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20 votes

Zeicher vs Zecher

Essentially, a mistaken edition of the Radak was popular for a short time, leading to various changes by overzealous grammarians and confusing two very influential rabbis. See the extensive (hundreds ...
Double AA's user avatar
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12 votes
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Why is a patach chet at the end of the word pronounced "sdrawkcab" (backwards)?

Essentially there should be no vowel, but for certain guttural consonants (specifically, Hei, Chet, and Ayin) it's hard to end a word like that ("NoH"?), so an extra half-vowel is placed before the ...
Double AA's user avatar
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12 votes
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Pronouncing "O" (Cholam) as "Oy"?

I've contacted Dovid Katz from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, a renown scholar of the Yiddish language (among others), who wrote numerous papers on linguistics, and his PhD dissertation ...
Kazi bácsi's user avatar
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11 votes
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Ayin or Aleph, blessing or curse?

Rashi says why this change turns the blessing into a curse pretty clearly in his comment on Megillah 24b. He says: מפני שקורין לאלפין עיינין ולעיינין אלפין. ואם היו עושין ברכת כהנים היו אומרים יאר ...
ezra's user avatar
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11 votes
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If a Mesorah for letter pronunciation is rediscovered, would we have to change our pronunciations?

כִּי-אָז אֶהְפֹּךְ אֶל-עַמִּים, שָׂפָה בְרוּרָה, לִקְרֹא כֻלָּם בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה, לְעָבְדוֹ שְׁכֶם אֶחָד. (צפניה ג:ט)‏ For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call ...
Double AA's user avatar
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10 votes

Is the shiur called a "k'beiah" or a "k'beitzah"?

Yam Shel Shlomo in chapter 4 of Bava Kamma says to pronounce it beya as the other word is not nice. This is subsequently brought in the Magen Avraham in siman 156 which is probably where it picked up ...
user6591's user avatar
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9 votes

Should you make an extra effort to pronounce prayers and blessings clearly?

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 61:21-22: צריך בכל אל"ף שאחר מ"ם להפסיק ביניהם כגון ולמדתם אותם וקשרתם אותם ושמתם את ... שלא יהא נראה כקורא מותם מת. אף בפסוקי דזמרה ובתפלה צריך לדקדק בכך [During ...
Joel K's user avatar
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8 votes

Pronunciation of חשמונאי

Josephus transliterates the name as Ἀσαμωναίος. The transliterated form ω corresponds to long o (see Brønno, "Some nominal types in the Septuagint" in Classica et Mediaevalia 3 and Studien über ...
Argon's user avatar
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8 votes
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Chassidish pronunciation: הוא and היא

Most American and European Chassidim use what is often (wrongly) called Chassidish pronunciation. However, Hungarian is probably a more precise term, as even non-Chassidim that stem from parts of ...
Adám's user avatar
  • 6,801
8 votes

Similarity between atonement in Leviticus 4:20 & cover in Genesis 6:14 in terms of semantics, wording/phrasing, lettering/grammer, pronunciation?

I'm not a Biblical Hebrew linguist at all but I hope this helpful. All Hebrew words have a two or three letter root . There are many Hebrew words with כפר as their roots. Some are listed below • ...
Schmerel's user avatar
  • 5,530
7 votes

Pronunciation of "Two"s in Hebrew

The words שְׁתֵּי, שְׁתַּיִם etc. had two pronunciations during the masoretic period. The first pronunciation was with an epenthetic aleph, as אֶשְׁתַּיִם, etc. The second was simply to omit the sheva at ...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,817
7 votes

Reading zeicher, zecher, or both during the regular Torah reading

The Mishna Berura (685 sk 18) only recommended this practice for Parashat Zakhor, seemingly because it may be a biblical obligation (ShA OC 685:7). Betzel HaChokhma (6:50) said this applies to any ...
Double AA's user avatar
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7 votes

How to pronounce ישראל - Yisroel or Yisrael?

The Ashkenazi pronunciation of Hebrew distinguishes seven different vowels. They can be arranged more or less as follows (first represented in Hebrew orthography under the letter א, then in IPA if you ...
b a's user avatar
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6 votes

Have any of you ever heard anyone pronouncing ayin as "ng"?

In proper Dutch-Ashkenazi pronunciation, "ya'akov" would be "Yang'akouv", as not only the ayin is pronounced as an 'ng' sound, but the cholam is pronounced as 'ou'. As a kid I was ...
Dannie Klompsma's user avatar
6 votes
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Don't have to articulate hataras nedarim?

