As far as I am aware, s'faraddim and b'nei 'edah mizraħit (with the exception of teimanim) have שְְׁרָָף... לְְשָָׁלִִישׁ וּלְְרָָבִִיעַַ

However, the teimanim who follow nosaħ shaami (the s'faraddi-style import) nevertheless have שְְׂרָָף... לִִשְְׁלִִישׁ וְְלִִרְְבִִיעַַ

i. why is שרף being spelled here with שׁ instead of שׂ; and

ii. what has שָׁלִישׁ, the helper of a king, to do with קטורת?

  • Shlish here means one-third. It's a measurement.
    – Harel13
    Commented Jun 9 at 20:24
  • Yes, but what is the relevance of שָׁלִישׁ; and since when has שְְׁרָָף ever been a word?
    – 5784
    Commented Jun 9 at 20:31
  • Sorry, perhaps I'm not being clear: שְְׂרָָף s'raf (spelled with שׂ sin) is tree sap/resin, but I am not familiar with any such word שְׁרָָף sh'raf (spelled with שׁ shin); and שְׁלִישׁ sh'lish (marked with sh'va na') means one-third, but שָׁלִישׁ shalish (marked with kamatz) has nothing to do with pittum k'toret... I'm looking for the source/reason for the prevalence of the latter two in Eastern communities.
    – 5784
    Commented Jun 9 at 20:58
  • I'm Ashkenazi, we say שְְׂרָָף. Either way, it refers to one of the ingredients of the incense/ketoret (specifically, apparently some sort of tree syrup, according to the phrase "הנוטף מעצי הקטף"). שליש and רביע (one-fourth) refer to the amount of ingredients prepared for the ketoret. If half were prepared, then the ketoret is valid, but the sages state that it is unknown whether a case in which a third or fourth of ingredients were prepared would still be valid.
    – Harel13
    Commented Jun 9 at 20:59
  • Shalish evidently is one custom of pronouncing the word שליש. Perhaps it's incorrect, but it's become traditional, so it isn't going away. See here: ykr.org.il/question/…
    – Harel13
    Commented Jun 9 at 21:01


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