A Drop Of Dikduk

Rabbi Mordechai Terebelo

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Parshas Emor

The Statement: Vayikra 22:10 "V'chal Zar Lo Yochal Kodesh" And every stranger (non- Cohen) may not eat from the holy food. The word Yochal is accented on the first syllable which is the Yo part of the word. In the same Posuk are the words "V'sachir Lo Yochal Kodesh." Once again the word Yochal is accented on the first syllable.

The Reason: Although usually a word is accented on the last part of the word, in this instance the accent is moved to the first syllable because of the Nasog Achor rule. This rule states that in order to avoid having two accented syllable next to each other we move the accent on the first word back one syllable. In this case since the accent on the word Kodesh is on the first syllable and the accent on Yochal would normally be on the last part of the word, the accents of the two words would be next to each other. In order to avoid the two accents being next to each other we move the accent on the word Yochal to the beginning of the word. In this way there is a syllable between the two accented syllables.

The Question: In Vayikra 22:14 we find the words "V'Eesh Ki Yochal Kodesh", with a different Taam and accent on the word Yochal. In this instance the Taam and accent is on the last part of the word Yochal. Why in this instance don't we move the Taam and accent back one syllable in order to avoid two consecutive syllables with accents on them?

The Answer: The reason for the difference is because of the word that is before Yochal. In the first two instances it is the word Lo that precedes the Yochal. There is no Taam or accent on the word Lo and therefore even when we move the accent up a syllable because of Nasog Achor there is still an unaccented syllable between the accented syllable of Yochal and the accented syllable of Zar or Sachir.

In the case of "V'Eesh Ki Yochal Kodesh" the word Ki has a Meseg. This makes it is an accented syllable. If we were to move the Taam and accent of Yochal up one syllable like the Nasog Achor rule dictates we would be faced with a new problem. The new problem would be there would be no syllable between the accent of Yochal and the accent of Ki. The very situation that Nasog Achor tries to avoid, by moving up the Taam one syllable it would be creating. Therefore since implementing the Nasog Achor rule would be correcting one problem but creating another problem we don't apply the Nasog Achor rule. Therefore the Taam in this instance remains on the last syllable of the word Yochal which is its normal pronunciation.

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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