I've noticed a very common mistake that surfaces when people say Birchas HaMitzvos out loud. Instead of saying אשר קִדְשָנוּ במצותיו (kee-di-shu-noo) as written in all Siddurim, many people pronounce it "קְדִשָנוּ" (ki-dee-shu-noo) instead. Is there any source or reason for this change, or is it simply a widespread mistake?

  • Do you mean using the wrong 'shva' or using a chirik instead under the daled, or the wrong chirik under the kuf – preferred May 8 '14 at 10:12
  • @preferred I'm referring to using a chirik under the daled and a shva under the kuf instead of the other way around. Listen up when the chazan counts s'fira, lots of people say it incorrectly – Tzvi May 8 '14 at 10:18

See grammar and pronunciation rules from Jewish Virtual Library. From my understanding of the rules, the correct pronunciation should be "keed-di-sha'-nu". Since there is a dot in the daled, it is considered as if it is doubled, i.e. - ending the 1st syllable and starting the 2nd one, as well.

Offhand, I would say that sounding the 2nd syllable with a chirik has no grammatical basis, as that's not the conjugation of the verb "kadesh" in the present plural in Hebrew. Someone who does pronounce it this way, could be mistaken for using another verb which sounds like he's saying "ki-di-shay'-nu", which would be using a different verb "deshen" meaning "refine", as in the term we use in Shabbat musaf, "am medushnei oneg".

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  • That would be a כ instead of a ק – Double AA May 8 '14 at 16:15
  • That's alot of information to process... Interesting note about the doubled daled. I asked this question partially to raise awareness, as I didn't think the mispronunciation actually had any source. – Tzvi May 8 '14 at 16:58
  • Sorry about the unintentional "overload". I thought that the additional comment on the :deshen" verb would interest you and others. @Double AA is correct about mentioning the "chaf" that would be at the beginning of the word. Like other languages, Hebrew has many homophones. – DanF May 8 '14 at 17:10
  • כ and ק are not homophones... One is more guttural like the Arabic ك and ق respectively – Double AA May 8 '14 at 17:21
  • @DoubleAA - You are technically correct on this. However, most pronunciations, today (and I do admit that many of us pronounce Hebrew incorrectly in numerous areas), tend to vocalize these 2 phonemes the same way. – DanF May 8 '14 at 17:33

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