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Thanks to Eliezer Appleton for submitting the question for this week's
The Statement:Shmos 35:5 "Zahav Vachesef Unechoshes" Gold and silver and copper
The Problem: Why is the word Vachesef preceded by a Vav with a Kamatz under it?
The Solution: The Vav in the word Vachesef is a Vav Hachibur, a Vav that connects two or more items. Last week we noted that a Vav Hachibur is used with a Shuruk (the ooh sound) when the following letter has a Shva sound. The Vav has a Shva sound generally, if the following letter is not a Shva.
One exception to this rule is when the word that is connected with the Vav Hachibur has an accent on the first letter and is also the end of a group of words. If the word meets these two conditions then the vowel under the Vav Hachibur will be a Kamatz.
The Sharei Zimrah in Shaar 5 Paragraph 4 states that when there are three items listed the first one is given a Taam that is a Mesharays and the second word in the list has a Taam which is Mafsik (denotes a pause or a break).
Although it may seem that this is just a way of enumerating a list, that the first two are grouped together, perhaps there is a reason for the grouping of these two gold and silver together. Perhaps they are far superior to copper and are in a different class of metal than copper. Or perhaps the fact that they are generally used as currency and not copper was the reason they were grouped together.
In this instance the word Kesef which follows, is a word with the accent on the first letter and the Taam is a Pashta which denotes a pause or end of a grouping of words. It is for this reason that the Vav Hachibur of Kesef is given the Kamatz vowel sound and not the more standard Shva sound.
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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