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A Drop Of Dikduk Archives
- Vayikra

    The Statement: Vayikra Perek 4:31 Mayal Zevach Hashelamim. In this case the Taam (accent) of the word Zevach is on the Zayin. The Taam of the word Mayal is on the last syllable Al.

    The Rule: Generally in Lashon Hakodesh the Taam (accent or cantillation) of the word is on the last syllable. In Lashon Hakodesh two Taamim will usually not be placed in a way that one will immediately follow the other without a syllbable in between the two Taamim. Usually there will be at least one syllable between the Taamim. If it is necessary we will move the first word's Taam back one syllable in order to avoid having the two Taamim following each other. This is called Nisog Achor (moving back).

    The Question: Why don't we move the Taam of Mayal back one syllable in order to avoid having two Taamim directly following each other.

    The Answer: When both words have a Taam Mesharays the rule of Nisog Achor does not apply. In this example Mayal has the Taam of a Munach as does the word Zevach. Since both words have a Taam Mesharays the rule of Nisog Achor does not apply. Therefore the Taam of Mayal remains on the last syllable eventhough it will be immediately followed by the Taam of the word Zevach.


    The Statement: Vayikra Perek 5:2 "Oh Venivlas Chaya Temaah Oh Benivlas Behamah Temaah Oh Benivlas Sheretz Tamay" A person that becomes impure from contact with a carcass of a wild animal or with a carcass of an animal or a carcass of a creeping animal.

    The Rule: This Posuk demonstrates the difference between the Taamim. In this Posuk we have three identical words. Two times the Posuk says Oh Benivlas and once it uses the words Oh Venivlas with a Vet as the first letter.

    The Reason: There are Taamim which are Melachim (kings) and Taamim which are Mesharshim (servants). The Melachim are Taamim which indicate a pause between the word that has a Melech and the following word. Generally when the BGD CFS (Bet Gimmel Dalet Chaf Peh and Taf) letters are preceded by an AHOY (Alef Heh Vav or Yud) as the last letter of the word preceding it, the BGD CFS letters are left without a Dagesh. When the Taam is a Melech, it indicates a pause between the words and the BGD CFS (Bet Gimmel Dalet Chaf Peh and Taf) letter will receive a Dagesh. This is called a Dagesh Kal as opposed to the Dagesh Hazak, which indicates a missing letter or stress on a letter. The Dagesh Kal is not for the purpose of making up any missing letters and therefore its name is Dagesh Kal a lighter type of Dagesh which is just to make the reading easier and more uniform. (From the Knah Vosem). The Mesharsim indicate a connection between the two words. When the Taam is a Mesharays then if the following words begin with a BGD CFS letter (Bet Gimmel Dalet Chaf Peh and Taf) they will receive a Dagesh in the BGD CFS letter.

    In this Posuk the Taam before the word Venivlas is a Telisha Ketana that is a Taam Mesharays. Since preceding the Peh is a Taam Mesharays the general AHOY preceding BGD CFS rule applies and the Pheh remains soft without a Dagesh. In the other two examples the Taam preceding the Benivlas is a Taam Melech. In one instance it is a Yesiv and in the other instance it is a Zakef Godol that is also a Taam Melech and causes the following letter to have a Dagesh Kal.

    A Question: Why does the Torah use a Taam Mafsik on two of the examples and a Taam Mesharays on the other?

    A Little known fact: The suffix Nu that has a Dagesh in the Nun refers to it or him. Without a Dagesh in the Nun it means our. Examples are found many times in this week's Parsha. In Perek 3:1 Tamim Yakreevenu "Complete you should bring it". The word Yakreevenu has a Dagesh in the Nun indicating a reference to a third person or object. See Ebn Ezra in Shmos Perek 1: 9 for the reason when referring to him or it the suffix Nu has a Dagesh in the Nun as opposed to when it refers to us that has no Dagesh
    in the Nun.

    The Statement: Vayikra Perek 5:7 "Shtay Sorim Oh Shnay Bnay Yonah" Two turtledoves or two young doves.

    The Rule: The Posuk uses the feminine form of two for the Torim and the masculine form of two for the Bnay Yonah. This is because the word Tor is feminine and therefore it receives the feminine form of two. Although Yonah is also feminine, since the Posuk is referring to the offspring of the Yonah which are the Bnay Yonah and are male, it uses the masculine form of two which is Shnay.

    The Question: If both Yonah and Tor are feminine, then why is the plural form Torim and Yonim? The plural form would seem to be projecting a masculine word and not a feminine word.

    The Answer: There are certain words which include the whole species such as Cheetah (wheat). In words such as these even the singular form includes many. When these type of words want to express just one of the species frequently they will say Cheetah Achas (one wheat). This group of words when saying many of them use a word  that would seem to be a masculine plural. Eventhough they are feminine, these type of words get a masculine suffix.  Since these words always mean many, whether they have the plural ending or not. The plural ending is not to be seen as a plural of the singular but rather as a word all of its own not merely the plural form of the singular. That is why the word Chookah (law) becomes Chookim with a OO sound for it is a plural of Chokewith a Cholom. In our case Tor becomes Torim with an Oh sound for it is not merely a plural of the word Tor but a separate word that means many doves.

