A Drop Of Dikduk

Rabbi Mordechai Terebelo

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Parsha Vayechi

The Statement : "Vayevarechaym Bayom Hahu Laymor Becha Yevaraych Yisroel" And he blessed them on that day saying, "With your names Yisroel will bless."

The Problem: "Bayom Hahu" seems to be unnecessary. Certainly Yakov blessed them on that day!!!! Why does the Torah find it necessary to stress "Bayom Hahu" that day?

The Solution: The "Taam" (cantillation) above the "Bayom Hahu" is a "Segol." The Segol is one of the Taamim classified as a Mafsik. It hints to a pause after these words. A Segol is always placed in the first part of the Posuk. It always comes before the Esnachta in the Posuk never after an Esnachta. It many times denotes the first of three independent statements to be found in a Posuk. The Sharei Zimrah in Shaar Six Paragraph 10 says a Segol may be used when the words seem to be unnecessary and self understood. He uses this Posuk as an example of one place where the words seem at first glance to be superfluous. Perhaps I could offer another explanation. The Ramban explains the words "Bayom Hahu" as not being self understood but rather to the contrary, to accentuate a point. The Torah wishes to stress that on that day Yakov gave them the Brocha. That eventhough Yosef had wished to reverse the order Yakov blessed them that day as he willed contrary to the wishes of Yosef. For this reason the Taam may also be a Segol. For the Sharei Zimrah also says in Shaar Six Paragraph 5 that a Segol being a strong pause, is used many times to show stress on a certain group of words. Here the stress would be that he blessed them on that day even before Yosef who had showed his wishes to the contrary.

Rabbi Mordechai Terebelo is Rav of Congregation Young Israel of Lawrenceville New Jersey He is also a Rebbe in Bezalel Hebrew Day School of Lakewood New Jersey and a member of the Kollel of Beth Medrash Govoha

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