[Avodah] Pinechas vs Pinchas

David and Esther Bannett via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Tue Jul 7 03:41:47 PDT 2015

R' Micha points out that his grandfather's name was Pinechas. He proves
it first by the yud after the pei which, by the rules of dikduk, makes
the following sheva a na'. In addition, the name is an Egyptian one,
Pi-nechas, pi being a common prefix in Egyptian names. In case you
haven't been convinced yet, there is a meteg in the pei which, by the
rules, makes the chirik malei and the sheva na'

There is, however, one small point that makes me wonder. R' Aharon
ben Asher who, for the last thousand years, has been called the accepted
decision maker on correct spelling in Tana"kh seems to disagree. In perek
11 of his book Dikdukei Hat'amim he describes the sh'vaim before the otyot
g'roniot inside a word, when they are na' and when nach. Included in his
list of words where they are nach are laqkhu, barchu, Pinchas, zar'u, etc.

IIRC, not all manuscripts have all the words and Pinchas might be omitted
in some. It is possible that copiers of the words lists added or omitted.

On the Mesorah sub-list it is known that I am anti-dikduk because it
opens the way to change the fine points on Torah pronunciation to match
its rules. Among these "improvements" was the changing of many internal
sh'vaim in words from nach to na'. What enabled this to happen was the
brilliant invention by R' Yosef Kimchi of the ten vowel, five pairs of
malei and chaseir. This led to the rule that after malei the sh'va is na'
and after chaseir it is nach.

Ben Asher, in perek 10 notes that there are seven vowels in Hebrew.
All of the masoretes also state this. If there aren't pairs of malei and
chaseir, we've just lost the rule about the following sh'vaim. All this
is not something new. Heidenheim in his comments on the Ein Hakorei
of RYHB"Y (Shemini, just before sh'lishi) states that in the times
of the kadmonim many sh'vaim that are now na'im were then nachim. He
quotes (from Ibn Ezra?) that kol sh'va b'ot rafah shekadam lo echad
mishiv'at ham'lakhim hu nach ki halashon ha-ivrit kasha la r'difat
shalosh t'nu'ot...except for double letters and some words with groniot.

So how should I lein on Shabbos? Oh, no problem, I'm not the bal-koire.


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