20 votes
Accepted

Why is there a dagesh in second camocha, but not in first?

It's one of 10 traditional exceptions to the rules of BeGeD KePeT recorded by the master masorete Ben Asher in his Dikdukei haTa'amim. Minchat Shai records two homiletic explanations: The second מי ...
  • 95.7k
18 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 ...
  • 95.7k
12 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 7,100
11 votes

Is it Rabbeinu Bachya or Bechaye?

In the introduction of the Chovot Halevavot published by Mosad Harav Kook, he brings that it is not known how to pronounce the name. He says that Ashkenazim pronounce it Bechaye, and Sefardim ...
  • 42.9k
11 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 95.7k
10 votes

Is it Rabbeinu Bachya or Bechaye?

R. Reuven Margalios in his פנינים ומרגליות has a note on this name. His theory is that it is not an actual name, but a nickname which means "may he live long," like the (Yiddish) name "Alter." He ...
  • 13.9k
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 ...
  • 32.4k
10 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 17.8k
9 votes

How does one read words with a "yud" in Targum?

As I learned in the various Aramaic language classes I took in Revel, the yud in these cases is silent, and only exists to show the plurality. The parallel is to Hebrew, where the yud appears after ...
  • 20.1k
9 votes
Accepted

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

I believe that @YeZ is correct. When I lived in Washington Heights (upper Manhattan, NYC), I occasionally attended Cong. Sha'arei Hatikvah, which, I understand, still exists in the same location - ...
  • 69k
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 ...
  • 38.6k
9 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 95.7k
8 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 6,544
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 ...
  • 95.7k
7 votes

How do we know how to pronounce God's name?

The Gemara in Pesachim 50a brings a verse that Hashem's name is not pronounced the way it is written. ר' אבינא רמי כתיב {שמות ג-טו} "זה שמי לעלם וזה זכרי לדור דור". ‏ אמר הקב''ה: לא כשאני ...
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 ...
  • 23.8k
6 votes

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

They are still pretty punctilious about using this pronunciation at Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue on the Upper West Side.
6 votes

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

This is not an answer. It's a comment that got way too long. An internet search provided some really awesome examples of this pronunciation used in America in the late 19th and early 20th century (...
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 ...
6 votes

According to Chazal, does Beged Kefet matter?

Rav Saadiah Gaon writes in Chapter 2 of his commentary to Sefer Yetzirah lays down the correct pronunciation of the Hebrew letters, saying that not only is there בגד־כפת letters, but that even the ר ...
  • 9,755
6 votes
Accepted

Tehillim (Psalms) 27:2 -- Is it כָּשְׁלוּ or כָשְׁלוּ?

The Aleppo, Leningrad, and Damascus Codices all have it Rafeh. Even the original Bomberg Mikraot Gedolot has it Rafeh! Minchat Shai ad loc. comments that it should be Rafeh. I did find that the Codex ...
  • 95.7k
6 votes

What is the origin of Hasidic pronunciation?

This was not in opposition to Maskilim, and is not specific to Hasidim. In fact, dialectic variation in Yiddish (whence the Hebrew pronunciation) predates the Haskalah. Max Weinreich, on page 16 of ...
  • 8,706
6 votes
Accepted

What is the dot in this vav?

It's a Dagesh Forte which indicates gemination of the consonant "w". So the word would be read something like Yiwwadha' with a prolonged /w/ sound. The word is in passive future third-person ...
  • 95.7k
6 votes
Accepted

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 ...
6 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 • ...
  • 3,705
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׃ ...
  • 46.9k
5 votes

How do people daven so quickly, and what's the support for it?

There is no support for slurring words. Many poskim, the Mishnah Berurah among them, speak out strongly against slurring words, skipping, or mispronouncing. See the Mishnah Berurah in his opening to ...
5 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 ...
  • 3,426
5 votes

Are you yotzei through accented pronunciation?

Chacham Ovadia in Yechave Daas 6:siman 19 pg 110 writes that we are not makpid on accent pronunciation even for davening whether one is sefard or ashkanaz. However, when it comes to parshas Zachar and ...
  • 39.9k
5 votes
Accepted

Are there any letters that do not have a distinct pronunciation?

The book מפתח הדלת, by ישראל חיים (Chaim) Lenchitz, revised edition, 5766, quotes this from Radak's Michlol, though I don't know where it is in Michlol: צריך אדם להזהר ולהבדיל בין ו״ו ובית רפה ...
  • 73.3k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible