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The Statement: "VeKinamon Besem Machatziso Chamishim Umasayim OOknay
Vosem Chamishim Umasayim" And you should take cinnamon half of it, the
weight of two hundred and fifty Shekel and cane of spices two hundred
The Problem: Why does the first spice VeKinamon (and cinnamon) have a Shva underneath the Vav, as opposed to the second spice OOknay which is spelled with a Shuruk in the Vav to be the OOh sound. Both Vavs are meant to mean and, so why does one receive the OOh sound and one the Shva sound.
The Solution: The Vav that comes in the beginning of a word and is used to attach the two words is called a Vav Hachibur. Loshon Hakodesh is an economical language and instead of using a whole word like and, instead it adds just one letter the Vav to indicate that we are connecting the first part with the second.
The vowel sound under a Vav Hachibur depends on the sound of the letter that follows the Vav. If the sound after the Vav is a Shva then the Vav is given a OOh sound. However if the sound after the Vav is a sound other then a Shva such as a Chirik then the Vav takes the usual Shva sound. (Of course like any rule there are exceptions to this rule which we will discuss at a later date.)
Therefore since the vowel sound under the letter after the Vav in VKinamon is a Chirik therefore the Vav retains the usual Vav Hachibur sound which is a Shva. In the word OOknay the sound following the Vav is a Shva therefore the Vav does not get the usual Vav Hachibur sound of a Shva but rather gets a Shuruk sound OOh.
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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