A Drop Of Dikduk

Rabbi Mordechai Terebelo

Back to this week's parsha | Previous Issues

Parshas Shoftim

The Statement: Perek 17:8 "Ki Yepalay Memcha Davar" When it will be covered from you something. The Taamim on the words Memcha Davar are a Kadmah V'Azlah.

The Rule: The Taamim are divided into two groups Melachim and Mesharsim. A Taam which is a Melech will denote a pause after the word in which it appears. A Taam which is a Mesharays will connect it to the following word.

In general when any word ends with a AHOY Alef Heh Vav or Yud and the next word begins with a BGD CFS Bet Gimmel Dad Chaf Feh or Taf these letters will not take a Dagesh and will have a soft sound. However, if the Taam is a Taam Melech that appears in the word that ends in AHOY then the following word will begin with a Dagesh, the harder sound.

The Taamim Kadma and Pashta appear to be the same. They sound the same and are represented by the same symbol. Yet, the Kadma is a Mesharays and the Pashta is a Taam Melech. This difference is significant when the word with the Pashta or Kadma ends in AHOY and the following word is a BGD CFS word. For, if the Taam is a Kadma which is a Taam Mesharays then the BGD CFS will remain soft and if the Taam is a Pashta which is a Taam Melech then the BGD CFS will receive a Dagesh and have a hard sound.

To differentiate between the Pashta and Kadma the Pashta is always placed above the last letter. This is even if the accent and Taam is read on a letter earlier in the word. In some Chumashim, in this case, a second Pashta will be appear on the accented letter.

The Kadma on the other hand will not be placed on the last letter of the word. It is usually placed on the second to last letter of the word, if the Taam of the word is at the end. There are instances of a Kadma on the last letter of the word and one example is the words Memcha Davar in this week's Parsha. In order to differentiate it from the Pashta which would also appear on the last letter the Kadma is placed in the middle of the last letter and not on the end of the last letter.

To reach Rabbi Terebelo you can email him at the following address: mterebelo@juno.com

Courtesy of JewishAmerica (www.JewishAmerica.com)

Back to Parsha Homepage | Previous Issues

Jerusalem, Israel