    (See Emes L'Yakov on this Posuk from Rav Yakov Kamenetsky)


    The Statement: Vayikra Perek 5:2 "Oh Venivlas Chaya Temaah Oh Benivlas Behamah Temaah Oh Benivlas Sheretz Tamay" A person that becomes impure from contact with a carcass of a wild animal or with a carcass of an animal or a carcass of a creeping animal.

    The Rule: This Posuk demonstrates the difference between the Taamim. In this Posuk we have three identical words. Two times the Posuk says Oh Benivlas and once it uses the words Oh Venivlas with a Vet as the first letter.

    The Reason: There are Taamim which are Melachim (kings) and Taamim which are Mesharshim (servants). The Melachim are Taamim which indicate a pause between the word that has a Melech and the following word. Generally when the BGD CFS (Bet Gimmel Dalet Chaf Peh and Taf) letters are preceded by an AHOY (Alef Heh Vav or Yud) as the last letter of the word preceding it, the BGD CFS letters are left without a Dagesh. When the Taam is a Melech, it indicates a pause between the words and the BGD CFS (Bet Gimmel Dalet Chaf Peh and Taf) letter will receive a Dagesh. This is called a Dagesh Kal as opposed to the Dagesh Hazak, which indicates a missing letter or stress on a letter. The Dagesh Kal is not for the purpose of making up any missing letters and therefore its name is Dagesh Kal a lighter type of Dagesh which is just to make the reading easier and more uniform. (From the Knah Vosem). The Mesharsim indicate a connection between the two words. When the Taam is a Mesharays then if the following words begin with a BGD CFS letter (Bet Gimmel Dalet Chaf Peh and Taf) they will receive a Dagesh in the BGD CFS letter.

    In this Posuk the Taam before the word Venivlas is a Telisha Ketana that is a Taam Mesharays. Since preceding the Peh is a Taam Mesharays the general AHOY preceding BGD CFS rule applies and the Pheh remains soft without a Dagesh. In the other two examples the Taam preceding the Benivlas is a Taam Melech. In one instance it is a Yesiv and in the other instance it is a Zakef Godol that is also a Taam Melech and causes the following letter to have a Dagesh Kal.

    A Question: Why does the Torah use a Taam Mafsik on two of the examples and a Taam Mesharays on the other?

    A Little known fact: The suffix Nu that has a Dagesh in the Nun refers to it or him. Without a Dagesh in the Nun it means our. Examples are found many times in this week's Parsha. In Perek 3:1 Tamim Yakreevenu "Complete you should bring it". The word Yakreevenu has a Dagesh in the Nun indicating a reference to a third person or object. See Ebn Ezra in Shmos Perek 1: 9 for the reason when referring to him or it the suffix Nu has a Dagesh in the Nun as opposed to when it refers to us that has no Dagesh in the Nun.


The Statement: Perek 8 Posuk 15 "Vayishchat Vayikach Moshe Es Hadam" And he slaughtered it and Moshe took the blood. The Taam of the word Vayishchat is a Revii which denotes a pause. Similarly the vowel sound is a Kamatz which also denotes a pause by the word Vayishchat.

The Lesson: Similarly in Posuk 19 and in Posuk 23 the word Vayishchat also appears with a Kamatz as a vowel along with a Taam Mafsik. In Posuk 19 it is an Esnachata and in Posuk 23 it is a Shalsheles followed by a Pesik. It would seem that the Posuk, by virtue of the Taam Mafsik that appears regularly on the word Vayishchat, is connecting it to the previous Posuk. The Taam is separating it from the second half of the Posuk reverting it to the previous Posuk. It is teaching us that the Shechita was also done by Aharon. The Shechita is connected to the Semicha of the previous Posuk. Just as the leaning of the hands was done by Aharon so was the Shechita. Only from the receiving of the blood and onward did Moshe participate.

The Question: In the Sifra it says that during the seven days of inauguration Moshe did the service that a Kohen normally would have done. He did the Shechita and the sprinkling of the blood (Zerikah). The Sifra clearly mentions that Shechita was one of the things that Moshe did.

The Answer: Rashi in Mesheches Pesachim on 7b says that for the Pesach and other sacrifices the owner must perform the work. As it says Vesamach (and he should lean) Veshachat (he should slaughter). Rashi is telling us that in essence the owner is the one who should do the Shechita of the Korban. Although Moshe was the one who did the Shechita as the Sifra tells us, he was acting only as a messenger of Aharon concerning the Shechita. He was an agent of Aharon to do this part of the Korban on his behalf. The Vayishchat is attached to the previous Posuk because it was Aharon's responsibility. Although Moshe performed the Shechitah it was on behalf of Aharon. It was from the receiving of the blood and onward that Moshe acted as a Kohen doing the service in the Mishkan. For this reason the Vayishchat is separate from the remaining part of the Posuk because the Vayishchat of Moshe was different than the Vayizrok that he did. The Vayizrok was as a Kohen and the Vayishchat was as a messenger of Aharon.

(Adapted from Emes L'Yakov by Rav Yakov Kamenetsky)


The Statement: Vayikra 7:23 "Kol Cheylev Shor Vechesev Vaayz Lo Sochaylu" Any fat of the ox, sheep or goat you should not eat. The Taamim are a Marecha under the word "Shor," Tevir under the word "Vechesev", and a Tipcha under the word" Vaayz".

