In the Tefillah of "Acheinu", we discuss our brothers who are "נתונים בצרה ובשביה". I have heard these words vowelized with a Pasach under the Beis of both terms (Batzarah Uvashivya, which would mean "in the trouble and/or in the captivity"). However, it would seem to make more sense to vowelize it with a Sheva, which would than mean "in trouble and/or in captivity". I definitely remember seeing some Siddurim with a Sheva under each Beis.

I am looking to find out

  1. if one version is more authentic than the other
  2. any sources that discuss this
  3. any proofs or other thoughts that Mi Yodea readers have on this

(Note that in Tanach, we do find the word Batzara in a few places (e.g. Tehillim 81:8), although many of the Mefarshim (e.g. see Rashi and Ibn Ezra there) discuss specific Tzaros that the Passuk may be referring to.)


  • Artscroll's Siddur Yitzchak Ya'ir and Nachalat Shimon have sh'va under both as does The Koren "Ani Tefilla". The 1986 Greenfield Siddur Hashalem has a patach under each as does the Siddur Shilo. – rosends Dec 20 '17 at 19:05
  • Thanks. Do you happen to know the sources for any of those siddurim (i.e. where they would have gotten the nikkud from)? – רבות מחשבות Dec 20 '17 at 19:16
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    The Siddur, Avodas Yisroel, the definitive Ashkenazic Siddur of the 1800’s “Avodas Yisroel” by Rabbi Zeligman Baer has the version with the sheva under each beis. The Siddur Tefilo Sefas Yisroel, a nusaḥ Ashkenaz siddur dedicated to the memory of the Bad Homburg Jewish community has בְּצָרָה וּבַשִּׁבְיָה one sheva and one patach. - - A grammarian should offer his views. – Avrohom Yitzchok Dec 20 '17 at 20:03
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    Perhaps the patach migrated from bayam and bayabasha. – Loewian Dec 21 '17 at 4:18
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    [Cont.] Considering that R' Yaakov Emden, who was a fierce critic of R' Shlomo Zalman Hanau (according to Wikipedia), also has a Sheva, I would think it's safe to assume that this is the more grammatically correct version. (Should this be an answer?) – Ploni Apr 23 '18 at 1:38

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