A Drop Of Dikduk Archives
Devarim Perek 3:16: And to the Ruvayni and Gadi I gave from the Gilad..........
And I commanded you at that time saying, "Hashem gave you this land as an inheritance
armed you should go before your brothers.
The Question: The tense of the Pesukim seems to change in the middle. In the
first part and in most of Moshe's speach to Bnai Yisroel, the third person is used. In the
Pesukim regarding Bnai Reuvain and Gad going in the front of the army the tense is changed
to second person as if Moshe is speaking directly to them.
The Answer: Rashi for the reason of the above question says in Posuk 18 that
Bnai Reuvain and Gad were there at the time and therefore the tense of the Posuk is second
person since he was speaking directly to them.
The Question: This still does not answer the reason of the Posuk changing from
third person to second. Why if Bnai Reuvain were there in the beginning why does it refer
to them in third person?
The Ebn Ezra following the interpretation of Rav Shwab in Mayan Bais Hashoevah
understands that the speech is being given to Shevet Reuvain and Gad. The reason for the
second person tense being used is because when Bnai Gad and Reuvain went to conquer the
land, they did so on behalf of all of Bnai Yisroel. They were the messangers to be the
warriors for all of Bnai Yisroel. When he was speaking to them it was as if he was
speaking to all of Bnai Yisroel. For this reason the second person tense is used since
when he is speaking to Bnai Gad and Reuvain about going to war he is in essence speaking
The Statement: Devarim Perek 3:19 "Rak Neshaychem Vetapchem
Oomiknaychem" rather your wives and your children and your cattle. In both the words
Tapchem and Miknaychem a Vav Hachibur is present to attach all the subjects that we are
The Problem: In Yehoshua Perek 1:14 the same subjects are mentioned without the
Vav Hachibur before the word Tapchem. Why in Devarim does it place a Vav before the word
Tapchem and not in Yehoshua?
The Solution: Rav Yakov Kamenetsky in his Sefer Emes L'Yakov explains the
difference between the two places. Generally when we have three objects that are of the
same importance the first two have no Vav followed by the last one which has a Vav. An
example is the stones of the Choshen where it lists three stones and only the last one has
a Vav Hachibur. Since all stones are equal the Vav Hachibur is put at the end of the list.
In Sefer Yehoshua the people Yehoshua is addressing is the children of Gad and Reuvain and
Menashe. They were guilty of equating the children with their cattle and material
possessions as Rashi says Bamidbar 32:16. Therefore in Yehoshua the Vav Hachibur is at the
end to tell us that the tribes held them all to be equal children wives and cattle.
In Devarim Moshe is addressing the entire people. He believes that the children
and wives are not equal to the cattle but rather are more important therefore he places
two Vavim in the Posuk. One by the word VeTapchem and one by Oomiknaychem to point out
that they are not all equal. Wives and children are a much higher priority than the
In Bamidbar 32:26 when the tribes make the request for the other side of the
Yarden the Posuk says: Tapaynoo Nashaynoo Miknaynoo Vechol Behemtaynoo. Again using the
Posuk uses the Vav Hachibur only at the end. This is because the tribes equated all of the
components of the list and therefore the Vav Hachibur is used only at the end.
The Statement: Perek 1:8 "BoUh Urshu Es Haaretz" Come and possess the
land. Perek 1:24 "Vayifnoo Vayaloo Hahara" And they turned and went up to the
mountain. In both instances the first word has a Taam that is a Mafsik. In the case of
BoUh it is a Yesiv. In the case of Vayifnoo it is a Pashta which is a Mafsik also.