The Rule: When three things are listed; the first is given a Taam which is a Mesharays followed by the second item of the list with a Taam which is a Mafsik. 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 liststhe 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. If the second item is closer in nature to the third item then the first, then the Taamim will group the second and third item together.

The Problem: It would seem proper to group the Chesev (sheep)and Ayz (goat) together since they are both of the thinner animal variety compared to the Shor (ox) which is from the heavyanimal variety. Therefore it would be more logical that the Taam should be a Tevir under the word Shor followed by a Marecha Tipcha combination under the Chesev and Ayz.

The Solution: Rav Yakov Kamenetsky in Emes LaYakov suggests that the Taamim are in accordance with a Drasha in Meseches Chullin 117A. The Gemorah determines that the fat of the tail is not included in the prohibiton against fats because the nature of the prohibition must be something that applies to ox sheep and goat equally. Therefore, since neither a goat or an ox have a tail, the prohibition can not be extended to the tail for it does not apply to all threeanimals. The Taamim are in accordance with this Drasha. The Taam of the second animal the sheep is placed in between the Marecha Tipcha combination to make them continuos as if they are all equal and dependent on one another, for all three equally determine what is included in the prohibition against fats.


The Statement: Perek 6:8 Vehayrim Memenoo Bekoomtzo Mesoles Hamincha Umishamnah. "And he will separate from it with his fist from the fine flour of the meal offering and from its oil.

The Drasha: Rashi explains that from this Posuk we learn that the Kometz is taken from an area of the Mincha that has a lot of oil. The Sifsei Chachamim offers one idea of where this is derived from the Posuk.

The Other Idea: The Mesora says that this Posuk is one of the six places that the Posuk should have used the word Memenah with a Heh at the end. In ordinary cases since the Posuk mentions Soles and Shemen which are mixed together the word Memenoo that is Zachar (masculine) would be used. According to the Mesorah the reason why it should have used the word  Memenah which is feminine is because the Posuk uses the word Soles todescribe the word Mincha as the first thing mentioned in the Posuk. Since the word Soles is Nekayvah (feminine) the Posuk should therefore say Memenah which is also Nekayvah.

The Drasha: Since the Posuk chooses to use the word Memenoo which is Loshon Zachar (masculine) it is referring to the oil. It is telling us that the fistfull should be taken from an area that has plenty of oil.

Adapted from Emes L'Yakov from Rav Yakov Kamenetsky


The Statement: Perek 11:2 and 11:3

In this week's Parsha the words Tocheloo and Tochayloo are used many times. The word Tocheloo is accented on the last syllable, and the word Tochayloo is accented on the syllable before the last. I saw in the preface to the Tikun Hakorim from Rabbi Shmuel Reyachi a way for the Baal Koreh to recognize which one is to be read Tocheloo and which is to be read Tochayloo.

When the word Tocheloo is used, a word beginning with a Mem follows it. This is because Tocheloo is used when the statement is incomplete. When the statement stills needs to be explained and to be elaborated on with examples, then the word Tocheloo is used.

When the word Tochayloo is used it is the end of the statement. The word following Tochayloo does not begin with a Mem since the statement has been completed and no further explanation is necessary


The Statement: Vayikra Perek 10:4 "Kirvu Oo-Seooh Es Acheichem" Come close and carry your brothers. The Taam over the word Kirvu is a Telisha Gedolah followed by a Gareshayim.

The Problem: The Taam is read first as a Gareshayim and then a Teslisha Gedolah. Why is it written on the top of the letter in the reverse order?

The Solution: There are many Taamim that are written on parts of the word which may not be where the accent or Taam should be read. For instance the Pashta is always written at the end of the word regardless of where the Taam is actually read. There are many instances where the Taam Pashta is read at the front of the word and yet the Pashta is written at the end of the word. (In some texts two Pashtas are written one at the end and one on the letter where the Taam should be read.) This was done to avoid confusion between the Taamim of Kadma and Pashta which look the same but are in reality two different Taamim. Therefore it was decided that the Pashta will always be written at the end of the word and Kadma will be written on the letter where the Taam is read. A similar situation existed many years ago with the Taamim of Telisha Ketana and Gedola. There was a time when they had the same symbol and in order to differentiate between them, they wrote the Telisha Gedola on the front of the word regardless of where it was actually read and the Telisha Ketana was always written on the end of the word regardless of which letter it was actually read with. This situation was letter rectified by placing a little line at the end of the circle in different directions for the Telisha Gedola and Ketana. Nevertheless the placement of the Taamim remained the same the Telisha Gedola was always placed in the front of the word and Telisha Ketana in the end of the word.   With this background we now understand that although the Telisha Gedolah is written first on the word, that is only a carryover from the days when it was necessary to differentiate between the Telisha Gedola and Ketana. In reality it is read on the last letter as is the case many times, even though it is written on the first letter.

The Shaarei Zimrah in Shaar 3 Paragraph 3 also says that both the Gareshayim and Telisha should be read on the Shoorook Beis of the word. He states that although it is two Taamim on one syllable nevertheless that is the way it should be done. He cites a precedent for doing this from another instance of Gareshayim and Telisha on one word which is on the word Zeh in Breishis 5:29. In that instance there is just one syllable and yet both Taamim are read on the same syllable. Therefore Kirvu should be no different and both Taamim are read on the syllable of VOO of Kirvu.

