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In the vidui, we list our sins alphabetically, and for the samech, the word in my machzor is "sararnu" -- this is translated as "we have turned away."

After the list there is a paragraph which further discusses a consequence of (what I assumed was) all of our sins collectively, and this begins with "sarnu" -- also translated as "we have turned away."

Are the two terms simply different spellings of the same thing (and in that case, why are there two spellings) or do they refer to different types of sins, or attitudes about sin, or something else?

Textually, sar (in malachim 1, 20:43, 21:4 and 5) seems to mean "upset" while sarar (many uses) seems to be related to sor (as in ben sorer) which means to turn or stop (cf Yirmiyah 6:28, סָרֵי סוֹרְרִים , extremely perverse).

The other example of a doubled letter form I can think of quickly is mar and marar but both seem, textually, to refer to bitterness or sharpness and sadness.

  • You mentioned the 1st pasuk - the ben sorer umoreh - that I was going to investigate. Rash"i explains the word to mean "turns away from the proper path", and uses the word "sar" - turn away. It seems, then, that "sorer" is a special "extension" of the word "sar" specifically applied to someone who turns away from the proper path of following mitzvot. That's what I'm inferring from Rash"i. I'm going to have a look at your verse in Yirmiyahu. If it has the same meaning, there, I'm inclined to think there's some consistency in that extended definition. – DanF Sep 25 '15 at 18:34
  • Ahah! Look at metzudat Tzion commentary, and you'll see that he refers back to the verse in Devarim! So, I'm convinced that it has this "extended" meaning that I mentioned. Likewise in the viduy, I think "sararnu" means specifically, we have gone astray from your mitzvot. The term "sarnu mimitzvotecha" in the par. after Ashamnu means the same thing but in more words, as I see it. – DanF Sep 25 '15 at 18:41
  • שריך סוררים is translated here as rebellious mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1001.htm#23 – Double AA Jan 5 '16 at 4:23

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