The Reason: The Shaarei Zimrah in Shaar 5 Paragraph 8 offers a very interesting
rule in this week's Parsha. When we have two verbs one after the other generally the first
is given a Taam Mesharayse and the second a Taam Mafsik such as "VaEkode
And I bowed and prostrated to Hashem in Breishis 24:48. This is the proper
Taamim when both verbs relate to the subject equally. In this case the bowing and the
kneeling both relate to Hashem and the Taam is a Mesharayse then Mafsik
combination. However if both verbs are not related to the subject but rather
one is a preparation for the other such as "VaTemaher VaTear Kadah" And she
hurried and emptied her pitcher, in Bereishis 24:20. In this instance the hurrying is a
preparation for the second action emptying her pitcher. It is describing the preparation
that was done for the second action. In cases such as these the first action
"VaTemahar (she hurried) is given a Taam Mafsik (in this case a Revii) followed by
VaTear (and she emptied) which is given a Taam Mesharays (a Munach).
In our Parsha too, "BoUh Urshu Es Haaretz" Come and possess the land
the word BoUh is a preparation for the possessing of the land, therefore it also has
a Taam Mafsik (aYesiv) on the first action. Similarly "Vayifnoo Vayaloo
Hahara" And theyturned and went up to the mountain also has a Taam Mafsik on the
first action of turning since it is only a preparation for the going up the mountain.
The Exception: Devarim Perek 1: 21 "Aleh Raish KaAsher Debare Hashem"
Go up and possess it as Hashem has spoken. In this instance the going up is a preparation
or a first step in possessing the land. Yet the Taam is a Mesharayse followed by a Mafsik
combination on the verbs. Aleh has a Munach followed with a Revii on the word Raish.
Following the rule of the Shaarei Zimrah it should be a Mafsik on the first verb since it
is only a preparation for the second action.
The Reason: The Shaarei Zimrah explains that when one action is a preparation
for the next generally it is given a Mafsik then Mesharayse combination. An exception is
given when the second verb does not follow with a Vav Hachibur. If the second word does
not have a Vav Hachibur such as "Aleh Raish" then the rule is not followed but
rather it is given a Taam Mesharayse then Mafsik combination.
The Statement: Devarim 4:10 "Yom Asher Amadeta Lifnei Hashem Elokecha
Bechorev" The day which you stood before Hashem in Horeb. The Taamim on the words
Lifnei Hashem Elokecha Bechorev is a Munach Zarka and Munach Segol combination.
The Reason: We have discussed the Munach Segol combination many times.
Sometimes it is used to give stress since it is the third largest Mafsik in the Posuk.
Only the Esnachta and Sof Posuk give more stress. Other times it may be used when the
statement is seemingly unnecessary. In the instance here in this week's Parsha we have
another scenario where the Munach Segol combination will be used. That is when the words
should really be part of the Posuk beforehand. If the words would seem to be part of the
preceding Posuk then the Taam may also be a Munach Segol combination.
The Proof: Rashi on the words Yom Asher Amadeta states that these words belong
in the previous Posuk. "That your eyes saw on the day that you stood before me on Har
Sinai. Rashi is clearly connecting this Posuk with the previous Posuk.
Shaarei Zimrah Shaar 6 Paragraph 7
The Statement: Devarim Perek 8:7 Mayveeacha El Eretz Tovah, Eretz Nachalay
Mayim Ayanos. I am bringing you to a good land. A land filled with streams of water and
The Rule: When an Esnachta is placed on a word such as Mayim (water) the Patach
sounds changes to a Kamatz. The Esnachta that denotes a pause, stresses the syllable and
makes it more pronounced.
The Question: In this Posuk the word Mayim has a Taam of a Zakef Katan and yet
it is given a Kamatz instead of the usual Patach sound.
The Answer: Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky in his sefer Emes L'Yaakov explains the
replacing of the Patach with a Kamatz. The structure of the Pesukim is that for three
subsequent Pesukim the Torah will tell us the attributes and description of Eretz Yisroel.
It will spend three Pesukim to describe the land to which Hashem will be bringing them.
