The gemara (Brachoth 13b) records that one is supposed to draw out the ד of "אחד" in the first verse of the Shema:

.תניא: סומכוס אומר: כל המאריך באחד מאריכין לו ימיו ושנותיו אמר רב אחא בר יעקב: ובדלי"ת. אמר רב אשי: ובלבד שלא יחטוף בחי"ת. ר' ירמיה הוה יתיב קמיה דר' [חייא בר אבא], חזייה דהוה מאריך טובא, א"ל: כיון דאמליכתיה למעלה ולמטה ולארבע רוחות השמים תו לא צריכת

There is a teaching: Symmachus says: Whoever prolongs the pronunciation of the word "אחד," his days and years are prolonged for him. Rav Aha b. Jacob said : Especially the letter ד. Rav Ashe said: Only he must not slur over the letter ח. R. Jeremiah was sitting in the presence of R. Hiyya b. Abba, and noticed that he prolonged exceedingly. He said to him : So long as thou hast proclaimed His Kingship above and below and to the four directions of heaven, more than that is not required of thee.

This is not really possible with the way Ashkenazim pronounce the ד.

From a halachik perspective, what are the correct ways to pronounce the ד (dalet)? What are the variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah to the writing of the Talmud? How old are the 2 variant pronunciations of the ד (with and without a dagesh)? What are the earliest references to this distinction? Is there any halachik significance to pronouncing it one way over the other? Is it just considered a hiddur (beautification of the commandment)?

  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/10250/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 22:27
  • Please include in this and any similar questions what you seek beyond the wikipedia page of the letter in question. We don't need to reproduce existing common knowledge of the internet.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 22:28
  • "This is not really possible with the way Ashkenazim pronounce the ד." see Trumas Hadeshen 27 brought in Magen Avraham siman 128 #73, who is subsequently brought in Hagahos Rabi Akiva Eiger on sh'a siman 61 siff 6.
    – user6591
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 23:10
  • 1
    One of my rebbes taught that this means that you should focus for a moment after reciting the word echad on the meaning of the word and on the kavanot of "One God who is in the seven levels of heaven and earth in all four directions." The "drawing out" is not verbal but in intention.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 17:37
  • 1
    Until you make it to ת i'll be parking this link here he.wikisource.org/wiki/… Not clear why he doesn't know about ד.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 23:44

1 Answer 1


The variant i'm used to hearing is that daleth without a dagesh should sound like the "th" sound in the english word "the."

Here is a video according to this tradition, a Mizrahi accent, non Yemenite. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSAu-wBvYHg

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