The barebone Halacha is in Yoreh De'ah 228 - סימן רכח - דיני התרת נדרים - where it says that all that the 3 people need to say is מֻתָּר לָךְ - preferably thrice. So I'm not sure what the others ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
6 votes

nach nistar yud, followed by a yud

(I have to correct one point: the י here isn't a Nach Nistar but an Eim Mikra, like the ה at the end of תורה, the א at the end of ברא or the ו at the end of בו. A real Nach Nistar י would definitely ...
Double AA's user avatar
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6 votes

Are there any recordings of the Tanakh read or chanted according to reconstructed Ancient Hebrew pronunciation?

It's a very difficult task to reconstruct the way Hebrew was pronounced in ancient times. As you might know, the Hebrew alphabet is an abjad, which marks consonants in most of the cases, and the ...
Kazi bácsi's user avatar
  • 7,714
6 votes
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Kamatz with yod in פָּנָיו?

The yod is a mater lectionis and is not pronounced at all. You can tell that this is the case because there is no vowel mark on the yod. (This rule of thumb does have one exception: the last letter of ...
Joel K's user avatar
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6 votes

Re-articulate a sound repeated after a maqaf?

There is some discussion about the matter in Berakhot 15b, relating to the precise reading of the Shema and it's subsequent sections. The phrase בְּכׇל־לְבָבְךָ֥ is cited as an example of where one is ...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,817
5 votes

Why are identical words pronounced differently at certain locations of the Shema?

The two passages are from Deuteronomy 6:7 and 11:19, respectively: וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ֖ בָּ֑ם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֙ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשָׁכְבְּךָ֖ וּבְקוּמֶֽךָ׃ ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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5 votes
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Dageish in bin Nun

The masoretic treatise Kitāb al-Khilaf (ספר החילופים) by Misha'el ben `Uzziel records the differences (and similarities) between the famous masoretes Ben Asher and Ben Naftali. The book records that ...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,817
5 votes

Why did the masoretes vocalize the tetragrammaton this way?

This is the vowel pointing for the pronunciation of the word that replaces the Tetragrammaton. In the case of your example, it is the Alef Dalet Nun Yud pronunciation. You can see this in the siddur. ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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5 votes

Articulation of resh with dagesh

There was a geminated resh at least during the Second Temple Period. In fact, there was a time where even the gutterals were geminated. Resh eventually became unable to receive dagesh (in the Tiberian ...
Argon's user avatar
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5 votes
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Rosh Hashanah Amidah - Neshama be-apo or neshamah ve-apo?

In Biblical Hebrew if an open syllable is followed by a begadkefat letter, the initial letter of the syllable loses dagesh, unless it is separated by a divider trop (e.g. tifcha). Please refer to the ...
Kazi bácsi's user avatar
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5 votes

Dageish at the beginning of a word - pronunciation?

According to Yeivin, the value of the conjunctive dagesh is uncertain. When it follows a short vowel, it could naturally behave as a strong dagesh. However, when conjunctive dagesh follows a consonant ...
Argon's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is the proper pronunciation: Tz'lafechad or Tz'lofchad?

As others have already pointed out in comments, it's a kamatz katan, therefore it should be pronounced as Tzelofchad (or Tzelofchod in Ashkenazi). I tend to use Dovi's online edition of Tanakh, which ...
Kazi bácsi's user avatar
  • 7,714
5 votes

Kamatz and shva in words with ayin-lamed-mem root in Kaddish

When the word עלמא appears (twice) in Daniel 2:20, Minchas Shai comments that "in several accurate manuscripts the ע has a maarich (another name for a meseg)," which would mark it as a ...
Meir's user avatar
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4 votes

Aleph with a Dagesh

In his book on Tiberian Hebrew (pp. 135ff), Geoffrey Khan suggests that in fact, the dot in the aleph is to be pronounced as a doubling of the consonant, not simply as a sign that the aleph should be ...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,817
4 votes

How do you pronounce the soft reish?

Hidāyat al-Qāriʾ (see Eldar's edition) indicates that the regular resh pronunciation was articulated at the middle of the tongue. This is farther out than the articulation for fricative gimel (IPA: ʁ) ...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,817
4 votes

Have any of you ever heard anyone pronouncing ayin as "ng"?

My great uncle when leading the family Seder always said 'Arbang mi'yodeya' etc (as well as 'ki lau no'eh' and bimhighrow yivneh besau b'kaurov'). Our family background is Anglo-Jewish since about ...
Shifra's user avatar
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