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On Shabbos, just after opening the Ark and singing the paragraph ending in

ברוך שנתן תורה לעמו ישראל בקדושתו

we read a paragraph from the Zohar that ends in a few sentences that in every congregation other than a chabad that I've been to, the congregation sings, starting with בא אנא רחיץ.

In the art scroll siddur, that last word is vowelized with a Chirik (one dot) under the ח, thus "racheetz". However, in many congregations it seems to be pronounced as if the vowel were two horizontal dots (tzeirei) thus as "rachaytz". I have seen in different siddurs this alternative vowelization.

I realize that in any Aramaic passage such as this there could be ambiguity done the centuries on how words are to be vowelized, but this passage is so ubiquitous in use that I would not expect the "right" vowels to have been forgotten in time.

Is there some genuine argument over which is proper, or if not, which is the "right" pronunciation?

  • In general, Aramaic words spelled with a tzeirei are pronounced as if with a chirik- take the word אין, meaning "yes," as an example. – DonielF Jun 4 '17 at 23:57
  • @DonielF Are you sure the Aramaic word אין is spelled with a tzeirei? I'm about 80% sure I've seen it with a chirik in an Artscroll gemara. – Daniel Jun 5 '17 at 0:07
  • @Daniel All of my Artscrolls have a tzeiri, but I don't have one on me to confirm. – DonielF Jun 5 '17 at 0:08
  • If Aramaic words spelled with a tzeirei are indeed pronounced as if with a chirik, then that would explain why some sidurrim present the word with tzeirei (right spellilng) and some with chirik (here is how you say it). That would be a solid answer to the question. But in that case, what about the word at the beginning of the phrase, which to my knowledge, everybody pronounces as "bei" not "bee" and which definitiely has a tzeirei in all the siddurim I have seen? – Mark Fischler Jun 5 '17 at 15:58

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