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The Statement Shmos 12:2 "Rishon Hoo Lachem Lechadshai Hashanah" It is the first one to you of the months of the year. The rule: There are two types of Shva. Sometimes the vowel sound Shva is a Shva Naah where it has some emphasis on the vowel sound. Other times it is a Shva Nach where it has no vowel sound at all. By looking at the letter that precedes it one can determine which type of Shva it is. If the letter preceding it is a Tenuah Gedolah such as a Cholam, Tzeirei, Chirik followed by a Yud, or Shoorook, then the Shva that follows will be a Shva Naah with a slight vowel sound. If the Shva follows a Tenuah Ketanah such as a Patach, Segol, or a Chirik not followed by a Yud, or Kubutz then the following Shva will be a Shva Nach and will have no vowel sound.
The Problem: Kamatz is sometimes a Kamatz Gadol and sometimes a Kamatz Katan. When it is a Kamatz Gadol it belongs to the Tenuah Gedolah family and the following Shva will be a Shva Naah. When it is a Kamatz Katan it belongs to the Tenuah Ketanah family and the following Shva is a Shva Nach. How does one determine what type of Kamatz precedes the Shva to know if the following Shva is a Shva Naah or Shva Nach?
The Solution: One way of determining is by this rule: If the Kamatz results from the change of a Cholam (without a Vav) to a Kamatz then the Kamatz is a Kamatz Katan, and the following Shva will be a Shva Nach. In this instance since Chadshei is from the word Chodesh which has a Cholem the Kamatz is only a Kamatz Katan. Beware!!!! This is contrast to the word Chadshei which could mean new. In the word Chadshei which means new the Shva would be a Shva Naah since it has a Kamatz which is a Tenuah Gedolah. It is a Tenuah Gedola since it is not a form of Chodesh which means month, but rather from the root that means new. Since the Kamats is not the result of a Cholam it remains a Tenuah Gedolah and the following Shva is a Shva Naah. One must be careful during Krias Hatorah not to read it with the wrong Shva lest it change the meaning of the word to new instead of moon or vice versa.
Rabbi Terebelo is Rav of Young Israel of Lawrenceville 5th grade Rebbi at Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion of Piscataway NJ Member Kollel of Beth Medrash Govoha and Director of Partners in Torah Program of Lawrenceville NJ
Courtesy of JewishAmerica (www.JewishAmerica.com)