The Baal Haturim explains the lesson of the two Taamim on one word. (I personally fail to see what the connection is between the two Taamim and the Medrash and welcome any input, but thought I would quote his explanation, to explain this unique phenomenon of two Taamim on one word) He says that this is to tell us that they did not actually carry them out but rather took a spear and dragged them out with the spear instead of entering the Heichal.


 

The Statement: Perek 10:19 "Vaachalti Chatas Hayom" And if I ate from the Chatas today.

The Rule: The word Achalti means I ate. It is past tense. If it is preceded by a Vav it can have two possible meanings. 1) And I ate. In this case the Vav is a vav Hachibur connecting the word with the previous part of the Posuk. 2) And I will eat. In this case the Vav is a vav Hahipuch changing the tense of the word from past tense to future tense.

Rashi explains the word in our Posuk to be of the first category a Vav Hachibur. The Vav is connecting the word with the beginning of the Posuk.

The Proof: One of the ways to tell which category the Vav is from, is by the accent mark or the Taam of the word. If the Taam is on the last syllable of the word it is a Vav Hahipuch that is changing the tense of the word. If the accent or Taam is not on the last part of the word it is a Vav Hachibur.

In our case the Taam is on the Chaf of Achalti. It is not on the last syllable of the word. This is an indication that the word Vaachalti is of the first group a Vav Hachibur and not one that is changing the tense of the word.


The Statement: Tahor Hoo "He is pure." The Taam is on the last syllable of the word Tahor.

The Rule: Generally in Lashon Hakodesh the Taam (accent or cantillation) of the word is on the last syllable. In Lashon Hakodesh two Taamim will usually not be placed in a way that one will immediately follow the other without a syllbable in between the two Taamim. Usually there will be at least one syllable between the Taamim. If it is necessary we will move the first word’s Taam back one syllable in order to avoid having the two Taamim following each other. This is called Nisog Achor (moving back).

The Question: In the case of Tahor why don’t we move the Taam back one syllable in order to be able to have a syllable in between the Taam of Tahor and the Taam of Hoo?

The Answer: Nouns or adjectives that end in a Nach Nireh (an implied Shvah Nach) and the Nach Nireh is preceded by a Tenuah Gedolah do not have the Taam moved back. Therefore the Taam will remain on the last syllable of Tahor and not be moved to a preceding syllable.

The Reason: A Tenuah Gedolah may not precede a Nach Nireh unless the Tenuah Gedolah receives a Taam.The general rule is that a Tenuah Gedolah followed by a Shvah is a Shvah Naah. The only way for the Tenuah Gedolah to be followed by a Shvah that is Nach or a Nach Nireh is to give the Tenuah Gedolah the Taam. Therefore, the Taam remains on the Tenuah Gedolah that precedes the Nach Nireh and can not be moved back one syllable.


The Statement: In Vayikra 13:49 and 13:51 it says "Oh Va-shsi Oh Vaw-Ayrev" - In the warp or woof threads with a Patach and a Kamatz under their respective letter Vays.

The Problem: In Vayikra 13:48 it says "Oh Vi-shsi Oh Ve-Ayrev." In this instance the word Vi-shsi is punctuated with a Chirik under the Vays of Vi-shsi and a Shva under the Vays of Ve-Ayrev. Why here does it use a Chirik and in the other instances it uses a Kamatz or a Patach?

The Solution: Let us first examine the difference between the words Va-shsi and Vaw-Ayrev in Vayikra 13:49. Why is one a Kamatz and one a Patach? The letter Vays usually means "in" and is usually spelled with just a Shva underneath. When we wish to write "In the" we should really write a Vays followed by a Heh with a Patach vowel sound. The Vays would mean "in" and the Heh would mean "the." In Loshon Hakodesh we combine them both into one letter Vays with a Patach vowel to mean "In the". Generally when we wish to say "in the" we use the Vays Patach to mean "in the". However, if the following letter is an Ayin then we do not use the Vays Patach but rather Vays Kamatz to mean "in the." In this instance the first word Va-shsi the Vays is followed by a Shin and therefore is just a plain Vays Patach. In the second word Va-Ayrev the Vays is followed by an Ayin and therefore the sound under the Vays is a Kamatz instead of the usual Patach. In Vayikra 13:48 "Oh Vi-shsi Oh Ve-Ayrev" we are not using the prefix "in the," rather they are using the prefix "in," as is indicated by the fact there is no sign of a Patach under the Vays. This is because these are just details in the Posuk that are describing the words La-Pishtim and La-Tsemer that follow. The Vi-shsi and Ve-Ayrev are merely aids to tell us where on the cloth was the plague found. (See Rashi that explains La-Pishtim and La- Tsemer to mean of wool and linen) Since the words are just part of a description of another word they do not get the Patach sound which indicates importance.

