I just came across this strange variant spelling this morning. I've been in the habit of reciting Tikkun HaKlali recently and saw this in Artscroll's Tehillim this past Shabbat. Thinking it was a typo, I came across it today in a different Tehillim by Artscroll, the Interlinear Edition. The verse reads like so:

אשר כרת את אברהם ושבועתו לישחק

(asher carat et av'raham ush'vuato l'yis'chak)

Normally, of course, Yitzchak is spelled with a tzadde:



Can anyone point me to some commentary on why this is? Both Tehillim which I have used say nothing about the variant spelling, which is interesting to say the least.

  • yba.org.il/show.asp?id=23473 – Gershon Gold May 23 '11 at 19:17
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    Also look at: Amos: Venashamu bamot yischak. ِAmos: Lo tinavei al beit yaakov velo tatif al beit yischak. Yirmiyahu: Vegam zera yaakov (spelled malei - interesting) vdavid (also spelled malei) em'as mikachat mizaro moshlim, el zera avraham yischak vyaakov (also spelled malei.) – shman613 Oct 1 '14 at 3:11

In the sefer נפוצות יהודה, the explanation is given as follows:

Yitzchak represents מדת הדין. Since it was this that was responsible for the destruction of the temples and our exiles, the Tanach hints that eventually, מדת הדין will be dropped in favor of מדת הרחמים in the time of redemption. Since the redemption consists of four stages, as alluded to by the four terms of geulah in Shemos 6, and by the four cups drunk during the Pesach seder, therefore, four times in Tanach, the name יצחק is changed to ישחק. (Yermiyahu 33:26, Amos 7:9, 7:16, Tehillim 105:9.) This is to show that eventually, the צ'רות' of the Jews in their exiles will turn around into the ש'שון ו'ש'מחה' of their redemption.

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  • Wow, excellent. There really is always a reason, and that's an incredible one at that. Thanks muchly. – Naftuli Kay May 23 '11 at 19:43

I got this info from another site : " Ask the Rabbi" - it seems to have another brilliant answer !

Dov David (Bernie) May at "Ohr Samayach" at: http://ohr.edu/ask/ask294.htm

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  • Is this a copyright violation? – Shmuel Brin Oct 14 '14 at 7:21
  • er ...I m not sure ... I just thought it might help in answering the question posed ... thats why I added the source so as not to infer that I had written it ..I assumed that if ascribed correctly no one would mind...rather than NOT mention it - which they could mind a lot... – Robert Spicer Oct 14 '14 at 8:02
  • If one attributes a statement correctly ie as a reference isnt it ok to use or is it an issue because you might publish it on your site without referring to the other website? Im only new at this - but I imagined that if you quote the source the copyright wouldnt be infringed - if it had one... which I guess is always a real possibility... – Robert Spicer Oct 14 '14 at 8:07
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    Please take a look at our citation policy. Instead of copying an entire responsum, please link to the original, cite clearly where it came from, and summarize the information in it that's relevant to the question at hand, using limited quotations wherever the original language is particularly important. – Isaac Moses Oct 14 '14 at 13:22
  • Ok will do my best not to repeat this error in future! To complete this issue - I was quoting from the OHR SOMAYACH site's Ask the Rabbi,Issue 294, 2/12/2000 (5 Kislev 5761) by Dov May, who washimself referring to the Mattersdorf Rebbi answer in (his) book Sefer B'nei Yisrael who had also noted that while Avram and Yakov had name changes why hadnt Yitzhak? His insightful answer was effectively that it had - by changing the Tzade into a 'sin' in those 4 Tnach locations (as mentioned above by your original answerer).The Rebbi's noted that this numerical difference of 210 = years in Egypt! – Robert Spicer Oct 15 '14 at 3:23

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