The secone part of our Posuk begins the description of Eretz Yisroel. It is as if a new
Posuk is beginning after the Esnachta that will begin the long description of Eretz
Yisroel. Since the Zakaf Katan is the largest pause in this "new" Posuk it
receives a Kamatz on the word Mayim as if an Esnachta was the Taam.
The Statement: Devarim 7:13 "Degancha VeSiroshcha VeYitzhorecha" Your
grain and your wine and your oil. The Taamim are a Kadmah VeAzlah over Degancha and a
Munach Revii over VeSiroshcha VeYitzhorecha.
The Rule: Generally when a list of three objects is given, the first one
receives a Taam which is a Mesharays followed by a Taam Mafsik and the last one is also a
Taam Mafsik. An Example is Shmos 1:3 Yissachar, Zevulun and Binyamin, in this case the
words are given a Taam Mesharays followed by two Mafsikim. Further examples of this may be
found in Shmos 25:3 Zahav Vachesef Unechoshes the first Taam is a Marecha a Mesharays
followed by a Tipcha which is a Mafsik under Vachesef. Another example is in Shmos
28:17-20 where it lists the stones of the Choshen. In each instance the first stone is
given a Taam of Mesharays followed by the second stone having a Mafsik for a Taam.
The Problem: Why in the Posuk in this week's Parsha is Degancha given a Taam
Mafsik of a Kadmah VeAzlah? Following the previous rule it should have a Taam Mesharays
since it is the first of three articles to be listed.
The Solution: When the articles which are second and third are more closely
related then the first two articles, then the Taamim will change. In this case since the
second and third are more closely related they will be grouped together. In this instance
since wine and oil are liquids as compared to wheat which is a solid the wine and oil are
grouped together. Therefore in this instance the wine and oil are grouped separately and
apart from the wheat. It is for this reason that the wheat is given a Taam Mafsik and the
wine and oil are given a Mesharays and Mafsik combination.
The Proof: Devarim 28:51 the word Dagan is given a Mafsik followed by Tirosh
VeYitzhor with a Mesharays Mafsik combination. The same is true in Chagai 1:11 and in
The Statement: Perek 17:8 "Ki Yepalay Memcha Davar" When it will be
you something. The Taamim on the words Memcha Davar are a Kadmah V'Azlah.
The Rule: The Taamim are divided into two groups Melachim and Mesharsim. A Taam
which is a Melech will denote a pause after the word in which it appears. A Taam which is
a Mesharays will connect it to the following word.
In general when any word ends with a AHOY Alef Heh Vav or Yud and the next word
begins with a BGD CFS Bet Gimmel Dad Chaf Feh or Taf these letters will not take a
Dagesh and will have a soft sound. However, if the Taam is a Taam Melech that appears
in the word that ends in AHOY then the following word will begin with a Dagesh, the
The Taamim Kadma and Pashta appear to be the same. They sound the same and are
represented by the same symbol. Yet, the Kadma is a Mesharays and the Pashta is a Taam
Melech. This difference is significant when the word with the Pashta or Kadma ends in
AHOY and the following word is a BGD CFS word. For, if the Taam is a Kadma which is
a Taam Mesharays then the BGD CFS will remain soft and if the Taam is a Pashta which
is a Taam Melech then the BGD CFS will receive a Dagesh and have a hard sound.
To differentiate between the Pashta and Kadma the Pashta is always placed above the last
letter. This is even if the accent and Taam is read on a letter earlier in the word. In
Chumashim, in this case, a second Pashta will be appear on the accented letter.
The Kadma on the other hand will not be placed on the last letter of the word. It is
placed on the second to last letter of the word, if the Taam of the word is at the end.
There are instances of a Kadma on the last letter of the word and one example is the
words Memcha Davar in this week's Parsha. In order to differentiate it from the Pashta
which would also appear on the last letter the Kadma is placed in the middle of the last
letter and not on the end of the last letter.