This is in contrast to the Posuk in Vayikra 13:49 and 13:51 where it says, "Oh Va-shsi Oh Vaw-Ayrev" with a Patach and a Kamatz under their respective letter Vays. In these Pesukim, the words Oh Va-shsi Oh Vaw-Ayrev stand alone. There is no word that is in their proximity that they are describing. Therefore since they are independent, not adjectives to another word, they have a Kamatz or the equivalent of a Kamatz as their vowel sound.

The Statement: Perek 14:11 Velakach Hakohen Hametahare Es Haeesh Hameetahare.

The Kohen who is purifying should take the man who is being purified.

In the first word Hametahare the Mem has a Shva as its vowel sound. In the second Hameetahare of the Posukm, the vowel sound is a Chirik under the Mem.

The Reason: The word Hameetahare with a Chirik is from the Hispael form of verbs. This form of word is used for an action that 1) one is doing to himself 2) an action that two people are doing jointly 3) when a subject is having something done to him. In all three instances the Hispael form of the verb may be used.

In the case of the word Meetahare it is also from the Hispael form of verbs. The person is having something done to himself by someone else. He is being purified by the Kohen who is doing the purification process. In the case of the word Meetahare the Taf of the Hispael form is replaced and a Dagesh is added to the word in the Tes in its place. (See Ebn Ezra on Posuk 14:4 that explains the Meetahare in this way.)

The word Metahare with a Shva is from the Binyon of Peale. This Binyon expresses an action be done in a very strong and intentional manner. In this case the word   Metahare with a Shva is from the Peale form. It means he is doing something intently. In our case the Kohen is doing something. He is making the other person pure. In the Peale form the first letter Mem takes a Shva as its vowel sound.

In both instances the Mem is to tell us the verb is being used in the present tense.

Parshas Acharei Mos

The Statement: Vayikra Perek 17:3-4 Eesh Eesh Mebais Yisroel Asher Yishchat Shor Oh Chesev Bamachaneh Oh Asher Yishchat Michutz Lamachaneh. V'el Pesach Ohel Moed Lo Heveioh Lehakriv Korban Lashem Lifnei Mishkan Hashem Dam Yachashev Laeesh Hahoo Dam Shafach Venichros Haeesh Hahoo Mekerev Amoh.

Any man from the house of Yisroel who will slaughter an ox, or a sheep, or a goat in the camp, or who will slaughter outside the camp. And to the entrance of the Ohel Moed he did not bring it as an offering to Hashem before the Mishkan of Hashem it shall be considered as blood for that man, he has spilled blood and that man shall be cut off from his people.

In Posuk 4 the words are read Dam Shafach with a Kamatz under the Pheh of Shafach.

The Rule: Words that have the middle letter of the Shoresh with a Patach and have the Taam of an Esnachata or Sof Posuk change their vowel sound. Instead of having the Patach sound it will be given a Kamatz. This is because of the emphasis put on these words since they are ending a thought. This is true by the Taamim of Esnachta and Sof Posuk because they denote the most significant pause and break in the Posuk.

The Question: In Posuk 4 why are the words Dam Shafach given a Kamatz instead of a Patach. The Taam is only a Zakaf Katan and does not have the power to change the Taam from a Patach to a Kamatz.

The Answer: Rav Yakov Kamenetsky explains that the first section of Posuk 4 is really a continuation of Posuk 3. In Posuk 3 it tells about one who slaughters outside of the camp and Posuk 4 continues by saying he did not bring it to the Ohel Moed. Posuk 3 and 4 are really joined together and considered one Posuk until the Esnachta in Posuk 4. It is as if the first part of the Posuk is attached to Posuk 3 and Posuk 4 begins only after the Esnachta. Since from the Esnachta until the end of Posuk 4 the greatest break is the Zakaf Katan it is granted the status of an Esnachta or Sof Posuk. Since it has the status of an Esnachta or Sof Posuk it can also change the Patach of Shafach to a Kamatz.

The Statement: Vayikra 19:26 "Mozenai Tzedek" Correct scales you should have.

The Problem: Generally in Loshon Hakodesh the accent is on the last letter of the word. In the word Mozenai the accent and Taam is under the Mem in the beginning of the word. Why doesn't the accent go under the last letter of Mozenai?

The Solution: This brings us to one of the rules of Dikduk called Nasog Achor. When a situation exists where the second word has the accent and Taam on the first syllable such as in this case the accent and Taam of Tzedek is on the first syllable. If there is no syllable between where the Taam should be in the first word and the accent on the second word the Taam of the first word is moved back a syllable. Normally Mozenai would have a Taam on the last letter. In this instance it can not be placed there since there would be no syllable in between the Taam of Tzedek and the Taam of Mozenai. Therefore the Taam of Mozenai is moved back to the beginning of the word. It is for this reason that the Taam and accent of Mozenai appear on the beginning of the word.

Generally words that are nouns and end with a Tnuah Ketanah are accented on the first letter and are good candidates for the Nasog Achor rule we have mentioned. This is providing that the last letter of the word is not a silent Heh. words such a Ohel or Tzohar are accented on the first letter of the word. Sadeh is not accented generally on the first letter since it ends with a silent Heh eventhough the last syllable is a Tnuah Ketanah.


The Statement: Vayikra 19:26 "Mozenai Tzedek" Correct scales you should have. In this Posuk the word Mozenai has the Taam of Darga on the first letter, the Mem.

