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The Statement: Perek 3:21 "Mishpachos Ha-Gerashooni" These are the families
The Other Statement: Perek 3:27 "Oo-Mishpachas Hachevroni" And the family of Chevron
The Problem: When the family Chevron is expressed as Chevroni the Cholom by "ron" remains. Yet when Gershon is expressed as Gerashooni, it loses the Cholom and becomes a Koobootz and takes the shooni sound, instead of sounding as shoni with a Cholom. For what reason does the word Gershon lose it's Cholom and become a Koobootz?
The Solution: Rav Yakov Kamenetsky in his Sefer Emes L'Yakov offers a novel answer. He explains that sometimes the ending Vav Nun or On sound is not part of the basic name. For instance, in Rus 4:21 it says and Nachshon gave birth to Salmah. Yet in Rus 4:22 it says and Salmon (the same individual as Salmah) gave birth to Boaz. Rav Yakov derives from here that sometimes theVav Nun or On sound is not part of the basic name but rather just a suffix that is added. In the case of Salmon since it is not part of the root word it may be dropped as is done in Rus 4:21.
In the case of Gershon the Vav Nun or On sound is not part of the basic name. It is for this reason that the Cholom sound is not absolute and may be exchanged for a Koobootz sound.
Rav Yakov does not explain why Chevron remains with theVav Nun or On sound. Perhaps the answer is because the family took it's name form the city Chevron as is mentioned in Parshas Chaya Sarah. Since the family was named after the city the whole word is considered as part of the root word and the Vav Nun or On sound may not be changed.
From the Sharei Zimrah Shaar 5 Paragraph 9
Rabbi Mordecai Terebelo can be reached at MTEREBELO@juno.com
Rabbi Terebelo is Rav of Young Israel of Lawrenceville 5th-6th grade Rebbi at Bezalel Hebrew Day School of Lakewood NJ Member Kollel of Beth Medrash Govoha and Director of Partners in Torah Program of Lawrenceville NJ
Courtesy of JewishAmerica (www.JewishAmerica.com)