The Statements: Devarim Perek 21:11 Vechashakta Vah and Devarim 21:14 Eem Lo
The Question: Why in the first Posuk is the word Vah without a Dagesh in the
Vet and in the second Posuk the word Bah receives a Dagesh Kal?
The Rule: When a word begins with a BGD CFS (Bet, Gimmel, Dalet, Chaf, Peh, or
Saf) it usually will have a Dagesh sound. When a word ending with AHOY (Alef, Heh, Vav, or
Yud) precedes the BGD CFS word the BGD CFS letters will not receive a Dagesh and will
The Exception: When the BGD CFS word has an accent or Taam on the first
syllable and the preceding word does not have the accent or Taam on the last syllable but
rather there is an unaccented syllble that separates the two Taamim the AHOY rule will not
apply. In this case the BGD CFS letter will have a Dagesh Kal. Since in the words
Chafatzta Bah there is an unaccented syllabe separating the two Taamim that is caused by
the Taam on Chafatzta not being on the last syllable, the word Bah receives a Dagesh Kal
and has a hard sound.
The Question on the Exception: In Devarim Perek 22:19 "And they will
punish him Mayah Chesef (one hundred silver)." In this case the accent is on the
first syllable of Mayah which creates an unaccented syllable between the Taamim yet the
word Chesef does not receive a Dagesh Kal in the Chaf.
The Exception to the Exception: If the Kamatz sound at the end of the word
preceding the BGD CFS is part of the root or Shoresh of the word (such as in the case of
Mayah) then the BGD CFS will remain soft even when there is a syllabe that separates the
Taamim. If the Kamatz is not from the Shoresh such as in the case of Chafatzta where the
Kamatz represents the pronoun "you" then the BGD CFS will receive a Dagesh Kal
if there is a syllable between the Taamim.
The Statement: Devarim 22:24 "Al Dvar Asher Lo Tzaka Bair........ Al Dvar
Asher Eenah Eishis Raayhu" And you should stone them and they will die. The woman
because she did not scream in the city, and the man because he violated his freind's wife.
And you should destroy the evil from your midst.
The Problem: The Taamim on the action that the woman does is different than the
Taamim on the action that the man does. On the man's actions it says Al Dvar with a
Marecha Tipcha combination connecting it to the following word Asher Eenah. This is in
contrast to the woman's actions where the Taamim are a Pashta on the words Al Dvarfollowed
by a Zakef Katan on the words Asher Lo Tzakah Bair. Why do the actions of the man have
different Taamim then the actions of the woman.
The Solution: The Shaarei Zimrah in Shaar 5 Paragraph 9 explains the difference
in Taamim. When referring to the reason why the man is killed a Marecha is used. The
Marecha is a Taam Mesharays a Taam that does not denote any pause. That is because the
punishment for the man who committed this sin is clear and concise. It was certainly a
willfull act and needs no deep thought or investigation to find him guilty.
The punishment for the woman who committed such an act needs a bit more investigation. One
must determine if she cried or was silent? Did it take place in the city or fields? For
this reason the Taam is a Pashta which is a Taam Mafsik. The Taam Mafsik tells us that the
punishment for the woman is not so simple. One must pause and investigate thoroughly
before punishing her. Therefore the Taam on the Dvar which concerns the woman is a Pashta
a Taam Mafsik to denote a pause or stop to contemplate.
The Statement: Devarim Perek 21:11 "Aishas Yefas Toar" a woman of
beauty. Rashi notes that one is permitted to take in the course of war even a woman who
has been previously married.
The Rule: In the Torah we have a concept of Semichos. It is used when a noun is
leaning on or belongs to another noun. It is used in place of the word Shel which means
belonging to. Semichos can be expressed in many ways sometimes with a Yud at the end
of the wordsuch as Bnai Yisroel "the children of Yisroel." It can be expressed
by changing the vowels such as Bayit turning into Bays to show that the house belongs to
someone. It can also be expressed by adding a Tav at the end of the word. Shenas Hamaasar
"the year of tithes" instead ofusing the words Shanah shel Maasar.
