A Drop Of Dikduk

Rabbi Mordechai Terebelo

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Parsha Vayetze

The Statement: Perek 30:8 And Rochel said "Naftooley Elokim Niftalti" (I have twisted with turnings to Hashem). The rule: A Tevir is a Taam that is a Mafsik. (denotes a pause after it) A Tevir is preceded sometimes by a Darga and sometimes by a Marecha. (See Vilna Gaon's Dikdukei Torah on the word Vayar) The Darga is used to precede the Tevir when there are two or more syllables between the two Taamim, the Darga and the Tevir.(Shva Naah also counts as a syllable) The Marcha is used to precede the Tevir when there is only one syllable between the two Taamim.

The Problem: In this Posuk the word "Elokim has the Taam Darga under the "Heh" and in the following word "Niftalti " the Taam is under the first "Tav." This leaves only a one syllable break between the Taamim and the proper Taam should be Marecha Tevir not Darga Tevir.

The Solution: Rav Yakov Kamenetsky in his Sefer Emes L'Yakov and others offer the following solution to this problem. Eventhough there is only one syllable between the two Taamim nevertheless the Taam remains Darga Tevir. The reason being that since there is a Mafsik between the two words (the long thick line) it acts as a pause between the two Taamim. It acts in the same way as an extra syllable would. Therefore although there is only one vocalized syllable between the Taamim, the Mafsik adds another syllable and the Taam remains Darga Tevir as if there were two syllables.

A quick question for the inquisitive mind: Why in the list of Taamim is Tevir preceded by Darga since there is only one syllable between the Taamim. According to the rules of Taamim it should be Marecha Tevir.

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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