The Rule: When a Shva is on a letter that immediately follows a Tenuah Gedolah the Shva is a Shva Naah.

However if the Tenuah Gedolah letter has a Taam, then the Shva is a Shva Nach. Such examples are in Bereishis 30:8 Yacholti. In this case although the Shva follows the Tenuah Gedolah of a Cholom on the Chaf, it is still a Shva Nach. This is because the Taam of the word Yacholti is on the Tenuah Gedolah, the Chaf. Since the Tenuah Gedolah has a Taam on it the Shva following it does not become a Shava Naah but is a Shva Nach.

The Exception: This only applies to words accented in their proper and normal places. This is to say, only when the accent is on the usual place which is the last syllable of the word, does this rule apply. Therefore in our case the word Mozenai although the Taam is on the Tenuah Gedolah the Shva is a Shva Naah since the Taam is not in its usual place it has been moved up to the first letter of the word because of the Nasog Achor rule.


The Statement: Vayikra Perek 19:6 Pigul Hoo "It is rejected." The Taam is on the last syllable of the word Pigul.

The Rule: Generally in Lashon Hakodesh the Taam (accent or cantillation) of the word is on the last syllable. In Lashon Hakodesh two Taamim will usually not be placed in a way that one will immediately follow the other without a syllbable between the two Taamim. Usually there will be at least one syllable between the Taamim. If it is necessary we will move the first word's Taam back one syllable in order to avoid having the two Taamim following each other. This is called Nisog Achor (moving back). The Question: In the case of Pigul why don't we move the Taam back one syllable in order to be able to have a syllable between the Taam of Pigul and the Taam of Hoo?

The Answer: Nouns or adjectives that end in a Nach Nireh (an implied Shvah Nach) like the word Pigul,and the Nach Nireh is preceded by a Tenuah Gedolah do not have the Taam moved back. Therefore the Taam will remain on the last syllable of Pigul and not be moved to a preceding syllable.

The Reason: A Tenuah Gedolah may not precede a Nach Nireh unless the Tenuah Gedolah receives a Taam.The general rule is that a Tenuah Gedolah followed by a Shvah is a Shvah Naah. The only way for the Tenuah Gedolah to be followed by a Shvah that is Nach or a Nach Nireh is to place the Taam on the Tenuah Gedolah. Therefore, the Taam remains on the Tenuah Gedolah that precedes the Nach Nireh and cannot be moved back one syllable.

The Statement: Vayikra 22:10 "V'chal Zar Lo Yochal Kodesh" And every stranger (non-Cohen) may not eat from the holy food. The word Yochal is accented on the first syllable which is the Yo part of the word. In the same Posuk are the words "V'sachir Lo Yochal Kodesh." Once again the word Yochal is accented on the first syllable.

The Reason: Although usually a word is accented on the last part of the word, in this instance the accent is moved to the first syllable because of the Nasog Achor rule. This rule states that in order to avoid having two accented syllable next to each other we move the accent on the first word back one syllable. In this case since the accent on the word Kodesh is on the first syllable and the accent on Yochal would normally be on the last part of the word, the accents of the two words would be next to each other. In order to avoid the two accents being next to each other we move the accent on the word Yochal to the beginning of the word. In this way there is a syllable between the two accented syllables.

The Question: In Vayikra 22:14 we find the words "V'Eesh Ki Yochal Kodesh", with a different Taam and accent on the word Yochal. In this instance the Taam and accent is on the last part of the word Yochal. Why in this instance don't we move the Taam and accent back one syllable in order to avoid two consecutive syllables with accents on them?

The Answer: The reason for the difference is because of the word that is before Yochal. In the first two instances it is the word Lo that precedes the Yochal. There is no Taam or accent on the word Lo and therefore even when we move the accent up a syllable because of Nasog Achor there is still an unaccented syllable between the accented syllable of Yochal and the accented syllable of Zar or Sachir.

In the case of "V'Eesh Ki Yochal Kodesh" the word Ki has a Meseg. This makes it is an accented syllable. If we were to move the Taam and accent of Yochal up one syllable like the Nasog Achor rule dictates we would be faced with a new problem. The new problem would be there would be no syllable between the accent of Yochal and the accent of Ki. The very situation that Nasog Achor tries to avoid, by moving up the Taam one syllable it would be creating. Therefore since implementing the Nasog Achor rule would be correcting one problem but creating another problem we don't apply the Nasog Achor rule. Therefore the Taam in this instance remains on the last syllable of the word Yochal which is its normal pronunciation.


The Statement: Vayikra 21:13 "Vehoo Eesha Vivsuleha Yikach" and he (the Kohen Gadol) must take a virgin for a wife.

The Problem: Why does the word Vivsuleha begin with a Vet and not a Bet?

The Solution: You are probably all patting yourselves on the back claiming that this is a simple  one. The general rule of thumb is when BGD CFS is preceded by AHOY then the BGD CFSbecomes soft. To put it in understandable terms when the letters "Bet" "Gimmel" "Dalet" "Chaf" "Pay" or "Saf" are in the beginning of a word and are preceded by any one of the letters "Alef" "Heh" "Vav" or "Yud" at the end of the previous word, then the BGD CFS loses its Dagash and becomes soft. Therefore for example, Bnai Yisroel when preceded by the word "Mipnei" from before, becomes Vnai Yisroel since the word preceding Bnai ends in a Yud.

