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
  • 2
    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
  • 2
    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.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .