Volume 47 Number 75
                    Produced: Thu Apr 21  5:21:14 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Be'safa ve'rura
         [Brian Wiener]
Kaddish pronounciation
         [D. Rabinowitz]
Pronounciation / Siddurs
         [Haim Snyder]
         [Carl Singer]
A word on yisgadal/yisgadel
         [Mark Steiner]


From: Brian Wiener <brian@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 18:07:07 +1000
Subject: Re: Be'safa ve'rura

The Be'Safa Ve'Rura debate has been one of those niggling
favourite topics of mine for years, and I am glad it has made its
appearance on our site.

I apologise if I am repeating points made by other posters, but I have
not been until now in a position to post on this topic.

Before even beginning any research, for years I have had a problem with
the'be'safa ve'rura u've'neima: kedusha kulam..' etc format. It just
does not ring true.  As others have pointed our, there is definitely a
poetic cadence running through the entire passage, which is broken if we
punctuate as above. The major sticking point, however, is
grammatically. Be'safa (N) Ve'rura (A) = noun (speech) + adjective
(pure).  But if we say be'safa ve'rura U' (the vav ha-hibur is very
important) ve'neima kedOsha, we are adding another noun + adjective.
'Pure speech and holy melody'.

At the minimum, if there were any possibility, the format would have to
be'be'safa ve'rura U'NE'IMA. Two adjectives, be'rura and ne'ima
modifying be'safa. 'U'Ve'neima' is a noun.  The flow is continued. In
fact - although Mark Steiner would appear not to agree - if we go back a
few lines, we have'kulam pothim et pihem;..bi'k'dusha u've'tohora,
be'shira u've'zimra, etc..We have two relevant points of reference.

 1) the'two- word rhythm', which is definitely present throughout the
passage, and

2) the precedent for the idea that the heavenly hosts are speaking IN A
HOLY VOICE..( compare bi'k'dusha u've'tohora/ u've'neima kedosha).

Whenever I chance upon a new siddur, there are a couple of points of
grammar I look for, this being one of them. I have noticed that in
recent times, those editors who appear to be striving for great accuracy
all have u've'ne'ima kedosha. For example, A Rosenfeld's Kinot - this
includes the siddur, and is very carefully edited. Also Birnbaum, Rinat
Yisrael, Tehillat Hashem and others.

I am indebted to the prior posters for the sources they have given,
especially Boruch Merzel for the ref to Rashi on Isaiah 6. This is very
interesting, and I am not sure how to put it into context. I don't know
how much Rashi was giving us a nusach ha'tefilla, and we are all aware
of the problems with many Rashis on Nach.

For an authoritative decision on the siddur I refer to the siddur of R
Shabtai Sofer, originally published I think in 1614. R Shabtai was one
of the greatest scholars and grammarians, and had approbations from the
most famous rabbis of that generation including Rabbi Shemuel Eliezer
HaLevi (Maharsha), Levush, and many, many others. R Shabtai's siddur is
the basis for all the siddurim in the Ashkenaz world. He laid tremendous
importance on grammar. Almost every single letter, word, phrase and
sentence is analysed grammatically. Every Sh'va, dagesh, comma,
ultimate/penultimate accent and so on. Of the 5 volumes of his siddur, I
estimate that the grammatical notes take up about two complete
volumes. Even though R' Shabetai Sofer wrote primarily on Nusach of
prayer and on grammar, he based his work on a broad tapestry of sources
including Gemara, Poskim, works of Kabbala, and grammatical works,
demonstrating his mastery of all parts of the Torah. His approach to
grammar was to base the rules on the language of the Bible. R Shabtai is
quite clear that the correct version is'U've'neima Ke'dosha'.  He points
out that the phrase 'be'safa ve'rura' is a pasuk in Tzefania 3. This
being the source, it is obvious that the next two words (however they
are punctuated) are added, and presumably nobody would have the temerity
to'modify' a Biblical verse, as distinct from taking a phrase and suing
that phrase in its entirety.  R Shabtai also points out that the
Abudraham writes that one must'say the dalet with a holam'.

On a broader aspect - we must accept that our siddurim, and machzorim,
are replete with errors. The reason is of course obvious. From the days
of manuscript transmission, to the early days of printing, error after
error crept in, until they were accepted as gospel (if that is the
correct expression in this forum). Many will be familiar with the
Yiddish expression, when referring to a typographical error in a
sefer,'a bucher a zetzer', literally,'the (lad the) typesetter)'. In
other words, it was well known that this was the way many errors entered
our literature. It would be very interesting to write/read a paper on
Errors in the SIddurim.

 Personally, I almost always use the Artscroll, because of its clear
layout and type, complete t'fillot for every occasion, and GENERAL, but
certainly not perfect, accuracy. For the sake of this article, I wish to
highlight two errors, both illustrative of our topic. 1) Artscroll
perpetuates the error found in very many siddurim, in Birkat HaChodesh,
of Chaim Aruchim. This is supposed to be, of course, a prayer for Chaim
Arukim - a long life. What has happened is that for hundreds of years it
was written in k'tiv male, with the shuruk, and no dagesh, instead of
kubutz and dagesh kal. People began to say 'aruchim' which is how it
appears to be written. As an aside,I have heard many'chachmologim' -
interestingly, only dati, usually well educated, Israelis - try in all
sorts of convoluted ways to show that'aruchim' is somehow from 'arucha'
(as in ve'ha'aleh arucha u'marpe in some version of refa'enu), which is
obviously nonsense - lo haya ve'lo kayam. It makes sense neither
grammatically nor contextually.

A baal t'fila who is accurate will always say'arukim.

This is an example of an error simply being perpetuated through repeated
useage, over very long periods of time.

2) Artscroll, in Kabbalat Shabbat in Ana BeChoach,in the second line,
has the following;'kabel rinat, am'cha sag'venu,'. Quite clearly, the
comma should be after am'cha; 'kabel rinat am'cha, sag'venu' Now, I
don't believe anybody would try to justify this - one has to assume - or
hope - that it is just one that slipped through the editorial
board&#8230;&#8230;. The point though, is the similarity to our case
with'safa ve'rura ve'ne'ima. Kedusha kulam..'  A comma has snuck in in
the wrong place, and as everybody knows the'kadosh kadosh kadosh' by its
nickname'The Kedushah' it all makes - seemingly - sense. I can just
imagine in a hundred years or so (if mashiach has Chas ve'shalom not
arrived), a group of pedants like us sitting around whatever takes over
from the internet, and trying in all sorts of ways to justify'kabel
rinat, am'cha sag'venu..' because we have a great source, the heilige

Maybe in the same way, that to be accepted as a member of the Sanhedrin,
a candidate had to be able to'me'taher sheretz' in - I don' t remember
exactly how many ways, but it was a lot.  That was also an intellectual

Brian Wiener
Melbourne, Australia


From: D. Rabinowitz <rwdnick@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 06:12:59 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: Kaddish pronounciation

Carl Singer asked <<< No siddur in my collection has any variant on the
spelling of the first two words of kaddish -- nonetheless it seems quite
common for people to pronounce those words with a long "a" --
Yis-ka-dale v' Yis-ka-daysh -- any insights? >>>

In brief, here is the story about these first two words.  No one until
the early 17th century was minaked the first two words in Kaddish with a
segol.  The first to do so was R. Shlomo Zalman Henau (Katz) in his
Binyan Shlomo (Frankfort d'Order 1723).  This work, the Binyan Shlomo,
was highly controversial, in fact he was forced to print an apology that
was appended to the end.  Numerous books came out that took issue with
many of R. S.Z. Henau's changes.  Perhaps, most well known,
R. Y. Emden's Luch Eres.  R. Henau, however, argued that the first two
words of Kaddish are in Hebrew and thus must be minaked with a segol.
This, however, as I noted above runs contrary to EVERY siddur and EVERY
person to discuss this issue before him.  For example, in the Siddur of
R. Shabbtai Sofer, he also understands that the first two words are
Hebrew, however, he rejects saying them with a segol.

R. Emden and many of the others that disagreed with R.  Henau in other
parts of the teffila, also disagreed with him here.  Notably, there were
two exceptions. The first is R.  Y. Satnow, who in his work on Teffila,
V'Yetar Yitzhak, also advocates for pronouncing it with segol.

The second is R. Yosef Toemin, the Prei Megadim.  The Pri Megadim was
very close to the R. Satnow and in fact advocated studying the works of
Henau. [He also advocated studying the works of others, that today,
would probalbly get the Pri Megadim banned] He accepts R. Henau's
change, in fact he quotes him on this.  Thus, historically, he was in
essence ignoring the weight of all the others that dealt with this and
came out the other way.  [If one is aware of the Pri Megadim's
biographical details, this will come as no surprise.].

