I am interested in understanding the Tenach better, as well as rules related to leining.

I have resources for learning biblical Hebrew. Vocabulary lists, and charts showing verb conjugations.

If I get to the stage where I can understand Tenach ok, i.e. to the point where I know sufficient biblical Hebrew for that, would I be ok reading the Minchas Shai?

I'm guessing the Minchas Shai isn't available in English

I know a few words like Chaser Ktiv which I guess the Minchas Shai might use..

Looking at it now, it looks tough


Like it's written in Rashi script even

I am aware of two books on Mishnaic Hebrew, (one by Segal, one by Fernandez).

Though I guess the rabbinical Hebrew it uses is a later Hebrew.

I hardly know any modern Hebrew as I've been focussing on biblical.

What type of Hebrew does it use and how could I prepare myself to read it?

  • 2
    Besides the dialectal issue, you have to know the specialized vocabulary he uses. There's quite a lot of it, some of it in quotations from m'sora and some his own (and some in quotations from elsewhere); a lot of the former is Aramaic.
    – msh210
    Sep 1, 2015 at 6:17

1 Answer 1


The Hebrew itself should not be of much concern. It was written around 1600, so the Hebrew is definitely not biblical, and much closer to Rabbinic Hebrew (you may come across Aramaic at times), but most of what he says is related to grammar and massorah (the traditions of how the words should be/are written).

Before learning Minchat Shai, I would suggest you learn:

  • The names of the letters, vowels, and notes (including words like degusha and refuyah, which describe letters)
  • other Masoretic language/notes (such as large or small letters, malei/chaser, pesucha/setuma)
  • names of other works on the Massorah or Hebrew Grammar, or written or printed versions of Tanach
  • You might also want to become familiar with basic Talmudic terms used in the Gemara, Mishnah, etc.
    – ezra
    Jan 24, 2019 at 16:46
  • do people often or sometimes study minchas shai in yeshiva?
    – barlop
    Jan 24, 2019 at 17:01
  • @barlop nope, not that I'm aware of Jan 24, 2019 at 17:20

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