת vs. ובראשי חדשיכם) but isn't the b'racha about sanctifying either this specific day as an example of something, so it should be for all, in the singular, or all the days, so it should be consistently in the plural?

As a side note, towards the beginning of the middle blessing of Shabbat that coincides with R"C or holidays, we mention Shabbat in the plural (Shabbatot limnucha) and then both in the singular (v'et yom...) but close the bracha in the mix.

  • On Rosh Hashana and YK we have the same pattern but they are singular like shabbat מקדש השבת ויום הזכרון not ימי הזכרון. Seemingly then, הזמנים refers to all three festivals plural. But that leaves the question on Rosh Chodesh in plural. I guess each month is a different kind of rosh chodesh?
    – Double AA
    Apr 21 at 13:21
  • But there is only 1 yom hazikaron and one yom kippur, so closing with (for example) מְקַדֵּשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיוֹם הַכִּפֻּרִים makes sense in the singular. There are many R'C's and many Shabbatot.
    – rosends
    Apr 21 at 13:29
  • There are many yemei zikaron too. I've personally celebrated dozens and hope to celebrate many more.
    – Double AA
    Apr 21 at 13:34
  • +1. Perhaps by shabat and yom hazikaron the inyan is that these are sanctified collectively in the abstract. I.e., it's not that each shabat is seperately sanctified but shabat as a concept is kodesh. But for Rosh Chodesh the inyan isn't that all the days have a "rosh chodesh kedushah" but that all 12 (13) of them together make up a system of marking and sanctifying time.
    – Avraham
    Apr 21 at 14:04
  • Also note that we speak this way in English too "sabbath and holidays," though that may be reflecting Hebrew.
    – Avraham
    Apr 21 at 14:06


You must log in to answer this question.