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Shalom! I recently read that in Genesis 1:4, the word Tov is used for the first time and when written in Hebrew, the Tet is crowned with 4 tagin instead of the usual 3. I have been searching for pictures of this to be true but to no avail.

I have learned that there are different scribal traditions and that this may be one of them? Please, let me know if you have any information on this. I am trying to learn Hebrew and don't want to be misled (again).

Shalom again, Diana

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya! Please take a look at our tour for some useful information about the site. Thank you for taking your question here and hoping to learn with you. – DonielF Jan 28 at 15:40
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Bnei Yissaschar, Kislev 2:

עוד כתב הרב הקדוש הנ"ל תקנו ל"ו נרות כנגד האור הראשון ששימש לאדה"ר ל"ו שעות כמשארז"ל בפסיקתא וכתב עוד שעל אות ט' של וירא אלקים את האור כי טו"ב יש על הט' ד' תגין להורות ד' פעמים ט' היינו רמז אל ל"ו נרות של חנוכ"ה ע"ש עוד בדבריו

The Rav HaKadosh (whom I mentioned above) wrote further: “They established 36 candles [on Chanukah] corresponding to the light which Adam HaRishon used for 36 hours, like that which our Sages z”l said in the Pesikta.” He wrote further that on the letter tes in “And G-d saw the light that it was good” there is on the tes four tagin, to indicate four times tes, hinting at 36 (4x9) candles of Chanukah. See further in his words.

I have never seen a Sefer Torah written as such. Generally you’ll see Sifrei Torah written with these scripts:

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However, sometimes a tes is written with four tagin:

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I don’t know of a tradition that highlights this one specifically. But the Bnei Yissaschar clearly has such a tradition.

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It states in the Midrash on Tagin and Zayinin from Rabbi Akiva that the 4 found on the letter Tet are intended to correspond to the four categories of the Congregation of Israel, Kohanim, Levi'im, Yisraelim and Gerei Tzedek. When seen with only three, it refers to only Kohanim, Levi'im and Yisraelim.

(If using the link to the bookseller above, click on the Look Inside link and scroll to the bottom to see the discussion of the Zayunin on the letter Tet.)

It also emphasizes that the letter itself corresponds with Tov (good). It's worth pointing out that the Bahir (in chapter 124, I think) says that the Tet relates to the Uterus (as in an empty vessel waiting to receive). And in that context, that it is the only letter of the 22 letters in the Aleph-Beit that is not included in the 10 commandments.

  • How does this answer the question? The OP wasn’t looking for the explanation or any other explanation, just a tradition in which the Tes of Tov is written with four tagin. – DonielF Jan 28 at 23:45
  • ולמען ייטב לך – Alex Jan 29 at 0:03
  • @DonielF the midrash cited sounds like it qualifies as documentation of the existence of the tradition in question. The answer could certainly be improved with a more precise citation. – Isaac Moses Jan 29 at 3:57
  • @IsaacMoses what would you like? I cited the exact spot in the Midrash. It appears in the new, Zichron Aharon edition of Midrash Otiot d’Rabbi Akiva. – Yaacov Deane Jan 29 at 11:43
  • @YaacovDeane I have never heard of this book, and many people who would be interested in this question likely haven't either. From reading your answer, it's not obvious to me that "Midrash on Tagin and Zayinin from Rabbi Akiva" is the title of a particular book or that any other information in the answer points me to where in that book to find the information you cite. Bibliographic information would be helpful. – Isaac Moses Jan 29 at 14:54

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