Re: Hebrew Vav Holam

From: Ted Hopp (
Date: Thu Jul 31 2003 - 09:26:47 EDT

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: Hebrew Vav Holam"

    On Thursday, July 31, 2003 12:53 AM, Jony Rosenne wrote:
    > I have not seen an answer to my question: Is the distinction from the
    > Masora or later.

    I don't know if there is a definite statement from the Masorites
    specifically about the issue, but this page from the Leningrad codex is all
    the statement I need:

    The last (leftmost) word on line 7 is shamoa' and contains a holam male
    showing the dot centered above the stem of the vav (or, if you like, to the
    left of the mem).

    The last word on the next line is lemitzvotav and contains a vav with a
    holam haser showing the dot well to the left of the vav.

    Based on this, I would say that the answer to Jony's question is that the
    distinction is from the Masora.

    On a related topic: observe that the penultimate word on line 5, vayilonu,
    has a holam haser dot well over the nun. However, no one would associate the
    dot with the nun. Similarly, the holam haser is well over the alef in
    vayavo-u on line 4, even though the alef has its own vowel. There is nothing
    in any Hebrew grammar about a "right dot" for anything other than a shin
    dot. If we're going to be discussing new characters, can we try to stick to
    established terminology, namely holam male instead of "right dot",
    "vav-holam" (or is it "holam-vav"?), etc., both in the discussion and
    (unless there is a compelling reason) in our proposed character names?
    Solving this problem with a "right dot" combining character may seem elegant
    to some, but it has nothing to do with Hebrew as grammarians have understood
    it for the last millenium.


    Ted Hopp, Ph.D.
    ZigZag, Inc.

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