The Misha Berura, who primarly using either the Shulan Orach or works on
it, was probably unaware of this above discussion and instead just saw
the only one to discuss this issue, namely the Pri Megadim.  Thus, he
cites to the Pri Megadim and thus says to pronounce this with a segol.

[As a side note, the Gra also supposedly said this with a
segol. However, it is far from clear whether that testimony is accurate.
Further, it is also unclear his reasoning.  As in Ma'se Rav it records
that the Gra said the first two words are Hebrew thus one must say them
with a segol.  But as noted above even if one believes the first two
words are Hebrew it does not automatically mean that a segol must be

Dan Rabinowitz


From: <Haim.Snyder@...> (Haim Snyder)
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 08:41:09 +0300
Subject: Re: Pronounciation / Siddurs

In Vol 47 #62, Carl Singer asked

>No siddur in my collection has any variant on the spelling of the first
>two words of kaddish -- nonetheless it seems quite common for people to
>pronounce those words with a long "a" -- Yis-ka-dale v' Yis-ka-daysh --
>any insights?

The source in the Mishne Brura is siman 52 paragraph b.  However, the
source is earlier than that.  Rashi, in Leket Pardess, explained why the
words until the word "shmai" of the leading paragraph and the second
paragraph were Hebrew and not Aramaic.

Whereas it is true that yitgadal v'yitkadash is grammatically proper in
Hebrew, the change to the tzeirei makes the distinction clearer.  In my
opinion, the reason that changes are not made in yitbarach v'yishtabach
v'yitpa'ar v'yitromam is because these words are found in that form in
other prayers.  If they were changed in the kaddish it might imply the
necessity to change elsewhere.  Can you imagine saying "Start at
yishtabeah", for example?

As an aside, I know of no source for saying titkabale instead of
titkabal, and the Leket Pardess makes it clear that this is an error.

Haim Shalom Snyder


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 06:05:34 -0400
Subject: Pronunciation

>Another point he makes is that the first word is spelled with a gimel,
>not a kuf, so it should be pronounced "yisgadayl" not "yiskadayl".
>Akiva Miller

Yes, Akiva is certainly correct, the first word is with a gimel (the
root Gadol (big) --> grow) But I frequently hear it pronounced as a kuf.

Does anyone know of siddurs that have the vowels as above (yisgaDAYL,
YiskaDAYSH) It may seem trivial but it terms of chinuch, etc., straying
from the printed text when it is "correct" to do so opens a Pandora's
Box of mispronunciations (such as the kuf / gimel.)

Carl Singer


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2005 23:53:52 +0300
Subject: RE: A word on yisgadal/yisgadel

	Though I have great reverence for the author of the Mishnah
Berurah, and even more for the author of Bi'ur Halakha, I do not like
the current practice of citing the MB rather than the sources he quotes
(and he does cite his sources).

	In this case, the idea goes much further back than the Vilna
Gaon (whom the MB cites), but may go back to the time of Rashi (as my
brother pointed out to me).  The simple proof for the statement is that
gdl is not an Aramaic root at all.

	One caveat, however: the fact that yisgadal is Hebrew rather
than Aramaic does not necessarily mean that it should be pronounced as
in BIBLICAL Hebrew, since the framework prayers of the siddur were
written in Rabbinic/Mishnaic Hebrew.  Example: in the Musaf kedusah
(Ashkenaz) we have "na`ritzakh venakdishakh", just as in the Sefaradi
siddurim (which, as I wrote earlier, did not undergo the maskilic
process of Biblicization--compare the phrase "nishmat kol hay vegam
na`aritzakh/ekhol besimha ki kevar ratzakh" from the Friday night poem )
This was "Biblicized" by Baer and others to "na`ritzkha
venakdishkha". In any case, in MH, we say in fact "yisgadal," not as in
BH "yisgadel."  There are also a number of places where the Biblicizers
overlooked words: for example "tisborakh moshi`enu" which in BH would be

	Incidentally, it is known that the Vilna Gaon held that one
should recite in the fourth bendediction of the amida prayer,
"ushvohakho", not "veshivhakho".  Accordingly, you will find the former
pronunciation in the yeshivos, though nobody seems to know why.  In
fact, in early (pre-Enlightenment) siddurim, the Gaon's vocalization is
precisely the one that appears.  The reason is simple: ushvohakho is MH,
veshivhakho Biblical.


End of Volume 47 Issue 75