If you look at Sefaria's Siddur Ashkenaz, Bircas Hamazon, a symbol appears above a number of the letters which looks like an upside down segol - 3 dots in a triangle pointing upwards - ֒ . It appears in the 3rd to last pasuk of עַל־נַהֲרוֹת בָּבֶל over the מ in הָאֹמְ֒רִים and then twice more in the next pasuk.

I'm not familiar with this - what is it and does it affect the pronounciation?

  • 3
    Looks like it's marking a shva na
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 18 at 18:30
  • @DoubleAA I thought the convention for that was a horizontal line over the top? Commented Jan 19 at 9:59
  • 1
    @MosesSupposes I don’t think we can speak of “convention” here. Marking sheva nach in any way is an innovation. Different publishers mark it differently. For what it’s worth, the horizontal line is a strange choice, as that is a mark with a conventional (and different) meaning - the rafe.
    – Joel K
    Commented Jan 19 at 10:54
  • @JoelK we do have conventions for most vowel symbols, and I think Artscroll are what I'm thinking of for the horizontal line over the top. Commented Jan 19 at 12:29
  • 1
    @MosesSupposes The Chabad siddur marks shva na with an asterisk above the letter (*)
    – ezra
    Commented Jan 19 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


It is meant there to be the symbol of a shva na (a pronounced shva). So for הָאֹמְ֒רִים, it means to pronounce it as “ha-omerim” rather than “ha-omrim”.

As noted in the comments to the question, many siddurim use a horizontal line over the letter to indicate a shva na, but that is by no means standardized, and various siddurim use different symbols, while some have no symbol at all (which leaves the reader to draw on his or her own knowledge of Hebrew to decide whether to pronounce the shva or not).

The source for the text for the siddur Ashkenaz in Sefaria is the Metsudah Siddur which happens to use the 3 dot symbol. That is why you see that symbol there.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .