A Drop Of Dikduk

Rabbi Mordechai Terebelo

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Parsha Emor

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 CFS becomes 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.

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)

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