The Ohs and Ahs of Torah Reading

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9780967047409: The Ohs and Ahs of Torah Reading

SYNOPSIS

This book focuses on the two Kamatz vowels in the Hebrew language (Kamatz Katan and Kamatz Gadol). Many find it difficult to distinguish between these two vowels in written texts because, even though these vowels have an identical written symbol, they should be vocalized differently by those who use the present-day mainstream Hebrew pronunciation (referred to as Sephardi-Israeli or modern Hebrew). The book lists ALL the words with Kamatz Katan in the Biblical texts read during synagogue services: The Torah (Pentateuch), the Haftarot (selections from the Prophets), the Megillot (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther), as well as words in frequently recited prayers, psalms, and hymns. The book explains how to distinguish between Kamatz Katan (pronounced OH) and Kamatz Gadol (pronounced AH) and the reasons that the Kamatz in these words is Katan. The book explains the errors in the meaning of words that are mispronounced. It also lists words that are commonly mistakenly thought to have Kamatz Katan. Finally, it lists and discusses words with the half-vowel Hataf-Kamatz.

The book includes a comprehensive introduction about the history of the vowels system as it related to these two vowels, the reasons for the present-day confusion about the pronunciation of these vowels, and the relevant grammar rules.

This book would be useful resource to:
* Professors, teachers and students of Biblical, prayer book, and modern Hebrew,
* Rabbis, Cantors and Jewish Educators as a resource assisting in teaching Hebrew, reading the Tanakh in Hebrew, Torah/Haftarah reading, reading Hebrew prayers,
* Torah readers,
* Hebrew prayer leaders,
* Bar/Bat Mitzvah teachers, and
*anyone who is interested in pronouncing Hebrew accurately but has difficulties differentiating between the two Kamatz vowels.

What is the purpose of this book? This book addresses Hebrew language vowels that are often mispronounced. Many of those who speak, read, and study Biblical or modern (Israeli) Hebrew do not know how to differentiate between the Kamatz Katan vowel (pronounced Oh) and the Kamatz Gadol vowel (pronounced Ah). These two vowels have an identical written symbol but, in the present-day mainstream Sephardi-Israeli Hebrew, they differ in their vocalization.

The result is frequent mispronunciation of Hebrew words by Torah/Haftarah readers, Hebrew prayer leaders, and those who study Biblical or modern Hebrew. Some mispronunciations result in words of entirely different meanings.

There are over 1,100 words with Kamatz Katan in the Torah (the Pentateuch), the Haftarot (selected texts from the Prophets), and the Megillot (five Biblical books read on certain Jewish holidays), and many such words in the Hebrew prayer book. Every Shabbat and holiday service includes Hebrew texts that contain words with Kamatz Katan. The primary purpose of this book is to identify these words so that they will be read (vocalized) properly.

Additionally, the Hataf-Kamatz vowel, which should always be pronounced Oh and is often mistakenly pronounced AH, is also addressed in this book.

Who would benefit from this book?

Torah/Haftarah readers; Hebrew prayer leaders,; Bar/Bat Mitzvah teachers and their students; teachers and students of Biblical and modern Hebrew; academic institutions with Jewish studies, Bible studies, or Semitic languages departments; and anyone interested in Hebrew and in its correct pronunciation.

The book was reviewed by Rabbis, cantors, Torah trope teachers, teachers of Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew language experts, Torah/Haftarah readers, and synagogue prayer leaders. Their enthusiastic reviews are included in the book.

What kind of a book is it?

ALL the words with Kamatz Katan (or Hataf-Kamatz,) in the Torah, the Haftarot, and the Megillot are listed, with their locations in Hebrew and in English, and notes explaining the reasons for identifying the Kamatz as Katan. The book also addresses words with Kamatz Katan in Hebrew prayers, psalms, and hymns. Finally, words that are mistakenly thought to have Kamatz Katan are also addressed.

The book, a result of several years of research, is of scholarly nature and also of practical usefulness. It includes a comprehensive review of the historical background of the Hebrew written vowel system; discusses the issues relevant to the two vowels (the Kamatz Gadol and the Kamatz Katan); explains the reasons for the present-day confusion about the pronunciation of the two Kamatz vowels; and discusses in detail the relevant grammar rules. A bibliography and complete index are included.

Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

From the Publisher:

This book has a beautifully designed cover and very attractive layout; it was produced by high-quality printing and binding processes. Importantly, for ease of use, the letters with Kamatz Katan are printed in RED and the letters with Hataf-Kamatz are printed in BLUE. This book makes a most appreciated gift for anyone interested in reading Hebrew accurately. We do not know of another book that focuses on the Kamatz vowels or addresses these vowels at this level of comprehensiveness and clarity.

From the Author:

The need for this guidebook became evident when I realized that many Torah/Haftarah readers, prayer leaders, and those who study Biblical or modern Hebrew are either unaware of the existence of the Kamatz Katan vowel or have difficulties in distinguishing it from the Kamatz Gadol vowel. This difficulty results from the fact that a single written symbol represents the Kamatz Katan (literally, small Kamatz) and the Kamatz Gadol (literally, large Kamatz) vowels. However, even though the written symbols of these two vowels are identical, those who use the Sephardi-Israeli Hebrew pronunciation, which is the present-day mainstream Hebrew, should vocalize the Kamatz Katan vowel Oh (as the "o" in "north") and the Kamatz Gadol vowel Ah (as the "a" in "father").

Borrowing from the Rambam (Maimonides), the 12th century eminent Jewish philosopher and author of the Guide to the Perplexed, my book is intended to serve as Guide to the Perplexed about the Kamatz Katan.

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