I have seen a couple of places where Mordechai’s name is spelled with a kamatz katan under the daled. Has anyone else seen this and do you know which is more accurate: Mordechai/ Mordachai/ Mordochai (the last would be “o” for the Sfardi pronunciation also, it’s not just an Ashkenasis kamatz)?

Also, if one of them is more correct, why does the other exist? (If you have something other than "someone made a typo", that would be best)


2 Answers 2


He was Esther's cousin, not uncle.

The tikun based on Rabbi Breuer's work has a chataf-komotz-koton under the dalet. (Also appears in the word "shibolim" in Yosef's dream.)


High-quality masoretic manuscripts have a hatef-qamets under the dalet.

The masoretic treatise, "Hidaayat Al-Qaari" (§II.L.2.12.6) states explicitly that a hatef-qamets should be pronounced irrespective of the spelling of the name:

Mobile shewa does not combine with a vowel on a letter of the alphabet with the exception of the four letters אה̇ח̇ע̇. [...]

If one were to say ‘Is not shewa combined with qameṣ under the dalet of מָרְדֳּכַי [...]?’, the response to him would be as follows. This does not contradict what I stated. This is because the people responsible for this matter have agreed on the rule of combining shewa and a vowel only under the four letters. It is said, however, that some scribes wanted to remove uncertainty from places that may lead to error and have combined a vowel with shewa in this way, because they thought that people would err in the reading of מָרְדֳּכַי. When some people saw shewa without qameṣ in מָרְדְּכַי, they read it as pataḥ [i.e. as a sheva na]. If they saw qameṣ alone, they were at risk of giving the qameṣ its full length. So, the scribes decided to combine them so that this degree of uncertainty be removed.

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