[Avodah] 10 Dibrot

Akiva Miller akivagmiller at gmail.com
Thu Jan 31 20:17:31 PST 2019


R' Alexander Seinfeld asked:

> The trop (cantillation) for the 10 Statements (Commandments)
> is different when chanted in the congregation than when an
> individual is chanting on his own.
> What is the meaning or reason for this? How is the public
> trop supposed to resonate with the listener differently?

I wish I could remember where I heard this, but here is what I heard:

Let's take "lo tirtzach", for example. When an individual reads it,
the trop is "mercha tipcha", one single solid straightforward command:
"Don't murder!" (or kill or however you prefer to translate it)

But when the community reads it, the trop is different, and the tipcha
is now on the first word, causing a slight pause: "Lo - tirtzach!"
This resonates (to use RAS's word) in an entirely different manner. In
this particular case, it was suggested to me, that the tzibur (more
specifically the court) is is sometimes obligated to do that which is
normally assur. "Lo! [No! Wait! wait, pause, think, decide... okay, on
this particular occasion:] Tirtzach!"

Consider the eleven words that comprise Shemos 20:13. When the
individual reads it, there's only one "sof pasuk". But for the public,
there are four. One pasuk vs four pesukim has got to resonate
differently (though I don't recall the messages right now).

Akiva Miller

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