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When completing an entire book of the Torah (ex. Bereishis), it is customary in some communities to recite the words

חזק חזק ונתחזק

which is translated out to "be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened!"

In the Stone Chumash, the word נתחזק is vocalized as נִתְחַזֵּק, nischazeik. However, it has come to my attention that this may be incorrect, as the word is usually vocalized as נִתְחַזַּק, nischazak, as in Shmuel II 10:12, for example:

חֲזַ֚ק וְנִתְחַזַּק֙ בְּעַד־עַמֵּ֔נוּ וּבְעַ֖ד עָרֵ֣י אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ וַֽיהֹוָ֔ה יַעֲשֶֹ֥ה הַטּ֖וֹב בְּעֵינָֽיו

"'...Be strong, and let us strengthen ourselves on behalf of our people, and on behalf of the cities of our God: and [then] may God do what is good in his eyes.'"

Translation from Judaica Press via Chabad.org.

Is the zayin in the word properly vocalized with a patach or with a tzeirei?

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There is a difference between when the word ונתחזק is in middle of a Pasuk, then it is pronounced with פת"ח. However when it is at the end of a phrase, it is pronounced with a ציר"י.

הגר"ש דבליצקי שליט"א כותב דצ"ל ונתחזק בקמ"ץ, דבשמואל שם הוא באמצע הפסוק, ולכך הוא מנוקד בפת"ח. אבל כאן, זהו סיום, וצ"ל בקמ"ץ

תורה ודעת ו' גליון149

  • Can you support this assertion? Is there another usage of ונתחזק when it’s not connected to following words that would support your theory, or would this be better suited as a comment to the OP? – DonielF Jun 8 '18 at 2:35
  • Wow your quote literally contradicts your summary – Double AA Jun 8 '18 at 13:04
  • @DoubleAA - No contradiction at all. A קמ"ץ קטן is a ציר"י [see רש"י במדבר כ"ג /כ]. As a medakdek, when Rav Divlitzky refers to the ציר"י, he calls it a קמץ, as in קמץ קטן. – פרי זהב Jun 8 '18 at 16:47
  • Are you joking? What evidence do you have that he wrote so obtusely? – Double AA Jun 8 '18 at 16:48
  • @DoubleAA - Do you know anyone who says it with a קמץ? It's either a צירי or a פתח. So please explain why he says to say it with a קמץ. Also, there is nothing obtuse about writing the way the Rishonim write, just because nowadays we used different terminology. – פרי זהב Jun 8 '18 at 16:59

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