A Drop Of Dikduk

Rabbi Mordechai Terebelo

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Parshas Behar Bechukosai

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.

Courtesy of JewishAmerica (www.JewishAmerica.com)

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