This past Shabbos in shul, I saw a paper about the pronunciation of the word בשגם (Bereishis 6 3).

"וַיֹּאמֶר ה' לֹא־יָדוֹן רוּחִי בָאָדָם לְעֹלָם בְּשַׁגַּם הוּא בָשָׂר וְהָיוּ יָמָיו מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה׃ "

The author claimed that all chumashim printed until up to 50 or so years ago (his actual words were בעשרות השנים האחרונים) pronounced the word with Kamatz, wearas nowadays it is common to find the word vowalized with Patach (like wikitext).

Are there any sources for the Pasach version over the Kamatz version?


2 Answers 2


R. Yaakov Sappir had the same question about 150 years ago and asked the community in Aleppo to check the Aleppo Codex for a final ruling. They reported that בשגם has only Patch vowels. You can't ask for a better source than that.

As for the specific claim about all printed Chumashim older than 50 years ago, R. Wolf Heidenheim's popular 1818 Chumash "Meor Einayim" has בשגם correctly with the Patach.

  • 1
    So most likely, the patach is more accurate. +1 I guess a good question to ask now is, where did the kamatz variation come from?
    – ezra
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 16:07

Based on my findings, the statement made in the paper is mostly accurate.

Chumash Beis Yehuda, Beis David, and these two (1, 2) versions of the Mikraos Gedolos all vowelize בשגָם. In addition, the Blum Chumash (in the front of the Chitas), the Stone Chumash, and the Hertz Chumash all vowelize בשגָם as well. All of these, with the exception of the Stone Chumash, where printed more than fifty years ago. However -

Chumash Simanim and an Ohr David Chumash I have vowelize בשגַם. The Gutnick Chumash initially presents the word as בשגָם, but makes a note that it can be vowelized בשגַם. All three of these were printed in recent years.

  • Feel free to add more to my list, especially under the second category, Chumashim that vowelize בשגַם.
    – ezra
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 15:01
  • 2
    Although we don't have it in the Aleppo Codex, but it's with patach in the Leningrad Codex commons.wikimedia.org/w/… Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 15:07
  • Koren, Ginzburg and Cassuto Tanakhs all have Patach and are older than 50 years ago. Or is this only about Chumash alone and not Tanakhs?
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 16:01
  • @DoubleAA No Tanakhs count for sure. :) Thanks for the info
    – ezra
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 16:03
  • @Kazibácsi That's very intriguing
    – ezra
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 16:03

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