The Answer: In our Posuk the Torah uses the words Aishas Yefas Toar. The word
Aishas is a Somuch or a leaning word. It should be connected to the next word and show
subordination to the word thatl follows. Yet the words Yefas Toar (beauty) are not
connected to the word Aishas. Therefore Rashi understood that the word Aishas
isindependent. It is a Somuch to a word that is not in the Posuk, it is leaning on the
word Eesh man which is not in the Posuk. The Posuk is saying that even if she is an Aishas
Eesh previously married she may still be taken in the war. The word Eesh is self
understood. The word Aishas is a Somuch attached to the word Eesh and the word Eesh isself
The Proof: One may see this from the Taam also. The Taam under the word Aishas
is a Tipcha which is a Taam Mafsik. This tells us that the word Aishas is not attached to
the word Yefas Toar as is usually the case in a Somuch situation. In our case since the
word Aishas is not Somuch to the following word the Taam does not connect them.
The Statement: Perek 28:63 Vehayah KaAsher Sos Hashem Aleychem Lehaytev Eschem
Ooleharbos Eschem Kayn Yasis Hashem Aleychem LeHaavid Eschem. "And it will be just as
Hashem your G-d rejoiced over you to be good to you and to multiply you, so Hashem will
cause them to rejoice over you to destroy you." Rashi explains Kayn Yasis that Hashem
will cause your enemies to be happy that you are being destroyed
The Rule: The Shoresh of the word Sos (to rejoice) is Sin Vav Sin, Sos. When
used in the past tense such as he was happy we say Hoo Sas with a Kamatz under the first
Sin. In future tense we say Hoo Yasoos he will be happy. An similar example is the word
Kom which means to arise. In the past tense it is Hoo Kam he arose and in the future it is
Hoo Yakoom he will arise.
The Problem: In our Posuk when referring to the future the word is Yasis not
Yasoos which would be the way of saying the future tense he will be happy.
The Answer: In our Posuk the Torah uses the word Yasis which is Loshon Hipheel.
Hipheel is the Binyan which refers to a subject causing something or someone else to do
something. In our case the word Yasis is from the Binyan Hipheel. It is not referring to
Hashem rejoicing but rather the actions of Hashem will cause others to rejoice. Rashi is
explaining the Posuk with the Gemorah in Megilah 10b that says that Hashem is never happy
when our enemies are being punished and certainly not when Bnai Yisroel are being
punished. The Gemorah derives this from the change of the word from the simple past tense
to a future tense of Hipheel. The change reflects that Hashem is not the one rejoicing but
rather his actions will cause others to rejoice.
The Statement: Devarim 31:28 "V'Aedah Bam Es Hashamayim V'es Haretz"
And I will have the heaven and earth say testimony concerning them.
The Rule: When a word beginning with a Bet is preceded by a word endingwith
AHOY (Aleph Heh Vav or Yud) then the Bet turns to a soft sound and takes a Vet sound.
The Problem: In this case why does the word Bam begin with a Bet? Sincethe
preceding word "V'Aedah" ends with a Heh the following word "Bam"
should begin with the soft Vet sound and be "Vam."
The Solution: 1) When the first in a group of words should have the Taamand
accent on the last syllable, 2) and the second word has the Taam and accent on the first
letter and 3) there is no syllable in between, then the Nasog Achor rule applies.
The rule called Nasog Achor says that in this situation, instead of putting the
Taam and accent on the last syllable of the first word we move it back one syllable. The
Taam of the word V'Aedah should really be on the last syllable but since the Taam on the
following word Bam is on the first letter therefore the Taam on V'Aedah is movedback a
syllable. The Taam is therefore under the E of V'Aedah. In cases where the Nasog Achor
rule is used the rule that turns a Bet to a Vet does not apply. This causes the Bam to
keep it's hard Bet sound instead of turning to Vet sound.
