A Drop Of Dikduk

Rabbi Mordechai Terebelo

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Parshas Balak

The Statement: Bamidbar 23:20 "Oovayraych V'lo Ashivenu" And he has blessed and I will not retract it. Rashi explains that the word Oovayraych is like the word Ooveeraych.

The Reason: In Loshon Hakodesh one of the conjugations of verbs is called Peeale. This is referred to as Binyan Kavayd. It is a way of expressing a stronger form of the verb. A verb in the Peeale form shows intent and a very intense action. It also has a Dagesh in the middle letter. An example of this is the word Shavar. In Binyan Kal it means broke, and Sheebayr in Binyan Kavayd also means broke but would show a more intense breaking and would have a Dagesh in the middle letter the Bet.

In the case of Bayraych, which Rashi understands to be a verb in the Binyan Kavayd form, we have a problem. The letter Resh cannot accept a Dagesh. Therefore in the word Bayraych the Dagesh from the Resh is transferred to the first letter of the word. The Bet instead of having just a Chirik as is usual by the Peeale form will receive another dot to make it a Tzeirei sound instead of the Dagesh. The dot from the Dagesh becomes part of the Bet and makes it into a Tzeirei sound.

The exception: Rashi is very careful with his words. He says that is the rule by the letter Resh. Rashi is telling us that although many other etters can not receive a Dagesh it is only the Resh which changes the first letter from Chirik to Tzeirei. Should the second letter be a Alef Heh Chet or Ayin that do not receive a Dagesh, the rule will not apply. The first letter will not become a Tzeirei in place of the Dagesh.

To reach Rabbi Terebelo you can email him at the following address: mterebelo@juno.com

Courtesy of JewishAmerica (www.JewishAmerica.com)

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