A Drop Of Dikduk

Rabbi Mordechai Terebelo

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Parshas Naso

The Statement: Bamidbar 7:89 "Vayishma Es Hakol Meedabare Aylav Mayal Hakapores" And he heard the voice speaking to him from above the Kapores.

The Question: The Nikud on the word Meedabare is with a Chirik (long E) under the Mem. Would it not be more correct to have a Shva under the Mem instead?

The Solution: In Loshon Hakodesh past tense can be expressed in one of many ways. One way is to use what is called a Binyan Kal. (A less intense verb) For example the words Hoo Shavar mean he broke in the Binyan Kal form with no Dagesh in the middle letter. One can also say it in a more intense verb form which is called a Binyan Kaved. In this instance one would say Hoo Shebare which is he broke in a Binyan Kaved form. In this form the middle letter takes a Dagesh. This is referred to as Poal for Binyan Kal and Peeale for Binyan Kaved.

The difference between the two Binyanim is in the intensity. A Binyan Kaved generally is denoting more exertion in the action. In the instance of Shavar vs. Shebare it may be telling us that the breaking was total not just splitting into two pieces. Shebare would be used to signify a more total breaking of the item. (This is one difference see Beer Rechovos on Parsha Shmos under the heading Lamyaldos for a more detailed analysis of other differences in the usage of these two Binyanim.)

Another one of the usages of a verb is the form called Hispael. This is used when the subject is doing and receiving the action. For instance MisKasher (to tie) would mean he tied himself. He is the subject doing the action and also receiving the action.

The Ebn Ezra understands the word Meedabare in this week's Parsha to be a regular Binyan Kaved form with the Mem representing the word Min meaning from. Since the word Min drops it's Nun the first letter of the root word then gets a Dagesh to compensate for the missing Nun. In this instance when put together with Dabare, to compensate a Dagesh is placed in the Dalet. The word has a Dagesh in the Dalet to compensate for the missing Nun and a Dagesh in the Beis like all verbs of Binyan Kaved.

Rashi understands the word Meedabare to be of the Hispa-ale Binyan. Generally in the Hispa-ale there is a Saf after the first letter. This is not present in the word Meedabare. Therefore to compensate for the missing letter we place a Dagesh in the first root letter of the word and thus a Dagesh in the letter Dalet. Rashi explains the reasoning for the use of the Hispa-ale verb here. It is considered a matter of respect to Hashem. It is more respectful to say Hashem was speaking to himself and Moshe merely listening then to say Hashem was actually addressing Moshe.

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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