But alas all is not so simple. We also learned that when the first two letters of the second word are the same, then the word begins with a Dagesh in the first letter. This is true even if the preceding word ends with an AHOY. An example is Vatispesayhu Bevigdoh of Parshas Vayeshev. (see Drop of Dikduk there) In that case, although the last letter of the previous word is a Vav, since the first two letters are the same, the first takes a hard sound and becomes a Bet. If so why does Vivsuleha begin with a soft sound since it has two of the same letter in the beginning of the word?

The rule that when two Vet begin the following word, the rules of BGD CFS do not apply is limited to a specific Vet starting the next word. Only when the Vet has a Shva vowel sound then the Vet will receive a Dagesh and become a Bet. If it has another vowel sound such as a Chirik as Vivsuleha has then it will follow the ordinary BGD CFS rule and will remain a Vet if preceded by an AHOY.


The Statement Vayikra 22:10: "Toshav Cohen Lo Yochal Bo" The resident of a Cohen may not eat of it. (The Terumah) The word Toshav in this Posuk is with a Patach under the Shin.

The Explanation: In Loshon Hakodesh there is a concept of Somuch. When one word explains and describes another word it is called a Somuch. It is as if the words are leaning on each other. It is particularly true by words that show ownership such as the house of Avrohom. In Loshon Hakodesh it is very rare that the word Shel (of) is used therefore the use of Somuch words is very common. For instance, to say the house of Avrohom we could say Bayis Shel Avrohom or we could use a Somuch and say Base Avrohom. In cases where a Somuch is used then the vowels are changed also. An example is the case of the word Bayis that changes to Base, changing from a Patach to a Tzeiray. In the case of a word with a Kamatz sound the Kamatz will change to a Patach when it is a Somuch.

The Reason: In this Posuk the words Toshav Cohen mean the resident of the Cohen. The fact that the word uses a Patach instead of a Kamatz alludes to the fact that it is a Somuch and showing possession to the Cohen. The word Toshav with a Kamatz would mean that the Cohen himself is a resident.

The Warning: When reading the Torah it is important to read the word Toshav with the Patach If one reads it with a Kamatz it will have an entirely different meaning then was intended in the Torah.


The Statement: Vayikra 25:8 Vesafarta Lecha Sheva, and Yemay Sheva Shabsos Shanim. In both instances the Taam of the word Sheva is on the first syllable. In both cases the Taam of the word before Sheva is on the last syllable.

The Rule: Generally in Lashon Hakodesh the Taam (accent or cantillation) of the word is on the last syllable. In Lashon Hakodesh two Taamim will usually not be placed in a way that one will immediately follow the other without a syllable between the two Taamim. Usually there will be at least one syllable between the Taamim. If it is necessary we will move the first word's Taam back one syllable in order to avoid having the two Taamim following each other. This is called Nisog Achor (moving back). The Problem: In the case of Sheva in this Posuk the Taam of the word before precedes immediately the Taam of the word Sheva.

The Reason: Taamim are divided into two categories Taamim Mafsikim and Taamim Mesharsim. The Taamim Mafsikim denote a pause after the word. The Taamim Mesharsim denote that the word is connected to the following word. The commentaries divide the Taamim Mafsikim into four categories. Each category denotes a different level of pause between the words.

The Taam before the word Sheva in one instance is a Pashta and in one instance is a Revii. Both of these Taamim are Taamim Mafsikim. In cases where the first word's Taam is a Taam Mafsik then the following word may have the Taam even on a syllable immediately following the Taam on the first word.

The Logic: Two Taamim generally will not follow immediately one after the other so that the reader will have time to pause between the stressed syllables. When a pause is going to be made because of the fact the first word has a Taam Mafsik then two Taamim can follow each other.


The Statement: Vayikra 25:6 "Ool-Avdecha Ve-LaAmasecha Ve-LiScherecha" And to your servant and to your maid servant and to your hired worker.

The Problem: Why does the Lamed take on three different vowel sounds in these examples. In the first word the Lamed is given a Shva, in the second a Patach, and in the third a Chirik.

The Solution: In general a Lamed in the beginning of a word is given a Shva. There are some exceptions to this rule. For instance if the first letter of the root word begins with a Shva then the Lamed can not have a Shva sound. This is because two Shva sounds may not appear in the beginning of a word. If the word begins with a Shva then the Lamed will be given a Chirik sound. Thus the word Ve-LiScherecha, since the root word begins with a Shva the Lamed must be given a Chirik sound. Ool-Avdecha is easy to understand for it has the standard Shva under the Lamed.

This leaves us to explain Ve-LaAmasecha and the reason for the Lamed having a Patach as it's vowel sound. The first root letter is an Aleph with the vowel sound Chataf Patach. A Chataf Patach is a vowel sound which contains the qualities of a Shva and the qualities of a Patach in some ways. When Chataf Patach is the vowel sound of the first letter of the root word then the Lamed preceding is given a Patach sound. Perhaps it can not be given the standard Shva sound for then the word would have as it's beginning two Shva sounds (the Lamed and the Aleph) for in this respect the Aleph with it's Chataf Patach vowel sound is viewed like a Shva.


