I was saying Tehilim recently and I got up to 119, and when I reached the first "Aydosecha" (יד) I remembered that sometimes the vav is pronounced (a.k.a, there's a cholam above the normal vav), so it would sound like "Aydvosecha", and sometimes the vav is the actual cholam, so the pronunciation is "Aydosecha".

Some Tehilim's have them marked pretty clearly, but others (like the one I'm using) don't, and I think there's some siman to remember which Vavs to say (I saw it in an old Tehillim a while ago), but I forgot it; so does any know the siman, or at least which vav's to pronounce?


2 Answers 2


The trick here (if the dot-above-the-Vav's location is ambiguous) is that if the Vav is a mater lectionis, then it is serving as the vowel for the previous letter. Thus if the previous letter has a vowel already, it must be the Vav is a consonant.

In your case, the Dalet has a Shva, so the Vav is a consonant. On the other hand, in Tehillim 78:56 it says וְעֵדוֹתָיו where the Dalet has no Vowel, and thus the Vav is a mater lectionis.

Ideally, of course, the printer should be careful to mark the dot off to the left a bit if the Vav is a consonant like with any other consonant.

  • lol that might be the case in general, if you're trying to distinguish between two words spelled differently, but in kepital 119 there are several instances of the specific word "Adosecha" that are spelled exactly the same, yet some of them are pronounced "Advosecha" and some of the "Adosecha" and there's no way to know grammatically, the only way to know is through tradition,which is what some Tehilim's have in their intro as a siman, and my question is: what is that siman (since I forgot it), and/or jst what are the specific cases that the vav is or isn't pronounced? Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 20:56
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    @yaakov I don't know what you're talking about. The above rule applies always. There are no two words that are spelled the same (including Nikkud) with different pronunciations.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 0:18

The siman for this is דמ"ה ב"ן פר"ץ, where those are the letter-groups of verses in which the word is pronounced Eidvosecha. (An exception is verse 138, among the צ verses; it works for verse 144, the last of that group.) You can find it in a parenthetical comment inserted into Rashi on verse 146.

It is also true, though, that if you're reading from an accurate Tehillim, then every time in ch. 119 where it's to be pronounced Eidosecha (without the vav sound), it's written עדתיך - i.e., the vav is lacking altogether, which should make it easier to remember not to pronounce it. (In fact this is the case anytime עדות has a possessive suffix throughout Tanach, with the singular exception of Tehillim 78:56 referenced in DoubleAA's answer - though Minchas Shai to Devarim 6:17 notes some alternative mesoros that have other exceptions.)

  • Does someone know a deeper reasoning why this same word is sometimes spelled "Aydvosecha", and sometimes "Aydosecha" in 119?
    – user16403
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 3:55
  • @user16403 judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/ask
    – Meir
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 15:34

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