I have almost always seen the word Tefillah and I suppose Tefillot, spelt with no Yud.

Tav, Feh, Lamed, Vav, Tav. (Tefillot)

Tav, Feh, Lamed, Heh (Tefillah)

But the Sacks singers siddur spells it with a yud (this is clear on its front cover, and presumably consistently throughout. I see it for example in tefillat haderech(prayer for rain) and tefillat tal(prayer for dew), all with a yud. The Singers siddurim before that spelt it with no yud. I have heard that this(with a yud, as the Sacks Singers does) is a spelling mistake "slap bang"(as the brits would say) on the front cover, and was too late for them to change it once it was published.

Is anybody brave enough to say this is a spelling mistake(can one even say that with great certainty?), or point to where else it is ever spelt with a yud? or confirm if it's ever or never spelt with a yud in tenach or other jewish sources?

1 Answer 1


I did a computer search and can't find anywhere in Tanach where the word is spelled with a yud. However, it's often spelled that way in Mishna (ex: Berachos 4:2, 4:4) and other Rabbinic writings, at least according to our commonly printed versions. In modern Hebrew, the convention is generally to place a 'yud' in a word if you're otherwise not using vowels, which would therefore make the spelling on the cover or the titles of prayers (such as tefilat tal, etc.) correct.

  • in the soncino mishna hebrew(or is it aramaic?) (courtesy of judaica classics) i.imgur.com/JvHaA43.png i've circled in red, tefillah occurs twice in 4:2 and has no yud. Also in 4:2 where it says tefillato, no yud. Is the soncino giving hebrew translation of the aramaic? can you give a good source for no yud in the proper mishna text? i'm starting to wonder if there are different editions of the mishna. or what the most original text we have is called.
    – barlop
    Mar 12, 2014 at 6:57
  • Also here looking at the references you mention of mishna brachos 4:2 and 4:4 emishnah.com/PDFs/Berakhot04.pdf no yud.
    – barlop
    Mar 12, 2014 at 7:00
  • @barlop Interesting. I just looked at my own printed set, which is what I assumed was 'our commonly printed versions' but I may be wrong. The vowel-ized mishayot might not have the 'yud' as per modern convention that I mentioned above. Then again, on every page of the Vilna Talmud 4th ch. of Berachot appears 'תפלת השחר' with no yud. Later I'll check a more academic version of the Mishnah or Tosefta and edit as appropriate. Mar 12, 2014 at 15:49
  • so matt, have you found anything on this? ta
    – barlop
    Mar 22, 2014 at 23:11
  • Here is an image of a manuscript of Mishna Brachot where the yud is present (right column, last word on third line).
    – magicker72
    Apr 30, 2014 at 23:16

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