The davening on the Yamim Nora'im references many verses and the machzor introduces those verses in a variety of ways.

A quick glance at the davening for Yom Kippur shows




kma shekatuv


ka'asher amarta

I have found no consistency in the application of some of the answers I have found, such as "one is used only for terms in nach, and another is only for the Torah" and "one is for explicit mentions and the other for inferences."

I do see that "kakatuv often is followed by the type of source ("al yad n'vee'echa", "bdivrei kodshecha" or "b'torato" or "b'toratecha") but I was wondering if there was any overriding set of principles applied to the construction of tefillah.

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    I've always thought that they were relatively interchangeable or stylistic. However, there's a vort in the name of the Vilna Gaon (which I found in the green P'ninim Mishulchan Hagra but it's probably elsewhere too) that when there's a kri uksiv, 'sheneemar' refers to the kri, and 'kakasuv' refers to the kesiv. That's how we have two separate drashos on the pasuk "kiimu vekiblu hayehudim" in Ester Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 4:51

1 Answer 1


It would help if you could cite a few examples. My own surmising based on what I see as a general pattern:

"Kakatuv" usually is a "support" or "proof" to the previous statement, as in Kedusha, "Nekadesh et shimcha .... k'shem shemakdishim bishmei marom". How do we know that this is done this way? "Kakatuv ... " Also, it seems that "kakatuv" is often followed by the location, "Al yad nevi'echa", similar to "Ubetoratcha katuv..." where it also tells you where. Offhand, I don't recall the location mentioned with "Ne'emar".

"Ne'emar" seems to be more of a "supplementary" phrase or proof. In other words, we know why something is done, there's just another verse mentioned as an example. That would explain why most of the verses in Malchuyot in Rosh Hashannah Musaph start with "Kakatuv" for the 1st verse (or "Al yedei avadecha katuv...") and the additional verses use "Vene'emar")

I also noticed that there is a difference in tense. "Katuv" is "pa'al" / active; "Ne'emar" is in "niph'al" which is passive. I have to investigate this a bit more, but, I sense that there is something to this.

There are probably many exceptions to the rules that I mentioned, but, this seems to be the common pattern that I'm noticing.

  • Katuv is a passive participle, even though it's in binyan Qal.
    – magicker72
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 3:12

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