Zeicher/zecher – but what about Zachor/zachoir too, if you are חושש לדעת הגר”א?

Zeicher or zecher? The reading of parshas Zachor according to minhag Ashkenaz, and the shita of the Gaon of Vilna (original post title)

ברוך שהחינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה

It is that time of the year again.

We are about to read parshas Zachor.

According to the luach of Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz (note newly added direct link to it on the right of the main page),

הקריאה המקובלת היא ‘תמחה את זֵכר עמלק’, הזי”ן של ‘זֵכר’ בצירה, ולא נהגו לכפול את הקריאה

רבש”ה pointed out in a shiur that it is paskened in שו”ע אורח חיים סימן קמב, הלכה א that if a mistake was made in leining, one is only not yotze, says the Rama, if the meaning is changed. But in this case, both zecher and zeicher are basically the same, so one would be yotzei with zeicher, even if the zecher opinion was the correct one.

Also, he raises the question as to why people (those who typically read both zeicher and zecher) are not חושש in this leining for the דעת הגר”א (brought in sefer משנת הגר”א on דקדוק) that the חולם is pronounced as the sound of oh, rather than the Polish cholam pronunciation of oy. So at the outset of the special keriah, they should at least read it both ways, as is done later, he queries. Zachor and zachoir. He argues that this opinion of the גאון is וודאי גאון, as it is stated in his sefer, undisputed, as per above, while the zeicher/zecher matter is only a ספק גאון, since it is brought down in the Maaseh Rav written by Rav Saadia, תלמיד הגר”א, but is disputed by Rav Chaim Volozhiner, תלמיד מובהק של הגר”א (in general, רבש”ה wondered why people are so worried about what Rav Saadia writes, since Rav Chaim Volozhiner, was a/the talmid muvhok and Rav Saadia, it seems, was not [such a?] talmid muvhok of the גר”א).

Interesting points and food for thought.

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One Response to “Zeicher/zecher – but what about Zachor/zachoir too, if you are חושש לדעת הגר”א?”

  1. S. Says:

    Great post, but of course you can’t ask logical questions on random practices that take root and assume the force of halacha le-moshe mi-sinai; why not ask why one should read twice when even the Gra did not read twice?

    However, I will take a stab at an answer. While it’s true that the Gra recognized, as did all grammarians, the true pronunciation of the חולם, to be choshesh for it would be to create a mish-mash havara that doesn’t really exist, at least not in the Gra’s time.

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