The Statement: Perek 30:3 Veshav Hashem Elokecha Es Shevooscha. And Hashem will
bring back your captured ones.
The Problem: The word Shav is from those words that in the Shoresh form have a
Vav as the middle letter but lose the Vav when referring to the action being done. As we
discussed last week the word Kam which means to arise is another example. In the past
tense it is Hoo Kam (missing the Vav) he arose and in the future it is Hoo Yakoom he will
arise. In both these cases it refers to an action that he has performed or is performing
presently regarding himself. This is called a Poel Omed. The action that is being done is
not being received by any other party other than the one doing the action. That would be
the meaning of the word Veshav, and he returned, where noone else is receiving the action.
It would seem in our Posuk it is the captives that are receiving the action. They
are being returned by Hashem. They are the subjects of a Poel Yotze, a verb that is
directed to them, for they are being returned. If that is the case, the verb should be
from the Hepheel group since it is causing something to happen to someone else. The word
should be Vehayshiv with a Heh as a prefix as is the nature of the Hepheel group.
The Answer: Rashi explains that the reason the Torah uses the form of the verb
which is not Hepheel is to tell us that Hashem's Shechina is also in Golus and will return
with the Jewish people when we are redeemed. Veshav is referring to the Shechina itself
that it too will return. If this is the case then the Posuk is saying Veshav Hashem
Elokecha And Hashem will return Es Shevoosch with your captives. The Es is not saying that
whom he will bring back, but rather is being used in the Posuk in place of the word with.
An example of this is the first Posuk in Sefer Shmos: "These are the names of the
children of Yisroel that came to Mitzrayim Ays Yakov". In this Posuk the word Ays
means with. These are the names of the children that came with Yakov to Mitzrayim.
An interesting fact: The Vilna Gaon in Bereishis Perek 1:1 on the word Ays
Hashamayim explains that the word Ays can be one of two forms. One is from the
Shores Ohs and theVav in the middle disappears when used as a verb. This is the Es or Ays
that is used as part of the Binyan Hipheel that refers to an action being done to
something else. There is another type of Ays or Es which is from the Shoresh Eetas and is
from the group of words with double letters as part of its Shoresh. This type of Es or Ays
is the one that means with or together with. It is for this reason that we say Ohscha
which means you. When we say with you we say Eetcha. This is because they come from
different roots. The root of Ohscha is Ohs and drops its Vav when being used as Es or Ays.
The root of the word Eetcha is Alef Taf Taf. It drops a Taf when being used in the Es or
The Statement: Devarim 32:12 "Hashem Baddad Yanchenu" Hashem alone
will lead them.
The Argument: In the commentaries there is a difference of opinion as to what
the word Baddad (alone) is referring to. In the Ebn Ezra the understanding is that the
alone is referring to Hashem. That Hashem will lead the Jewish people without aid from
anything else. As the Posuk says: By the word of Hashem they will travel and by the word
of Hashem they will camp. The Rashbam also understands the word alone referring to Hashem.
That Hashem alone took them out of Mitzvayim. Rashi understands the Baddad of the
Posuk referring to the travels of Yisroel. That when they traveled they were secure. They
were confident and sure of their traveling. In this interpretation the Baddad is referring
to the travels. The Ebn Ezra also brings the possibility of the word Baddad referring to
the Jewish people and not referring to Hashem, as the previous commentaries explain the
The Proof: It would seem that the Taamim would follow the interpretation of
Rashi that the Baddad is referring to the travels of Bnai Yisroel. The Taamim is a Tipcha
which is a Taam Mafsik on the word Hashem. This would seem to say that the word
Baddad is notattached or explaining the word Hashem but rather explaining the word
Yanchenu and telling us that the travels of Yisroel were secure. The Taamim would seem to
follow the explanation of Rashi.