In Mishlei (Proverbs) 28:17, the letter dalet is small in the word "adam". Why is this?


As a tentative answer, I would posit that if you read the word without the dalet - it becomes Eim - as in a mother. This admonishment applies equally to both men and women, whether a woman has children or not.

  • Why by this particular admonishment is it necessary to say this? – DonielF Oct 28 '18 at 16:49
  • Because it says adam the implication that this only applies to men and not women. – user18155 Oct 28 '18 at 16:55
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    I think אדם as used in Tanach typically refers to humankind in general, as opposed to איש/אנוש or גבר which refer to men specifically. I could be wrong, but that seems to be the case. – DonielF Oct 28 '18 at 16:56
  • Adam refers always to man in his pristine state. In Bereishis it is used in contradistinction to Chava. – user18155 Oct 28 '18 at 16:59
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    You have to look at Chazal and see the deroshos applied in those instances. There are other factors that lead one to read a pasuk. Since, in general, we can't make derashos, we look to chazal to help us. Nonetheless, as I said, my answer was tentative, since I have not seen this anywhere and I have not seen a comment on it. – user18155 Oct 29 '18 at 7:48

According to the authoritative sefer on Masores Mincas Shai, the dalet is not small after all.

  • I'm not sure this is true, but anyway even if it was the question still stands according to the other opinions – Double AA May 16 at 2:19

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