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Nusach S'farad, in the amida ("sh'mone esre") of holidays and Shabas, has "וְשַׂמַּח נַפְשֵׁינוּ בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ" ("v'samach..."), but in sheva b'rachos it has "שַׂמֵּחַ תְּשַׂמַּח" ("sameach...").

Nusach Haari does the opposite: in the amida it has "וְשַׂמֵּחַ נַפְשֵׁינוּ בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ" ("v'sameach..."), but in sheva b'rachos it has "שַׂמַּח תְּשַׂמַּח" ("samach...").

Why?

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  • This is really seeking two separate answers — one, why nusach S'farad does what it does, and, two, why nusach Haari does what it does. The answers may well relate to one another, but if someone can answer just one of those two, he should, please!
    – msh210
    Oct 27, 2010 at 15:40
  • those are two different words: שַׂמַּח is past tense and שַׂמֵּחַ is present tense so the translation is differs. However I don't know the reason for that.
    – jutky
    Oct 28, 2010 at 0:05
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    @jutky, no, they are both, I'm pretty sure, imperatives (masculine singular) in piel. The past you may be thinking of is שָׂמַח (masculine singular third person in kal), and the present you may be thinking of is שָׂמֵחַ (masculine singular in kal).
    – msh210
    Oct 28, 2010 at 6:00
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    Nusach Edot HaMizrach has שַׂמֵּחַ in both places.
    – Chanoch
    Oct 31, 2010 at 2:53
  • This gets into the question of whose psakim is "nusach sephard" based on?
    – Chanoch
    Oct 31, 2010 at 3:05

2 Answers 2

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There may be a source for 2 different piel imperatives:

In Mishlei 27:11- חֲכַם בְּנִי וְשַׂמַּח לִבִּי

In Tehilim 86:4 - שַׂמֵּחַ נֶפֶשׁ עַבְדֶּךָ

As far as the double-verb form, the only source I have seen is

Yimiyahu 20:15 - אָרוּר הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר בִּשַּׂר אֶת-אָבִי לֵאמֹר יֻלַּד-לְךָ בֵּן זָכָר שַׂמֵּחַ שִׂמְּחָהוּ

But since there seem to be 2 versions, either are fair game. I'm not sure which of the above versions are more accurate, but we aren't really concerned with mixing two different forms in the same double verb. More extreme examples of this are "haloch yelech" (Hay-lamed-chaf to yud-lamed-chaf and "asof asifem" (alef-samech-fay to samech-vav-pay).

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    Sorry my answer isn't more esoteric.
    – YDK
    Nov 9, 2010 at 1:18
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Chabad's Siddur Rabbeinu HaZaken has an explanation and comparison on a footnote in Sheva Berachot. The explanation seems to be related to the sephirot of the nikudot, which I know practically nothing about.

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  • Thanks! I actually asked the local Lubavitch shaliach here the nusach-Haari half of my question today, and he said that the rebbe Rashab (5th Lubavitch rebbe, died just after World War One, I think) has a kuntres called Samach T'samach which discusses it. Does anyone know whether that's the "mori chami" quoted in the footnote Chanoch points us to?
    – msh210
    Oct 31, 2010 at 3:36
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    No, "mori vechami" means R' Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, father-in-law of the last one). As for Kuntres Samach Tesamach - it discusses the significance of simchas chassan v'kallah according to Chassidus, but I'd have to check whether it says anything specifically about the nikkud of these words.
    – Alex
    Oct 31, 2010 at 5:02
  • R' Alex, would checking be possible?
    – msh210
    Nov 1, 2010 at 19:50
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    It's a very long series (hemshech) of maamarim. From a cursory look through it, I didn't see anything on the subject. (And if there was, then the footnote that Chanoch mentioned surely would have brought it up.)
    – Alex
    Nov 3, 2010 at 14:22

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