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The groom tells the bride under the chuppah:

הרי את מקודשת לי בטבעת זו כדת משה וישראל

Is the word זו pronounced with a cholam (וֹ) as in "zo" or with a shuruk (וּ) as in "zu"? I have seen both versions in various siddurim; which is it?

  • Did you look in ANY siddur? – ezra Apr 16 '18 at 21:54
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    @ezra whether he did or not, I did, and found both vowelizations. – רבות מחשבות Apr 16 '18 at 22:08
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    @רבותמחשבות Such information should be put into the OP. I had no idea there were varying traditions. – ezra Apr 16 '18 at 22:09
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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Y.A.G.! – רבות מחשבות Apr 16 '18 at 22:12
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    @DanF זוֹ is נקבֿה – ezra Apr 16 '18 at 22:29
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Google searches yield a number of hits for both results.

This website quotes Chanoch Yellon as saying that Ashkenazim use זוּ while Sefardim and Teimanim use זוֹ.

Cool historical fact: This forum quotes RSh"Z Geiger (brother of Abraham Geiger) in Divrei Kehilos, page 282 declaring that it was inappropriate for some Orthodox German Kehillos to switch from זוּ to זוֹ, as it was the way of the Reformers!

Personally speaking, I was told by a Mesader Kiddushin that the correct word is זוֹ, with a Cholam, however, the Minhagim vary, and as far as I know, neither one will invalidate the Kiddushin.

  • It might be worth clarifying that everyone agrees that the kiddushin is valid however you pronounce it. (With the possible exception of the Reform business, if there's some kind of conspiracy theory מקח טעות involved, but that probably wouldn't be relevant anymore if it ever was.) – Heshy Apr 16 '18 at 22:10
  • In my edition (1938) Heidenheim has it with cholam, but I couldn't find it in Emden's original siddur. – Kazi bácsi Apr 17 '18 at 21:18
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I have to admit that it's been a while since I said this to my bashert, and I guess I have to find my rav to confirm what I said. (He has a better memory than I.)

But, to add to רבות מחשבות's answer, see this article which clarifies the Hebrew:

[zo] should not be mixed up with זוּ [zu]. The former means "this/that" (f), the latter means "that", "which".

Click to expand... I think that elaboration is needed, as zu is unknown also to native speakers:

  • זה (ze) = this/that (masculine): this/that man is fat = האיש הזה שמן
    • זו, זאת (zo, zot) = this/that (feminine): this/that woman is fat = האישה הזו/הזאת שמנה
    • זו (zu) = that/which: the man/woman that walks there is fat = האיש/אישה שהולך/שהולכת שם שמן/שמנה

Zu appears is the Bible (as written in arbelyoni's link) and also in Phoenician documents. See for example the Ahiram Inscription (9th century BC?), where זו zu is even contracted to just ז z and attached to the next word (like Hebrew ש), for example: ארון זֶפּעל אתבעל בן אחירם (Phoenician) = ארון שעשה אתבעל בן אחירם (Hebrew)

So, from my understanding of all this, it seem that the best choice would be זאת, since the word טבעת is feminine. Zo is an acceptable substitute. It seems that zu is incorrect in this context.

Note by comparison, in the Hagaddah, the commn language is "Matza zu ...". And, I think, there that is correct, because the rest of the sentence says שאנו אוכלים ..."

So, in this context we are saying "The matzah that we are eating...". While the word zo would probably work in the Hagaddah, too, "This matzah that we eat..", from the explanation above the term zu seems like a better fit.

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    "the term zu requires a modifier starting with שֶ (that)" not at all! עם זו גאלת is the verse, not עם זו שגאלת. In fact many older Haggadot have מרורים אלו. Clearly the intended meaning is Zo: "This Matza/Maror that we eat" – Double AA Apr 16 '18 at 22:27
  • @DoubleAA Good find!! – DanF Apr 16 '18 at 22:28

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