The Statement: Vayikra 26:17 "VeNeegaftem Lifnei Oyvaychem" And you will be struck down before your enemies. Rashi when translating this Posuk brings the Toras Cohanim that understands the Posuk in a different way than the traditional translation. Rashi understands the Posuk according to the Toras Cohanim to be saying that death through a plague will strike you down inside your homes, and enemies will surround you on the outside.

The Beer Rechovos elaborates on this explanation of the Posuk by following some basic Dikduk rules.

The word VeNeegaftem has a Dagesh in the Gimmel. This is to make up for a missing letter. A Dagesh is used to inform us that a letter was taken out of this word. The word Neegaf is a form of Niphal. Niphal refers to the object that is receiving the action. In this case since the root word is Neegaf which begins with a Nun and the Niphal form also has a Nun in the beginning of the word one Nun is left out and replaced with a Dagesh in the Gimmel.

The Problem: If the word Neegaftem is the Niphal form and is receiving an action from something else then the word should be VeNeegaftem MayOyvaychem that you will be struck from your enemies.

The Answer: The striking will not take place from your enemies but rather from a plague that will strike from within. The word VeNeegaftem stands alone and is not attached to the Lifnei Oyvaychem. Lifnei Oyvaychem is to be understood as an independent statement referring to the surrounding of the Jews by their enemies.


The Statement: Vayikra 26:3 VeEem Bechukosai Taylaychoo Ves Mitzvosay Tishmoroo VaAseesem Ohsam. If you will go in my decrees and observe my commandments and perform them.

Rashi Explains: The first part of the Posuk "VeEm Bechukosai Taylaychoo is not referring to the fulfillment of Mitzvos for at the end of the Posuk it refers to the fulfillment of Mitzvos. Rather the first part VeEm Bechukosai Taylaychoo is referring to toiling in Torah. The second part of the Posuk Ves Mitzvosay Tishmoroo VaAseesem Ohsam is referring to learning for the purpose of preparing for the fulfillment of the Mitzvos.

The Taamim: One may derive this explanation from the Taamim of the words. Generally an Esnachta is used to divide the Posuk into two statements. An Esnachta may also be used to separate between two types of actions in the Posuk. In this case the Esnachta is used to differentiate between the Bechukosai Taylaychoo which is toiling in Torah and the Mitzvosay Tishmoroo which refers to learning as a preparation for doing Mitzvos. The Esnachta separates the two actions and identifies them as different and distinct types of learning. Furthermore had the Esnachta been placed after Mitzvosay Tishmoroo the VaAseesem Ohsam would have been referring back to both actions. Now that the Esnachta is placed after Bechukosai Taylaychoo the words VaAseesem Ohsam refer only to Mitzvosay Tishmoroo for it is the type of learning that prepares one for VaAseesem Ohsam, the doing of Mitzvos.


The Statement: Vayikra 27:9 "Ve-eem Behayma Asher Yakrivoo Memenah Korban Lashem" And if the animal is from the ones which may be brought as a sacrifice to Hashem. 

The Other Statement: Vayikra 27:11 "Ve-eem Kal Behayma Temayah Asher Lo Yakrivoo Memenah Korban Lashem" And if the animal is from the impure ones which may not be brought as a sacrifice to Hashem.

The Problem: The Taamim on both Pesukim are almost identical. In the first Posuk the Ve-eem Behayma has a Zakaf Katan combination. In the second Posuk it is a Kadma on Ve-eem followed with a Zakaf Katan on the Kal Behayma Temayah. The end of the first Posuk "Yakrivoo, Memenah, Korban, Lashem" and the end of the second Posuk "Lo Yakrivoo, Memenah, Korban, Lashem" both end in the same way. Both end in a Darga, Tevir, Tipcha, Sof Posuk combination. Which leads us to wonder why in the first Posuk the word Asher has a Kadma as it's Taam and in the second Posuk the word Asher has a Telisha Gedolah as it's Taam? The Taamim of the two Pesukim are so similar why suddenly does the Taam change on the word Asher?

The Solution: We have mentioned many times before, a difference between Taamim. Some are Mesharsim and some are Melachim. The Melachim represent a pause or a stress on the word while a word that is a Mesharays leads up or is a servant to the following word. The Kadma is a Mesharays while the Telisha Gedolah is a Melech. In the first Posuk which is in regard to the donation of an animal which may be used as a sacrifice the Torah uses a Mesharays. This is to allude to the fact that to donate a pure animal there are no stipulations. It is to be used directly for a sacrifice. Therefore the Taam is a Mesharays a Taam that has no stress, for there is no hindrance to it being brought as a Korban. There are no obstacles to it becoming holy.

In the case of the donation of the impure animal which will not be used as a Korban the Torah uses a Melech as it's Taam. This is to show stress. That it is not an easy task to donate an impure animal. It will have a difficult process. It will have to be appraised for it's value. It may be redeemed with an added fee levied on the one who redeems it. The donation of a non-Kosher animal is complicated, not easy and simple like the Kosher animal which is brought as a Korban. Therefore the Torah uses a Melech Taam such as the Telisha Gedolah to point out this difficult process.

From the Sharei Zimrah Shaar 5 Paragraph 9


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