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The Statement: Perek 10:19 "Vaachalti Chatas Hayom" And if I ate from the
The Other Statement: Bamidbar 11:11 "VeLamah Lo Matzasee" In this instance the Lamah is accented on the first syllable on the Lamed. There is also a Dagesh in the Mem of the word.
The Rule: The word Achalti means I ate. It is past tense. If it is preceded by a Vav it can have two possible meanings. 1) And I ate. In this case the Vav is a vav Hachibur connecting the word with the previous part of the Posuk. 2) And I will eat. In this case the Vav is a vav Hahipuch changing the tense of the word from past tense to future tense.
Rashi explains the word in our Posuk to be of the first category a Vav Hachibur. The Vav is connecting the word with the beginning of the Posuk.
The Proof: One of the ways to tell which category the Vav is from, is by the accent mark or the Taam of the word. If the Taam is on the last syllable of the word it is a Vav Hahipuch that is changing the tense of the word. If the accent or Taam is not on the last part of the word it is a Vav Hachibur.
In our case the Taam is on the Chaf of Achalti. It is not on the last syllable of the word. This is an indication that the word Vaachalti is of the first group a Vav Hachibur and not one that is changing the tense of the word
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)