A Drop Of Dikduk

Rabbi Mordechai Terebelo

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Parshas Pinchas

The Statement: Parshas Pinchas

The Explanation: There are two types of Dagesh. One is called a Dagesh Kal and one is called a Dagesh Chazak. A Dagesh Chazak may be found in any letter except for the letters Alef, Heh, Chet, Ayin, and Resh. It is used in cases where a letter has been left out. In order to show that the word had another letter and we have left it out we put a Dagesh in the letter next to it. A Dagesh Kal is used in the letters Bet Gimmel Dalet Chaf Peh and Taf. A Dagesh Kal is limited. It only appears in these letters and will only come in the beginning of a word or after a Shva Nach or at the end of a word when there are two Shvas. It will also not begin a word following the letters Alef Heh Vav and Yud unless certain conditions are met. We have discussed some of these conditions in previous weeks such as a Taam Mafsik before the Bet will allow the Bet to take a Dagesh even though it is following an Alef Heh Vav or Yud. (Mishnas HaGra Shaar Hadagesh) Most commentaries are of the opinion that the Dagesh Kal is different then the Dagesh Chazak. While the Dagesh Chazak tells us of a missing letter the Dagesh Kal does not. The Dagesh Kal is just another pronunciation of a letter. Its purpose is to form a new sound and not to notify us of any missing letters. (Hagahos Sefer Dikduk L'Ramchal)

The Problem: The word Shtayim (two) seems to defy these rules its Dagesh Kal follows a Shva Naah. The Shin in the beginning of the word is a Shva Naah and should not have a Dagesh Kal following it.

The Answer: The Sefer of Dikduk of the Radak says an interesting point regarding the word Shtayim. The Radak maintains that the word is really Shin tayim but the nun is dropped. Since the Nun is supposed to be a Shva Nach therefore a Dagesh Kal may follow.

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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