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I've noticed that some people, when reciting kaddish, pronounce the first words as "yisgadal v'yiskadash" with a patach under the dalet of both words, while others say "yisgadel v'yisgadesh" with a tzere. The siddurim that I own are in accordance with the former practice.

Is one version more correct than the other, and if so, which? And what is the origin of the incorrect version?

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The short answer is that modern yeshiva students recite it with a tzeirei because this is brought in the Mishna Berura which has become a very popular sefer for "p'sak". The Mishna Berura brought it because of the weight he gives to the Pri Megadim, who quotes this version in the name of R' Hanau.

A more interesting and comprehensive background with sources can be found here.

  • The link is broken. I would love to see what used to be at its target. – WAF Mar 8 at 9:11
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While I have not read it myself, "The Kaddish" by David de Sola Pool came highly recommended to me by a leading scholar in the study of Aramaic when I posed the same question to him a few years ago. (This question has reminded me that I am very far behind on my reading list.)

This scholar's response to my question at the time was, in a nutshell, that the former seems to be the most "correct". As an added bonus, part of my question to him was centered around the point that there is a Yod that, if my Babylonian Aramaic class in college taught me anything, ought to be a Lamed. He responded that it is written in Geonic Aramaic, which has some deviations from Babylonian Aramaic of other periods.

Unfortunately, without his consent to quote him and broadcast his opinion throughout the interwebs, I feel I must withhold the identity of this scholar from the broader audience. But if he recommended a book on the subject, I feel confident recommending it to the community.

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Mishna Berura writes (46:2) that the correct pronunciation is with a צירי, making it "yisgadeil v'yiskadeish."

The reason he gives for that is that even though kaddish is in Aramaic (which would imply yisgadal, apparently), these two words are meant to be in Hebrew. This phrase is based on a verse (Yechezkel 38:23), which uses the phrase "והתגדלתי והתקדשתי" in the context of the end of days, which is the subject of kaddish.

  • This logic, though, is quite fallacious as yisgadal could actually be Hebrew. – Double AA Nov 18 '14 at 19:58
  • @DoubleAA It's what he says. He does cite בית יוסף; I haven't seen that, yet. – MTL Nov 18 '14 at 20:22
  • I agree it's what he says so I haven't downvoted. – Double AA Nov 18 '14 at 20:22
  • @DoubleAA I noticed that. I'll check what ב"י says. – MTL Nov 18 '14 at 20:24
  • I note examples of biblical Hebrew words with that mishqal in Devarim 9:25 or Esther 5:10 – Double AA Nov 18 '14 at 20:29

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